We had to hang around for the guests on Periwinkle to have their breakfasts, and the weather was lovely. Then on the dot at 0930 (leaving time) it started to rain!
Gill, John (a guest) and I did the locks between us and we were soon through Wigan and on the start of the long flat run to Middlewich.
There was a hold up at Plank Lane, a previous boater had got his key stuck in the mechanism and so we had to wait until a couple of CRT men came to remove it and see us through the bridge. Of course, they just took they key out of the lock!
Stopped off in Leigh for Aldi shopping and then with the heavens opened we stopped at the first available bit of green towpath with no houses.
This boat was moored on the landing for the swing bridge. I'm not saying she is living there, but she has certainly made herself at home...
Doing the Henhurst Lock coming up stream: (see blog for 24th April for pictures).
Walk back half way along the lock and turn to take the ramp to the top of the road bridge, walk away from the canal about 20 ft and onto the bridge. Walk over the bridge and down the ramp the full length of the lock. Walk back to the second bottom gate. Unlock the vandal button, turn the handle 40 odd times and open the paddle.
Wait for the lock the empty.
Open the gate (using the large windlass!) Lower the paddle (40 turns). Walk to the end of the lock and back up the ramp, over the bridge, past the lock, back down the ramp half way along the lock and then back to the gate. Open gate (using the large windlass!) and lower the paddle (40 turns).
Meanwhile the “man” has been doing the really hard work keeping the boat steady and then bringing it into the lock.
Close gate (using the large windlass), walk half way down the lock then back up the ramp, lover the bridge, down the ramp along the lock, back along the lock to the bottom gate and close the gate (using the large windlass).
Open ground paddle, walk back up the ramp, over the bridge, past the lock, back down the ramp along the lock and open the ground paddle. Walk half way down the lock, up the ramp, over the bridge, down the ramp and open the gate paddle. Wind the gate and ground paddles down.
Walk back up the ramp, over the bridge, back down the ramp and open the other gate paddle.
When the lock is full, open the gate. Walk half way back down the lock, up the ramp, over the bridge, down the ramp and open the gate and wind the gate and ground paddles down.
Boat goes out.
Close the gate. Walk up the ramp to the bridge, walk over the bridge, way past the lock, walk back and down the ramp to the top gate. Close the gate. Get on the boat.
Actually, if we are on our own we only use one side of the lock (1 gate and 1 or 2 paddles), and if there are two crew with two boats then it’s not quite so bad. But if your luck is out and you get a single hander who is backward in coming forward….