Wednesday, 12 August 2009

It’s been a hard days work.

22 Locks, 3½ Miles. Now moored near bridge 61.

The day started out overcast with occasional drizzle but that didn’t last very long. As we left BW Wigan we were hoping that once through lock 86 we would find a travelling companion just around the corner but no such luck.

Wigan 001 Approaching lock 78 Wigan flight.

By the time we reached lock 85 it was just on 9am and there still wasn’t another boat to be seen. Well we couldn’t hang around all day in the hope of another boat turning up so we just set off up the hill. Twenty one locks taking us up over 200 feet above the Douglas Valley. Of course all the locks were anti vandal locked and all set against us, so this slows things down locking and unlocking them all. In one of these devices we found an 8mm socket where some little brat had tried to open the lock but only succeeded in losing his socket which is now in my collection of tools.

By the time we had done 7 locks the sun was shining and getting rather warm which necessitated a change of clothing from waterproofs to ‘T’ shirts and shorts. Some of the bottom gates were leaking so badly that we had to open all 4 sluices and gate paddles to fill the lock which was rapidly draining the pound ahead. This gave us some concern as we didn’t want to find ourselves stranded and aground.

As luck would have it we had reached lock 72 and already done 14 locks on our tod, we spotted another boat coming up behind us. They were making better time than us due to having an extra crew member. As they were only 2 locks behind us we took a break and waited for them to catch up and finish the flight together. It turned out that they were a Northern boat who had done this flight a few times and the skipper was complaining about the state of the locks and that they were in a worse condition than the last time he passed through here.

Wigan 003 Bridge 57 Wigan flight built 1816.

Once at the summit we both moored at the facilities for lunch because it was now 3pm. We also took on water and had a much needed hot shower to ease those aching muscles. By 4pm we were ready to move on as we had been told not to stay overnight at the summit as it is too close to a housing estate where trouble might emanate. It was at this point where we passed 2 boats heading for the locks to go down, now why couldn’t they have turned up early and made at least one lock easier? We had only travelled about a mile when the weather took a turn for the worst, as we were opposite the golf course where it was recommended we might moor we found a suitable site and are now all set for the evening and probably an early night to bed.

Wigan 008 The aborted course of the original Lancaster Canal to link up with the Bridgewater Canal.

1775 locks, 3653½  miles, 66 Tunnels, 83 swing bridges and 53 lift bridges since Nov 2006


Unknown said...

Hi Dot, Hi Derek; If you want safe and relatively quiet moorings over the next few days, we have used Br 79a and through Br. 107. Also, do not miss out on the fish and chips at Rose Grove, Burnley. Tie up on the BW yard moorings, out of the gate turn left over the canal bridge.

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Iain and Myra
Thanks for those tips we really appreciate them from your vast knowledge of the waterways. Helps a great deal when we don't know the area. Glad to see you are enjoying the Gloucester and sharpness canal, love those photos,
thanks Derek and Dot