Sunday we decided to move through the rest of the Perry Barr Locks and get to the sanitary station at the top. Little did we know the trouble we would have. As we ascended we could see that the pounds between the locks were very low. We managed to negotiate the number 11, a short distance to 10,9 and 8 all of which were leaking. On reaching 7 another boat was coming down, we pulled over as they reported low pounds all the way up. Once they passed us we entered the lock, and Charlie went up the flight to open the paddles and let some water down. The distance was 1.46miles, and it took us 4 and a half hours! Needless to say once we got to the top we pulled over onto the 24hr visitor mooring opposite the sanitary station for the rest of the day.
I did have some pork out to cook for Sunday lunch, but opted to go to the local co-op and get something that would be more swift to cook. I managed to get a pizza and burrito’s half price and must say it went down a treat. There were 3 boats moored further up, and the next morning another had joined ready to descend the lock. The locks were all leaking apart from the top lock. There have been alot of herons around and we’ve managed to get a few pictures of them.
Bank holiday Monday and not a soul around. It’s quite surreal being on a canal with little or no boats. Cassettes emptied we were on our way again, and the plan was to moor below the Rushall flight of locks on the Rushall canal. I walked with Izzy 2 miles along the cutting. The towpaths along this stretch have been gravelled which makes for better walking. Shame the canal is full of rubbish in places. The cutting is sandstone some 200 million years old, but is propped up in places with modern brickwork.
The canal passes over 2 aqueducts with spectacular views toward Birmingham.
Getting back on board proved a little hair raising as Charlie couldn’t pull the boat in to the side as it was too shallow. I passed him the camera and the dog, then had to hold his hand and jump the gap to get back on board. Once there I proceeded to make tea and prepare dinner. At Rushall junction we were turning right. The M6 motorway goes across at this point.
Now the locks were not far away, but still we couldn’t get moored due to the depth. We still haven’t seen any boats moving. The weather now was starting to close in and it started raining steadily at first. The decision was made to continue through the locks and see if we could moor further up. 9 locks in this flight and we got to between 1 and 2 before the heavens opened, and we decided we had had enough and we moored in the pound; not ideal but no boats moving so we thought we would be okay; until later on in the afternoon when a small cruiser was coming up and we ended up sitting on the bottom of the pound! After they had gone through lock 1, I went and let some water through to get us floating again.
Today we have moved and are currently by Longwood Boating club. There are boats moored here on linear moorings; some haven’t moved since they got there according to the CaRT worker we were chatting to this morning. He says not many boats venture along this way, which may explain the lack of maintenance of the locks. We are on 48hr visitor mooring next to a sanitary station so we can relax for a while. I may even explore the nature reserve nearby if the weather improves tomorrow. We have 5 weeks before we join the BCNS Explorer cruise, so we need to slow down; but only possible if the mooring is favourable. At least we are back in countryside again for the time being.