Thursday, 18 September 2014

Thursday - early closing day for us

The handsome old paving at Slattocks lock
After the rigours of the past few days we declared today an early closing day and were tied up for the night by lunchtime. Or 'dinner time' as they say round here.
Truth is that we are having some r&r before the big push tomorrow: the nineteen locks that will take us down into the heart of Manchester. The stories on the canal grape-vine
make it sound like the front line: scrotes, rubbish, barely working locks, shortages of water and so on. We shall be wearing our body armour and hard hats when we set off early tomorrow. (Only joking, kids!).
Today was really quite pleasant. The flight of five Slattocks locks that began the day is as elegant a classical lock flight as you could ask for, with attractive stone bridges and old cobbled sett paving – which is as hard on the feet, though, as it is easy on the eye. When you go through locks like these you understand just why people worked so hard to get this canal back from dereliction.

Wide and deep – a first for the Rochdale
After Slattocks, where the water was running everywhere in abundance, over the locks and down the side streams, in contrast to the sluggish, low levels higher up the canal continued deep and wide through five more locks, ending after a sizeable bend – the first in many miles – at some deep water moorings (again, the first after for many miles) just by the River Irk aqueduct in a splendid rural setting, amid sloping hillsides and horse paddocks.
A couple of hours later the two Kiwi boats, Waiouru and Firefly which we've been trading places with virtually since Hebden Bridge, arrived from Slattocks and moored up behind and just round the corner below us is another boat that's come up from Manchester. Four boats – that must count as a marina round here!
Three in a line at Irk Aqueduct and on Harry the chair is out on the sun deck

1 comment:

  1. The top photo of Harry in the lock is gorgeous. Want me to enter you for A-Level photography?