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Monday, 20 August 2018

Back to Base, Teenagers and 'blood -boiling' lockies...

You'll remember that i don't LIKE to moan ?  -  hmmmm... well, I challenge Anyone who encounters the younger lockie on Newley locks NOT to let him under their skin.

I'll elucidate.

KNOWING we had to arrive in at the top of Newley Locks by 10am for the 2 hour down window, we left Apperley bridge bright and early and teamed up with another boat to share swing bridges etc.  Upon arrival (9.30) the OLD (sorry about the use of that word but its easier to differentiate between the GOOD one and the hostile/passive-aggressive.opinionated,know-it-all cretin younger one) proper lockie, came up and said he'd get us down asap.  There was a young chap behind us in his little grp sailing thingy that our travelling companions had given a tow to the locks - poor young lad had rather naively moored his boat between the two flights and gone off to a scout camp... only to come back to find (or not I suppose) his outboard motor and leisure batteries gone.  The police had just been to see him and had the other boat not given him a tow, we'd have done so

he was told that he'd have to wait until the end of the locking down period for another boat to turn up rather than wasting water letting him down on his own... he was relaxed about this though and he got a book out and began reading.

Once we began our decent, the nice lockie went on ahead to prep the next locks whilst the younger one stayed to help out.  Well I say help, he's clearly wasted on the canal network - what with his higher intelligence and superb interpersonal (not) skills, he should be working either as a brain surgeon or international mediator.!   I  HOPE you're picking up the sarcasm here -  Trouble was, that it was Andy's day to play skipper and my turn on the towpath...  now, having been trapped at the top of Bingley for 24 hours cause "rules is rules" - when faced with THIS chap, it was always going to be confrontational journey.  Now OK, I might have commented on how frustrating it's been this summer what with all the emergency stoppages just about everywhere we've tried to travel...however, his reply should have been at worst, slightly apologetic, perhaps even agreeing... instead, Mr.  hostile/passive-aggressive.opinionated,know-it-all cretin younger lockie, decided to launch into a rant at me about how boaters waste water!!! Unfortunately, having got a phone FULL of photos of broken paddles, leaking gates and badly maintained lock gates, I was not overly enamored at being blamed for wasting water by USING our boat for navigational purposes, whilst paying nearly twice a leisure license AND having to jump through extra hoops for the privilege.   

When faced with idiots like him confrontational folks, my preferred course of action is to walk away before I say anything TOO offence.  I tried this but he then adopted a new approach to wind me up by talking loudly at the chap on the boat to try and get his message across to me through a 3rd party.

By the time we'd gotten to the bottom of the flights I was boiling angry and Andy very graciously agreed to swap roles for the remainder of the day to prevent further abrasion.

Luckily, the couple on the other boat were really good natured - and we enjoyed the rest of our journey in the Granary Wharf... that was until they got a bit of metal and rope jammed in their prop near the pontoons and then became grounded because the water levels were low.  Ginger to the rescue and after about an hours buggering around, we managed to free them and get the boat floating again... a short while later, the lady (I didn't get her name but she was brilliantly funny) knocked on the boat roof with a little bottle of gin as a thank you - not required but appreciated non the less.

We spent a couple of days in Leeds  - taking the river taxi down to Clarence Dock with the kids in a shopping trip -
You can see the excitement was nearly too much for them!

Whilst the kids have been with us, we've been teaching them basic life skills... such as washing up, tidying up their own clothes and making their beds daily - it's been quite a challenge.  Another thing we had to address was shower length.  Now I DO remember being a teenager - having just discovered my own 'home-entertainment section' and the resultant time it used to take for me to have a shower - OBVIOUSLY the supply of hot water on the boat does not really facilitate this kind of  behavior - ergo, we had to have an awkward chat about shower duration.  

I tried to do it tactfully, but apparently (and I take issue with this) I'm NOT the most tactful of people!  Anyway - I think I got the message across and touch wood, we never ran out of water.

UNLIKE Coke!  We couldn't believe HOW much coke *other carbonated soft drinks are available* they get through each day - at least 2*2 litre bottles - sometimes 3 and whilst we HAD stocked up before their arrival (by getting a couple of bottles each time we went out in Skipton) we soon ran out.  This led to another "life lesson" -  we went shopping and bought a couple of days worth and made THEM carry it back to the boat whilst we frittered our shopping bags on less important stuff such as fruit and veg etc.  There was a bit of moaning about having to carry it SO far back to the boat but oddly enough, they soon switched to diluted orange juice... for fear of having to repeat their mule impression.

We got back to base on Friday morning and I nipped home to pick up stove spares I'd ordred the other month - namely a new rear liner and replacement glass door.  The liner had cracked and whilst I know it was safe to use, wanted a new one.  Same for the door - whlst not cracked yet, it WAS scratched quite badly by some ginger idiot who took a stainless steel scouring thing to it last year over enthusiastic cleaning.

