Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Changing Weather and Changing Plans (again)

For the past few days we have not travelled very far, only about 15miles.  With the change in weather, as in from hot and dry to cool and mostly wet, we have moored up early in the day to escape the wet weather.  Not that Andrew really minds steering in the rain but I would prefer not to do the locks in the wet.  And there have been locks each of the past few days.

Not many pictures either, Blackburn was not quite as interesting canal wise.  A quick stop at Asda to once more stock up and we then tackled the locks.  Luckily the weather held out and there were some rather interesting bystanders at the bottom lock.  We had been warned about the locals that inhabited this one lock but they did not give me any problems.  Maybe as it was still relatively early in the day, being before 1pm they had not had the chance to imbibe too much.  They even helped me open the top gate to let Andrew bring the boat in.

Old Mill now converted to offices

The Wharf
Once more a fairly disappointing sunset :(  but I guess at least it was one we could see.  Not like the one 2 days ago which looked like it was going to be great, until the rain came over again and then again :(  ooops and again !

Tonight we are moored up above the Johnson's Hillock Locks, the last flight before hitting the Wigan Flight.  We had stopped earlier by a nature reserve, only, after a walk around the reserve it was not quite the photo opportunity that I was hoping for, so we continued to here.  We filled with water and while waiting for the tank to fill the rain started.  Tank full, Andrew pushed us over to the visitor moorings across the canal, getting soaked through to get us over and safely moored up.

While sitting here listening to the rain again, we discussed our travel plans as we realise that we only have 2 months before we need to look for winter work.  With the possibility of not being able to get in to Liverpool, as we have been reliably informed that passage in to Liverpool is fully booked until early September and we would have to rely on someone cancelling their booking, we will not attempt this leg until another time.  We will also skip going in to Manchester and instead will continue on to the Anderton Lift and the River Weaver and from there on to Langollen and Montgomery Canals.  Time really does fly when you have so much that you want to achieve :D

We will look at doing both Liverpool and the Lancaster Canal at another time :)  Along with Manchester.

So that is where I shall leave you tonight.  Keep well everyone :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Onward and Downward

We are slowly heading back south now on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and also down the locks now as we have passed the summit.

Yesterday morning we left Yorkshire and the rolling landscape behind.  The thunderstorm from the night before had added a fair amount of water to the canal summit. It was at least 4" up on the day before.  We timed it really well as we arrived at Foulridge Tunnel just 10minutes before the lights changed.
Foulridge Wharf

Waiting for the lights to change

and we are good to go
 We made our way slowly through the urban areas.  Although the rural areas are lovely to cruise through, there is not a lot of change in a landscape. Whereas there is so much of interest in the urban areas.

The bus service in Burnley !
The history of Pendle Hill includes the Pendle Witches (1612). Supposedly the hill is still associated with witchcraft.  Which all explains the Witch Way :D Travelling on a broomstick would be fun.  I think that they should have painted a large broomstick along the bottom of the buses, much more interesting :)

Terraced housing in Burnley - Weavers Triangle

The Wharf Inn next to the Weavers Triangle Museum

Rainy sky

Old Warehouses


Leaving Burnley

Old and New - Side By Side
and another tunnel, this one much shorter and very straight.  Because I could see the end I was able to stay out back rather than ducking inside.  I am not a fan of tunnels !

Zipping through the tunnel

and shadow cast on the wall

At 4:30pm at a spot recommended by Allan, we moored up in time to stay dry.  Once more it rained on and off all night. It does help to cool things down and makes for an easier sleep, except when it is really hammering on the roof.  Lovely mooring spot though and the motorway noise was not an issue.

Mooring spot view this morning
Our plan today was to hopefully get through Blackburn.  But the weather set in so again we stopped at a spot suggested by Allan.  Naturally after we moored up and had a short shower the remainder of the clouds passed by us.  Anyway we were not moving, rain came and went along with the sun, so tomorrow we cruise through Blackburn with a stop for groceries.  As well as getting through the locks.

Enfield Wharf
Well I have to try and make some of these pictures reasonably interesting.  I don't get a lot of time to set up a shot when we are cruising past.  Andrew does slow down but still you don't really get to choose the best angle too much.

and we passed the halfway mark between Leeds and Liverpool
Shocking swing bridge just before the halfway mark today. Andrew had to help me both open and close the bloody thing.

Clouds forming

Another Old Warehouse !

Rain storm - again !
Also with the slack time I was able to have a lovely, VERY LONG chat with my sister, on Skype. It was great to catch up as it has been a while since we last chatted :D

Tomorrow the journey continues.  May all be well with you ;)  Cheers

Saturday, July 27, 2013

And Just A Little Bit Further Again

Friday morning we had to move on further. A bit sad to go but we had run out of food !  Well not completely as we have our emergency provisions but we would rather keep those for emergencies.

