Sunday, 8 April 2012

The Big One (2-1)

Sunday 8th of April 2012
Brighouse Top Lock to Huddersfield Basin.

08:00 We awoke to find the day overcast and a bit dismal. The other boats in our little flotilla will be starting out today to make their way back to their home moorings in Sheffield. For us, its the start of the second week of our "Big One" cruise.

09:00 A wide beam boat turned up this morning and moored on the spot where Jobsworth was saying to us "You can't moor here" However, it was quite a friendly reception that the new arrival was being given by Jobsworth. So it would seem that the truth is that Jobsworth was actually trying his bully boy tactics to reserve a space for his friends boat. I shall be having a word with BW about his behaviour.

10:00 We passed through the Brighouse top lock only to come to a stand as the boat in front was having a problem with the lock paddles not closing correctly. Several times the lock was flooded and drained. However, after an hour or so we were out onto the river.

If you are coming this way. On the Brighouse bottom lock  the trick seems to be to wind the lock gate paddles shut after the lock has fully flooded. If there is any weight of water still on the top gates (caused by starting to close the paddle early) and the paddle will stick halfway down and refuse to close.

11:00 We waved goodbye to our friends at Coopers Bridge flood lock and carried on up river. We were now heading towards the Huddersfield Broad Canal. At lock 1 we found a fishing match in action and so we tried to  minimise disruption to their match. At lock 5 we came across Nb Buttercup with Paul and Shirley going in the opposite direction. We last saw them as they headed for Huddersfield canal and we turned left through Coopers Bridge flood lock last year. We had a quick chat and an exchange of news and then went merrily on our way.

At lock 6 we came across the first flush of Bluebells that we have seen this spring. We stopped for lunch and an idiot on a motorbike came tearing along the towpath at high speed.  Soon afterwards we came across a PC on patrol along the tow path we were able to advise her of the bikers antics. At Lock 8 we caught up with Nb Lindsey Ann that we had last seen on the 26th of August last year in Clarence Dock. They were doing the Northern Ring and would be moving onto a new mooring at Barnoldswick. We had another quick chat and an exchange of news and then went merrily on our way.

17:00 We arrived at Huddersfield Basin. Not able to get in close to the bank to moor up. I did a bit of a roof tidy as I am always amazed at what ends up living on the roof. Decided that we would go and have a drink later in the Aspley.

21:00 Had a quick drink in the Aspley and feeling tired decided to return to the boat. The Memsahib did the splits (ending in the pike position) as she was getting back on the boat. Calls of Mick, Mick soon attracted my attention away from keeping my eyes on the tow path latrine. After doing a rescue and a quick examination of the leg we paid a short visit to Huddersfield Accident and Emergency where they did an xray of her leg to check for a fracture. All was well and now the Memsahib is cultivating a large lump now called "Jo P" (Jo Pain in the arse) on her shin and a couple of large bruises elsewhere on her body.

Vicky Pollard
I suppose it was a typical quiet night at Huddersfield A&E with the usual round-up of regular customers. A child that screamed constantly in the waiting area for the first half hour. In another area, mum, grandma and grandpa busy entertaining a child waiting to see a doctor - that seemed to be perfectly well - who was running round inbetween bouts of climbing around on the chairs in the waiting area!

A very "large" and well inebriated young lady sat in a wheel chair. Who went between blubbering, to springing out of the wheel chair and facing up to anybody in the waiting room. Her male friend was having to restrain her. This seemed to me to be a version of the Little Britain character Vicky "yes but no but yea" Pollard, doing a female version of wheelchair bound Andy "I want that one" Pipkin

Andy Pipkin
A young police officer who's facial expression said it was just another night in his personal version of hell looked on. In the doorway stood a young man who was being taunted on his mobile phone. He was sharing pearls of wisdom such as "I will knee cap you when I find out who you are" and other little epithets and ethnophaulisms.

There were several very "heavily pregnant" ladies in night attire having what seemed to be a regular cosy chat and a cigarette in the entrance. Other characters included an old boy who has obviously seen much better days who was busy picking up cigarette ends in the hospital entrance. He had plenty to choose from! And another old by who seemed to be there for the warmth and maybe to enjoy the spectacle.

Midnight saw us both back on the boat and enjoying a welcome rest.

Daily Total
Miles: 5.3
Locks: 13
Swing / Lift Bridges: 1
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs:0
Engine Hours: 9.7

Accumulated Totals
Miles: 604.3
Locks: 613
Swing / Lift Bridges: 101
Tunnels: 6
Pump Outs: 8
Engine Hours: 2048.0

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