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BCN Marathon Challenge 2011: 12noon to 1.45pm

Posted by indigodream on 29 May, 2011

12 noon – 1.45pm

We were pleasantly surprised by the Walsall Canal, which has improved beyond all recognition since we cruised this way two years ago. We’d heard that the BCNS had worked hard to clean and dredge the canal and they’ve done a great job. Once again we had the canal largely to ourselves but as we approached the Town Arm boats were starting to funnel in towards the finishing line – aah, so we did have the right weekend after all!

A lady from the BCNS was greeting boats as they came in and logging their finishing time – we came in at 1.45pm so we’ll get the maximum bonus points, as well as the points for the 93 locks and over 50 miles cruised – I think we got a few of the ‘treasure hunt’ questions right too.

We moored up just outside the basin – there are over 20 boats here this afternoon and it’s a grand sight. There are smart new housing developments alongside the canal now, where there had been dereliction and the whole place has a carnival air. We greeted Captain Ahab and family as well as meeting other old friends and making new ones, such as the owners of greyhound Poppy (that’s Princess Poppy to you!), who themselves own a share in a boat and happened to be in Birmingham for a mini-break this weekend. They heard us going through Aston flight this morning and actually got out of their beds in the adjacent hotel to take photos!

Sarah and Andy went to get their car from Wolverhampton, leaving the hounds with me, then there was more excitement as the mayor and his retinue came down to chat to the visiting boaters. We found out that they had a greyhound connection as one of his close relatives has a retired greyhound – they were persuaded to contribute to our collecting tin. In total we’ve raised £35 in contributions from visitors at the basin, so that definitely takes our total over £2000 with gift aid (we were a little short but I have a few sponsors left to chase).

So that’s it for now, we’ve done an epic cruise and putting it towards a good cause has added a whole dimension of pleasure and excitement to the venture.

We have some HUGE thanks – firstly to our gallant crew of volunteers, Graham from nb Matilda Rose, Sarah, Andy, Ranger, Henry and Archie from nbs Greyhound and Henry H, who have left footsore and weary after doing a sterling job at the locks. Secondly but by no means the lesser thanks, of course, to the BCNS – it’s impossible to underestimate the amount of effort it takes to organise such a big event and we’re very grateful, as is our nominated charity – Greyhoundhomer.

I may have to update some of the details later as I’m a bit weary (!) so do expect an update/errata over the next few days. In the meantime I’m off to the pub for a celebratory shandy…

5 Responses to “BCN Marathon Challenge 2011: 12noon to 1.45pm”

  1. Kevin said

    Congratulations on completing the course and for raising so much money too, well done to all 🙂

  2. Greygal said

    Thank you for a wonderful adventure – I can still feel the engine vibrations in my feet!

  3. indigodream said

    Greygal – THANK YOU – we’d never have made it without such a competent crew….

  4. pat said

    Hi Sue and Richard and of course the crew and dogs,
    a big well done everyone, have got some more funds coming in will email them later.
    fantastic that you have done so well, you deserve a good rest, thanks for the blogs
    it gives a good insight into where you have been and what you have seen and done.
    well done to you all especially the dogs

  5. Graham said

    Thank you Sue and Richard, I had a brilliant time crewing for Indigo Dream, Sarah, my feet have stopped vibrating but I still have an earache from A’s snoring.

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