NB-Charybdis is on the move again
We have given up our mooring in Bugsworth Basin and are on the move to
Reedley Marina in Burnley.
Unfortunately the marina is slap-bang in the middle of the section of the Leeds-Liverpool which BW is planning to close on Monday 2nd August due to a water shortage in the reservoirs so watch this space ......
Day 1 Sunday 25th July 7 miles 0 locks
Thanks to friends Mick and Judy for a lift to buggy so we dont have to worry about where we leave the car while travelling. A pub lunch in the Navigation, which is steady improving under its new ownership, then off we go to Marple.
It was quite sad to say goodbye to Buggy which is a beautiful spot but the new place is much closer and more convenient.
The upper peak forest doesn't seem any shallower than usual buthe reservoirs we drove past did look very dry.
Day 2 Monday 26th July 8 miles 16 locks
I find it quite bizarre - I am soaked to the skin, the rain is pouring down, the bywash at Marple lock 5 was soo fast it nearly pushed the boat up the bank and I have to keep going because of a drought !!!!
A 9:30 start (early for us) and we soon fell into the routine of locking again. Karen does all thw work and I pose at the tiller and chat to the gongoozlers.There weren't many of those in this weather but the locks are lovely even in the rain and it felt good to be boating for real again.
Bacon butties on the go and then a stop for lunch fter crossing the stunning Marple aqueduct befor pushing on for Portland Basin for the night. There are no locks on this strech so Karen got her revenge and disapeared inside as the rain came belting down.
A quck trip to Asda to stock up and buy Karen a new phone then back to the boat for supper. At which point Chrstopher rang to say he had found her old one hey-ho.
Tomorrow its pastures new - down the 18 locks of the Ashton and into Manchester's Picadilly Basin
Day 3 Tuesday 27th July 6 miles 18 locks
The Ashton canal seems to have two reputations
"Oh it's terrible, keep your doors locked, set off at 6 in the morning, you'll get robbed/killed/kidnapped" delete as applicaple or ...
"Oh it's all changed now you can't move for yuppies and porches"
Well, having just travelled it we can say it's a delight. A great mixture of old and new, and great views, and everyone we met was very friendly.
It is hard work though, four sets of hydraulic gear and each set with an anti-vandal lock, and some very heavy gates.
A mooring in Picadilly Basin and a call to BW to confirm that we can still go up Wigan flight so the new Marina is still on.
Tomorrow its down the Rochdale nine ... wide locks ...
One for the blue side of Manchester
And one for the red side
Day 4 Wednesday 28th July 9 miles 9 locks
But those locks were the famous (imfamous?) Rochdale nine.
The rain came down - there was so much water pouring over the top gates that you could barely open the bottom gates against the pressure - between the first and second locks you have to navigate the concrete pillars holding up a tower block - some of the paddle gear is a bit iffy.
It was brilliant!
Manchester's red brick buildings are lovely and some of the new stuff is pretty good too.
We moored in Castlefield, which has also been developed really well, for shopping and lunch - went out for a bottle of milk and bought a living room suite! That's Manchester for you (I hope it fits into the living room).
After lunch we set off onto the Bridgewater which, it has to be said is a pretty dull canal which runs mostly dead straight through Trafford Park Industrial Estate. It is however deep and wide so you can put the hammer down. We must have been pushing that 4mph speed limit - I even overtook some pedestrians!
This canal does however boast the amazing Barton Swing Bridge Aqueduct which carries the Bridgewater canal over the Manchester Ship Canal. It is very impressive with great views down the ship canal, past the road bridge to the motorway bridge in the distance.
From here it was another half-hour to our overnight stop in Worsley. Moored outside the pub and it's quiz night - I'll let you know how we get on.
Looking down the Ship Canal from Barton aqueduct
Day 5 Thursday 29th July 13 miles 0 locks
A not-very-exiting day really.
