Thursday, 18 June 2015

The Rochdale

What do we think of it so far?  Beautiful. Truly a gem bypassed by many. The scenery is stunning, the canal so quiet that to see another boat is an event.

Thus far, we have had no problem finding a prime mooring and services have been well placed, clean and tidy. Today we have moored up at the Irk aqueduct, ready for the descent into Manchester which we will start bright and early tomorrow morning.

So what is it like? We have tackled all bar two of these broad locks alone thus far. On the ascent, it took us a while to work out the best method, but when we did, we breezed up them. I suppose it is similar to doing other broad locks, but with a twist. We found that entering the lock and opening the paddle on the same side as the boat in the lock, tended to throw the bow across severely, before it eventually swung back to the side when a third or so full, after which it sat pinned to the side.

To counter this tendency, we found that putting the bow against the preferred side and the stern virtually touching the opposite bottom gate, by the time the lock was a third full and the swirling motion had ceased, the boat was drawn gently to the side and then remained there. Made life a lot easier. Coming down is a doddle.

Had their been other boaters about, sharing the locks on the the way would have made life far easier, but there are so few boats on this canal. Possibly a good thing as mooring would then be a challenge in the honey spots and the available water around the summit would soon run out. Water is still one of the limiting factors on this canal. We only had thus far one pound near the summit which needed topping up to proceed, but with greater boat movement, this would become problematic.

But for a canal to get away from it all, with fantastic scenery, this is the one. Local boaters seem to have a very relaxed attitude, as seemingly does CRT. It appears common practice to moor on lock landings and water points without any fear of retribution. One boat had a garden, bird feeders and a paddling pool set out on the service point. Anywhere else it would have caused outcry and mayhem, but here, life goes on, there is not the traffic for this to cause a real problem.

The infrastructure is in good order and up to now, with the notable exception of Rochdale, has been clean and tidy. It really is a pity that Rochdale has not got its act together, as it could be wonderful without the litter.

We have thus far taken four days to travel from Sowerby Bridge to our present mooring. Yes, it sometimes has been hard going, but only because we pushed ourselves. We have stopped at some lovely places. On Monday we left Sowerby Bridge and we made Todmorden, a gem, so clean and tidy.
Sowerby Bridge Locks 

Tuel Lane tunnel

and the deepest lock 19' 8" (6" deeper than Bath apparently)

On Tuesday we ascended up and over the summit pound, then moored just below at the quaintly named  "Summit".

Leaving Todmorden

Great wall of Tod - apparently 4 million bricks

Back to back houses with the washing out along by the locks

East summit lock

 Crossing the summit

Approaching the West summit


Wednesday dawned wet and misty. Before the heavy rains, we dropped down nine locks and moored at Littleborough by 1030 am and sat the rain out before, having a wash fest in the launderette. I went for a hair cut and ended up with a skin head and Ali went to the hairdressers as well, but no skin head!

not much room, so just chop the balance beam off

no water shortage today

weather closing in, the hills were disappearing under the cloud

Today we made the run from Littleborough on what turned out to be a cloudy, chilly and windy day. At least it remained dry.

under the M62

Anyone know what/who this is?

Only 29 locks left to complete our Rochdale adventure...

24 miles.
62 broad locks.
3 swing bridges.

1 comment:

  1. We came the other way a couple of weeks ago and had the same experience at the locks - their behaviour is nothing like the ones on the Grand Union! Some of the paddles needed 42 turns - I counted. I enjoyed your photos of crossing the summit - we didn't see much as it was so wet.
    Enjoy the rest of it!


Thank you for your comments