Tuesday 19 June 2012

BCN Marathon 2012 - Groundhog Day

BCN Marathon Challenge
Groundhog Day
5 June 2012

I could almost hear Cher singing "I got you babe" as I woke in the Museum Moorings.

This time last week we woke in the same basin at the same time making the same journey through the same locks to the same home mooring. And now here we are doing exactly the same thing again.

Our companions for the weekend

But like Groundhog Day every journey is different even if the backdrop is the same.

We left about 10 mins after Autumn Mist and caught them up just beyond the Coseley Tunnel. They gentlemanly offered to let us past but today we were in mo hurry and were happy to throttle back and trundle along to the top of the Wolverhampton 21.

Snr Moment at Bloomfield Junction

As we arrived in the basin there was nb Tacet waiting for a family group to show up. We explained that we had achieved 2hrs and 2 mins with a crew of two on Saturday and wondered what they could do with a crew to rival the cast of Ben Hur (13 to be exact). 

They helped us down the first 8 locks and then met the rest of their party walking up. I could see the glint in their eyes at another challenge but then thought no more about it and made a leisurely descent, thankful that Autumn Mist were drawing a top paddle to help us just as we had helped then up the hill a few days before. The locks slipped past and as we were exiting No21 we saw the crew of Tacet refilling behind us. They were flying!

A small part of team Tacet

We called in at Oxley Marine for some diesel and as we were chatting to the proprietor Tacet came past with a huge grin on their faces. Well? I asked.... the paused in true Jeremy Clarkson style and said "One Hour..... long pause.... and 22 mins". I have to admit, that is fast - certainly a time to beat.

You never know how a canal journey will turn out. Same canal but a completely fresh experience! Groundhog Day.


Sarah said...

One hour 22??? Is that possible?
Four of us got Sickle up one rainy Sunday morning when there were no other boats around, and took 1:50. I could see how we might have shaved thirty seconds off each lock but not much more. Or are they that much quicker to empty than to fill?

Andy Tidy said...

Sarah - Its a genuine time. They were at least 8 locks behind us they started down and their crew were on our tails as we exited the bottom lock. Whats more, they showed me their stopwatch which started on entry to the top and stopped on exit of the bottom (they are honest folk as well). Mind you, they did have someone on every paddle and every gate and having thrown down the gauntlet they gave it with everything they had!

Ian and Karen said...

Actually there were only 9 of us....10 counting Jumble who is still no good at helping with locks!
Thanks for throwing down the challenge.