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BCN Marathon Challenge 2011: 5pm – 7.30pm

Posted by indigodream on 28 May, 2011

5pm – 7.30pm

Daw End to Rushall Junction (-ish)

Well, that’s another 9 locks done so we’re up to 30 locks and 30 miles in our first 11.5 hours – oh dear, there’s still a long way to go! But at least we still have daylight and the crew seem to have plenty of energy – I’m having a little sit down with the blog – if the typing’s off it’s because I’m occasionally resting my eyes 🙂

The canine crew is restless – I think they’d quite like us to stop now so that they don’t have to be on watch any more! They really need Lou on board – she just sleeps regardless!

We met another boat coming our way above the Rushall Locks – it was “the cat who walks by himself” – also on the challenge and producers of the amazingly useful online guide to the BCN Challenge.

Apart from that it’s been very quiet. We found that the genial folk at the boating club at Rushall Top Lock were having a 60’s fancy dress gathering – they looked great, if a little surreal!

We shot down the Rushall flight – the crew was very efficient, though we need a change in personnel halfway down – I was on board at the helm (with the hounds on board), Richard was cycling ahead and Sarah, Andy and Graham were working the current lock and closing behind. But Archie’s too new to be left without his hu-mum and although he was locked inside, his face suddenly appeared above the hatch – I honestly thought he was going to bounce right out of the boat! Sarah took over the helm, the hounds all settled and I had the unusual experience of pushing some lock gates!

The Rushall flight was suitable pastoral, though there were a few lads starting to congregate on the towpath – they didn’t give us any trouble (being fascinated by the hounds on board) though one did jump right over the lock as it emptied – foolish yes, but undoubtedly athletic. The only noise was the loud chirping of the birds, oh, and the annoying buzzing of a moped being driven along the towpath – he soon turned off onto the road and peace reigned again, though Richard did cycle straight for him to make him slow down before he ran over 2 small dogs on the towpath.

We got to Rushall Junction at 7.20pm and turned right towards Perry Barr – we have to get down the flight tonight. Now, we’ve heard from boaters previously that BW chain up this flight after a certain time. However we couldn’t find any mention of this in Nicholsons’ or the online boater’s guide so we’re going to go for it. After that there’s the big decision – moor at Cuckoo Wharf and climb up the Aston and Farmer’s Bridge flights to Birmingham at 5am or push on and do it all tonight, or do something in between – we’ll see how we feel when we get there!

The section down to Perry Barr is very green and leafy – unfortunately with a few fallen branches following the recent high winds – but it’s very pleasant in the remnants of the day’s sunshine…….

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