Friday, October 12, 2007

Last night we’d arranged to meet up with the crew of a hire boat below the 2nd lock at 9 this morning, so we were up early. Another boat had arrived overnight, and, speaking to them this morning, we decided it would be better for them to share with us, instead of the hire boat. This arrangement gave 4 people to work the locks for each locking.

So we entered the top lock at 08:20 with Paul and Cathryn on NB GREY DOG. We’d seen them around on the upper stretches of the L&L, but had never spoken. I met and had a word with the people on the hire boat, and they were fine with the new arrangement.

On down the seemingly unending run of locks, but working well together we reached the halfway point after 1¾ hours. 11 done, 10 to go!

Mags and Paul nattering while Cathryn and I do the work!
The lower 8 or 9 locks are a lot shallower, and being nearer the town, contain a lot more rubbish.

Nearing the bottom of the flight
We met the lock-keeper at Rose Bridge, wondering how to get a wheelie-bin out of the lock.
We left him to his challenge for the day, and, meeting only 1 other boat coming up, reached the bottom in just over 3½ hours. A lot faster than I expected. Working with an experienced crew who are prepared to get on makes all the difference.

Leaving the last lock on the Wigan flight. Just 2 more!
A left turn onto the Leigh Branch, then the 2 final locks at Poolstock, saw us breasted up below the lock enjoying a well earned can of beer and some buttys.

Onto the Leigh Branch. Left to Leigh and Manchester, straight ahead to Liverpool.
The last lock for quite a few miles – Poolstock No 2
Paul and Cathryn had to get on, they were meeting someone at Astley Green, so we followed more slowly, taking another hour or so to get to Dover Bridge, where we stopped for the night.

Leigh Branch, embanked above the surrounding mining subsidence.
Dover Lock Inn
The flight was not as bad as we thought it might be, though it would have been a lot harder “solo”. Still pretty tiring, though.

It’s been an indifferent day weather-wise. Grey and damp, with the occasional light drizzle.

But a good day for cobweb photos
Locks 23 (yes, 23), miles 5½

1 comment:

Margaret said...

Dear Mags & Geoff
think your site is brilliant and thought it about time I wrote and said so! well done both, you have actually done what most of us just talk about. love and hugs
Mags (the neice)x