Thursday, 30 July 2015

Aston to Gas street, Birmingham

Overnight we moored after lock 9 in the Aston flight, rings not spaced well for a 57ft boat so couldn't get back tied on. On plus side it is on opposite side to tow path and is mainly an office complex (Aston cross business park) with security patrolling. Even better was the tip from fellow boater that there was a little shop open till 5:30 just round the corner from mooring. Very nice lady in shop told me it was extra safe overnight. Missus was pleased cos she hadn't wanted to go any further.
Set off at 8:30 but just behind hirers on Leo II. Not a good start as we grounded by the bollards before the bridge at lock 8. The wife tried to push back off with the pole but had to ask a very kind jogger to help. He got us off the ledge and on our way. Brummies are generally pretty helpful we found.
Followed Leo II up the flight and they kindly helped by emptying next lock ahead we paid their favour back later on Farmers bridge locks more of which later. We made it to the top of Aston flight by around 10am so pretty good going by all. Turned right heading for next locks and the heavens opened. Had to get umbrellas and waterproofs out but got a proper soaking before we even got to the bottom of the flight. Still following the hirers. Think it was at lock 11 as you go under a building that we helped them negotiate a cross wind that was pushing the boat across into a concrete support to the left of the lock. Had to hold their centre line to keep them over. Then had to do same for our own entry to the lock. Tricky flight to pass other boats so we were pleased it was pretty quiet. As we came out of lock 8 we met another boat and a volunteer lock helper. Just about room to pass but a short approach to the lock meant a couple of knocks. From there we made it to lock 2 before we encountered another boat heading down. All of these locks have one gate at top and bottom pros and cons to this as they are pretty heavy. Also the ground paddles are for midgets not good for the knees.

 Still a bit of team work meant we made it to the top of the flight by around 12:15. 

Leo II  had left a windlass at the top lock but we managed to catch them and hand it back. They moored immediately before the Old turn junction two good spaces with rings. In hindsight we could have moored here nicely. Instead we turned left and headed past the Sea life centre and on to Brindley Place. No free moorings here as they are all marked up for the many day trip boats that operate. Gas street basin is not for visitors either it seems so it was on to mornings opposite the Premier inn before the Mailbox. We will have to head down to the Mailbox and turn when we leave.
All those locks in the rain left us tired so we headed out for a bite to eat and a beer for me. 

Then it was curry time and we visited Pushkar, not cheap but very good quality.

We also met up with daughter no. 1 who had a day trip from nottingham. We lunch ate in Browns near the Bullring - not enjoyable which was unusual for Browns.  Dinner was at the tapas place, Bar Estilo in the Mailbox, that was lovely.  Tomorrow it's pull rings and off to Dudley way.

Where we moored, we are just in front of boat in the picture.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Fazeley to Aston, Birmingham

So, today's run went a tad longer than anticipated.  We left Fazeley at 9:00 am and went to fill up with water at the CRT offices as well as divesting ourselves of some rubbish.  Not a bad run to Curdworth apart from a numpty who was trying to set locks too far in advance as well as being unable to work out left from right.  His crew decided to assist and wanted to use their pole on my nice new paintwork.  Politely, I suggested that handing the boat off was better and went onto demonstrate how easy it could be.  Curdworth was a bit dark in the cutting so we decided to motor onto Cuckoo Wharf.  Big mistake,  the wharf was full of long term boats and work boats, no room for leisure craft.  Anyways, we moved to Aston which is cool.

Piccies will be added later as I forgot to bring my sd card to iPhone connector, so here is a couple of where we are now from the iPad.  Might buy one in Brum along with some new walkie talkies, chairs, disposable bbq etc.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Waiting for the rain

So, the holiday has started.

Yesterday, we left Kings Bromley Marina at 8:45 am hoping to take some fuel on but both service jetties were occupied, waiting on service at 9am. So, rather than wait we decided to move on and fuel up at Streethay wharf.  Good decision as it was only 69p per litre before the propulsion/heating split.

Took a few piccies with iPhone but will use big camera from tomorrow.
King Bromley wharf.  A bit of a mess, I would love to buy this and re-design the space around the house there.

Now moored at Fazeley, waiting for the rain.  Tomorrow we will head for Curdworth, on our way into Birmingham.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Boat pick up

Well, we now have Lola boat back in her new livery.

Duckling photo

So, we did the pump out back in the marina.  I need to dip fuel tank and decide if we refill on the way, I expect we will somewhere along our route through Birmingham and Staffordshire, leaving Kings Bromley next Friday.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Back from the USA

Just back from Iowa City via Atlanta and Cedar Rapids and Minneapolis.  All work and no play.

I arrived 0030 Saturday morning and left 15.05 on Wednesday.  Business class helped but still a tiring journey.  Some interesting clouds at 30.000 ft

Sunrise in Iowa City
Moscow mule, very nice
Back to Blighty

Still no boat.  I was hoping to be aboard this weekend but the high temperatures means no painting as it won't lay off properly.  Hopefully next weekend.  Big daughter off to Majorca, little un out with friends, very quiet in this house.  Mrs is lost so she is cleaning and doing jobs.  

We have just planted a berberis to stop a local from using our fence and drive as a short cut home, let's hope it grows quickly.