Thursday, 12 June 2014

Well that was a day and a half!

Geoff started the day doing his good deed.. Our mooring spot had one drawback...peoples litter which he cannot stand
After calling into Portland Basin Marina for gas etc  we traversed the last little bit of the peak Forest Canal in lovely sunshine, full of optimism for the day ahead.....
Just around the corner we travel under ASDA....they have built the store right over the canal which has to be better than filling the canal in and building has been done in other places.

Yes we are really on virgin territory now
However our optimism was short lived.   In Lock 1 the gate refused to close fully despite opening and closing several times.    Since they were hydraulically operated gates Geoff could not even use all his mighty strength. He had to climb down into the lock (leaving Barney at the top) but some time spent with the pole failed to clear whatever was causing the we called CRT.   As luck would have it the man who could come was on the far eastern side so it was 2 hours before help arrived
Initially we didn't think he was going to be successful but after he fetch a much longer rake than the one he started with,  there was  glimmer off hope....
Yes we escaped, and continued on our way.  Lots of narrow passages
...leading to locks
burrowing under the roads
...tall chimneys
...narrow and dark approaches to locks
...and lo!  we are in Stalybridge, a town that has embraced the canal

and even has a huge Tesco canalside.....and a pub!
After all the morning exertions Geoff felt he deserved a pint...I only steer the boat he had the harder job of operating stiff paddles and heavy gates.    So I went and did a mammoth shop in Tescos, great to be able to take the trolley all the way to Petroc........although it steering capability left something to be desired...
After stowing everything away we carried on to try and find a rural mooring.
En route to lock 8 there were a profusion of pylons 
One of them straddling the approach to the lock!
Approaching Lock 8
  We tried above where Epiphany had moored in 2010 but it was too shallow.......luckily a passing couple said if we went on two more locks where they were moored there was good mooring.    Just when we thought we could have a rest!

So we carried on for the two locks and sure enough there looked to be some good mooring but yet again we had difficulty getting alongside.  We eventually settled for the bow in and stern sticking out.
By this time it was 5.45, later than we ever cruise......and I had to set to and cook supper.....nevertheless at that stage we decided that the day had come good after all and it had been quite enjoyable.........
Famous last words.
About 8.30, feeling movement in the water Geoff went back to lock 10 to see if someone was coming up.  A small plastic cruiser was there with 2 men aboard vainly trying to fill the lock having left the bottom paddles open!!!    Needless to say this resulted in our pound beginning to drain, Petroc began to assume an inhospitable lean, I went ashore to slacken the lines, only to hear an almighty crash below.........what a wonderful sight greeted me when I looked in.   Out table had fallen over throwing Geoff's fruit salad and yogurt and his cup of black coffee all over the settee and the floor.......
About an hour later we had put things to rights and Geoff decided to check the lock to see how they had left it....Surprise surprise, both top paddles had been left open (and locked) so the lock was not only full but spilling out the other end.....and we were in danger of a rerun......Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Total distance:3.71 miles (it felt like 37)
Elapsed time:7 hours 

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