Well the nautical term is going astern. With the forecast of a reasonably fine day a decision was made to reverse back to the water point and top up the tank. There is a small canal side cafe and shop here which caters for the local walkers. Jan had a good chat with a couple of local walkers whilst the tank filled. Stopping on the water point also enabled us to remove the diesel stove flue.
After that we would go further astern to the junction of the Netherton Branch and Dudley N02 Canal where we turned SE down to Hawne Basin.
We’ve been down to Hawne Basin on a previous occasion but didn’t bother to enter the basin as the brick bridge at the entrance looked very low.
This time the canal looked much more pleasant. New residential housing is being constructed on a brownfield site at the Bumble Hole end. I think this land was either derelict or industrial on our last trip.
Silhouette steel figures explaining the history of the canal can be found located alongside the towpath.
The remains of the brick toll office at the Bumble hole end are heavily covered in graffiti.
At the next bridge we came upon two specialist graffiti removal contractors hard at work. I suspect they are wasting their time and clients money. Our experience in Adelaide is that graffiti must be removed very promptly. If removed quickly and regularly those applying the graffiti give up.
We eventually reached the ‘narrows’ on the approach to Gosty Tunnel. Despite only being on tick-over we came to a grinding halt with no forward or reverse. There was something very serious around the prop. Whilst I hated the idea of delving down the weed hatch into the damned cold and dark water I was grateful it had occurred before we entered the tunnel. Eventually I was able to remove a large piece of carpet from around the prop.
The offending item
Gosty (Gos as in gossip and ty as in tea) Tunnel is just over 500 metres long and starts off with a high air draught. About 50 metres inside the roof height drops considerably. We guessed it had started to collapse and the height was reduced by the relining. The new arch is painted which reduced the likelihood of hitting your head.
After another 50 metres the roof rises back to it’s original height before dropping down again at the far end. The trip through seemed to take ages, but then we were doing tick over.
There was a sign on the canal retaining wall advising it was the location of Stewarts & Lloyds. At one time they were one of the largest tube makers in England
During WW1 and WW2 they switched to manufacturing ammunition. They also manufacturered much of the ‘PLUTO’ fuel pipeline under the Channel which supplied the Allied invasion forces.
It’s a very tight turn into Hawne Basin with a low brick bridge over the entrance.
You can see that not every boater makes it into the basin without hitting the bridge.
The bow thruster is most useful in situations like this!
We moored on the services mooring with the bow facing south-west. The lady from the shop suggested we turn because the fuel hose wouldn’t reach the stern. Everything became clear when we explained there were diesel tanks at both ends. Once the bow tank was full we winded to fill the two stern tanks. Diesel was 51ppl (domestic). We bought 13Kg of calor gas £23 and had a pump out for £8.01.
The Trust have a covered slipway and if I remember correctly hire is £100 per week.
The entrance in the distance with the winding hole immediately beyond.
After parting with some of our hard earned money we made a right turn and lined Waiouru up on the bridge hole.
The successful exit strategy was to drift through the bridge hole stopping in the winding hole where we would pivot to the left to go back up the canal.
The turn went well but we picked up something nasty on the prop inside Gosty Tunnel. I wasn’t going down the weed hatch again and we persisted with the unwanted object around the prop all the way back to Bumble Hole where we moored. It will be a task for tomorrow!