Saturday, 30 June 2012

Looks like they're trying to hold up Spaghetti Junction

Salford Junction sign

Typical industrial canal scene
Saturday 30th June 2012
Once again we got up earlier than usual to get a good start for our run into Birmingham. After a couple of miles we came to the first locks of the day, Minworth Three Locks. The next section of canal becomes more and more industrial as it passes through Erdington and Gravelly Hill, finally reaching Salford Junction, in the shadow of the famous Spaghetti Junction. Here a very sharp left turn takes you onto the Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal, which is now part of The Grand Union Canal, an easy left turn is a continuation of the Birmingham and Fazeley and straight on it becomes The Tame Valley Canal. We turned left to stay on the B&F, and after calling at the Cuckoo Wharf service area we continued to The Aston Locks, a flight of 11. The book says that there is mooring between locks 8 and 9 on the flight and that was our destination.
As we pulled in to the lock mooring for number 10, I got off to work the lock, but Cath seemed to be having trouble controlling the boat so I went back to see what was wrong. Luckily Lyra had swung and put her stern against the towpath side so I was able to get back on board to see what the trouble was. It turned out to be the gearbox control cable had broken, leaving Cath stuck in reverse.
By good fortune (and planning) I carry a spare, so it was out with the spanners. I've never done this job before so it was a learning exercise, but after about 30 minutes we were back business and we continued up the next 2 locks to find the mooring. As promised in the book there was a good mooring area, so we tied up for the night and I'm looking forward to a nice meal of steak and a bottle of wine tonight.

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