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BCN Marathon Challenge 2011: 5.30am – 8.25am

Posted by indigodream on 29 May, 2011

5.30am – 8am

Aston Top Lock to Spon Lane (via the Old Main Line)

We flew up Farmer’s Bridge Lock flight with not another boat in sight – it’s the first time ever that we’ve not met a boat in the tiny pound beneath the BT Tower (ok, the tower next door to the BT tower). Strangely, we’ve not met another boat all morning, travelling in either direction. It’s a bit eerie – did we get the date wrong? Did we oversleep and it is, in fact, Monday already? Ah well, if we’ve got it wrong then Captain Ahab has got it wrong too!

We had a brief stop at the slumbering nb Matilda Rose, moored on the new Mainline; Graham dropped his rucksack off under the front cratch but didn’t venture any further into the boat – it was far too early to guarantee a welcome! It felt late to me, but then we have been up for hours!

As we set off along the New Main Line, the campaign team had a meeting on the back deck while I saw to the domestics – to think that 20 pints of milk seemed like a ridiculous amount yesterday but we’re down to the last six pints now – our BCN challenge has been fueled by lattes…

The consensus was that we were making such good time that we should explore the old main line and pop up and down the Oldbury Arm (lots of points) though the instructions recommend turning at Uncle Ben’s Bridge so we won’t get as far as the Titford Pools. Then we’ll come back down to the New Main line via Spon Lane (lots of points) and head down the Ryders Green towards Walsall.

I’d forgotten how nice the Old Main Line is – the Smethwick Lock gave the dogs another good rummaging opportunity and we enjoyed, again, the sight of the tremendous pumping station. Beyond that there is a green corridor leading to the unique grey corridor under the M5 – marvellous, really….

We’re at the first of the Oldbury Locks now and there are still no boats on the move – we met so many on the last challenge – where IS everyone……?????

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