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BCN Marathon Challenge 2011: 1.15pm – 3.30pm

Posted by indigodream on 28 May, 2011

1.15pm – 3.20pm

Birchills Junction to Pellsal Junction

There was much debate at Challenge Central i.e. the back deck, as to whether we should cruise up and down the Cannock Extension but it was just too many points to miss – the points for the trip and the points for correctly answering question – which is quite devious! We think the answer is on the towpath – look out for the post at the narrowing before the turn; but don’t take out word for it – we might be wrong!

Anyway, we’re cruising to schedule at the moment and the crew is in good spirits, but then again, it is a normal Indigo Dream cruising day so far – just over the 7 hours. The canine crew is looking a little weary – it’s so stimulating for them, though the excitement is starting to wear off now – the more experienced boating hounds, Lynx and Ranger, are asleep, new boy Archie is snoozing and Henry, well even Henry’s looking a bit jaded now, though he’s nowhere near ready to lie down yet.

But back to the Curly Wurly – it is the real hidden gem of the BCN – so rural – there are even cows in the adjacent fields and abundant flowers including huge mats of wild water lilies and vivid purple orchids. There were great swathes of lupins – escaped from adjacent gardens presumably, though I’ve seen lots of lupins along the New Main Line as well. We did meet another boat – last year’s winners nb Muskrat – some cheerful banter ensued – largely along the lines of “go slower and give us a chance to win” – I don’t they will though!

We met some more interesting characters here – three very young boys (8 years maybe) wandering down the offside path with a spraycan – they looked too young for graffiti or glue-sniffing but what do I know! They were friendly enough and were fascinated by the hounds, as was a character further down the towpath – a man who looked as if his nose had been bitten off at some time. He offered to toss a coin for the ownership of our dogs – no thanks!

Having enjoyed the twists and turns of the Curly Wurly, the Cannock Extension was amazingly straight, its uninterrupted vista giving the impression of great length. But it is short – just 1.5 miles – a nice distance to walk the hounds and for us to get the answer to the question! We cleared the prop again – a few plastic bags and a bit of tape – nothing too significant – the big bag that had fouled the prop enough for us to stop floated off before Richard got the weed hatch open.

We’re having a last bit of relaxation now before the serious locking starts at 4pm-ish!

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