I'm sitting here feeling very tired.
We were just getting ready to leave our moorings this morning when NB Moonshine arrived ready to go up the Wigan flight. We paired up with them, endured the heavy gates and stiff lock gear and the inevitable non functioning paddles on some locks. Of course the locks were set against us so had to be emptied before we could get the boats in, but we soon got into a rhythm, with one of us walking on to set the next one while we were still coming up in the lock. We nearly had a major crisis at lock 78, the eighth of the flight, we got both boats into the lock then couldn't get one of the gates closed. This particular lock is right beside a road bridge and because there is not enough room for the normal long lock beams they have a ratchet mechanism which winds to close the gates. However on one gate the ratchet wasn't engaging so winding the handle did absolutely nothing! A complex bit of ingenuity consisting of levering the gate from inside the lock with one boat pole and pushing it from the lockside with another boat pole plus a bit of help from a passing cyclist and we managed to get the gate closed.
We met another boat coming down when we were halfway up the flight and then another a couple of locks later so that made for a little less work as the locks were now in our favour. When we reached the top we stopped to dump our rubbish and fill our watertank and have a much needed cuppa.
We only moved a short way from the top of the flight to near Haigh Hall Country Park for the night. I expect we will have a fairly lazy day tomorrow as I will be feeling the after effects of today's hard work.
Today's journey 3 miles and 21 locks
So far this year we have travelled 325.2 miles, 197 locks, 5 swing bridges, 1 lift bridge and 9 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 1526.9 miles, 1283 locks, 61 swing bridges, 39 lift bridges and 49 tunnels