Saturday, 12 November 2016

The drought and the challenge

At this time of the year the water starts to clear which enables you to see what is in the canal.

But first I want to provide some additional visual evidence of the towpath beside our mooring.  As you can see in the photo below below, we are on mooring bollards.  The path beside the boat is narrow and mostly grass.


My assumption is that many years ago there would have been good towpaths on either side of the canal to facilitate bidirectional traffic.  In the interest of cost saving the western towpath has been well maintained whilst allowing the eastern side to revert to nature.   The path on our side gets even narrower towards Lock 10. 


The first thing I noticed when walking up to College Road Bridge below Lock 10 was how shallow the water was on the main towpath side.  Then the submerged tyres became readily apparent.  On the opposite side there appears to be a safe or coping stone some 18 inches below the surface.


You can see a length of steel just protruding above the water in the above photo.


I’m not sure whether this is a safe or coping stone, but another boat has already scrapped over it.

Getting Waiouru into Lock 10 maybe an interesting challenge.  Beside the lock was evidence of earlier problems

IMG_1075Motorbike frame

I decided to walk up the flight in an effort to see what other challenges might face us on Monday. 

Lock 8 was empty and thick black water was oozing under the top gate.  I have visions of this lock being partially filled with silt.  The pound above was very low, which is why the thick black water was entering the lock.


Lock 7 was empty and had one lower gate open


On reaching Lock 7 I closed the lower gate before realizing water was entering the lock.

The off-side top paddle was up and the ant-vandal lock open. 


Either some hooligan has done this or a boater going up the flight left it open. The latter seems unlikely as the lock would have been left full with both bottom gates closed.

The remaining pounds to the top of the flight were either well down or empty.


We’re planning to go up the flight on Monday morning so it would be very nice if a boater came down tomorrow. Smile 

If that doesn’t occur then we will move Waiouru up to Lock 8 on Monday morning. I will then walk up the remainder of the flight to run additional water down.  Jan will stay with the boat and we’ll use the two-way radios to maintain communications.


Top of Perry Barr flight with the CRT facilities on the right and the former lock keepers cottage on the left.  I was rather interested in the Gauging Weir House just beyond the lock.  How does that work?



nb Chuffed said...

The lockie whose patch includes Perry Barr says that lock 7 is the one that the lowlifes target. We had water level troubles too but not quite that bad. Good luck!

Tom and Jan said...

Another boat has arrived behind us. They need to reach Norton Canes asap so we'll let them do the hard work tomorrow 😃

Judith Emery said...

Like your style Tom. When we were up there a couple of years ago, I rang C&RT who sent a man out to run the water down. When we turned out onto the Rushall locks it was to find the local little darlings had broken an exact fitting twig off in every antivandal key hole so had to do the whole flight armed with a screw driver, fortunately no police about. That apart it's a nice neck of the woods. Judith nb Serena.

Davidss said...

I'd have thought the first thing to do was to register the situation with CRT, by phone and by email, requesting assistance for Monday.
Follow this with another phone call on Monday, when you stand more of a chance speaking to somebody, rather than a machine.
The low pound above lock 8 may explain why the water is black, by I suggest, from the shape of the water flow, the significant flow is because there is something stuck on the cill, preventing the gate closing. For this and the underwater obstruction of safe / stone you should employ CRT.