The weather forecast for today was for very strong winds gusting 43mph so we decided to make an early start and take advantage of a window of calm in the day. We negotiated Gailey Top Lock and the many moored hire boats on the stretch just above it. It was surprisingly warm compared to previous days not even requiring a sweater.
We were soon travelling along the straight on which there is a major chemical works and boats are forbidden to moor for 200yds. There are several pipe and vehicle bridges which would have taken you over to the other side of the canal which the works had occupied in their hay day but are now just waste land.
We had hoped to have a pump out at Calf Heath Marina / Hatherton Boating but when we stopped and enquired of a boater as nobody else was about we were told that they do not do it now even though the website shows that they offer full boating services. We may have been misled as when I later researched the Hatherton Branch the entrance to which is from Hatherton Junction at Calf Heath I discovered that the first length of the canal is navigable including Lock 1, Calf Heath Bottom Lock. Above this lock the canal is part of Hatherton Marina and a boatyard. Lock 2, Calf Heath Top Lock can be entered but boats can not pass through. The top half of the chamber has been widened to form a shelf, and when the water level in the lock is lowered this forms a dry dock facility for the boatyard. Above this lock are the remains of day boats, abandoned at the end of the canal's working life. This was not obvious to the eye and there was no signage to help us. This picture is looking up the arm from the junction.
We carried on and light rain started so we found a nice mooring spot and stopped for the day. Later I walked along the canal to the Fox and Anchor Pub and then into Coven where I found a Co-Op, Pharmacy and a Chippy about 10 minutes walk away from the canal.