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BCN Marathon Challenge (6) – Sunday 8am – 10am

Posted by indigodream on 31 May, 2009

Rushall Top Lock (8.10am) to Rushall Junction (10am)

We arrived at Rushall top lock at the end of a 3-boat convoy made up of nb Mawddach and nb Saltaire, who we’ve met on Friday and Saturday. We though we were in for a long wait, but Mawddach was mooring up – I don’t think they’re taking part in the challenge. Then Saltaire moored up at the water point leaving us the full and open top lock. What a bit of luck!

There’s a good range of services at Rushall Top Lock, as well as friendly boaters from the resident boat club.

We let the dogs off for a rummage at the top two locks – apart from parking for the boat club it’s very remote here and they enjoyed sniffing around in the still cool morning air. The paired bottom lock gates are so well-balanced that even the slightest breeze will shut them. A ground crew of two is useful here, though Richard managed very well by straddling the gates and legging them open while I hastened to get the boat’s nose in to stop them from slamming shut.

There’s a long gap of over a mile between Lock 2 and 3 – a perfect opportunity to enjoy the scenery. It’s richly wooded here, with the tangy smell of wild garlic. There were a lot of herons on the approach to top lock, and they gave way to flights of swallows all the way down. There was even the delicate cup of a swallows nest under Birmingham Road Bridge – fantastic.

This is a very scenic lock flight – as lovely as you could hope for.

We passed nb Black Beauty in the long pound, giving us the hope that the rest of the locks were set our way. And so they were, apart from one which was deliberately turned in front of us by an overenthusiastic narrowboat (also on the challenge). 😦

We kept the dogs on board through locks 3 and 4 – they’re too close to the road. It’s then safe for them to rummage round the next two but do watch out at the lock above Bell Bridge – it looks as if it’s gated from the road but the path just skirts round the gate. We bundles Blue back on board – Lou was already there! There looked be top dog-walking on the left after Bell Bridge though. We let them off for a rummage at the last few locks and they had a great time – we picked them up at the bottom, though with some difficulty – the lock moorings were in sore need of dredging.

There’s a short and delightfully green run down to the junction where we turned on to our next canal – the Thame Valley. It was our least favourite bit of the BCN last year. I wonder what we’ll make of it today.

But of course we were to hit something in a bridge hole ….

2 Responses to “BCN Marathon Challenge (6) – Sunday 8am – 10am”

  1. Adam said

    Really enjoying the updates!

  2. indigodream said

    Hi Adam

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Off for an early night now – I think we’ve earned it!

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