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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Ian!! No more excursions, please.

If Ian suggest a trip along the lesser known routes of the BCN again, I think I'll strangle him!! Both of us were looking forward to the excursion up the Wednesbury Oak Loop, so after a peaceful and trouble free night  (the added bonus of a powerful light from the building opposite, illuminating  the bridge ( no longer used ) and also the boat) we set off  on a gloriously sunny morning and journeyed through Coseley Tunnel, ( very wet )  we soon came to Deepfield junction. The weed was covering the whole of the junction and turning into it was like going through a thick soup. It soon became apparent that it was getting the better of us when we got slower and slower. We made it to the first bridge 'ole and out came the trusty boat hook with the hope of clearing the prop instead of having to go down the weed hatch. Ian had some success, so the decision was made to carry on. If I knew then what I know now I would have persuaded Ian not to venture into the loop. Again the photos will tell the tale.

Deepfield Junction

Bridge 'ole just inside the loop

Looks so idyllic

Then the weed started.

The majority of the way was like this.

The winding hole

Thankfully back at the junction
After making a wise decision that we would not try to reach the end of the loop, and having managed to wind with only a few hard reverses to clear the prop, I was very pleased to see the junction. We turned right and finally made our way to the Wolverhampton 21. The top of the flight was lovely. I have had various comments on my last blog all saying that the C&RT bod was wrong in suggesting that we shouldnt moor there. Im inclined to agree with Jo Nb Hadar, Bruce Nb Sanity Again and Nicolas who all said the moorings were safe. The area looked fine and we moored for an hour while we nipped into town to do some shopping without any trouble.

Wolverhampton top lock

Started the 21 with the first two locks with us. We started to think we would be in luck with the rest, but it was not to be. The next 19 all had to be turned round and in the soaring temperatures was no joke. We did the whole flight in 3 hours 10 minutes.

Chimney of the recycling centre.

Impressive railway arches

The final lock
We stopped on towpath side bollards just after the Aldersley Junction. Again seemed an idyllic location but a boater moored for a short time opposite, put the fear of God in us when he said that 3 hire boats had been set alight near here. Both of us were, by now, too tired to move any further, so I do hope we don't have any trouble tonight!!

1 comment:

Jo (Boatwoman) said...

Sounds like we will avoid ever doing Wednesbury Oak Loop if it is that bad.

Glad you found the top of Wolverhampton ok. I think the C&RT man was probably covering himself, just in case you had stayed and had a problem.

Loving your posts xxxxxxx

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