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Team NB Styxl - Virtual BCN Challenge 2020 Cruise Log


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Team NB Styxl is as usual getting its act together at the last moment, just got to get one or two bits of wood in and do a little caulking. NB Styxl is a Clayton Tanker, we are hoping to pick up a  20 tonnes load of creosote, on route to bed the new timbers in. Crewed by myself a veteran of many a BCN Challenge, although getting to the finishing post is somewhat of a rare event.
We are hoping to have a suitable crew, one cabin boy, a chef and someone for the Hos'
We are cuurently wondering just how the  "Automat Sehnsucht" is going to be interfaced to the hos' but we are sure we will come up with something.  

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Edited by Ian Mac
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9 hours ago, Ian Mac said:


We are cuurently wondering just how the  "Automat Sehnsucht" is going to be interfaced to the hos' but we are sure we will come up with something.  

Have you thought of sticking it in his nose bag and hoping nature doesn't take it's course in the next 7 days?

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@captain birdseye has just joined me as first mate. Starting to get places all the holes filled by Early Friday. She Floats,
Boat now finished, well after a fashion and had a good run down the Shroppie to cut end, late last night. Hos' did well - no fishermen :)

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Edited by Ian Mac
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Having stopped for the night  (at a junction) to allow our Chef and cabin boy to catch up with us, and give the Hos' a rest, I thought I might get down to doing a bit of planning.

However I have got mightily confused, easily done I'm looking at the route planner and getting in a mess

On the route planner in the spreadsheet lines 135 & 137
gets me from Park Head J to Windmill end J via Blackbrook junction ( which is the end of the two lock line)
This is in black so it exists now, this I understand.
Also in black on line 139 Park Head Junction to Withymoor island OR
and on line 140 is Windmill end to Withymoor island.
I do not understand these last two, what am I missing?

And then to really finish it off line 148 talks about Blackwood Junction - i'm guessing Captain Cock-up visited and this should be Blackbrook Junction as this entry is for the two lock line.

 

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3 minutes ago, Ian Mac said:

On the route planner in the spreadsheet lines 135 & 137
gets me from Park Head J to Windmill end J via Blackbrook junction ( which is the end of the two lock line)
This is in black so it exists now, this I understand.
Also in black on line 139 Park Head Junction to Withymoor island OR
and on line 140 is Windmill end to Withymoor island.
I do not understand these last two, what am I missing?

 

If you are not thirsty or if your time machine is set to current time, use the first option.

 

If your time machine is set to not-lockdown mode, the beer and food tent is available at Withymoor Island for the full duration of the challenge.  This means that you might want to stop from either direction for beer, so it's a target point, and obviously it is between Parkhead Junction and Windmill End.

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5 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

If you are not thirsty or if your time machine is set to current time, use the first option.

 

If your time machine is set to not-lockdown mode, the beer and food tent is available at Withymoor Island for the full duration of the challenge.  This means that you might want to stop from either direction for beer, so it's a target point, and obviously it is between Parkhead Junction and Windmill End.

Oi!

We are parked there at the moment so don't come and infect us. We are trying to stay safe which is not easy with 13 people and 27 bloody dogs on board.

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21 minutes ago, Ian Mac said:

Also in black on line 139 Park Head Junction to Withymoor island OR
and on line 140 is Windmill end to Withymoor island.
I do not understand these last two, what am I missing?

 

Just in case you actually mean you don't understand, Withymoor Island Trust is where the "real" 2020 challenge was meant to finish before the virus cancelled it.

 

The great people at that club were moving their own boats out of the way so we could all moor up there on the Sunday, and the guys from Ma Pardoe's were bringing a beer tent down for the weekend.

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3 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

Just in case you actually mean you don't understand, Withymoor Island Trust is where the "real" 2020 challenge was meant to finish before the virus cancelled it.

 

The great people at that club were moving their own boats out of the way so we could all moor up there on the Sunday, and the guys from Ma Pardoe's were bringing a beer tent down for the weekend.

Oh I get it now, still not sure what the OR means, but Hey Ho. Currently having to share my polly pin of TinPlate Mild from Irwell Works Brewery with the First Mate!, hope he's brought some as we appear to be make a large hole in it ;)

I never really plan to attend these events, however every now and then we seems to take part, its always just a bit of a mystery!

Oh I do get it you and only claim one OR the other!

 

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5 minutes ago, Ian Mac said:

Oh I get it now, still not sure what the OR means, but Hey Ho. Currently having to share my polly pin of TinPlate Mild from Irwell Works Brewery with the First Mate!, hope he's brought some as we appear to be make a large hole in it ;)

 

You do know that Pete who was my crew on last year's challenge, a great friend and a regular boating buddy is the head brewer for Irwell Works?  Now we know you are a fan, we will bother the volunteers when the Rochdale reopens .... and bring bribes!

 

Tin Plate is OK, but Marshmallow Unicorn is where it's at.  He did offer to bring a few casks down for the challenge finish but ... pandemics ruin plans!

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Ian Mac said:

still not sure what the OR means, but Hey Ho

 

The OR is because you could only possibly score it one way - either from Windmill End OR Parkhead Junction to the finish.  There is no possible way to stop in the middle from both approaches!

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Another question - I notice whilst planning that line 127 of the planner refers to the Cape Arm, I thought it was a loop of the old mainline and came out near Wiston Green Stop, at the eastern end and where the Cape Arm is labelled at the other.  More research required. I thought the Winston Stop end went when the railways came. Missing additional easy miles.

