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Right says Fred…
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Saturday,29 March, 2014
8:49 pm
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A boating friend I have recently made said I was paranoid about my weed hatch which I now check every day. I’ve found so many things down there and always feel a bit like James Herriot as I role up my sleeve and plunge my hand in to clear the various obstructions that cling to my propeller – I liken it to those cartoons where from a small box everything including a new car is removed as I pull things out.

But I’ve had a brick on a rope stall my engine…tights, trousers, an umbrella a basque which is always a worry and it took me a while to work out what it was. I saw a sign at a shop offering money for old clothes and I wondered if perhaps I should hang on to these bits and pieces for later sale.

But I’m running ahead of myself as these things all happened around Wigan last Tuesday Wednesday and I left Manchester on Sunday at about 9.30 am.

If you’re single crew get a willing friend. I found Fred at Droylesden. He likes to help with long flights and being a boat owner and live-aboard himself he is also very useful at a number of different things when it comes to boating and narrow boats. For the price of his fare and a ‘drink’ or two he’ll come and do a flight for you.

Fred was with me for my trip out of Manchester and also the Wigan flightFredImage Enlarger (07939 206963) and was a god send really. We descended from Manchester step by step shrugging off the doom and gloom, the noise and the screaming ambulances/police cars…I felt as if I’d been stuck in a hole for 2 weeks. Looking back I should have left earlier and sorted the pump another way but its done now and all seems to be working again.

And so I left Manchester with trusty Fred…slowly but surely lock after lockLeaving Manchester 3 I cd live hereImage Enlarger…I wonder who put these kennels here for the ducks, geese or were they for me

I reckon I could live here

But probably I’d want to put a motor on it and moor it somewhere else other than a city

Leaving Manchester 7Image EnlargerThe hum and the drum did not subside but there was something in seeing the city from the canal…like peering from another world into a madness…looking through a glass bubble at the madness and scream of Sodom and Gomorrah (no pun intended).

Leaving Manchester 10Image Enlarger

Some snippets of art in mad places.

A worry about the low levels of water

Leaving Manchester 9Image Enlarger Leaving Manchester 8Image Enlarger

Which proved unfounded but you can see the marks on the pillars where the water had recently been.Leaving Manchester 12Image Enlarger

And these strange signs were all about…there were some chaps who seemed ill-dressed for the weather hanging about in tunnels….

Leaving Manchester 18Image EnlargerLeaving Manchester 16

slowly we made our way out of it all…looking for a clearer horizon

Leaving Manchester 23

One couldn’t help but glance back at it though

slowly but surely 2Image Enlargerjust now and again

Leaving Manchester 24Image EnlargerBackwrd glance 2Image Enlarger

I like a backward glance. But there is actually something to be said for seeing the City from the canal and I would recommend it to anyone…it is like being able to see it as if as a tourist without all the tourist trappings but also without having to touch it as such.

I’m not against cities …I was born in London and lived there for most of my life on an inner city council estate and cities do have their charm, their energy and of course their intensity but I prefer the remoteness and quiet comfort (and beer) of the countryside if I can find it.

twr1Image Enlarger…eventually we made our way out and somewhere near Dukes 92 we got a bit sloshed and Fred went off and I went on.

I found the Leigh branch of the Bridgewater canal and stumbled across Butch and Janet – you’ll recognise them as their boat has a trike on the front and they fed me and watered (whiskey) me and so the day came to a close.

Monday,31 March, 2014
8:21 am
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Interesting reading, as we came UP the Wigan Flight Monday Last (24th). The intention was that Chris was at the helm & I was on lock patrol — along with a good friend who came over for a couple of days to help us. We stayed the Sunday night in Crooke.. lovely mooring, great pub (Crooke Hall Inn), & we met up with a professional boater (Dave King) who volunteered to help us up the flight. This turned out to be a god-send, as the bottom lock & pound had been emptied either by a careless boater not closing paddles, or an idiot who thought it would be fun! So, after an hour delay whilst we waited for everything to refill we soon got into a rhythm of Dave going ahead & opening gates so Chris could sail in, & the 2 of us closed up & locked up after he’d sailed out! It still took us 6 hours (including the delay) & believe me, I was happy when the top lock was finally closed & locked! Dave’s payment was a hearty stew & a beer, before getting a taxi back to Crooke where he is moored. Great guy, & further proof how boat people pull together. 2 C&RT guys also came to help – again, happy to see them!

