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Steppin’ Out; Day 3 from Velodrome to Marple bottom lock.
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Tuesday,23 April, 2013
10:14 pm
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Nottinghamshire
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Hi everyone or no one as the case maybe. 9.10 we set off to do 11 locks on the Ashton and then on to the Peak Forest with 10 miles of crusing after the locks. They are deep single locks taking us through some different types of places. I’m glad we were advised to moor up where we did, near the velodrome, they said the moorings after there weren’t really safe and while we had no problem going through I wouldn’t have wanted to spend the night there.

At the 18 lock, our last one for today there was a water point so we decided to fill up but had do some shunting to get onto the mooring where the water was. Steve said it looked as though I knew what I was doing but it felt like I was floundering in this 3 mile wide sea and ready to run aground at any moment then engine cut out with me in the middle of this sea. Aaaaaaaaaaagh oh why didn’t I stay at home, why didn’t I take up knitting, why, why why me. Oh I could try to restart it and yes it fired up again. Mmm well just ignore some of that last bit then. Anyway we got it in and watered up and then a wonderfull cheese and tomato cob, that’s a roll, balm cake, bap or tea cake depending on where you’re from.

After repasting, we’re quite posh, we set off on the easier part of the day. I was very proud to make the very tight turn onto the Peak Forest with out a bump. The first couple of miles are picturesque but in need of cleaning up but once near Hyde the canal is much better looked after.

We eventually hit Woodley tunnel, I use the word “hit” wisely. It’s not very long but it’s ruddy narrow and I was going through fairly well then just bumped the side and took the side part of the windscreen off it’s hinges but we got through and no one died as far as we could make out.  Lovely canal with plenty of trees but lots of S bends and hairpins before we came to Hyde bank tunnel with steve at the helm. This one is a bit wider but we still managed a few bumps here and there but we didn’t lose anyone here either so we’ll chalk it up as a success. Then Marple aqueduct which is a great view and we moored up about 50yds after just before the first of tomorrows 16 locks taking us upto the Macclesfield canal.

A glass of whisky each and Steve cooked up bacon, egg, mushroom and tomatoes with a wholemeal bap. Went down a treat it did.

A glass of cider and another whisky. I never realised how hard this boating life is but I will struggle on.

God bless

Nige

Tuesday,23 April, 2013
10:20 pm
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Southam, Warwickshire
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How’s the boat been holding up then? Any problems. You don’t seem to be reporting any which is really good news for a first trip out on a new boat. I often hear of horror stories of bits dropping off, engines failing or making horrible noises. Your boat, touch wood, seems to be looking after you. It’s a good sign.

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Wednesday,24 April, 2013
8:26 am
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I wasn’t too impressed with the Ashton after the submerged object incident. The last lock of the 18 was festooned with rubber legged kids showing off their prowess to the girls by leaping over the boat from one side of the lock to the other and hanging upside down from overhead bridges.

We made a quick departure. Well it would have been if not for the minimal depth. We draw 30 inches and were down to below 2 mph in many places and temporarily aground in the middle of the canal in others. The Peak Forest turn off took forever to appear at the end of an already long day but the turn was completed without issue.

Fortunately Les who had kindly offered passing help on the Wigan flight and got his bicycle stolen in the bargain, had asked if he could help with the Ashton flight. He was still with me after the flight so was able to operate the lift bridge. Thereafter there are few good mooring opportunities but we and two other boats found a suitably straight part of canal and dragged Ecky Thump as close to the bank as depth would allow. A walk back to the pub near Dukinfield and then in Les’s case a bus stop completed the evening.

After adjusting one of my alternator belts the following morning, made slow but scenic progress through Hyde to tie up at Marple bottom lock, the first of 16, around lunchtime. Met up with Deborah again, the lady who I shared locks with on the Rochdale 9. As she was waiting for help I made a start on the flight which was completed with few issues, accepting that the last pound between locks was very low and had to let in water before I could cross to last lock. After filling up water tank at the start of the Macclesfield, moored by the first roving bridge in Marple and even managed a late evening shop at the Co-op.

Regards – Richard –
Ecky Thump

Wednesday,24 April, 2013
11:45 am
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Billinge, Wigan. Gtr Manchester.
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Sorry to hear about the bike theft….sadly that flight is prone to neer do wells who target boats…my only advice is get through quick and keep going…sad to say but true.

“No matter how bad it appears, There are plenty in the graveyard who would gladly swap places” !!

