A clear start to the day.
We almost always have some type of incident transiting Minworth Locks. The first time we received a hail of stones by some bored youths. Today I lost all propulsion on the final approach to the bottom lock. I had the gearbox in forward and the boat was drifting backwards. There was something serious around the prop. Now there had been frost all over Waiouru this morning so I wasn’t looking forward to immersing my arms in freezing canal water. Christmas came early for Jan and she became the owner of a large pink top. Well apparently not. Arms folded over chest and a petulant look was replaced with a scow when I
was told “You know I want a colourful sari!” . She may have to wait another week for that!
We were again bought to a stop above the top lock by a combination of leaf soup, branches and partially submerged debris. I eventually managed to very slowly move the boat beyond the soup and then clear the prop with several bursts of reverse.
Parts of this section of canal are attractive during autumn. but it’s what is waiting below the surface that concerns me. We bounced over something large and then managed to avoid a double sized floating mattress.
You know you are getting close to Spaghetti Junction when you see the factory that has been built over the canal. I guess land must have been at a premium because it must have been expensive building a wide reinforced concrete tunnel over the canal. There’s no vertical access to the factory from the canal so I don’t believe there was a direct transport or commercial link between them.
The plan was to replicate the actions we took the last time we came this way. At Spaghetti Junction (Salford Junction) I reversed on to the Grand Union towards Garrison Locks
Reversing away from Salford Junction
We continued going astern; pausing to stop in the abandoned Nechells Stop Lock (see map below) to fit the extension section to the diesel stove flue; and then continuing to moor on the secure 24 hour moorings outside Star City.
No gates on the lock.
The moorings at Star City are floating pontoons and behind a locked gate (Waterways key required).
Oh yes, today’s Minworth wildlife……
At one point Jan said “What’s that horrible smell?”. To which I replied “Smells like a dead rat!” Shortly afterwards we passed one of those deep fried rat in 11 secret herbs and spices outlets.
Geoff (nb Seyella), your comments are still going to our email spam box! Google doesn’t like your email address.