Sunday 6 August 2017

Colne Bridge

Today's Canal - Huddersfield Broad

First tasks were shopping and servicing. Whilst Jess and Christine walked to Sainsburys for a few top-up items (orange squash and meringue nests especially for Jess!), Mike reversed back to the service point. Here he worked through the usual tasks and then, because he had found it especially difficult to reverse, he checked the weed hatch. Sure enough there was a lot of plastic and other canal detritus wrapped around the prop. Not enough to stop the boat altogether but enough to make steering almost random.

He was just finishing when the others returned with several bags of goodies. Time then to set off properly. Jess and Christine walked up to  the Loco Bridge so that they could open it in time for Mike to come straight through without having to hover. They managed this just fine but whilst Mike was hovering the other side, they had considerable difficulty in getting the mechanism to close properly. Although the bridge deck came down, the gates would not open.  Up again it had to go and on its quick return to base the gates opened. Perhaps it was Jess jumping on the bridge just above the sensor that did the trick.

Picture of the former lock cottage at the top lock - just because it was just about the only bright colours that we photographed today! The mural is quite a good depiction of the top lock and surroundings.

The eight locks we worked seemed hard work, not just for themselves but also the large crowds we seemed to attract today. Several of them were willing 'volunteers' to give a hand.

Going down requires a different technique. It is much the same as going up but this time the bow has to be pulled across rather than the engine driving the stern. Jess very quickly picked up the idea and even taught some of the other helpers what to do.

Part way we stopped for lunch. We made several attempts to come alongside - including close to this former warehouse (the creeper looks great but the inside seems to be poorly utilised) - but found little depth. At one point we had the help of two passing cyclists and a runner. Jess and Christine were already on the towpath from the previous lock and Mike jumped off with the centre line. The problem then was the  boat decided that it wanted to stay stuck with neither end close enough for him to jump back on again. One of the cyclists did a massive leap onto the boat (perhaps he really is a long jumper!) and passed back the stern rope so that we could eventually bring it close enough to get on board. Even so, Christine had to wait until the next bridge.

Jess was keen to demonstrate her new salad made from the cucamelons that she has been growing at home. They were nothing like anything we had experienced before - except that they did taste of melons with  a hint of lime

No-one was too keen on re-starting so it was half way through the afternoon before we tackled the final three.

We had expected to stop for the night above Lock 1 as below it the next section is river so no mooring for some distance. Time then to finish off preparing our roast pork for tonight's meal.

3.7 Miles - 8 Locks

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