I must say that we avoided going into Birmingham for the last five years and because we have cruised on most of the rivers and canals in England thought it was time to give it a go. And, I can say that Rachael and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, even if we did have to have River Canal Rescue come out and replace or alternator. Good time to put in a good word for RCR, we called them out for the first time in six years this season, turned out to be twice for two different problems, both times they were quick to get to the boat and quick to sort the problem. It turned out to be four days with the breakdown time but there was plenty to do.
|Cruising through Birningham|
The quietest and most picturesque canal on our trip this year would have to be the Caldon Canal. If you read the blog on this part of the trip you would have read that we couldn't get on to the river section to get all the way to Froghall but even so the trip was well worth it.
|Moored at Cheddleton|
|R. Churnet in flood|
Just a few statistics drawn from Canal Plan AC, they are all approximate but here they are:
530 miles traveled, made up of 245 miles on narrow canals:
Trent and Mersey
Grand Union (Aylesbury Branch)
228 miles on broad canals:
58 miles on rivers
A total of 498 locks, 252 narrow locks, 245 broad locks and a large lock (river lock) and included 15 tunnels varying in length from 57 yards (Curdworth) to 3056 yards (Blisworth) for a total of just over eight miles underground, one major aqueduct, Edstone Aqueduct on the Stratford Canal and 19 lift/swing bridges.
Serafina has been winterised and 'tucked' away for the winter at our marina in the midlands until next season. While we are away I have organised for her to have a mandatory BSS (Boat Safety Scheme) check, another four years has passed rather quickly.
Our cruising plan for next season has been drafted and includes the final 'wonder of the canal world' to complete the set, the Standedge Tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. I'm gearing up for shallow pounds (strip of water between locks) and lots of locks.
Back home in Australia we've already experienced our first 44°C day, I'm sure there will be several more before the summer is over.