Friday, 1 September 2017

What will today bring.

It’s a nice sunny morning, we walked along the basin looking for a possible partner to join us up the Rochdale Nine locks but with no takers. We had breakfast and then set off to the first lock, no boats about. Looks like we are doing the flight alone. The whole place is deserted of moving boats.
Photo's may look nice but believe me it isn't.

Time to set off alone, a few photos to start with but as we ventured deeper into the city, and as the locks got worse we pretty much stopped taking photos. I did promise at the start of our trip that I would keep positive and not slag places off. But druggies injecting themselves in plain view and men loitering in dark places isn't a good place to be. (Why the police don't stop this is beyond me)
This section is a disgrace and not a safe place to be.
The locks themselves weren't too bad but the handcuffs slowed things down.

Lock 9. hooray, oh! hang on no steering, we managed to make our way to the edge. As I thought, something around the prop, a handbag. Could have been worse. 

Now the Ashton, ‘hurray’ (joking). We managed to pull over just as we started the Ashton for a bite to eat and a drink. We have a long hard trip ahead, who knows what will happen and we won't be stopping until we reach at least Portland Basin. 

Bridge 6, very low indeed how people with top-boxes manage I will never know, lucky for us we only have a couple of aerials that needed unscrewing, we still only had about 2” clearance between us and the bridge.

The general state of the Ashton canal is disgusting, crap everywhere, water levels are also low in places, on more than one occasion we had to let water in from the lock above to get us floating again. We encountered everything from plastic bags to tree trunks dropped into the locks.
Too heavy to lift out, this made it very difficult for us to enter the lock.
At the last lock we filled up with water to celebrate completing our ordeal, but we haven't finished yet, we survived the Ashton but our feet are killing us.  Another couple of lock free hours and we arrived at Portland basin. It had started getting dark, luckily there was a space on some new sheet piles opposite the flats next to Portland Basin Museum, we can hook onto these tonight. 

Tonights walk is going to be a quick one for Mr B to empty his tanks and then off to bed.

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