Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Down the Wigan Flight to Pennington Flash

Moored at the top of the Wigan Flight.....ready for the big day!
Another closed pub
Very leaky lock walls in this one
We had not really been looking forward to the run down the Wigan Flight, stories of stiff lock paddles and  gates, lack of water etc......but in the event it was not as bad as feared and one one might even say enjoyable.   This was of course partly due to the weather which was mainly sunshine, although the morning had started chilly so it was 4 layers again, gloves and woolly hat!  As the day progressed a couple of layers were shed.
When we reached the 6th lock we saw the welcome sight of a volunteer lock keeper.   He went ahead of us for half a dozen locks filling them which was a great help.   It was sod's law that with so few boats around on this canal at the moment that we had a pair going down about an hour ahead of us so every lock had to be filled.   He left us part way down saying that his mate would be with us soon as he would be coming up after he had finished helping the pair ahead.   So a few more on our own and then help appeared.   He was very willing but not very experienced and needed a bit of prompting in the method of one person going ahead to set the next lock!  Still we were really glad of his help.

A smart left turn at the bottom and two more locks before the longish run to moor by the Pennington Flash.   Last time we came this way we stayed for 3 days as it is lovely, but this time it was to be overnight as we needed to make some progress.

Today's interesting boat...good place to keep ones fridge freezer!
Just before Pennington and through the lift bridge there is now a huge expanse of open water with nothing in it....obviously man made and we don't remember it from our previous visit.   We did wonder if it was going to be a marina......
Not our longest day in distance but certainly in locks and time

Total distance:9.38 miles 
Elapsed time:7h34m30s 
Average speed:1.24 mph (4.28 lock/mph)

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