Wednesday, 23 September 2009

September Cruise - Day Thirteen

A remarkable day's boating, which was very hard work. Fortunately, we have additional crew, in the form of Adrian's colleague Alex, to help. We set off at 7am, straight into the Rochdale Nine locks. These are wide locks right through the heart of Manchester. The paddles are stiff, many don't work, some balance beams are short and need a chain-pulley system to open the gates. The route goes right along Canal Street.

The eighth lock is in a fairly grim setting, underneath a building.

Once the Rochdale Nine were out of the way, in a pretty good time of two and a half hours, we turned onto the Ashton Canal, straight into 18 further locks. Fortunately, there were lots of boats coming down which made things easier. Some of the route of the canal is being gentrified, but other areas are very run down, and parts of the canal were filthy and full of rubbish, far worse than any other canal we've been on -- including parts of the BCN backwaters. At Lock 10, the water level was so low I couldn't get the boat in the lock. We had to let some water down to give us sufficient depth. At the top lock we got something round the prop. We stopped for lunch at the top (it was 1.30 by this time), and Adrian checked the weed hatch, pulling out a pair of jeans, lots of string, and dozens of plastic bags.

The afternoon's boating was much less demanding: a lock free stretch onto the Peak Forest Canal. We turned at Portland Basin, and things immediately improved.

We moored for the night just beyond Bridge 9, and a quiet spot between Hyde and Romiley.

11 miles, 27 locks. (160, 129)


Anonymous said...

Ohh sounds like a fantastic days cruising.


Adam said...

Hi Richard -- it was a great day. But perhaps the sort of thing that you're glad to have done once, but not deserate to do again quickly.