Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Waters, new friends.

Having got to Parbold on Friday the pressure was now off so the early starts can be kicked into touch…

Duck (and goose) feeding before a leisurely start on Saturday morning.

I had my morning run, then did a bit of shopping up in the village before we pulled pins at around 10.

A bit of a sculpture park near Newburgh.

I wouldn’t want to meet this guy in the dark, even though I’m not a crow!

Two swing bridges to negotiate took us to the junction with the Rufford Branch.

I stayed off at the last one to check out the junction and the top lock on the branch, unfortunately my camera stayed on board. I waved Mags in under the bridge then filled the lock while she hovered just below the bridge. I got her to get close to the bank so I could get the camera, but decided not to suggest that she reverse out onto the main line so I could get a picture of her coming under the bridge. Coward!

The lock filled so slowly with only one top paddle working that we had ample time to do the manoeuvre several times…..

Lock filled, swing bridge swung, Mags lining up to come in.

Lock 2’s top gates were leaking so badly that the chamber was full, but lock 3 reversed the trend with leaky bottom gates.


Both top paddles had to be up to put any water in; when the lock was full I made the mistake of closing one paddle before walking around to open the gate on the nearside. By the time I’d got there the level had dropped again by 2 inches and the gate wouldn’t budge so I trailed back round to open up the other paddle again.

I must have walked around that lock half a dozen times…..

The variety of paddle gear keeps up the interest.

There’re cloughs a la L&L summit….

Screwy up ground paddles…

And traditional rack and pinion gate paddles, although with Fenner reduction gearboxes unnecessarily fitted.

A bit cobbled together, methinks.

We’d had enough after doing four of the seven to Tarleton, and anyway it was fast approaching 1 o’clock (Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying sessions) so we pulled in a little further on behind a moored up wide beam.

Moored below Lock 4

Aerial up and the qualifying was watched, then I got my head down for a nap for an hour. Meg was due her afternoon constitutional so we set off heading downhill. Walking past the boat in front I realised it was Takey Tezey, Heather and Dave’s boat. They’d decided to spend the weekend out of the marina and this is one of their regular haunts.

Meg’s walk got a bit truncated, then we all got together for a drink or two after tea.

Mag’s, Heather and Dave, Takey Tezey in the background.

We had a really enjoyable couple of hours chatting and swapping boaty anecdotes. Good to meet you both, see you on the way back!

Just before we’d moored we’d passed another three boats who were heading down to Tarleton today.

Out on my run this morning I had a brainwave, so when I got back I went and suggested we join them as far as Sollom, making their odd number even, and being able to share the last 3 locks.

So this is what we did, pulling pins at around 09:45, creeping past a still quiet Takey Tezey , and joining Julia and Nigel on NB Dorothy Goodbody in German’s then Baldwin’s locks.

NBs Dorothy Goodbody and Seyella in German’s Lock no 5.

I never did ask where the unusual name came from…

The canal is very tranquil with good quiet mooring spots along with reedy fringes.

Very river-like.

At Rufford Lock there was a bit of a hold up (another leaky lock), and we ended up sharing with another of the trio instead.

Queue at Rufford Lock

Change partners, doh see doh….

Sorry I didn’t get their names, nor the name of the boat, but I did notice it was something in Welsh…

After Rufford Lock we passed St. Mary’s Marina on the left and Fettler’s Wharf on the right….

St. Mary’s Marina

...then the National Trust Rufford Old Hall just visible through the trees.

Rufford Old Hall

We all piled up at the services at Spark Bridge, as they were pushing on down to Tarleton they all went first, and we waited till they’d done before moving over ourselves.

On the water point. Dorothy Goodbody, The “Welsh" boat and Wombat II.

While we were waiting I watched a farmer shrink-wrapping bales of hay for silage.

All wrapped up.

I wondered how they did that……

One more swing bridge and we pulled over, just in time to see Lewis Hamilton make a misjudgement on tyre choice which lost him the Hungarian Grand Prix. But Jensen Button won, in style.

Through Fearns Swing Bridge.

We’ll be stopping here tomorrow, then moving down the last couple of miles to meet the BW team at Tarleton Lock at 11:30 on Tuesday morning. By Tuesday afternoon we’ll be on the Lancaster Canal.....or in the Irish Sea. Is it a right turn or left?

Locks 7, miles 7½

1 comment:

Heth said...

Helloooo Geoff & Mags,

Glad you enjoyed the rest of your trip down the quirky yet beautiful Rufford canal!

Just seen Liberty Belle go past us & another boat on their way towards you!

Have a great time, will be thinking about you tomorrow.