Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Summer Autumn Cruise 2011 (5-2)

Tuesday September 20th
Chelburn Bridge Wharf to Golden Lion Wharf.
Day 30

Up bright and early “fettled and fed” as my mother would have said. In time to meet the lock keeper Ray McDonald for an 8:30 start. The summit is over 600 feet above sea level and the Memsahib was awarded “The Rochdale Canal Certificate” signed by by the lock keeper.

The rain continued throughout our journey but did not dampen our spirits. We were in the company of Nb York (shire cruises) and her hire crew. In no time at all we were across the summit and heading down the canal and going back into gods wonderful county of “Yorkshire” once more. Later when Nb York stopped to take on water, we paired up with Nb Stafford (shire cruises) and her newbie hire crew.

There was a great deal of water in the canal as we came down from the summit. Most locks had a few inches of water passing over the gates. It was a problem free trip until we got to Library Lock in Todmorden where the guillotine lock requires the water to be below a certain point before the gate will open. With sluices open front and back and over a foot of water cascading over the gate it took about an hour to get a level where the guillotine would operate. Just as we were about to open the lock, a boat behind at the next lock sent down more water. We had to wait until that cleared before we could get into the Golden Lion water point. As soon as we were moored up we were taking water on. The water pressure at the tap is very high and we were filled up in quick order.

Later the pound became low as three boats worked their way down. While I was flushing more water into the short pound through Library Lock Nb Kingfisher arrived. I met up with a couple from Australia doing the grand tour. Bruce and Shelagh (I don't know their real names) were very interested in how the waterways worked. Bruce had a short trip along the canal in Nb Kingfisher as they went up to turn round in the winding hole just above the lock. Boats up to 56 feet can wind just below Library Lock but even the short ones seen to want to go up to turn.

There is a rather enthusiastic young local man who frequents Library Lock and the Golden Lion Wharf area.  He lends his services to the hire boaters who are in difficulty. He seems very capable of handling a boat. Even if his manoeuvrings with the boats are a bit quick for my comfort levels.

Rosie now has a date in Castleford with a couple of men to have her bottom touched up. Cue the music “Doing the Black Bottom” and a wealth of Ken Dodd's notorious “how tickled you are madam” euphemisms.

At 3pm we decided to call it a day, as we are expecting visitors tomorrow. But at least we have a BW sanitary station toilet available which has reduced the need for a pump-out. We went to the near-by Morrisons to stock up on provisions and the Memsahib went for a mooch round Todmorden and found a Lidl supermarket. She came back with even more provisions.

The next problem came just before dusk, a hire boat on its way up through Shop Lock somehow had the sluices open at both ends of the lock. By the time we realised they had almost drained down the pound. Once more I had to let down some water to raise Rosie and four other boats off the mud. Another interesting day was had by all!

Two Common Pipistrelle bats were detected.

Observational Note:As we travel around the canal one thing that has come to my attention is that bats are much fewer in numbers wherever boats are moored up for the night. I have also noted that this change has come around with the increased number of boats that have their stove lit at night. So there is a possibility that the wood smoke from the stove drives the prey insects away!

Daily Total
Distance: 3 Miles.
Locks: 19
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 1913.2

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