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Archive for May 26th, 2014

BCN Challenge: Route Summary

Posted by indigodream on 26 May, 2014

Please support us - even a tiny donation can put a smile on a retired greyhound's face..

Please support us – even a tiny donation can put a smile on a retired greyhound’s face..

STOP PRESS: Donations we’ve received today have pushed our fund-raising total through the Β£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 Β£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′Β  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 πŸ™‚

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!

Here's a map of route - thanks to Canalplan's excellent website :-)

Here’s a map of route – thanks to the excellent Canalplan website πŸ™‚


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




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BCN Challenge: the day after

Posted by indigodream on 26 May, 2014

Archie and Henry sunbathing on deck after a triumphant BCN Challenge πŸ™‚

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BCN Challemge

Posted by indigodream on 26 May, 2014

Whoever ordered the weather for this year’s Challenge has a sense of humour :-p

We’re basking in sunshine today after 24 hours of the soggiest cruising ever!

Still, it makes drying and cleaning the boat much easier.

We’ve said goodbye to most of our excellent crew but for complicated reasons we still have Archie and Henry hounds. They’re appreciating the sunshine as they need to sunbathe in order to renew their energy after some gruelling marathon snoozing πŸ™‚

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