Tunnel Vision

Another 8am start but today we were ready with Paramos and life jackets.  We weren’t expecting rain but several drippy tunnels.

Our first task was to rise up the last of the Tardebigge Locks and it was a deep one.  At the top we stopped for about 25 minutes to top up the water tank.  Not vital but we now know we have enough to see us home.

We very much enjoyed the scenery as far as bridge 68, just past Hopwood, but after that it became rather less attractive and somewhat industrial in places.

Our industrial heritage!

After the fairly short Tardebigge and Shortwood Tunnels we had to travel through the longest tunnel on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, Wasthill Tunnel, which is 2762 yards (just over 1.5 miles) and this took us 34 minutes.  We were very surprised to find that we could see all the way through to the far end until a boat came in the opposite direction.  Happily we passed without incident.

The now defunct guillotine stop lock just after Kings Norton Junction is an interesting sight but somewhat spoiled by the graffiti.

Guillotine Stop Lock (disused)

We had read of others having problems at Brandwood Tunnel so we took careful note of the sign at the entrance.  In this short (275 yard) tunnel we did meet another boat coming the other way and playing quite loud folk music.  Thinking the worst we proceeded cautiously but all was well and they were as careful as we were.

We were please we had power!

We carried on, as advised, past the electrically operated bridge 8, which was very kindly opened by a retired lock keeper who was there to show his grandchildren how it worked.

We moored at 14:40 between bridges 14 and 15, probably in the same spot that Toby and Sarah had moored.  This gave Peter time to check that there were no better spots round the corner and then to set up the aerial for the final of the world cup, a great plus for this mooring being the very good TV reception.

He also had time to remove some quite tough plastic coated cable and a few bits of thin rope from the propeller.

Anyone recognise this spot?
The best Purple Loosestrife to date