Sunday, March 27, 2016

A truncated trip…

We knew the forecast was for thundery showers today, but it was the sheer intensity that was amazing. The cratch canopy on the windward side was tight as a drum under the pressure of the wind.
We decided to have a go and see how far we could get, as it turned out, not far at all!

It was fine and sunny first thing, but had started to cloud up by the time we left the moorings at Hapton.IMG_8757

Just under a mile from Hapton the canal had to be re-aligned slightly during the construction of the M65 in order to leave room for the Junction 8 interchange. The new channel runs alongside the carriageway and is wide and deep, cut into the embankment upon which the motorway sits.IMG_8760

The course of the original line is discernable at the western end.IMG_8761

Moorings at Altham Clough haven’t changed since we were last here; the stone building still needs a roof…
But an addition is a floating dry dock, at the moment containing a lifeboat, presumably for conversion.IMG_8768

By this time the weather was looking decidedly dodgy, the wind had started to pick up and dense black clouds were building on the horizon. We passed Smith’s Swing Bridge and the derelict house alongside as the first drops of rain fell, and I decided to call it a day.IMG_8770

Not before time, either. We’d just got tied up before we were hit by a tremendous squall, rain, then sleet and hail hammered at the windows, the wind forcing water in past the hopper window seals.

So glad we didn’t decide to tough it out!

This was the first of the heavy, wintry showers. The second two were accompanied by thunder, too.

I didn’t waste the free afternoon. We’ve had a grumbling alternator for a couple of months, with a bearing on the way out. So I got that changed for a spare rather than wait for it to seize up. With access around the engine I cleaned out the bilge as well, then checked the batteries.

Maintenance tasks done I sat down with a book for an hour before making a start on dinner. It was only when I sat down to write this and glanced at the clock in the corner of the screen that I realised we’d been working an hour late all day. I’d forgotten to put the clocks on last night!

We’ve a bit of distance to make up tomorrow, but it promises to be a bit calmer.

Locks 0, miles 2½

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