Thursday, 5 July 2012

Upwards, onto the Peak Forest

It was fine this morning, following the heavy rain last night and a torrential downpour during the night, that again led to our back hatch letting water in.

We set off heading for the Rochdale Nine locks.  We shared the locks again with NB Bumble & Fuzz, with a crew of four on their boat, it really does make for easier locking.  We completed the nine in about 2.25 hours, we all stopped at the top for a well deserved coffee.  We then left them to finish their coffee and set off for the Ashton Canal and its 18 locks.

The Ashton does not have a very good reputation, but if I am honest I was quite looking forward to getting back to some narrow locks.  My enthusiasm didn't last long as at lock five we came across a very low pound, so low that even letting more water down we could not get Triskaideka through the pound and into the lock.  More water down and we made it.  Further up the locks,  the boat in front of us grounded in another low pound, this lady was single handed and she did a balancing act getting off her boat onto the bank.  I left John in the previous lock and went to help her, we let loads of water down, mindful that we didn't want to drain the pound above, it took ages to get her into the lock as her boat has a deep draught, lots more water down, but eventually she was in.  John managed to get in, probably due to another lock full as we locked her up.  Low pounds were a problem for the rest of the locks but fortunately not quite as bad as the previous two.  A couple of locks from the top the boat in front of us came to a complete stop due to debris around the prop so once we had got her into the side and made sure she was ok we moved in front of her for the last couple of locks.  The Ashton canal for its entirety passes through built up areas, some new some old, it isn't great but it isn't that bad either.  We continued up to Dukinfield Junction Portland Basin, where the Ashton, Peak Forest and a little further up the Huddlesfield Narrow Canals all meet.  We turned a sharp right onto the Peak Forest and continued through Hyde.  We have moored by the Haughton Nature Reserve.

The same view as yesterday without the rain

Looking into Castlefields

The locks head through the city centre

 Refreshment time at the top of the nine

Onto the Ashton and narrow locks

We saw this terapin sunning itself on the Peak Forest

Some of the street art is really good

and this made us laugh
this notice under one of the buildings the canal goes under

with this image underneath!

11 miles 27 locks 1 swing bridge & 1 lift bridge

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