Wednesday 21st September 2021
Wildlife of the day - the most resplendent kingfisher.
There was a chill in the air as we set off this morning, bidding farewell to Brian and Diana who we’ll likely meet again tomorrow night. The sky was blue and the sun shone so it highlighted the autumnal shades creeping into the countryside as the day warmed up.
Past The Black Bouy cruising club and we approached Knowle locks remembering the tales Brian had told us last night of the eddys in the intermediate pounds – however we had eight Volunteer Lockkeepers on duty as we arrived and so we fair flew up the flight with only one slight mishap caused by a cross wind. A hire boat descending the flight remained in the lock as Brenda moved Jannock in beside her and the wind caused a little bump. It was only when Jannock was in the lock beside her that the hire boat steerer told her crew to cast off the ropes and start making for the lock Jannock had vacated.
Onto Catherine De Barnes where we stopped and Brenda went for milk. The shop there stocks ‘takeaway curries’ including one called Khatlama – never heard of it, had to buy it – it’s in the freezer for later. We set off again and had our lunch on the move.
Just North of Catherine De Barnes, CaRT contractors are dredging the canal. They had some unusual aerators just upstream of the dredging area to ensure the oxygen levels are maintained in the water.
We spotted what we thought was a D of E hike coming along the towpath. As they neared we realised that it was a time warped hike. There were wenches, knaves and more doublet and hose than you could shake a jousting pole at. The chap all in black was probably the Sherriff of Nottingham. Modern rucksacks though.
Further on there was an umbrella hanging from a wire across the canal, we wondered whether Mary Poppins had made an emergency landing in the water.
Down through the six narrow Camp Hill locks to Bordesley junction where we went left to hopefully find a mooring space in Typhoo basin. However the basin was deserted of boats and mooring rings but we appeared to have disturbed a possible drugs deal under the entrance bridge so we winded and left again to head up the Digbeth branch and it’s seven locks and one tunnel to moor outside the university for the night and celebrated with a cup of PG Tips instead.