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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

More dramas on the Huddlesfield Narrow canal!

Tuesday 19th

Such a pretty canal but I have a real love hate relationship with it. Memories of 2014 come flooding back when we got stuck in a very narrow bit between lock 1E and 2E with no towpath access. To say it scared the life out of me is an understatement. To read why click here

Leaving Huddersfield another early start.

Low pounds were to be the norm

The dreaded narrow section

With two tunnels to get through, low water meant FS scrapped on submerged objects..

The only way to get Ian off, nose into the lock mouth. at lock 2E
 So far this canal, it hasn’t disappointed me yet living up to my expectations. For a start our mooring was very noisy. Okay stay in a town and that is to be expected. But boats leaving and going past at 5.30am with people chatting on the back is not acceptable. If setting off at that silly time is what they wanted to do they should, for heaven's sake, do it quietly. Then at the first lock 1E the lack of water was immediately an issue. This didn't bode well for getting to the next lock 2E. If you read the above link you will know why. But worse was to come as FS scrapped bottom on the pounds for nearly all of the next 8 locks and having to empty everyone leaving me desperately trying to keep FS from ending up high and dry (dredging desperately needed!) put me in a bad mood. At lock 9E I lost it big time! Dry pound, dog walkers that refused to pick up even after I challenged them and C&RT not being observant put me in an even worse mood.

First the dry pound. Ian had lifted a paddle to empty the lock and then walked back to lock 9E where I was ascending. Unbeknown to him the top gate of 10E although in the closed position, was leaking. and peeing water from the bottom of the cill. Of course the pound drained in consequence and by the time I had arrived at the bottom gate, Ian came running back thinking the cill had perished. Ian got onto the phone to C&RT and then, quite bizarrely C&RT turned up at the same time, saw the problem and assumed something had caught underneath and with Ian helping managed to heave on the top gate. What should slide away from the under the cill....a huge foliage root ball! C&RT then went up to lock 11E to run water down. In the meantime I got off FS and tied the centre rope to the small bridge across the lock, only place to tie to as there were no bollards. Then I see a lady who's dog had just messed, carry on walking. Not even a backward glance as I shouted at her. And blow me down, not a few minutes later another dog, owned by a chap this time, does exactly the same but right by the balance beam. This time I was close enough to the chap to challenge him. "Oh sorry" said he "I didnt notice" and carried on walking. "Oi" says I "What about picking it up". "Cant do that" says he "I have no bag" and with that wandered off. I wont tell you what came out of my mouth but the C&RT guy painting CILL in black paint looked shocked! I walked back to FS and grabbed a bag. Cant leave it there for some unsuspecting person to tread in! If that wasn't enough to make my blood boil another C&RT guy walks up and was about to lift the bottom gate paddle. I couldn't believe it. FS was tied to the wooden bridge support and he was about to make her surge back by opening the paddle. I very polity told him that was not the best idea he had as no doubt they would be left replacing the handrail and we would be left watching FS take off without us! 

Ian thought the cill had given out judging by the amount of water peeing in.

Tied to the wooden hand rail

Trying to open the gate

Hmmm pretty empty!

And he said he hadn't noticed the dog pooing???
 Time was now getting on. The day was heating up and Ian was starting to melt. Met a boat coming down at lock 13E fantastic but I couldn't get onto the landing. So by the time the other boat came out of the lock I was across the canal. Took a bit of manoeuvring and boat ballet before they could get past.

And C&RT told us this section had been dredged. I don't think so!!!!

No wonder the pounds are down with this amount of top gate leakage.
 But this is why I could love this canal. The views are stunning.

No excuse, moored on the lock landing and by a winding hole!

We stopped above lock 17E. Ian was desperate to stop having done all the locking and the heat was making us both feel ill. The towpath looked promising so out with the boat pole and yes...it was deep enough for us. This journey has been awful.We left Huddersfield facilities at 8am. Did 17 locks and 3.9 miles and stopped at 14.30 taking 6.5 hours!!!!! Please let tomorrow be better.

Sorry no wildlife piccys. Too cross and flustered to take any.


Tom and Jan said...

You're going in the wrong direction. We came down and brought our water with us! :-)

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thankfully once through Standedge tunnel we also will be bringing water down with us. Let's hope anyway. Xx

nb AmyJo said...

Hi Irene,
we're at Bugsworth at the moment and will be heading to Marple on Friday so may catch up with you sometime. Hope your trip improves. Still shallow here tOO but AmyJo has dredged the most of the Macc for you :-)

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

We could do with AmyJo here! Would be good to meet you as Chris was on his own when we met him at Bunbury. Heading through the tunnel tomorrow (Friday)and going downhill thank goodness (I'm a day behind with my posts so you will read all about it on Saturday)Xx

nb Chuffed said...

Your low water dramas are much worse than ours a couple of years ago! A local boater told us that when they last dredged they didn't take any silt away, just shifted it to the edges so of course it gently goes back to where it came from! But yes it is a beautiful canal if you have time to look at the scenery!

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