Saturday, 18 April 2015

Into central Birmingham; skateboarder jumps lock repeatedly

We did manage to sleep at Tyburn last night. Once asleep, of course, one is oblivious to aeroplanes overhead. We heard them in the morning again, but they served mainly to illustrate how quiet our mooring was. There were a few cyclists on the metalled towpath yesterday afternoon, but I wasn't aware of any this morning.

It was a bit chilly first thing, despite the sunshine, so I lit the fire with a few logs on.

The approach to Salford Junction is defiantly urban. Here the M6 heads for the Gravelly Hill interchange, aka Spaghetti Junction, with a sprawling electricity substation in front.

I decided we'd make a slight detour on our way to Brum; we took the first sharp left at Salford Junction onto the Warwick and Birmingham Canal (aka Grand Union) as I hadn't done this for a long time.

Just after making the turn the satnav on the cabin top indicated that I was walking on the M6. It often gets it wrong.

I mainly use the satnav as an indicator of speed; it's also useful sometimes on long stretches of canal to locate where we are on the Nicholson's.

The lock cottage by Garrison Bottom Lock was a sad burnt-out ruin, in a rather desolate area of metal recyclers and other stark industrial goings-on.

After the Garrison Locks and Warwick Bar we turned left onto the Digbeth Branch to have a spin round Typhoo Basin. Then it was on to the Ashted Locks.

Jan informs me that the pretty yellow flowers by the bottom lock are cowslips.

Once through the tight Ashted Tunnel, where I held Jubilee into the towpath by the centre line as we went through, there was just one more lock of the Ashted flight; then we rejoined the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal to ascend the Farmer's Bridge flight. Apart from a couple of locks which were in our favour as we passed a boat coming down, every lock was against us. Most of them had the top gate left open. Hmm.

At the top of Farmer's Bridge Locks we reversed into Cambrian Wharf and that is where we are now, enduring the noise from the Flapper bar.

Entertainment before sunset was provided by a skateboarder repeatedly jumping over the top lock. He was being filmed by a friend; no doubt the result will appear on YouTube.

The skateboarder got across every time; he was trying to refine his feat by doing a trick with the board on the way across. This is the best shot I got from within the boat; I was not going to encourage him by photographing him overtly.

(It was impressive, though, and full marks to him for persistence! He did manage to land one trick jump after what must have been 20 attempts. Not that I condone this dangerous sport, but he was doing it at a time of day when no young children were around who might otherwise be tempted to emulate his daring.)

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