Overnight the wind got up and the rain came down. We woke to heavy showers rattling on the windows, so rolled over and went back to sleep, eventually rising around 8:30.
Meg and I managed a short walk, slotting in between the showers, then we just sat debating whether to set off or not. Every time we thought there was a bit of improvement another shower blew over. By the time lunchtime came around there was a hint of blue sky here and there, so we decided to chance it.
Better weather after lunch
We had a bit of trouble at Fearns Swing Bridge. The strong wind pinned the boat to the bank, so Mags couldn’t get off the bridge landing. I had to close the bridge again, take the bow line across with me and haul her off the bank after I’d opened the bridge again.
It was almost as bad when I got back on. It’s very exposed there.
Stuck on the landing at Fearns Bridge
We made at stop at the services at Sparks Bridge, then had one more swing bridge to negotiate before starting on the locks. This one was OK, sheltered by a stand of trees.
At Spark Bridge, I wonder if they have a “white sheep” in this family?
Rufford Lock was empty, so we were up and through quickly, then we had one more swing bridge before the next pair of locks. These are fairly sheltered, so we didn’t have too much trouble getting “unstuck”.
We pulled in just below Lock 4, near to the spot we used on the way down. There’s a row of trees on the offside deflecting most of the wind. Lock 5, German’s Lock (I wonder what the origin of the name is), took some time to fill, a combination of only 1 top ground paddle working and substantial leaks from the bottom gates.
In Lock 5
Moored up. Play ball, Dad?
The weather looks set to be wet and windy for the next couple of days, so we’ll decide what we’re doing as we go. We’re in no rush. We’ve got full and empty tanks, and don’t need to be down near Northwich for another couple of weeks. We want to be there to hire a car for the weekend of the Great North Run.
I couldn’t get my camera apart, it looks like a special screwdriver is needed to remove some of the case screws. It was a slim chance I’d be able to fix it anyway. Last time it needed repair I sent it away to Fuji for a new LCD screen. They were very quick, but including postage it cost around £80. A websearch this morning threw up a Samsung on offer at Argos, retail £199, offer £99. Better spec than the old Fuji as well. So one of those is on the way. Meantime I’ve charged an old Nokia N73 phone, and will use this as a camera till I can get my hands on the new one.
Locks 3, miles 4
I’m running The Great North Run to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.