It has certainly been a day to remember. We had already planned our route to take in as many as the back waters of the BCN as possible and after leaving our moorings, went straight down the Main line to Smethwick Junction. That was on the first part of our planned route. As I took loads of photos I thought it would be easier to show you where we went rather then just to write about it.
Diesel or Oil?
|2nd of Smethwick locks|
Weed was a real problem on this waterway. Ian was forever clearing the stuff from behind the gates
The turn into the Engine Arm.
The view of the Aqueduct
Facilities at the end of the arm. The BT tower can just be seen on the skyline.
View from the aqueduct looking down at the BCN Main Line.
The weed was everywhere but the scum on the water was smelly and disgusting. There was no hint of where it had come from either.
Ian grabbed the pole to try and pole the stern round but the end of the pole disappeared into the thick mud giving him nothing to push against. We were basically stuck on the wrong side of the canal. Ian then pushed the pole down the side of the boat and by using that as a lever managed to bring the stern back into the center. When he tried to bring the bow round by throttling forward, nothing happened. In fact he lost drive altogether. We had clouds of smoke pouring out from the exhaust but no propulsion. Thankfully the bow ended up by a small
bridge, towpath side, and I managed to climb from
the bow and onto the towpath, and with Ian throwing both stern and center ropes for me to catch, I ended up being the pack horse and dragging the boat back to the junction. Ian even offered to bring me a nose bag to keep me going, the cheek of it!! Once at the junction we had the dilemma of how to bring the boat across the canal and back onto the far towpath on the Walsall canal. There was no way for me to get across other then to walk round by the lock. There was nothing for it but for Ian to get his rubber gloves on and go rummaging around the prop.
This is what he pulled out! No wonder we couldn't go forward or back.