With 9 locks and 6.5 miles to do today, we set off fairly early to catch up with the other members of the cruise and arrived at Rushall Top Lock just as the other boats were setting off.
This is Marie who has done a wonderful job organising both of the BCNS Explorer Cruises and who started her day helping the first 16 boats down lock no. 2.
Once again, the Pelsall Canal is very pretty and very under used. We didn't see any other moving boats again today, if only they knew what they were missing!
Everyone in the convoy helped out at the locks which were all easy to do (that's me sitting on the right hand gate)
There was a bottle-neck at Lock 4 when an aluminium Sea Otter boat couldn't get out of the lock. There was something stuck behind one of the bottom gates which meant that it didn't open fully so with the Sea Otter having hard rubber fenders permanently fitted all round, it was just too wide to squeeze through. They had to come back up the lock and reverse into the pound to let the rest of us down, until BW arrived to remove the obstruction behind the gate. None of the normal steel narrowboats had any problems though.
At the junction we turned onto the Tame Canal
and passed close to the M6 giving us a good view of the repair works being carried out below it.
We then passed over one of the worst motorway junctions there is. Having been stuck here in the car lots of times in the past it was a great feeling to cruise high above the traffic.
The Tame Canal is pretty but there was quite a lot of floating litter, mainly empty Carling and Fosters cans and polystyrene burger boxes. There was also a distinct lack of wildlife (apart from miserable fishermen drinking Carling and Fosters) and this heron was the only bird we saw for ages.
We're now all moored up at Ocker Hill. It's been another fantastic day, both weather-wise and boating wise and it's BBQ night. I've just made a rosemary and garlic foccaccia loaf, Roger's cooking sardines and there's a bottle of Chardonnay chilling in the fridge. Wish you were here????