STOP PRESS: Donations we’ve received today have pushed our fund-raising total through the £1700 mark – that’s the figure you see on the Justgiving site; BUT for the total amount the charities will receive, add gift aid and deduct credit card/justgiving fees, that figure’s just gone over £2000 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday 26th May
Here we are, home safely after a quite amazing weekend of cruising -I’m still mulling it all over and no doubt there will be a few blog posts to come.
Although I tried to blog as we went along, I may have missed a few bits so I thought I’d start by summarising our route – when we put our Challenge route into Canalplan, it estimated that it should have taken 5 days! In just 24 hours, we cruised 60 miles and got through 79 locks!
Back in March we spent a lot of time with the rules, a large BCN map and a planning spreadsheet with which we plotted 10 different routes – we really were going for it this year! However, we met many boats on the “big points” sections and the rules have been changed this year, so being only 60′ long we score 17% less than 70′ boats. This might be the most competitive Challenge ever and I predict that the results will be very close – we’ll find out in a few weeks’ time 🙂
Our Challenge went to plan and we didn’t need to use any of the emergency shortcuts that we might have used if we’d had any unexpected delays. We cruised well below our hoped for 3.6mph in the lock-free pounds, but what saved our Challenge was our supersonic locking! The locking crew (Greygal, the Synth Prof, Famous knees Christine and Richard) were magnificent, with two lockwheelers and two ground crew working ahead and behind the boat. We’d estimated 6 minutes per lock in our planning but we think our actual time was nearer to four minutes per lock!
1. Proofhouse Junction (Digbeth) to Aston Junction
2. Aston Junction to Salford Junction
3. Salford Junction to Newton Junction (Rushall Canal)
4. Newton Junction to Catshill Junction
5. Anglesey Arm (there and back)
6. Catshill Junction to Pelsall Junction
7. Cannock Extension Arm (there and back)
8. Pelsall Junction to Birchills Junction (Walsall)
9. Birchills Junction to Walsall Junction
10. Walsall Town arm and back
11. Walsall Junction to Tame Valley Junction )Ocker Hill)
12. Tame Valley Junction to Pudding Green Junction (via Ryder’s Green flight)
13. Pudding Green Junction to Bronford Junction (Spon Lane)
14. Bromford Junction (Spon Lane) to Spon Lane Junction
15. Spon Lane Junction to Oldbury Junction
16. Oldbury Junction to Titford Pools and back
16. Oldbury Junction to Brades Hall Junction
17. Brades Hall Junction to Albion Junction
18. Albion Junction to Dudley Port Junction
19. Dudley Port Junction to Windmill End (via the Netherton Tunnel)
20. Windmill End to Parkhead Junction
21. Parkhead Junction to Dudley Tunnel Sout Portal and back
22. Parkhead Junction to Windmill End
23. Windmill End to Hawne Basin