Monday, 18 August 2014

From one aqueduct to another

(Boat Chalice - posted by Cath)
Post for Monday 18th August.

Marple aqueduct with railway viaduct beyond.
We had heard through Facebook that Brian on narrow boat Alton was coming down the flight early in the morning. Alton is a 'coal boat', supplying fuel to boats on the canal, and we needed diesel. We set off fairly early, hoping to both refuel, and benefit from the empty locks that Alton had left behind it.

The Marple locks are all deep ones.

"In Flight Refuelling" (Photo: Brian McGuigan - operator of Alton)
The plan worked well, we refueled 'in flight', and almost all the locks were empty for us.


Attractive former warehouse, (and the lock where we had just had a scare).
We did have a nasty moment, a bit scary, but not one that could have caused much damage. This was at lock 9 in a flight of 16. I wasn't there, having gone on to open the gates on the next lock, but I suddenly saw David rushing down to the bottom gate paddles and opening them. There is a protruding coping stone at the top of the lock, which had caught on Chalice's gunwale (properly 'top bend' but almost everyone refers to this as the 'gunnals'), and as the lock continued to fill the side of the boat was being held down. A few things left lying around after breakfast fell on the floor, and some saucepans fell out of a cupboard. Because the lock was very nearly full it wasn't dangerous, but it's a reminder that we all need to be vigilant at all times when going through locks.

Serious lack of water at top of Marple locks.
After that it was a day of lots of miles through fabulous scenery. We moored at Gurnett Aqueduct, as advised by Brian, but also because we wanted to meet with one of Alan's former colleagues who lives not far from there.

Did someone forget to reset the scales before weighing?

Alan did an oil change, had a shower, and I redressed the stickers on his face (a little bit mucky, a good thing he's on antibiotics), and we spent an interesting evening in the pub.

Marple Aqueduct to Gurnett Aqueduct
Miles:  14.2 (Chalice), 0 (Sickle), Locks: 16
Total Miles: 631.3, Locks: 439

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