Well what can I say, pride comes before a fall? Up early to set off for Brum, needed water but there were two boats moored on the water point so we waited for signs of life. Eventually a chap appeared on one of them so we asked if it was OK to breast up on him to water, the answer was affirmative so we drifted across the cut, secured to him and watered. On completion we prepared to cast off, Jill stepped onto the sharp end of the other boat, stepped down into the well deck and fell with a mighty crash, having ascertained that no permanent damage had ensued we pushed off, I stepped onto our gunwhale and, after warning so many people to avoid the fenders, I stepped on one, the waters of the B.C.N are remarkably warm although the canal bed is of a somewhat dubious composition. My dear lady immediately rushed off and got the rope ladder, which we had purchased last year in Hungerford for just such an occurance, and threw it across to me as I rummaged frantically in my pockets to check that my mobile was not also enjoying an immersion in Dudleys finest. I hooked it over the towing stud, put my foot on the bottom rung, took my weight and the rope snapped, tried the next rung, all same same. Luckily the third one held and I emerged like Venus from the foam. By now I had a large audience but all on the other side of the cut so attempts to go round with the hat proved abortive. Jill accused me of doing it just to upstage her.
We winded and set off down the Old Main Line, this was the second half. You would never believe you were in the Black Country, the fish can be seen swimming in the crystal clear waters amongst the water lilies, coots nested along the off side, totally unconcerned by our passing, herons stalked the edges and flowers bloomed in wild profusion along the banks, sorry, getting a bit lyrical there but it is incredible. Mind you after you meet the M5 at Oldbury it all goes a bit downhill although the sight of little B.C.N. bridges crouched below the towering pillars of the motorway is quite evocative.
We are now at Gas Street and ready for tomorrows adventure in deepest Birmingham!