Saturday, 13 August 2011

Saturday 13th August
We've just finished a very hard day. The day began at 6 o'clock this morning and after a quick breakfast we set off. First call was the service block to dump cans and fill with water. Then it was into the thick of it, 18 locks down to the Rochdale Canal.
It was an eventful trip! Several of the paddle gear mechanisms were not working making those locks very slow. Several times we stopped so that I could dive into the weed hatch to remove plastic bags and/or rope from the propeller, while stepping across the boat I stood on one of our plastic folding stools and it collapsed into several pieces sending me sprawling, and last but not least on another occasion I slipped and put a foot in the water.
The last time we were at this junction we had a very disturbed night courtesy of some yobs, but now the area has been re-developed and there are safe 24 hour visitor moorings.
Once we had tied up I went to have a look at the next task. The notorious Rochdale 9. We ascended this flight 4 years ago and it was hard then, but now we are going down which is harder. The water constantly flows over the top gates making opening them extremely difficult or even impossible. Going up you can use the boat to push the gates against the flow but going down you can't.

Damon, Liz and Daniel are visiting us tomorrow and we would like to be down in Castlefield by the time they get here but seeing the state of the locks today I'm not sure we'll make it. Looks like another early start tomorrow.

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