 

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10 hours ago, Ian Mac said:

Oh I get it now, still not sure what the OR means, but Hey Ho. Currently having to share my polly pin of TinPlate Mild from Irwell Works Brewery with the First Mate!, hope he's brought some as we appear to be make a large hole in it ;)

I never really plan to attend these events, however every now and then we seems to take part, its always just a bit of a mystery!

Oh I do get it you and only claim one OR the other!

 

I'll get some Milltown Mild in from Howard Town Brewery, not sure how far from Glossop they will deliver, but I'll make enquiries. Anything to keep the captain off my back

Ian Mac. if we can get out next year we will take my boat down and do the challenge for real and in  comfort. It's a while since I did it, last time we finished at Bradley not sure when that was but probably five or so years ago

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10 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

You do know that Pete who was my crew on last year's challenge, a great friend and a regular boating buddy is the head brewer for Irwell Works?  Now we know you are a fan, we will bother the volunteers when the Rochdale reopens .... and bring bribes!

 

Tin Plate is OK, but Marshmallow Unicorn is where it's at.  He did offer to bring a few casks down for the challenge finish but ... pandemics ruin plans!

 

 

I must agree with Ian Mac, the tin plate is my favourite, let me know when you are coming up north, I will put my blue tee shirt and life jacket on and give you a hand, I'm also used to drinking with Mac and getting home afterwards!

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34 minutes ago, captain birdseye said:

I must agree with Ian Mac, the tin plate is my favourite, let me know when you are coming up north, I will put my blue tee shirt and life jacket on and give you a hand, I'm also used to drinking with Mac and getting home afterwards!

North?  We reckon the Rochdale is south!

 

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4 hours ago, Ian Mac said:

Another question - I notice whilst planning that line 127 of the planner refers to the Cape Arm, I thought it was a loop of the old mainline and came out near Wiston Green Stop, at the eastern end and where the Cape Arm is labelled at the other.  More research required. I thought the Winston Stop end went when the railways came. Missing additional easy miles.

 

 

That sounds like one for @Capt Ahab, but I thought it got chopped when they built the new main line.

 

3 hours ago, captain birdseye said:

I must agree with Ian Mac, the tin plate is my favourite

 

I do like Tin Plate, but Pete the brewer slightly prefers Bank Top Dark Mild.  Doesn't stop him drinking Tin Plate though! :D

  

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2 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

 

That sounds like one for @Capt Ahab, but I thought it got chopped when they built the new main line.

 

 

I do like Tin Plate, but Pete the brewer slightly prefers Bank Top Dark Mild.  Doesn't stop him drinking Tin Plate though! :D

  

My understanding is that the southern entrance was blocked as soon as the NML was built - hence its Arm status. The points are there, and whats more its a there and back option so double bubble plus the bonus of a virtual pint at the Cape Arms.

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39 minutes ago, Capt Ahab said:

My understanding is that the southern entrance was blocked as soon as the NML was built - hence its Arm status. The points are there, and whats more its a there and back option so double bubble plus the bonus of a virtual pint at the Cape Arms.

Of course you could change time period while on the Arm to use it as a loop - although that might interfere with your ability to score points from it :)

 

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1 hour ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

 

That sounds like one for @Capt Ahab, but I thought it got chopped when they built the new main line.

 

 

I do like Tin Plate, but Pete the brewer slightly prefers Bank Top Dark Mild.  Doesn't stop him drinking Tin Plate though! :D

  

If we are going to talk mild from different brewers, have you tried the Dunham Dark, a cracking pint of mild

 

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Well the boat is swimming a lot better have taken on a load of Gas Water from 'Hampton  works as we passed yesterday. Stopped overnight at Horseley Field, now in Tipton getting provisions. Some people don't understand social distancing here. We are slowly doing to terms with the load!

On a separate point, I notice from the scoring that the distance from Old Turn to Smethwick does not vary with route, A little unfair I think especially as the aim of the challenge was to get people to use the less used waterways. Its over a mile shorter by the mainline, that is after all why it was built.

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9 minutes ago, Ian Mac said:

On a separate point, I notice from the scoring that the distance from Old Turn to Smethwick does not vary with route, A little unfair I think especially as the aim of the challenge was to get people to use the less used waterways. Its over a mile shorter by the mainline, that is after all why it was built.

In the real challenge this is handled by there being extra photo points available for going the long way round the loops - saves creating loads of alternative sections.  For this virtual challenge I guess you can view this as encouragement to spend time exploring the historic arms instead!

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Well we have moored up for the night at Dudley Port Junction. We have been playing with our "Automat Sehnsucht" attempting to discover how to adapt it to use with the hos'. We have been given the special power pack for unpowered boats. We think we have sussed a method. This has had the wonderful side effect of allowing us to use it as well. So we have set it to 1870 and we are about to walking back up the cut to Dudley Port where we are thinking of going to "The Aqueduct Inn" for a few scoops.

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No Hard Stuff for us tonight - the pub had a beer and cider only licence. The ladies had to use the same loo, not that we saw many.
Mixing the Dark Mild and the rough Cider to make what was called Mud seemed a jolly good idea though. 

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Whilst my mate was down in the stables, I popped in to get fill the can, with water. Bloody Cold out, however it will some warm up a bit and then hopefully the sun will come out.
Wonder why my neck was getting cold and I had two scarfs on!

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Photo0349.jpg.dc65ad06d196ba8256ae8e4dd3fbf85c.jpgWith it being With it being so cold this morning, we were glad to get inside Netherton Tunnel once we had the hos' past the stupid gate thing. quite warn in there

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