Monday, 13 April 2009

Easter Congestion.

3 Locks, 6 Miles. 1 Swingbridge. Now moored at Ravenshaw Wood, T & M Canal.

It was a very stop start sort of a day with us having to stop on both sides of bridge 79 due to oncoming boats. We eventually cleared this narrow neck between bridges 79 and 80 but progress was slow due to moored boats and many more on the move.

We spotted our first ducklings at Streethay wharf and a swan sitting on her nest by a bridge hole which wasn’t more than 10 feet from the back door of a house. The cob was strutting around the garden and the lady of the house came out and spoke to him. He didn’t seem to worried about her presence at all so perhaps he gets fed regularly by her.

Fradley 001

Later we spotted a second brood of ducklings and a pair of Moorhen chicks which appeared to be about 2 or 3 weeks old. There still seems to be a lot of female ducks around who are not making any attempt to raise a brood yet.

Fradley 003

Reaching Fradley Junction we pulled onto the water point and I went and disposed of the rubbish while Dot filled the tank. The junction was abuzz with boats and there was a traffic jam with 4 or 5 boats waiting to access the locks in both directions. The cheese boat was moored just through the swing bridge and was doing a steady trade. He had signs all round the junction so no matter which way you came from you were aware of his presence.

From the water point to where we are now moored took us the best part of 3 hours as we had to queue for all 3 locks. At lock 18 there is only room for 1 boat on the lock mooring so we all had to breast up against moored boats. I heard on the TV last night that hire boat companies are reporting a 15% increase in bookings already this year due to the drop in the value of the Euro so it could be a busy summer all round.

1604 locks, 3412½ miles, 59 Tunnels, 45 swing bridges and 39 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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