Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Summit.

16 Locks, 3½ Miles, 1 Swing bridge. Now moored at Littleborough

The summit 011Rising up through lock 33, Bottomley lock. The summit 014What a cracker of a day to cross the summit.The summit 016 Setting off across the summit Rochdale Canal.

It couldn’t have been a better day to cross the Pennine Summit, clear blue sky and brilliant sunshine. By 8.20 we had both boats in lock 33 awaiting the arrival of the lock keeper (Ray) who turned up dead on 9am to set us on our way. He told us that he would have to assist us further on due to an empty pound but he would get us safely to lock 44.

The summit 019 Looking back across the summit.

At lock 35 Nb Epiphany’s volunteer crew (Richard and Gail) were on hand ready to assist John and ourselves another step closer towards Manchester. From lock 36 our trip across the summit pound was deliberately slow so as to take in the magnificent scenery at 600ft above sea level. We had been told by many people” You don’t want to do the Rochdale, it’s hard work”. Well we have found it no harder than any other canal we have travelled which, by now is probably 80% of the country’s canal’s, but the scenery has been well worth the effort.

The summit 031 What a view!The summit 043 Culverted stream across the railway.

At lock 39 the going was reduced to a snail’s pace due to the pound below this lock being empty. With the top gates still open Ray let water through to fill the pound and then it was one at a time through the next 2 locks due to subsidence in the lock walls. John on Epiphany lead the way without a hitch but when it was our turn we only got 10 or so feet out of lock 39 when we ran aground. Ray then had to let more water down to virtually flush us into the next lock. From lock 40 to 41 there is only a very short pound so we had ample water for that and by lock 42 we were back to 2 boats per lock. Lock 47 turned out to be another single boat only lock but by this time water supply wasn’t an issue.

The summit 035 Where has all the water gone? The lock keeper had to let water down to fill it before we could proceed.

The summit 074 These locks  have subsided so it's one boat at a time.The summit 081 Serious leakage here. Rochdale Canal.The summit 028 Oh, that sky.The summit 030Starting the descent towards Manchester. The summit 052 Approaching Littleborough. Rochdale Canal.The summit 064 Littleborough bottom lock.

Today’s travels did take us nearly 6 hours but it was a relaxed journey where we all had time to savour the day and arrive a bunch of happy chappie’s.

1921 locks, 3794½ miles, 70 tunnels, 128 swing bridges and 53 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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