|Turnbridge Loco Lift Bridge|
First lock, first problem, only a minor one, a BW tug and skip moored on the lock moorings so we just bumped alongside and I climbed across. Then the canal takes an interesting route through a very narrow passage which used to be a lock, through a tunnel that goes underneath a building and then up through a lock which replaces the one that has been removed to allow the canal to remain low enough to go under the building. Back on board, on to the third lock, through another tunnel under another building. This lock is skirted by a building site. Like I said it was windy, builders cutting paving slabs virtually beside you as you try to work a lock is not good. One dusty me and very dusty boat later we carried on. This time I was walking as the next lock was very close.
Now I'm no weakling, but I couldn't shift the paddle gear so I went back to the boat for Ray's windlass which is heavier, he volunteered to go and give it a try. So I waited and eventually I saw the movement on the water that told me the lock was emptying. With an audience of two guys in the pub garden and four members of the Huddersfield Canal Society I took the boat into the lock, thankfully without any bumps or problems. The next lock was even closer so another walk and we were soon up through that one. I hopped onboard for a ride to number six.
It was then that we found out what they had all been warning us about, it would have been impossible to moor, the edge was shallow and lined with rocks or fallen stones from the bank. I got Ray to drop me off at the bridge hole a couple of hundred yards before lock six in case we couldn't get in to the bank at the lock.
I looked towards the lock and couldn't believe my eyes, there was a boat coming down, I hadn't expected to meet anyone. I signalled to Ray to hold back until they were down. They were equally astonished, we were the first boat they had seen all day. Another lock was soon behind us, the stiff paddle gear was beginning to take its toll on me, I remembered there were moorings marked above lock eight in the canal society's guide. Into lock seven and I told Ray we were mooring above eight. I got one paddle raised to fill the lock, Ray realised I was tired so climbed off and raised the other. At last the end, for today at least, was in sight.
Lock eight, awkward gates, the lock beam actually extend across the footpath of the bridge, so you have to scramble over the wall. to fully open the gates. But we did it, Ray was out of the lock and heading for the moorings. Meanwhile I had spotted Moonspinners coming up behind us at lock seven so I raised a paddle so that the lock was emptying for them. We got moored beside an old mill but Moonspinners struggled with the depth and ended up moored about two foot from the bank. The scenery has consisted of old mills, some in use and some derelict beside the canal and views of distant hills as we continue to climb. Time for a glass of my elderflower champagne, which has turned out very well, even though I say so myself.
Today's journey 2.8 miles, 8 locks, 1 lift bridge and 2 tunnels
So far this year we have travelled 449.3 miles, 300 locks, 43 swing bridges, 2 lift bridges and 13 tunnels
In 2011 we travelled 461.4 miles, 444 locks, 3 swing bridges, 34 lift bridges and 15 tunnels
During 2010 we travelled 740.3 miles, 642 locks, 53 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 25 tunnels
Since Ray retired we have travelled 1651 miles 1386 locks, 99 swing bridges, 40 lift bridges and 53 tunnels