The view from the cabin this morning was of the same bit of canal as yesterday. It looked completely different though because all the ice and snow had melted overnight.
As soon as we’d had breakfast, we set off towards the marina in Alvechurch to get the waste tank emptied. The display showed the level to be consistently above 90%, but the exact number varied as the boat moved around. We didn’t want to test the accuracy of the gauge any further.
It wasn’t long before we arrived at the marina, but there was already a boat moored at the appropriate spot. I asked a member of staff working on an adjacent boat if there was any chance of a pump-out. He said yes, but it wouldn’t be five minutes while they “dealt with the crane and that”. We held the boat on a rope opposite the facilities and waited. After many minutes (it wasn’t five minutes!) they asked us to move away from opposite the crane in case something went wrong and we got swamped.
Once they’d placed the boat on blocks behind the crane, they moved the other boat forward so we could take its place. We had to turn the boat round to get the waste tank against the bank, and turn round again afterwards.
So, by lunchtime we’d travelled about 2 miles. After lunch we went on and through the Wast Hill Tunnel, itself over a mile and a half long. As we approached the King’s Norton Junction, we realised that we were not going to reach central Birmingham before sunset, so we moored up for the night. Getting to Birmingham has now been delayed by wind, ice and a crane – what next?