Wednesday, March 23, 2016

More signs of spring as we head up onto the summit level.

Not so welcome, these, though!
Approaching Greenberfield Locks we ran the gauntlet of the muck-spreaders! One was down in the valley, far enough away but I kept a wary eye on him anyway…

…then another snuck up on the other side!
In the past we’ve had the misfortune of being downwind when they’ve been spraying close to the canal, not an experience I’d want to repeat! No problem today, luckily. Just the smell to put up with.

Anyway, we were off around 10:00 this morning. A grey, cool day prompted me to revert to long trousers after a few days in shorts. I’m glad I did; it only got colder as the wind rose.

I’d tried to get another picture of a curlew before we left, there were at least two pairs down in the valley below us. But the best I got was a blurry shot as two took to wing. Ground nesting birds are vulnerable to predators…
…who don’t leave much behind.

We paused for a half-hour at East Marton to top up the water tank, then pushed on towards Barnoldswick.

Under the double-arch bridge at East Marton.

After our close encounter with the muck-spreaders we had an easy run up the three Greenberfield Locks. A boat had not long come down (the one that we shared Bank Newton Locks with yesterday, heading back to Silsden), and there was another waiting to come down so they helped us up first.

Up Greenberfield Locks

Up the top lock, the service wharf is ahead and the building beyond houses the control sluices feeding water in from one of several reservoirs located at the summit between Greenberfield and Barrowford.

We toddled through Barnoldswick without incident, but there was interesting activity going on at Lower Park Marina

Ooh, a crane!

There were several boats on the offside opposite the marina, and then the penny dropped. The boats were from Shire Cruisers at Sowerby Bridge on the Calder and Hebble / Rochdale Canal junction. With flood repairs not yet completed they were cut off, so the hire company decided to move them, by road, up here. IMG_8689 
Five had arrived, another three were due. Shows admirable attention to customer service. Although some of the hirers will have to rethink their cruising plans!

I didn’t realise there was a deer park at Barnoldswick…IMG_8691

At Salterforth we passed an unusual attempt to get on the water, basically a shed on two pontoons!IMG_8693

Two miles on we arrived at Foulridge Wharf and the northern portal of the 1627 yard long Foulridge Tunnel.

Foulridge Wharf

The lights at the tunnel were on red, so we eased into the side only to have them switch to green.
I guess there must be a motion sensor somewhere.

The tunnel is actually wide enough for broad-beam boats, so theoretically two narrowboats could pass. But it would be tight. I suppose having traffic control means that broad-beam traffic doesn’t need to be managed like it does on those tunnels further south on the Grand Union Canal.20160323_140330

As we neared the far end of the tunnel the steadily growing portal reminded me of something, but it took a while before I could put my finger on it…
It’s a Pac-Man ghost!

It’s less than a mile from the tunnel to the top of Barrowford Locks, but they’re for tomorrow. We pulled in on the visitor moorings after quite a long day by our standards.

Locks 3, miles 9½

1 comment:

Quaysider said...

Re the lights on the foulridge tunnel - from memory, they operate on a half hourly timer...taking turns at green and staying on green for about 10 mins each way.

We fell foul last summer when at the other end "waiting" - they changed to green for us but there was another boat still visible in the tunnel so we had to wait... and by the time it had pootled through, were on red again.

It's lovely up there though and I can't wait to be able to take Ellis over the hills.