I admire any single handed boater who ascends/descends the flight…. it must be daunting & they must be very fit!!

Tuesday,1 April, 2014
10:30 pm
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vchells said

I admire any single handed boater who ascends/descends the flight…. it must be daunting & they must be very fit!!

I’m with you re: the fitness and the extent other boaters go to in order to lend a hand. It has caught me quite by surprise how supportive, encouraging and helpful people are in the boating world. I find some locks daunting especially broad locks. I try and use a system and keep myself tethered to the boat with enough slack line to avoid being pulled off the ladder until i can get a hitch round a ring to keep the boat from wandering too close to a cill.But one has to be careful that ropes do not get caught on items on the roof which has happened more times than I care to admit.

I have taken to wearing my climbing harness and suspending all my tools and ropes (one from the back and the roof rope) from carabiners attached to the harness. This leaves my hands free to make ladder climbing as safe as possible. Fitness was always a consideration for me not being as young as i used to be and with one or two climbing accidents in the past I was worried if I was going to be up to it…but I’m fitter now than i have ever been mostly due to doing locks single handed…but safety first and a steady careful pace systematically applied gives confidence and keeps safety paramount. I would urge any cruising couple to try a lock or two without assistance just so they know all the aspects of it and for the experience and/or should the need arise.

Wednesday,2 April, 2014
1:50 am
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Vaguehippo said

vchells said

I admire any single handed boater who ascends/descends the flight…. it must be daunting & they must be very fit!!

I’m with you re: the fitness and the extent other boaters go to in order to lend a hand. It has caught me quite by surprise how supportive, encouraging and helpful people are in the boating world. I find some locks daunting especially broad locks. I try and use a system and keep myself tethered to the boat with enough slack line to avoid being pulled off the ladder until i can get a hitch round a ring to keep the boat from wandering too close to a cill.But one has to be careful that ropes do not get caught on items on the roof which has happened more times than I care to admit.

I have taken to wearing my climbing harness and suspending all my tools and ropes (one from the back and the roof rope) from carabiners attached to the harness. This leaves my hands free to make ladder climbing as safe as possible. Fitness was always a consideration for me not being as young as i used to be and with one or two climbing accidents in the past I was worried if I was going to be up to it…but I’m fitter now than i have ever been mostly due to doing locks single handed…but safety first and a steady careful pace systematically applied gives confidence and keeps safety paramount. I would urge any cruising couple to try a lock or two without assistance just so they know all the aspects of it and for the experience and/or should the need arise.

Having completed the Atherstone flight this afternoon I realised how unfit I had become over the winter!  Really enjoyed it – beautiful spring afternoon in shirt sleeves and lots of people about to chat to.

 

Retired; Somerset/Dorset border when not out and about on Lucy Lowther

Days without name and hours without number

http://thelovelylisanarrowboat.blogspot.co.uk
 
Wednesday,2 April, 2014
7:37 pm
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Alan said

Vaguehippo said

vchells said

I admire any single handed boater who ascends/descends the flight…. it must be daunting & they must be very fit!!

Having completed the Atherstone flight this afternoon I realised how unfit I had become over the winter!  Really enjoyed it – beautiful spring afternoon in shirt sleeves and lots of people about to chat to.

Its amazing how quickly one goes to seed lol, not suggesting that’s you for a moment but me…I’ve been stationary now for the best part of a week I think…I’ve lost track of time and days and all this beer I’m consuming during the day-time is making me podgy and I’ve almost forgotten how to do a lock on my own…almost but probably not completely.

 

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