Attempting to describe this mornings trip down the weed hatch as damned cold would be a serious understatement. It was also a painful reminder not to put off until tomorrow what you can do today. The water temperature would have been higher when we moored yesterday afternoon.
The item we collected going through Gosty Hill Tunnel yesterday was a large grey sheet of heavy plastic. The type you might see on a building site. It was wrapped around the prop and shaft before being bound in place by fishing line. Whilst I dislike removing carpet and plastic from the prop it’s the fishing line which creates the most concern. Immersing your hands in cold water quickly makes them numb and you never know if there’s a sharp hook on the end of the line.
The plan for the day was to move from Bumble Hole to Merry Hill. We’ve moored there on two previous occasions and the adjacent large Intu retail complex does provide at least one of us with some retail therapy.
The Dudley N02 Canal is a contour canal with one lock taking you down to the Dudley N01 Canal at Blowers Green. Along the way we passed the former entrance to the BCN Two Locks Line.
This was a short cut between the Dudley N01 and 2 canals. The original route can be seen on the extract from Paul Balmer’s Waterway Routes map below.
We stopped at Parkhead Junction (Blowers Green) to dispose of our rubbish and top up the water tank. The latter had been done yesterday but we know there is no water at Merry Hill so wanted to moor there with a full tank.
The Dudley N01 Canal continues up the three Parkhead locks to reach the southern end of the Dudley N01 Tunnel. Most boats won’t fit through the tunnel and passage for those that will fit is supervised. The Black Country Museum is at the other end.
We turned left into Blowers Green Lock with the former pumphouse on our left
When we first passed this way I had assumed the purpose of the pump house was to remove water from underground mines. However everything I’ve read suggests it was used for back pumping water from the lower canals up to the main level.
We then passed the other end of the BCN Two Locks Line on our way to Merry Hill.