Pheasant chicks

Mum and Chick

On the way to East Marton

Coming in to East Marton

Interesting Double Arched Bridge in East Marton
We did not get much past East Marton. We ended up opting for dinner at the Crossed Keys and very nice it was too.  Although a touch on the upper end of price in pub prices.  I really liked the look of the chocolate brownie but there was just no room to fit in more.  I should have asked for a takeaway :D

Walking back from the pub we took the public footpath route as the busy road over the bridge and no pedestrian curb made it a bit hairy.  So we chatted to the sheep on the way back instead :)  and it was a good thing we did too.  We found a sheep with it's head stuck in a feeding trough.  We could not leave the poor thing like that as looking at the ground around it's hind feet it had been struggling for a while.  After a bit of investigation we worked out how to loosen the grating and Andrew was able to help the sheep get it's ears out and then it's head.  With the goodbit of bleating the sheep took off but seemed happy that we had helped.  So that was our good deed for the day :)

The mooring itself was a bit noisy as we were very close to the bridge and the traffic continued for a while and then started up again fairly early this morning.  But we still had a good sleep.

View from the canal further on from East Marton

It has been quite odd being up here on the summit and with the locks closed till 10am, there are no boats moving about in the early hours.  So we have, or I should probably say I have, had some great sleep in's over the past few days.

Today we moved on to Barnoldswick to do the dreaded long walk to restock the groceries.  I have to say I do hate walking when it is just for groceries.  I would much rather it involved some great shopping or places of interest or good photographs to at least make it worthwhile.  Well today's shopping was worthwhile in a way, I GOT DONUTS :D  3/4 of which I have already eaten ;)

Follow my Crested Leader :)

Bridge on approach to Greenberfield Locks - looking back

Historic Boat moored up at top of Greenberfield Locks

As we will soon be in the urban jungle for an extended period, we moved on to find ourselves another great rural mooring.  And it seems we have once more.  We spent a good hour or so on and off watching the antics of 2 more Tawny Owls in the field opposite our mooring.  Too far for a decent picture but based on this one they might be young chicks as it's feathers still look a bit downy.

I hope we will see more of them in the morning.  Provided it is not still raining in the morning that is.

So night all, sleep well zzzZZZZZ  ;)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Moving On A Bit

Yesterday morning we decided to move on a bit further, what we forgot was that the locks here on the summit of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal have been put into water conservation mode ! This means that the lock flights are 'locked' from 8pm to 10am. Naturally to beat the humid heat bestowed upon us by the previous days thunderstorms, we ventured off at 8:30am. Bugger, arrived at the first lock a short 10 minutes later.  So during the enforced wait I got the vacuuming done along with some other cleaning.  Nothing like starting a hot and humid day with some energetic cleaning !

10am arrived and we were able to continue the cruise.  Well, at the second lock I was totally stumped :(  I had never seen these ground paddles before and although it said 'LIFT' which end was supposed to be lifted? I tried with all my might every which way and could not move the bugger. 

Not the lock in question but similar a bit further up. At least I could move this one :)
So I resorted to using the gate paddle only (only 1 top paddle was functional)  We were getting there very slowly, Andrew was frowning at me but what else to do. He was at the bottom of the lock and I was up top.  Anyway a short time later another boat arrived to go down and the lady lockie showed me how it should be done. Well she couldn't sift the bloody thing either.  Luckily there was also a young chap with her and he was able to get it sorted.  Now at least I knew what needed to be done on the next locks.

A bit of the view along the way

We got to the Gargrave services but were not sure about the water tap.  We were not going to trust our health when on a narrow boat !

There were some great moorings here but we wanted the rural views again. So moving on once more there were quite a few boats traveling in the opposite direction but not any the same way we were going.

The locks were very slow to fill, not a problem for me, I was happy to get out the camera. 
Food Time !!

but I think Andrew might have been getting a bit bored

We spied these cows being moved along the towpath and up the turnover bridge. 
 One poor cow fell in the canal !  but she made it out safely

After filling the water at the bottom of the Bank Newton flight, we started up.  Well if I thought the ground paddles before were tough these were downright impossible.  At the second lock Andrew had to take over, I just could not move them at all.  Back killers they were, especially the ones where the handle was literally laying across the ground.  Andrew naturally had no problems and I was reasonably happy to sit back and steer.

With the odd, heart in the mouth moment
as Andrew skipped across the top of the gates.  These gates did not have the usual walking plank on the side. I walked around each time but Andrew always seems to want to take the shortcut :)

But we did make it to the top in one piece :D

The next feat was to find a suitable place to moor.  There do seem to be lots of rocks and things right by the edge, who puts them there I wonder.  Someone who does not want boats to moor there ?  We came around the corner in the 'bendy bits', rather a nice section of the canal meandering around the contours of the hills, and Andrew spied a very well known face. Well at least to us.  Well that resolved the mooring spot.  We pulled in to say 'Hi' to Allan whom we haven't seen since leaving Gnosall just after Easter. Basically quite a long time ago.

Out with the chairs, the beers and a short time later so did the sun.

and ended with a very ordinary sunset but the good company made up for it all

The mooring spot

This morning we waved Allan off. He was going back to Barnoldswick to pick up a visitor.  As he is heading back this way to Skipton, we will meet again :D

Meantime we just skipped between the inside and outside of the boat depending on the weather. It was very changeable. From really hot sun, to a touch of rain and a bit chilly this evening.  What a great lazy day, with a really great view :)

so 'great views' everyone and enjoy :D