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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.

Sunday 24 July 2016

Seems like our troubles are not over yet!

 Saturday 23rd

This canal has done it again! Not because of lack of water ( rather to much going down the west side). No...it was trying to moor at the facilities that was our downfall this time. But I'm getting ahead of myself so lets start from the beginning.

Leaving the moorings very early (sorry Anne and Jeff if we woke you) we headed down the leaky lock 32W again and past Grandpa Greene's Ice cream parlour. There are benefits of going early, no problems with low pounds.

I volunteered to do the locks and all was going to plan until lock 31. Lifting a paddle for Ian I walked on to set the next lock and ended up setting lock 29 instead of 30! Missed it completely!!! The path skirted round the lock ,because of all the bushes, just couldn't see it. By the time I realised Ian was at lock 30 and wondering what had happened to me. 

Ian heading to the lock I missed.

All that foliage obscuring the lock. Path went next to the building.

Lots of water in the pound overflowing the towpath.
Then below lock 24W was the facilities, Wood Road services and it was here it all went pear shaped.

These are the photos,

All through Standedge tunnel with very little damage and we go and do this at the services! And how I hear you ask. A blooming great tree stump sticks out catching the unaware! The services are right below lock 24W and on the offside, not a side one looks down when you steer on the left.  The bow was then pointed toward the service bollards in readiness to stop. No chance of seeing that stump until to late. By then Ian had whacked it hard and FS bounced off of it good and proper. Couldn't believe the damage. This time C&RT will get the full force of our wrath. We want compensation. How many other boaters have hit it and not reported this hazard. Well these two boaters are out for blood!!!!

Cant even get onto the landing properly. Stern stuck by a wall! We had to bring the cassette out through the side hatch.

So boaters beware, you have been warned!

There is the impressive Saddleworth railway via duct at lock 23W. It was also here that I took over the steering. Again big mistake! Trying to exit the lock I was greeted by the jutting out stone wall of the viaduct. I tried to swing FS round to miss it but the breeze blew me toward the wall. Ian came to the rescue after throwing him the centre rope, pulling the boat toward him enough so I could get clear. How a 70 footer manages it I have no idea.

See what I mean.


Looking back towards the lock
  Wanting to stop at Upper Mill we tried and failed miserably as no way could FS get into the side. So instead carried on to Mossley. Here a lovely row of moorings devoid of boats but full of bollards. Still had the same trouble, couldn't get right into the side but at least we got the bow almost touching the bank even if the stern did stuck right out.. As soon as we stopped Ian tried to make good the damage done. Managed to get the fixings back in with wood filler and the cratch has had a temporary repair in the form of some sticky tape. Not sure what the cost will be to have it repaired but rest assured C&RT will get the bill!

And only flies and bees today.

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