|Going down - some 45 minutes after scheduled time.|
|Gates open - tunnel beyond - it curves sharply.|
|Two rather more conventional locks follow - the last on the Rochdale.|
|Lock 2 going back up, and heading to tunnel|
|Entering the tunnel - not to be attempted if the deep lock is emptying.|
|Inside the modern tunnel - heading to the deep lock.|
|Leaving the tunnel and entering Tuel Lane lock.|
|The view from above...|
Our non-stop turn had denied us the chance of taking a much needed fill of water - we hadn't been able to empty our full toilet cassettes, and we didn't know what was causing the engine to misfire, but at least we were now pointed at Manchester. We tied up above the lock to allow Cath to buy much needed supplies, and to regroup and consider our next moves.
|... and the view in the bottom|
|These are big gates.|
Shire Cruisers were not sure they could help, but though it possible - they agreed to send a man up to the boat when they could spare him.
James arrived at the boat. We suspected fuel issues, and he thought the same, concentrating on the fuel lift pump, which he thought was probably not performing as it should. He would go and see if by any chance they had one.
|Different pairs of bottom gates are used |
depending on longest boat passing through.
|A single lock replaces two former ones - hence the great depth.|
Our choice now was to stay put at a quite unsuitable location, or to try to get back to Hebden Bridge. We decided to do the latter, but before we set off I went and emptied the other toilet cassette, in case we got stranded somewhere before Hebden Bridge. Unfortunately, however, we could not replenish our very depleted fresh water tank - something we had hoped to do at Sowerby Bridge, had we not had to race back immediately to Tuel Lane lock to take advantage of the only possible opportunity to go back the other way through it.
|If you are not actually under duress, it is very attractive on this stretch.|
Exhausted by these unexpected two days we declared ourselves to tired to think about eating on board, and instead went again to "Il Mulino" an Italian restaurant, the quality of who's food is surpassed only by the good humour and excellent service from the staff. Highly recommended - particularly if you have just had two unexpectedly hard days.
Luddendon Foot to Sowerby Bridge and back to Hebden Bridge
Miles 7.8, Locks: 10
Total Miles 198.5, Total Locks: 187