Wednesday,24 April, 2013
2:14 pm
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Poole, Dorset, UK
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richardhula said
We draw 30 inches and were down to below 2 mph in many places and temporarily aground in the middle of the canal in others. 

… accepting that the last pound between locks was very low and had to let in water before I could cross to last lock.

Where has all the water gone? It has been raining for the past twelve months and only recently stopped, are the canals low on aqua already?

Cheers,

Blakie Smile

Poole, Dorset … not a canal in sight, but I’m not going to be here for long … Anupadin

Wednesday,24 April, 2013
6:21 pm
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Blakie said

richardhula said
We draw 30 inches and were down to below 2 mph in many places and temporarily aground in the middle of the canal in others. 
… accepting that the last pound between locks was very low and had to let in water before I could cross to last lock.

Where has all the water gone? It has been raining for the past twelve months and only recently stopped, are the canals low on aqua already?

Cheers,

Blakie Smile

Its not unusual in any conditions for a short pound between locks in a flight to get low (or high) with recent lock use. 

Weirs are often set lower than normal in heavy rain conditions to protect canal banks as well. I suspect the authorities forget to reset them until someone complains.

Regards – Richard –
Ecky Thump

Thursday,25 April, 2013
12:29 pm
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Where the mood takes me, from the south coast to the canals of England/Wales
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Lovely blog, sounds as if everything is bedding on nicely.

Just a thought for tumnels and bumping. I have a magnetic LED lamp which o put on the starboard, right, side of the boat at the stern shining down and that gives me enough light to see how far I am from the side of the tunnel side. Also never hurry in tunnels. Everytime I have bumped on a tunnel it was because I was pushing on a bit. :(

Have fun and enjoy your maiden voyage.

G

Thursday,25 April, 2013
12:55 pm
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GM said
Lovely blog, sounds as if everything is bedding on nicely.

Just a thought for tumnels and bumping. I have a magnetic LED lamp which o put on the starboard, right, side of the boat at the stern shining down and that gives me enough light to see how far I am from the side of the tunnel side. Also never hurry in tunnels. Everytime I have bumped on a tunnel it was because I was pushing on a bit. :(

Have fun and enjoy your maiden voyage.

G

I leave the bathroom ceiling lights on, which shining through the portholes just forward of engine room give some awareness of the position of the rear of boat.

Incidentally, the advice I was given by the tunnel-keeper for the Harecastle was to keep the revs up and try and maintain 4mph! This would keep the boat in the middle he said.

Regards – Richard –
Ecky Thump

Thursday,25 April, 2013
3:08 pm
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Poole, Dorset, UK
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richardhula said
I leave the bathroom ceiling lights on, which shining through the portholes just forward of engine room give some awareness of the position of the rear of boat.

Maybe a head torch would do the trick.

Upside: the light follows your gaze around.

Downside: you look a bit of a dipstick when you forget to take / turn it off after the tunnel.

There are 1000s available on eBay.

Cheers,

Blakie Smile

Poole, Dorset … not a canal in sight, but I’m not going to be here for long … Anupadin

Sunday,28 April, 2013
12:56 pm
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The water just wonImage Enlarger

One happy man.Image Enlarger

A couple more missing images.

Cheers,

Blakie

Poole, Dorset … not a canal in sight, but I’m not going to be here for long … Anupadin

Sunday,28 April, 2013
4:55 pm
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Hi,

 

Just a quick “Thank You!” I am really enjoying your daily blog updates, and envy you enormously.

 

Kind Wishes and Warm Regards,

 

Davie IMRIE

Warm Regards, Davie

Sunday,28 April, 2013
5:24 pm
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Southam, Warwickshire
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Welcome to the forum Davie. I’m glad you managed to log in eventually. Don’t forget, it’s a very friendly forum. Make sure that you ask and questions you can’t find answers to elsewhere on the site.

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Sunday,28 April, 2013
5:57 pm
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Hi Nigel . Met you in the Star on Wednesday . Nice to read your blog and glad you’ve settled into your new life . I think I once met the same tunnel keeper because he gave me the same advise . Go at your own pace and enjoy the experience . All the best mate and nice boat . 

Sunday,5 May, 2013
11:01 pm
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It was a good night and you made us welcome, thanks, along with some fine beer. A pub well worth a visit if anyone is in the area. We took your advice about the Shugborough mooring, a nice area indeed. Will certainly drop by if in the area again. Many thanks.

Sunday,2 February, 2014
2:04 am
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