Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Winter Cruise - Day Five

We woke to a lovely morning -- frosty, sunny, and with the moon still high in the sky.  We'd slept reasonably well, in spite of the noise of the M6.  It's a constant hum, so relatively easy to tune out.  As it was cold, we treated ourselves to bacon and eggs, before setting off at 8.20.  We were quickly at Salford Junction, under Spaghetti Junction, and making the very tight right turn back onto the Birmingham and Fazeley.

There's lots of industry along the canal, but there are still kingfishers flashing across the water.  At Minworth, the canal really is a stripe of nature through the industry.  The top lock is very attractive with its collection of cottages.

I don't know what used to be made at the Cincinnati works, but it's not made there any more.  The site has been bought by Urban Splash (the company which owns the land next to the Walsall Town Arm, and hasn't yet built anything there).  I hope that when they get round to doing something at Cincinnati, they convert the rather elegant building rather than knocking it down.

We had to make an unscheduled stop just below Minworth Bottom Lock, to remove a piece of rope from around the prop.  Then it was out into the country towards Curdworth with its short tunnel.

The Curdworth flight of locks begins shortly afterwards.  The sunshine meant there were great scenes everywhere, in spite of the M42 running alongside.  We had to turn every lock (I don't think we've had a single lock in our favour all trip), and a few locks down caught up with a single hander.  Fortunately (for us, not him), he had to stop to clear his prop, so let us go past.

We decided to carry on until after the tenth lock, and then stay put for the night.  We are becoming part time boaters!  So we moored at 1.30pm next to Kingsbury Water Park.  After lunch, we made good use of the sunny weather by taking a walk round some of the lakes.  As we set off, a boat came up the lock below us, and another, Aldridge, came down the lock above us.  We haven't seen that many boats for a long time.

The water park is a huge place, covering a vast area both sides of the M42.  We saw only a very small part of it, but it looked beautiful in the late afternoon sunshine.

9 miles, 13 locks.  (46 miles, 63 locks)

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