Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Big One (19-4)

Sunday 19th August 2012.

Johnsons Hillock to Altham Bridge.

Overcast and the threat of rain greeted us this morning. As we prepared to set off. I noticed a couple of men with a canoe putting the boat into the water. They set off in the same direction a short while before we did.

For us it was a steady cruise up to the six locks of the Blackburn flight. On arrival we caught up with the men in the canoe again.  They were walking the boat past the locks. We had most of the locks set for us on the way up. By way of an omen for the day - the rain started as we reached the first lock! 

In the second lock we swapped places with Nb "Mary H". I had a quick passing hello and goodbye with fellow bloggers Linda, Richard and Millie their cat. 

The top lock has a large leak under the lock gates as it seems that the cill is on its way out. We needed every paddle open to get a level to release the top gates. Last year as we came down through Gargrave, a lock cill failed and a BW boat ended up sat on the floor of the lock.

We caught up with the men in the canoe at Whitebirk Bridge. They were sheltering under the bridge from a sudden downpour of rain. It turns out that they set off on their journey from Liverpool and were paddling the Leeds Liverpool for enjoyment. I offered to give them a tow - but it was declined. 

In the departure lounge.

Wildlife: It seems that the Swallows are preparing to leave to return to South Africa.  Looking like notes on a living music stave. The bird numbers slowly build until a group set out. The older birds leave first with this years broods following on a few days later. 

As we moved along the canal we were joined for part of the journey by a magnificent Swallowtail Butterfly. It landed on the back hatch cover and warmed itself in the sun for a few moments, before flying off into the nearby fields.

It looks like being a very cold night. A clear sky and the mist is building up in the nearby fields. 

Daily Total
Miles: 20.4
Locks: 6
Swing / Lift Bridges: 4
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 7.1

Accumulated Totals
Miles: 1125.9
Locks: 809
Swing / Lift Bridges: 124
Tunnels. 21
Pump Outs: 13
Engine Hours: 2362.7


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