|Halfway up the flight in the gathering gloom and rain|
Worse of all, the pub at the top had stopped serving food!
Along the way we helped rescue a couple of abandoned tiny ducklings at one lock and got stuck half into a lock for 15 minutes when the water ran low in one pound.
|Only another dozen of these to go|
Up or down, it's easier to pair up with another boat - more hands on the locks and two boats to fill the chambers where one can bang around. But of course, there wasn't another boat in sight and indeed we didn't see one on the whole flight.
|Seadog Brian sat them out on the roof - until it rained|
The paddles provide a delightful combination of being heavy, very low geared and often lacking in grease so they drag themselves up reluctantly with endless windlass winding.
|International duckling rescue success|
With smiles still on our faces we reached lock eight to find the pound was worryingly low. And we got stuck on the sill. While I flushed water through Mrs B battled to get into the lock. Of course, by the time she did, the pound for the lock above was low - fortunately there was plenty of water higher up to refill it.
The flight starts in urban Wigan where everyone on the towpath was friendly and helpful (as they've been in the past) but by midway is well into the countryside. Hard to imagine, even as we near the returning industrial spots at the top, that 10,000 people were once employed at a vast canalside coal and ironworks up here.
|Home cooked food too - but not after seven|
|The most welcome sight in the world - the top lock|
|And the view from high up at the top this morning|