Retrospective post for Sunday 10th August
|Saltaire (If you are expecting any sunny pictures, you can forget it!)|
"Are you coming up?"
"Yes, two of us"
"Could you wait and we will go down at the same time?"
"We are already in the bottom lock"
"No matter," said I, "that's my boat there"
|The gate paddles are set high, compared to most in the South.|
One of the women went down to explain to her husband - who shot up to to top lock, waving his arms. "NO, NO, you CANNOT swap three boats in this type of lock"
"Yes, you can, we've done it loads of times"
"No, it's impossible" said the man.
Alan had arrived at this time, and was still sleepy, and couldn't think it through. We acceded, and they went through without us going down. David turned up outside the boat about a minute after they had started winding the paddles and reiterated - it is ALWAYS possible to swap three boats in a staircase of two, even if they are full length. Ah well, we only lost time.
|Attractive cottages beside Dobson staircase locks|
As the morning progressed it began to rain, a lot. There were several more three rise staircases, most with lock keepers, but the one in the middle is DIY.
|Leaving Dobson 2 locks in heavy rain.|
|One of several 3 lock staircases - Newlay, probably?|
The rising wind was dragged straight down the side of the Hilton Hotel, and whipped the water in the arm into little peaks, which bashed against the side of the boat all night. David tied down our boat poles with the centre line, for fear of losing them over the side.
Footnotes added by Alan to Cath's post.
|David & Alan on lock duties.|
Today alone we worked through three further staircases with three locks, and three more of two locks each. Anywhere else, I would suggest this would be remarkable, but by this stage of the Leeds and Liverpool one gets almost blase about what is coming next!
Perhaps the most surprising is that whilst most of the staircases of more than two locks have keepers in attendance, one of today's does not. The scope for novices, (or even the experience!), to get in a right muddle is considerable, although at least if you are working through the Field Three Locks you should by then have already done a similar flight under some supervision.
Dowley Gap to Leeds
Miles: 14.6 (Chalice), 0 (Sickle), Locks: 20
Total Miles: 527.6, Locks: 286