Tuesday, 22 September 2009

September Cruise - Day Twelve

Today we had the first rain of our trip. It started shortly after we set off at 8am, first as drizzle, then as we got closer to Manchester it turned to proper rain. The Bridgewater Canal quickly moves into suburbia, then there are long lines of moored boats through Sale. At Waters Meeting, where the canal splits, there's a huge container terminal. Then the canal passes Old Trafford.

Soon there are views of the Manchester Ship Canal, and Pomona Lock, which is the link between the two canals. Then we were at Castlefield. We stopped at the water point to fill the tank, and the "Water Womble" arrived. This widebeam barge cruises the Bridgewater Canal picking up rubbish. We had a chat with the crew - one of them confused Adrian by saying that the weather forecast for tomorrow was that it would be splitting the flags! We headed into the canal basin, turned, and moored up. It was raining heavily, so we dried out and had a change of clothes, by which time the rain had stopped.

We walked into town via the Rochdale Canal towpath, so we could check out some of the locks we'll be doing tomorrow. One section of Canal Street has already had the new fence fitted, to try to stop drunken people falling into the canal and drowning. I have to say, it doesn't look as bad as I'd feared, and certainly isn't as high as I'd expected.

We had lunch at Mr Thomas's Chop House, a fantastic Victorian pub, and then walked miles round the city centre. The weather had cleared up, and the sun was now out. This evening, we're joined by another crew member who'll be with us for a few days.

10 miles, 0 locks. (149, 102)

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