Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chadderton to Manchester

A very early start for us this morning.  Lock 65 is opened up at 0830 and then locked up again.  But the Rose of Lancaster pub is one and half hours away from where we need to be. 

Through the next lock and then a snag.  There is a vertical lift bridge that needs to be operated.  However the mooring is on one side and the controls are on the other.  If you try Rochdale canal on your own then this sort of thing is going to be a problem.  We had to open up let time through then close it again while I went back for the boat then opened it again.  What a faff.

At one point you find yourself running along a concrete channel alongside the motorway.  There are a few sharp bends here and no room to pass.

We arrived at Lock 65 spot on time after starting at 0645 so the one hour it says in the book is a bit out.  Happily for us the BW staff is going to come down with us and lock the paddles as we go through.

It wasn't long before disaster struck.  I was stuck going out of the lock and when I managed to get free had a dig around with the boat hook and turned up with a shopping trolley.

To make matters worse once I was clear of that and heading for the next lock when I lost power and found that I had picked up a backpack on the prop.  Because I couldn't steer with the engine I ended up aground and had to get more water let in and the assistance of two rather large gents to lean on the rope while going astern.

The area should be a wonderful asset to the people that live along here but it is a tip and there is rubbish everywhere.  No problems with kids and the adults are quite friendly and one or two come out to enjoy the sun.

A few more locks and I end up stuck in the entrance to a lock.  This time there is a large branch twenty foot long lying across the gates. Managed with the two of us pulling to get it out of the canal.

Lock 79 presents the problem of a low bridge and the next lock does the same.  We have to take the wind genny of the roof again to get past.

Along the canal we see all the housing estates that makes the canal so depressing and in the midst there is the large mill that made Manchester so important.

The last lock but one and yet another large mill.  This one is being turned into apartments.  It should improve - I hope - the standing of the area no end.

There is a lot of leakage through the locks and the towpath that runs under the road gets flooded quite often.

After nine hours slog we get to the mooring for tonight and possibly a couple more days.  It is likely that we will stay till the kids go back to school and it is safer to travel through the Aston canal.

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