Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fun in the sun at Fradley Junction

Well, to be honest, not a lot of sun… But it was warm.

It was always going to busy through the locks at Fradley, so we waited till 10 to get off, letting the first flush of eager boaters get going. Once again we were passed by several boats in both directions before we got underway.

Taking Meg for her morning perambulation gave me the opportunity to have a play with my new toy. I downloaded and read the manual last night, not a “man” thing I know, but I’m a bit more aware of what it can do now.

Taken from about 40 feet away, blackbird in a willow tree, handheld on 16x zoom, enlarged and cropped.IMG_0016 
So the image stabilisation works!

Zoom once again of ducklings on the canalIMG_0026

Foxglove on macro…

…and flag iris, close but not macro IMG_0023
It seems to be sharper than the Samsung, but the colours appear a little washed out. I can change the default colour settings, so maybe that’s the solution.

All of today’s pictures were taken with the camera set on Auto.

Back at the mooring

Anyway, we pulled pins and set off, heading past Kings Bromley Marina and into Ravenshaw Wood.

One of the boats passing this morning, and old Springer towing an equally venerable “plastic” both piled high with odds and ends, had pulled up in the woods.IMG_0036
A passing C&RT patrol officer was taking an interest…

There was a boat ahead of us at Woodend Lock when we arrived, so we tied on the landing while waiting for our turn.

Woodend Lock IMG_0045

The lock refilled, Mags tried to set off but there was no forward thrust and the engine wouldn’t rev. I hopped on  and managed to coax the boat into the lock, but had to pull her out onto the lower landing to investigate the propeller. Someone was missing a bedsheet, probably drying it on the back of the boat and it blew off into the cut, to be collected by our prop.

Secondhand bedlinen, anyone? Slightly soiled but well rinsed… IMG_0046
Having shut down as soon as we realised we had a problem the sheet wasn’t inextricably combined with the prop and shaft, only needing a good pull to drag it out through the weed hatch (what a misnomer, I’ve only once pulled weed through there!) before we were on our way again.

Shade House and the following four locks were occupied by boats coming up, so we made good progress down the flight.

Leaving Shade House LockIMG_0048

Lock 18, Middle Lock, was particularly quick to fill, with a damaged cill liner allowing copious amounts of water in at the top.
Where the gates meet the structure of the chamber, vertically up the lock wall and horizontally against the concrete or brick cill, wooden strips known as liners are fixed to make a seal. The lower one, on the cill, has become dislodged in this case. C&RT are aware, and are scheduling a stoppage to repair it. Difficult though, with this many boats about…

Junction Lock, just below the junction with the Coventry Canal.IMG_0050

The lowest of the Fradley Locks, Hunts.IMG_0052

Common Lock was our last for today, less than half a mile below Hunts

For the first time we saw no other boats here, so I had to refill the lock, open the gates, empty the lock and open and close the gates behind Mags all on my own! Shame!

We pulled in above Bagnall Lock, on the outskirts of Alrewas.

Moored outside of Alrewas.
It’s busy here too, we’re a bit closer to the road bridge than we’d like, but it’s only for the one night. Take-aways tonight, Mags is having fish and chips, I’ll patronise the Chinese.

The new camera must be pretty foolproof, Mags managed a picture of me without chopping any bits off!
Must trim that beard…

Locks 7, miles 4


Nb Yarwood said...

Many more comments like the last one Geoff and Mags WILL be chopping off your bits!
X Lesley

Wozie nb Oakfield said...

I like your new camera too, lovely pictures.