Thursday, 26 February 2009

First world cruise of the Coventry & Bham Fazley Canal

The next trip I had arranged to take some Friends for a trip just as soon as the canal returned back to its normal - liquid- sate. Jim & Joan were to join us on the journey from the marina to Fradley Junction and John & Lyn would be with us for the return trip on the Sunday. After checking the weather forecast the weekend of Feb 13-14 was chosen. The frost, ice & snow should have gone by then. On the Saturday morning I woke up to find that the marina basin had a thin covering of ice and the outside temperature was -1 but the forecast was good so we set off. Once on the canal the ice was more of an occasional frosty patch here and there, no problems. Half an hour on, the this frosty patches have now turned into 1" thick solid ice, and it was getting thicker. It made a most expensive noise, the sound of all the blacking being torn of at the waterline and the sound of chunks being hacked of the prop! It was a case of "I've started so I shall finish" We have been traveling for about 3 hours, it was getting somewhere near feeding time when the engine just stopped right outside a choice of two very nice pubs in Hopwas. Well it would have been rude to pass it. Its funny how the engine just seems to stop at food time right outside a pub, its almost magic! After a good lunch and a few pints of Pedigree we set off again. By now the ice had all but gone, the weather was cool but dry, we had another 3 hours of lock free cruising before we would get to Fradley. We arrives at Fradley Junction without any drama, however as usual, mooring was at a premium. We had to go past the junction to find a mooring which was opposite the BW cafe. This would have meant a 1 1/2 travel to the next winding hole and another 11/2 travel back. after a brief discussion it was decided to reverse into the lock and reverse onto the mooring point much to the amusement of the Gongoselers. During the trip someone had pointed out that it is in fact Valentines Day and the pub just may be fully booked. this induced a panic, the thought of having to cook on board was too much to bear. We decided to go to the pub early - before the rush. The place was empty and remained quiet all night. Following a good meal any yet a few more pints of Pedigree it was time to say good night to my guests and have an early night.

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