This morning dawned bright and sunny, well at 7.30 it was anyway. We had a lot of locks in front of us to get us down to Castlefield basin in Manchester. The sun was shining as we set off.
Portland Basin, Ashton
We were hot on the heels of a German family on a Middlewich boat. A few locks down and the water level was low, they got stuck on the way out of the lock. Ian went to help them and got them going again, then in the next lock we couldn't shut the top gate, something was wedged against the cill.
After some time poking and prodding with the pole and boat hook, whatever it was moved enough for the gate to close and we were on our way again. There is quite a lot of rubbish in the cut along here.
When we got to a longer pound between locks, I quickly made a drink and found something to eat, no stopping today, and we carried on.
We got to the bottom of the Ashton about 3pm, the sun had gone, the showers had come.
The builders had all gone from this part of the New Islington development and boats could be seen in the basin, accessible from the Rochdale Canal.
the very modern office and appartment block towering above the canal
old and new sharing the space
Ahead of us now were the Rochdale 9 (locks) to take us down through the centre of Manchester, under offices, and between bars and restaurants into the basin.
These locks are wide and notoriously hard work. Ian's turn today then. It took 2 hours to get down, some locks being hard to get a level as there was so much water rushing over the gates.
Once at Castle Quay we just about found a space, the sun was out again, it was a lovely evening.
enjoying the evening sun
11.5 miles, 27 locks, 2 bridges