Sunday, 15 June 2014

Where’s the water?

A slightly later start to the day leaving the Star City moorings around 8.30am.  Our neighbours still had their curtains drawn and there was no twitching so I guess we made a quiet departure.  With the pointy end facing Salford Junction it was a much easier passage.  I managed the turn without having to reverse or use the bow thruster so I must be improving.  The numerous chunks out of the concrete lip on the opposite bank indicates other boaters haven’t had the same success.

We stopped for water at Cuckoo Wharf and were pleased we hadn’t attempted to moor there last night as all the moorings were taken up by CRT or contractor working boats.

There was no one around so we took the opportunity to wash Waiouru’s starboard side.  Can someone explain what this sign at the wharf is attempting to convey.

My interpretation is:

  • Top.  14 Day mooring except for the water point which is 30 mins max
  • Middle.  Permit holders only to the right.
  • Bottom.  CRT working boat mooring but can be used for 24 hrs if vacant.

So where are the 14 day moorings?

There are 11 locks on the Aston Flight. It proved very hard to exit our second lock (lock 10).  Waiouru just managed to leave the lock but was then aground.  That’s when Jan identified the water in the pound was very low.

Fortunately Jan had stayed on the bank intending to walk to the next lock.  She disappeared into the distance whilst I frantically looked at the map.  It was a long pound and if the next pound was the same she might have to run water down the entire flight.

I managed to get Waiouru off the bottom by using the bow thruster and then giving the engine a “bit of wellie” before dropping back to idle and creep up the pound bouncing of the bricks and other obstructions on the bottom.  Meanwhile Jan released three locks full of water down.  This was just sufficient enough to creep into lock 9.  From this point onwards the pounds appeared to be OK. However after that fright it was a very slow trip up the flight.

We passed this complex which had a set of mock lock gates installed as part of a small waterfall.

Locks 8 to 1 are reasonably close together.

We were rather fortunate that nearly all the locks were in our favour (empty) and we didn’t see a single boat until we reached the top lock where there were two boats about to go down.  After warning them about the low pound we headed towards the Farmer Flight.  Thirteen locks we hadn’t planned on doing today. 

It must have been our lucky day because there was a very friendly volunteer lock keeper at lock 12 who helped us all the way up to the top.  He even found us a 14 Day mooring at Cambrian Wharf.

Waiouru moored on the left

Jan was standing at the side hatch when she noticed this caring father watch his son stand on the cast iron handrail of the bridge over the empty top lock.

Then he walked out onto the top beam of the gate to take a photo.  What can we say!Confused smile


Alf said...

It's Birmingham, Darwins theory hasn't,had much effect there !

nb AmyJo said...

As to the sign, could it be moorings for submarines perhaps? :-)

nb AmyJo said...

As to the sign, could it be moorings for submarines perhaps? :-)

Tom and Jan said...

Obviously Alf :-)

Debbie said...

You're in the spot we had our winter mooring :-) Enjoy Birmingham and you must visit the library and market. Debbie and James (nb Lois Jane)

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Debbie
Does this become a full time mooring during winter? No power or water!

Debbie said...

Hi Tom, they let 3 of the spaces there to winter moorers last year and there are 4 long term permit holders. We didn't need electric our solar panels coped quite well for our everyday usage with the geni sometimes when needed. The water point is only about 100 yards away, we didn't have a problem going over there once a fortnight-ish. Lovely central location with so much to do. For us the pros outweighed the cons :-)