Once fitted, I gave the whole thing a bit of tlc and even swept the chimney too.  Roll on winter as we're ready for you now.

BEFORE then however, we've a few short trips to fit in - the first being a birthday chug.  

We decorated the boat with poundland tat appropriate bunting and set sail up the Calder

and Hebble to Mirfield... we HAD planned on it being a Leeds weekend but thanks to Lock 1 now being closed until further notice, we had to knock that idea on the head.  No matter, our guests had fun and even got to tolerate enjoy Rummikub.

When we got back to base last night, everyone was in an exuberant mood - (yes even me) AND Brynn  was more than happy to join in too!

He carried it off well don't you think?

Today - we're heading into Dry dock for a week to have the bottom blacked... whilst we're out of the water, we're going to do chores - including cutting down the solar panel brackets so we'll fit through Standedge tunnel OK... it's not like I can ever be bothered to tilt them anyway so I'm going to make them static.  

Until next time...

Monday, 13 August 2018

More Closures but we're on our way back to Wakefield ....

I try very hard NOT to be a moaner and ranter... VERY hard  - ok so I don't always succeed but since living on a boat, my mindset is generally quite upbeat and positive... as a result of the people we meet on a daily basis... be them boaters or dog walkers - Cyclists and fishermen are excluded from this "positive group" - ESPECIALLY those who think ringing their bell (the cyclists not the fishermen) gives them right of way!

Anyway - We've been holed up in Skipton for about a week - basically awaiting the arrival of Andy's Nephews who have come to stay for  a holiday with us.  We HAD planned for them to catch the last leg of the return from Manchester on the Rochdale but those of you paying attention will remember they closed that on us due to miss-management/gates leaking lack of dredging the water shortage.

As it happens, we've enjoyed being in Skipton - it's a lovely place to be stuck... plenty to do and see and even a few rain showers .... one day even being cold enough for me to light the fire again!

We've had fliers on the side of the boat for people to collect (not that we can really DO much in the way of short trips for the foreseeable ) but at least it might get some more interest in Next years trips - writing of which, we've now got 4 "new" bookings in the diary for 2019 and 2/3 that we've moved from this Autumns thwarted trip to Wolverhampton.

On Saturday, Andy's sister and husband turned up (fresh from a week in Wales with her parents) and once we'd had lunch, they went home and we began one of those treasure hunts/quizes around the town with the kids.  BEING old school, we printed them out and followed clues.  NOT very well I might add as a combination of the town being heaving AND our teenage orienteering  missing out vital bits of information when reading the clues out - ergo it too a long time and we went around in circles a bit of it.  Still, it was a good way of having a structured wander around the area and into places we might otherwise not have visited.  If you look closely this dog on the Springs branch is having a lay in the stream... quite happy to cool off from the heat.

We would've have liked to spend another couple of days in the town with the kids but on checking my CRT emails, I spotted that they are planning now to close another section of the canal - from the top of Bingley 5 rise right to Lock 1 where Granary Wharf meets the river Aire in the centre of Leeds.

I also spotted that BEFORE this is due to happen (on Friday 17th) the hours of operation of Bingley had been reduced to 10-12 down and 1-3 up...  

With this in mind, we left Skipton on Saturday night and traveled as far as Silsden before the rain wore us down - ironic that we're having to make a dash to get off the canal before it closes when it's raining cats and dogs!

Hey ho.  After a reasonable night in Silsden, we departed about 7.30 with a view to arriving at Biingley for the allotted opening hours.

HOWEVER, what the website DIDN'T say was that "someone at CRT" had decreed only 4 lockings down and 3 lockings up per day - ergo, when we got there ON TIME we were already TOO late as yesterdays arrivals had filled the slots in the queue ahead of us.  I got a bit of a sulk on and Tweeted CRT that perhaps they ought to put the FULL story on the website - especially as hirers were turning up losing a whole day of their already expensive holiday going no where.  

Anyway - as mooring space was at a premium for the waiting boats, we invited a Pennine cruiser to breast up against us for the night - knowing at least we'd be first in the queue.  I won't lie - I was NOT good humored about having to kill 24 hours and STILL use just as much water to acheive our transit goal - there being no valid reason in my mind, why CRT couldnt' have run water down from the CLOSED pounds above Gargrave - I mean what use is it having water up there when there are no boats? - they might just as well empty the buggers and give the boats down stream a chance of moving and mooring.

So - this morning (Monday 13th) we finally descended the 5 and 3 with the hire boat in the photo.  We've ended up doing more than we'd normally do in a bid to get off the L & L asap - especially given that when we arrived at Dobson's lock we had an hour delay whilst more of that expanding foam grouting was being done - we already knew about that though and it gave us chance to do a couple of loads of washing, all have showers and leave with a full tank.  

