Māhina Avon Ring – Days 6 and 7

Most boaters we had spoken to before the trip and mentioned that the Tardebigge flight of 30 locks was arduous. A short while ago i saw a good friend post a photo from a walk there, perfect! Its easy to maintain social distancing while working the locks and man we were both in the mood to see some friends!! We started off from our relaxed mooring and made our way to the bottom of the flight, passing the pub at the bottom we could see the garden already busy (it was about 10:45am!!) The shame of it is that after a day boating it’s nice to find the local village pub and go for a refreshing pint but neither of us want to risk that currently so enjoy one out of my fridge, we will! More pictures than words as only so many times you can say, opened the lock, went in, shut the lock, went up, opened the lock, left lock, closed the lock!

Starting at lock 29 and we planned to end just shy of the top lock (number 58). There is no break so once you start you just gotta push on. To be honest though, once you find your rhythm i find them quite fun. Our friends arrived and it was amazing to see how much 2 other people helping can make a difference! we were whizzing through them.

It was great weather and good just to be chit-chatting away, meeting the boats coming down the other way. Again it was quiet with about 6 boats passed when normally there would be queues. Near the top there is a reservoir to feed to the canal system as there is lots of water constantly running through with all this lock movement. I took a second to be tourist and get a photo from the bank of the reservoir which it think is my favourite picture of the day!

Lock 57 appeared some 4 hours after we started, moored up & beer time to celebrate. We took it at a leisurely pace not wanting to make it a race. A massive thank you to both Kelly & Andy for coming over, really enjoyed catching up.

After a great nights sleep i prepared my head to do two longer tunnels. Its nice going this way round they get progressively longer which is great while i learn. First up, through the official top lock of Tardebigge then pretty much straight into Tardebigge tunnel. Its 580 yards long and took me 9 mins to steer through. Soon after that is Shortwood Tunnel at 613 yards which took 11 mins to steer though (ever though i was going faster!). Had some fun taking photos going through ( silently very nervous about another coming up with is 2726 yards and will take nearly an hour to steer through!).

Lots of steering in tight spaces and around boats during today, very nerve-wracking but i didn’t brush into anything which is great! Found a lovely spot to moor in Alvechurch to chill for a couple of days.

Day 6 video of the lock flight (what we captured of it as we had a tech fail!) can be found here: https://youtu.be/R8rpt2Q_ttU

Day 7 of tunnels and dodgems can be found here: https://youtu.be/J0RlEORpHjI

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