Well it’s been a day of adventure. We started our ‘day of locks’ going up “Heartbreak Hill” at the unearthly hour of 6:30 (!) so we could be ahead of the dozen boats who were about to do the same. We got ‘Chance’ into the first lock only to discover there was no water whatsoever in the pound above it. Luckily it was not a very big pound and within 10 minutes Doug had enough water through the second lock to fill it adequately to get us on our way.
Doug at the second lock before he did himself in – which happened on the third lock when his windlass slipped off the winding gear and hit him in the arm. At first we thought it was broken but luckily not. However, he couldn’t continue working the locks so, oh deary me, James had to do it!
The infamous third lock where the accident happened. Most of the flight are duplicated ie. two chambers side by side. Either chamber can be used going up or coming down so, as we were the only boat around, it was a case of “eenie, meenie, minie, mo. Sorry about the lack of light but it was 6:30 in the morning!
9th lock up and we rub shoulders with the M6. The motorway wins on noise levels alone never mind about volume of traffic.
Doug at the helm, expertly bringing ‘Chance’ into yet another lock.
There’s something about emptying out a lock!
On our arrival at the top of “Heartbreak Hill” at 10am we decided to call it a day and moored up at Rode Heath. As we had all the afternoon ahead of us we got the train from Kidsgrove to Poynton to spring a surprise visit on friends Chris and Les (nb ‘Eleventh Heaven’) , Bill and Eileen (nb ‘New Dawn’), Jayne and Stephen (nb ‘Dolce Far Niente’) and Martin (nb ‘Ice Breaker’) who we’ll not be able to meet by canal. By the expression on their faces when we arrived it definitely was a surprise! We spent a great few hours with them having a ‘catch up chat’ and a cup of tea and lunch (thanks Les!). It was so good to see you all guys! Peter from Braidbar Boats kindly gave us a lift back to the station to get the train back home.
All snug in nb ‘New Dawn’: Martin, Les, Jayne, Stephen and Chris (in the doorway), Bill, Doug, James and Eileen.
We had a quick 30 minute train journey back to Kidsgrove and then a taxi back to “Chance”, a great afternoon out especially as it wasn’t planned. Tonight we are having dinner aboard Chance and a quiet evening to relax!