Thursday, March 14, 2013

Last of the fine days.

We woke to another bright, sunny day today, but once again the cold night had left us with 3-4mm of ice on the canal. Nothing to worry about for us, though. By the time we moved 2 or 3 boats had gone past, and the sun was working it’s magic on the remaining chunks.

Fradley Pool this morning, now a nature reserve.SAM_4692
The pool was built as a reservoir, to hold surplus water running downhill from Middle Lock. This surplus was then released below Keepers Lock, denying the Coventry Canal any of the precious commodity.
And very precious it was, too. Canal companies spent a considerable proportion of their construction costs in water supply, either by building reservoirs or diverting surface water streams. After all, a narrow lock uses around 25,000 gallons of water each time it’s emptied. All of this water has to come from external sources, although some lock flights now have back-pumping, where water is returned to the top of the locks from the bottom.

“Where’re you going?”SAM_4693

We moved off around half-ten, passing Dave and Beryl’s NB Sokai.

Dave and NB SokaiSAM_4700
Good to meet you, keep reading!

Water filled, loo emptied and recycling disposed of, we pulled out across the junction and temporarily moored outside The Swan to drop off the old batteries. Sean, from Kent Bridge Garage who was so helpful when was trying to find the problem, asked if he could have them. He has a boat himself, and access to sophisticated chargers, so he may be able to salvage some use out of them.

Fradley Junction, the Coventry Canal entrance to the left and The Swan on the right.SAM_4698
A  working boatman from the 18thC would still recognise this place, so little has changed. Unlike some canal junctions.

Mags on the tiller heading for Shadehouse LockSAM_4701
She’s feeling a lot better today.

Woodend Lock was our last today, and from there we were intending to push on, through Rugeley, to moor somewhere this side of Great Haywood.

Woodend Lock, in fine, quiet surroundings on the edge of Ravenshaw Wood.SAM_4703

Just beyond the lock landing there’s a short section of piling, and we pulled on there for lunch, which has extended into an overnight stay. That’s the beauty of this lifestyle, you can just please yourself.

Moored above Woodend LockSAM_4704

The peace and quiet will be shattered if the HS2 rail link goes ahead. It’s planned to cross the canal just before the bend in the distance. And again half a mile back, below the lock.

The weather is due to break overnight, ah well, it was good while it lasted. We may brave the forecasted wind and rain tomorrow, but then again….

Locks 2, miles 1¼

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