Leaving our lovely moorings in the Ocker Hill Tunnel Branch ( very secure although we had to put up with some traffic noise ) our next destination was to reach Sneyd Junction on the Wyrley and Essington ( Curly Wurley ) We stayed on the Walsall Canal, passing the Tame Valley Canal on our right, and both of us were looking forward to a pleasant days cruise when suddenly it all went horribly wrong again. From Ocker Hill to M6 Road Bridge must be the worse stretch of water on the whole of the BCN. We first came a cropper just past the Gospel Oak branch when Ian tried to clear the prop by putting the boat in reverse. Instead he picked up more then we started with. This lot is the result!
Once cleared, off we set again. It wasn't long, though, before the tiller wobble started. This time Ian decided that reaching a bridge 'ole would be a better idea before trying to engage reverse gear. At least we would be able to get off in case anything happened. He must be psychic because no sooner had we got the stern in the bridge ole when we came to a grinding halt. Ian tried reverse and the whole boat bounced!! Then we lost drive again. What on earth could have caused this to happen. Ian lifted the weed hatch cover, looked long and hard and groaned out loud. There, stuck fast on the propeller, was a tyre!!
|Trying to shift the thing with our boat hook.|
|Managed to move it away from the prop but it was still held by something.|
|The bridge 'ole ( Bull Lane Bridge )|
|Chair seat floating away from us. You can see what I mean about the water lilies|
|A boat width was all we had. I'm glad we didn't meet another boat!|
|Burnt out boat. Another bit of 'debris' on the Walsall Canal|
|And yet another stop to clear the prop!!!|
|Last of the weed in the pound.|
We stopped at the top lock, (on the lock landing because we were convinced no other boat would turn up ) and had lunch. The locals came out in droves amazed that a boat was here at all. Not many boaters make it up the Walsall Canal and I think it will be quite a while before we attempt it again. Then no sooner had we sat down to consume our sandwich when Ian heard the paddle gear being operated on the top lock. So, the sandwich had to wait and we made a hasty getaway before we could be shouted at!! The last bit of the Walsall was trouble free and, not long after leaving the lock, the junction appeared and we made the left turn onto the Wyrley and Essington Canal
|The Walsall is on the right|
|Sneyd Junction. Facilities to the right and the towpath on the left.|
|Our moorings for tonight.|