Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Where did Tuesday go?

We should have moved on yesterday, it was an unusually fine day, almost windless and mostly sunny. But I picked up a malicious tummy bug on Monday night, and I spent from midnight to 4am mostly in the loo, with explosive evacuation from both ends. (I know, too much information…)
So yesterday I was in no fit state to do much at all, spending most of the day in bed, recovering and catching up on sleep. I lost 4lbs in the 24 hour period!

Today I’m back to eating, though carefully. Mags is steadily improving, more agile now the aches and pains are wearing off.

So this morning, with both of us feeling fairly fit, we were away at around 10:30, with just a few hundred yards to Gailey Lock.

All’s right with the world, Mags on the tiller in Gailey LockIMG_2852

Above the lock we filled and emptied the relevant receptacles, then set off up the long pound to Autherley Junction.

The Viking Afloat base at Gailey hauls half of their fleet out for hull maintenance in the winter. Perhaps as well, otherwise they’d be no chance of getting through! IMG_2854

There’s a large chemical works alongside the canal at Calf Heath, I think these signs are new…
IMG_2856
As if you would! If I heard an alarm along here you wouldn’t see me for dust diesel exhaust!

On an unusually bendy section (for this canal) is the western junction of the currently derelict Lichfield Canal, more properly the Hatherton Branch of the Staffs and Worcester. The Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust have made good progress in the restoration of the waterway, but there’s a lot more work to do. This is probably one of the most worthwhile canal restoration projects currently underway. A restored canal would form part of two new canal rings, and would also give northern access to the Birmingham Canal Navigations.

Hatherton JunctionIMG_2858

Hopefully they can paint this out in the not too distant future.IMG_2861 

I’d decided that I wasn’t stopping for any wood today, the roof is quite full still. Then we came under Cross Green Bridge…IMG_2871

Too good an opportunity to miss!
IMG_2872
I only took two rings though, and those I had to split before I could lift them.

Heading into the built up area at the edge of Wolverhampton the canal builders encountered a ridge of particularly hard rock. With no sensible way around they had to go through, but they only cut the channel wide enough for one boat.

Forster Bridge crosses the middle of the narrows.IMG_2877

IMG_2878
I wonder how traffic was controlled during commercial carrying? There are a couple of passing places, but it would be near impossible to reverse a loaded pair.

This chap was causing a bit of consternation among the local population of seagulls. IMG_2873
He was smugly indifferent to them wheeling around, as he was to us. I think he’s a kestrel?

After around three hours we arrived at Autherley Junction and our right turn onto the Shropshire Union.

Autherley JunctionIMG_2881

There’s a shallow stop lock just under the bridgeIMG_2882

The Wolverhampton Boat Club occupies a prime position just on the fringes of the urban sprawl. Lots of moored boats and an impressive looking clubhouse.

WBCIMG_2883

Another hour from here saw us moored between Bridges 7 and 8, a popular spot in the summer, but completely empty today. For some reason I didn’t take any pictures of this latter bit of today’s trip.

The forecast threatened showers, but we seem to have avoided them. It’s been very mild, if a little grey.

As soon as we stopped I chopped up those large tree rings into more manageable pieces. They should last a while. 

Locks 2, miles 11½

2 comments:

KevinTOO said...

Glad to hear that you are both on the mend 😃
Hope that's all your winter incidents over for this year 😉

Jaqueline Biggs said...

OMG!!! I haven't had two minutes to even consider reading anyone's blogs in weeks. So it came as a right shock to read of Mag's dunk in the cut. I am so relieved to read she is okay. Arnica cream from Holland & Barrett will help them fade and remove the aches underneath.

The pics of the Staff & Works made my heart soar. It has been so long since we've been anywhere but the GU--I love Penkridge and its market and the Gailey Roundhouse. It will be wonderful to see what has changed when we finally get away back up North again.

A very Happy Christmas to you both and Blessed be,
JaqXX