Monday, 4 May 2015

Lots of work on our way down to Wheelock

Friday 24th April

Back at home, with an external mouse and keyboard, I can finally catch up with the blog before dismantling the laptop to see if it can be rescued.

On Friday, we awoke at Westport Lake to brilliant sunshine. 

2 westport lake

We were away by 9, and found the moorings for Harecastle empty.  Once we had had the safety briefing we went straight through, followed by one boat.  Three boats had gone through a while ago, though none had come from the other direction.

 3 approach to harecastle

It took about 35 minutes, our usual time, with only a couple of small biffs on the way! and we emerged to find no-one waiting.

In ……                                                           and out…..

4 in we go  5 and out

with a little souvenir from the tunnel, which swept off easily.

6 a memento of the tunnel wall

The iron staining in the water was evident, coating the lock gates (top lock) as well as colouring the water (Poole Aqueduct).

  7 orange lock gates8 poole aqueduct

The first batch of locks were all in our favour.  We paused at Red Bull services to empty/fill/dispose of rubbish and have a quick cuppa and bit of flapjack before continuing down.  It’s all very well kept round here with plenty of mooring rings between the top few locks.  By the time we reached Church Locks the cloud was coming over so the views of Mow Kop were not as clear as they might have been.  You can just see the hill behind Dave.

9 entering church lock   10 mow kop in the distance

The lock beams have all been painted and it was sad to see some idiot had been out tagging and writing silly comments with a marker pen.  After a few locks against us we moored below Lawton Treble locks for lunch, wondering whether to stay put.  But, energised by something to eat and drink, we decided to continue to Wheelock.  We have a good system of sharing the work and locking ahead where appropriate, so we made good time.   At Hassall Green locks we passed NB Fizzical Attraction on their way up.  The motorway was very busy.

I’d rather be here, playing with my dog

11 rather be here playing with my dog

By the time we got to the moorings at Malkin’s Bank we decided we had enough energy to complete the flight so, waving as we passed NB Seyella, we carried on down the last two locks and moored at Wheelock.  We had a good chat with Geoff as he came back from delivering Meg to the groomer’s.  Photo tomorrow!

We walked into Wheelock to look at the pubs, believing that the Italian restaurant was still closed – but it has re-opened and had a free table.  We had a lovely meal, though the service was a bit random – our waitress was delightful, but still learning.

9 and a half miles or so, 26 locks, Harecastle Tunnel (2926 yards), 7 hours

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