Monday, April 28, 2008

Onto the Rochdale and into the Abyss....

Saturday we spent the afternoon working on Corbiere, after the morning rain cleared up. It turned out beautiful, warm and sunny.

Yesterday we moved back down to the junction, turned around and went to the end of the Halifax Arm (just ¼ mile), turned around again and moored to meet Mags’ sister Dot.
She, husband John and son Paul duly arrived, laden with mail, books and food, and we had a pleasant afternoon catching up with the news.

A full saloon
After they left we moved back to the mooring next to Carol.

Today was a typical April day, showers and sunny spells. We were away at 11:00, and covered the last couple of miles of the Calder and Hebble, arriving at Sowerby Bridge at 11:50.

Sowerby Bridge Basin
Onto the Rochdale Canal. Only 32 miles (and 92 locks!) to go to Castlefield.
Carol neededed diesel and a gas bottle, so pulled into the basin to Shire Cruisers base while I left Mags on the boat and bought oil and filters for an engine service.

Then we set off up the first 2 locks on this canal.

Rochdale Canal Locks 1&2
Lock 2 and Tuel Lane Tunnel
One of the major obstacles to the restoration of the Rochdale was the loss of locks 3 and 4 under a new road and a carpark. This was overcome by driving a tunnel under the road and building a new double-depth lock at the far end. The lock (and tunnel) are keeper controlled to avoid accidents and manage the water levels effectively.
As we exited Lock 2 to wait for the lock to be ready we ran aground half out of the lock, so I went up to tell the lockie we needed a drop more water in the pound before we could proceed. He obliged, and 20 minutes later we were in the lock, at 19’8½” the deepest lock on the inland waterways.

In Tuel Lane Lock

He brought us up gently, and in 15 minutes we were on our way again, having climbed nearly 40 feet up from the junction in ¼ mile.

Out of Tuel Lane Lock

A steady couple of miles further on and we arrived at lock 5, Edward Kilner Lock, and pulled over for the night. The showers we’d had through the day cleared by 18:00, leaving a fine sunny evening.

Carol spotted a young family at Sowerby Bridge. There are 8 ducklings, 2 are on mum’s other side.
Locks 3, miles 5

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