After the delights of Worsley, we got 36/60 in the quiz :-(, we slogged up the rest of the Bridgewater to Liegh where we did some shopping and then carried on up what has now become the Leeds Liverpool Canal.
We arrived at Poolstock Locks at 5pm to find they had been padlocked at 4pm. They will be reopened at 9am which should give us time to pass through and get to the bottom of the Wigan flight by 10am when BW should let us go up the flight. It will mean doing 23 locks instead of 21. Hey-ho.
Walked round to the junction and no other boats are waiting to go up so it looks like we'll have to do all 23 wide locks on our own. Hey-ho again.
Day 6 Friday 30th July 13 miles 23 locks
Early start as the man from BW arrives to undo the padlocks and, great joy, another boat has arrived and they are also going up Wigan flight.
And what a boat, Linnet has a wealth of local experience, a good crew, and friends who have come to help them! They are also very nice people. We managed the 21 locks of in 3.5 hours and the heavens didn't open till we got to the top. The canal is much more attractive above Wigan with some nice country and interesting boatyards and towns. We stopped at Addlington for milk and such and then motored on in torrential rain to moor at the bottom of the Johnson's Hillock Locks. We paln to do these 7 tomorrow and then the final six on Sunday leaving us a long but lock free trip to the marina on Monday when the locks are due to be padlocked for the forseable future.
Only one photo today - too busy
Day 7 Saturday 31st July 4 miles 7 locks
A relatively easy day for the first time this trip. I checked the forecast last night and it said we should have our first dry day so far. We went up the 7 locks of Johnson's Hillock at 9.30. Said goodbye to the splendid Linnet and crew at the top and set off into yet more rain (so much for forecasts). The locks were pretty and the countryside round here is lovely
We tied up at Riley Green at lunch time put up the TV antenna and lit the fire (not really for heat but to dry some clothes!).
Tomorrow should be a busy day again our last 6 locks then quite a long slog to a recommended overnight mooring.
Mick & Judy - opposite, at last, is the photo you have been waiting for!
Day 8 Sunday 1st August 14 miles 6 locks
Another early start to cover the 5 miles to the bottom of Blackburn locks before BW undo the padlocks at 10am. We arrived at 9.30 to find they had already been unlocked but there was another boat waiting for the arrival of crew so we waited and went up with them. I cant tell you the boat's name because they had had to cut short their paint job because of the closures and the name hadn't been painted on yet. Anyway they were a very friendly bunch and, thanks to them, we flew up the Blackburn locks by 11am. They are also going to Reedley Marina so I'm sure we'll see them again for a beer or two another day.
We moved on to Rishton for some shopping and then on to Foster's swing bridge for the night. A nice quiet spot with good TV reception to watch the Highlights of the Grand Prix which, according to my son's text are pretty eventful.
The country side around here is lovely all set against the backdrop of the pennines. I think we could enjoy ourselves boating around here.
A relatively easy run to the new marina tomorrow. Karen has just one swing bridge to do and then she can concentrate on finishing the book she swapped with the lady off Linnet.
Fine views - The hill in the distance is Ingleborough
Day 9 Monday 2nd August 9 miles 0 locks
A few hours cruising to the marina. We went through some good country side, a few grotty bits, and a canal that twists and turns and manages to take twice as many miles as the proverbial crow would to reach Burnley. I like twists and turns the view is constantly changing.
We picked up a childs fancy-dress outfit round the rudder just before Gannow tunnel which wraped itself round the prop on the way out of the tunnel. Not bad, first time down the weed hatch this trip. We even had about two hours of sunshine this afternoon, but the drizzle was back as we arrived at the marina.
The mirina is great, nice view of Pendle Hill, a good lunch and beer at the Kingfisher cafe, the neighbours seem very nice, and we have electricity!!.
Not our normal kind of trip. We would normally take three times as long and visit lots of places on the way. Liverpool docks, Salford keys etc etc...
But we have enjoyed it none the less - despite the rain.
Water shortage ?????????????????????????