Friday, 19 September 2014

Long Molls Bridge and Autherley 14th-18th September

14th September 2014
To Long Molls Bridge
4.25 miles, 5 locks

The top gates on these locks have a lovely solid walk way, but you need to step up and true to form with something new – he refused! 

Opting to lie and wait instead

Whatever he feels about them I do like these locks as most have a bridge at the double gate end saving a lot of walking round.  They are too deep for me to leap across.

There were boats moving today, but not so many to cause queues and it did mean some of the locks were ready for us with boats waiting to go in as we exited, so an easy stretch for us.  Mind you there is always one who chooses the wrong place to moor. 

 There are good moorings before the lock at Gailey – 48hour with ‘No Fishing’ signs, so guess what – yes there was a fisherman!

We went on through and we stopped to fill and empty before heading on our way.  There is a small shop in this building called the Gailey Roundhouse

What a good use of an old lock beam.

The journey was pleasant as far as scenery was concerned, but oh dear the M6!!  It is so close at Boggs Lock you can feel the traffic thundering past never mind the constant roar, particularly bad today as it had rained overnight.  We had heard that the M6 had been clogged completely on Saturday, so had we been a day earlier we might have been quicker than the cars!

Just a little further on and we stopped just after Long Molls Bridge No 77.  A lovely mooring until we looked at the roof the next day – good job we are planning a couple of cleaning days.  I don’t know who was in the tree, but they were very busy!

15th -17th September 2014
To Autherley Junction
6 miles, 3 locks

Well the best placed plans – we had decided that we needed a couple of days to stop and clean when a hose and maybe electricity were available.  I went onto the Napton Boats website and sent an email asking for moorings for 3 nights.  Yes came the reply, so we set off knowing we had just a few miles and a stop lock to do.

Today it was under a motorway – the M54 this time. 

Today there was a constant stream of traffic coming against us.  In a very short space we saw 6 boats one after the other.  One did point out a kingfisher on a bush and I did manage to get two photos – not good, but definitely a kingfisher.

The six boats had all passed us just before we met a part of the canal that narrows dramatically with the occasional passing place

Two did pass us and it was a case of easy does it

Then there was Autherley Junction

I was in the bow on look out duties with Chris starting to ease round the bend.  There was a boat coming out – I alerted Chris to reverse.  “I can’t” came the reply “there is something on the prop and I can’t go anywhere”!  I alerted the other boat who stopped to allow us to sort ourselves out.  Chris managed to get us to the bank where we tied up

And down the weed hatch he went

The culprit – just this small piece of plastic, but it stopped us dead. 

By this time there were boats all over the place – this very long hire boat had to have a couple of goes to get round the bend.

We did eventually get our turn, but by the time we moored it was an hour after we had arrived at the junction.

I went as instructed to the reception to book in and was a little surprised that they did not seem to be expecting us.  Still they were very helpful and found us a mooring within reach of a tap.  When I checked my emails later I found out that I had written to Napton Boats in Napton!  I did email them to explain and apologise and they told me that I am far from the first which made me feel a little better. 

We are here for two days – day one clean the port side and touch up, then reverse to the lock, turn and reverse back to clean and touch up the starboard side.  Napton Boats have been very helpful.  We are actually moored just past their base on the tow path, so no charge and they have leant us their long hose which has made our life a lot easier and we are not taking up a water point.

If anyone comes this way – go across the lock gate and cut through a park type area onto the main road, turn left and keep going and you will come to a Morrisons, PO, Pub and other shops.  Also the walk along the far side of the canal is much better than the towpath this side which goes through housing estates and is very lumpy grass.  Hard going! 

There is plenty of space on the far side for Monty’s favourite game

Until he loses it in the long grass.  Our previous border collie could find a tennis ball that he did not even know was there, but this one eluded both Monty and I.  Good job we have spares!

It is a pleasant walk

But oh dear – the signs of autumn – my first ‘kick through’ fallen leaves this year.

Having refused the walk across the lock gate yesterday – just once across this one with his lead on and he can now run across!  Anything new and he has to take things slowly!!

The cleaning has been done 

It was well supervised

And we look lovely and shiny!

Monty and I went for a longer walk along the path across the other side of the canal and I could not resist this shot looking back at bridge 2.

We moved through the lock and round the corner at the end of Wednesday ready for an early start on Thursday to get through the Wolverhampton 21.  This bit of towpath is a bit like the M25 at cease work time, but for bikes – too many and too fast!  It is, however, a safe mooring.

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