Tomorrow, we have to get up before god bright and early to get to Newlay locks which are now ALSO on restrictions... 10-12 down and 1-3 up... there better not be a queue there or my twitter finger will go onto overdrive.

Until next time...

Monday, 6 August 2018

Leeds to Skipton, Resin injections (to lock walls) and grafters

We left Leeds bright and early - the plan being to get through the (allegedly) trouble hot-spots before the yobbos bored youth of today, got out of bed.

We miscalculated how long the water tank would take to fill and as such ended a little behind our planned schedule.  No matter though as the cruise was nice enough as usual and although the water was a little down, nothing worse than we've come to expect.

The clarity of it though WAS really good - SO clear we could see the bottom and loads of fish as we chugged along.

A thoroughly lovely trip and despite planning to stop at Rodley for the night, there just wasn't space so we continue on as far as Apperley Bridge.... which was by contrast a ghost town.  THAT's the trouble with the grape vine - WHEN CRT announce they are closing a section of canal - (in the case of the Leeds and Liverpool it's from lock 30 Gargrave to Wigan bottom lock) SOME folk assume they have to get off the canal altogether and make a dash for alternate waters...  They are missing out on spending time on a lovely canal as a result.

Of course, it makes no odds to us - having dragged our arse sttruggled with the Rochdale the other week, the L & L a few inches down is no big deal.  We spent a night outside the marina and caught up with Rob there - he and his wife are still working hard and the coffee shop is keeping them VERY busy.    Expecting a quiet night, we had a brief panic attack when 2 scout boats turned up and tried to moor opposite... LUCKILY after a few minutes faffing around they had a change of mind and continued onwards.

Next day, we went up Dobsons Locks and planning on filling with water, sods law meant we'd meet another boat coming the other way that had beaten us to the water point...  the water point with the SLOWEST tap in know England btw.  We had a chat with them (a Hire boat) and they were enjoying their trip despite the difficulty in finding places deep enough to get in and moor up for the night.  The further we went the more hire boats we encountered... obvious of course that with at least 3 hire companies we know about (Pennine, Silsden and Snaygils) nearly all their traffic HAD to come this way.  It's east to see by the way the hirers handle the boats, which companies give the better instructions  AND look after their boats... some of the Silsdens ones look totally battered to say the least.

Dobsons lock is due for some grouting work to reduce the leaks through the chamber walls in the next few weeks. I read about it on the CRT notices page...  Passage through will still be possible (it's a good job cause we need to come back this way) but there will be delays.

The water here is still crystal clear and chugging along looking down at the fish was a pleasure.

Further along, when we got to Field 3 locks, we encountered a delay whilst contractors carried out the same repair as planned for Dobsons - I'd obviouls NOT spotted that on the notices page lol.  There was already 1 boat in the top lock waiting... 1 in the bottom and Us on the lock landing.  It took about half an hour for things to get moving and during this time a group of kids turned up to play around in the lock. 

For kids, they were quite organised... bringing towels and changes of clothes with them.  They just don't see the dangers we adults do.  

Whilst I don't like kids per say, I go onto auto-pilot danger patrol and went for a chat with them .  The water clarity by the time we'd gotten to these locks had deteriorated and unlike the previous locks, it looked really filthy.  I suggested they would be safer at Dobsons locks - given that there really is NO point in telling them NOT to do it... kids will be kids and will do it anyway.  At least at Dobsons locks, there are houses not far away so that if one of them gets hurt, help would be to hand.  They weren't rude but replied they used to play there but the people in the houses kept chasing them away - I dunno what the answer is - if they were MY kids, (and ignored what I'd said) I'd STILL  rather they did stupid things where help is to hand than in the middle of nowhere.

As we ascended the final chamber, we could see the work the contractors we doing.  Basically, they are drilling big holes in to the lock wall, screwing in metal nipple type things and then injecting expanding foam - similar to the boat insulation.  This in turn expands and supposedly fills any gaps.  Apparently, it's Good for 20 years!  - I'm not convinced  as the "structure" of the foam appears honeycomb to me but time will tell I suppose.

Next stop was Saltaire - we'd hoped to tie up for the night just before the "no over night moorings" bit but there were too many boats already there (pointing the opposite way) - just as we decided to carry on a bit farther, I was hailed by a chap on the tow path... turned out, he recognized me from an internet chat room... what were the odds of that?  After a brief catch up, we continued and ended the day just before the aqueduct in the woods.  The towpath there is very busy so Andy was in his element people watching.  As the evening progressed, a CRT chap (cycling home from work) stopped and asked if we planned to go up Bingley the next day - turned out it was John who'd helped us up and down the flights a few times this year.  HE suggested there we pair up with the boat behind as there were 2 boats ahead of us.  What he didn't know was that a couple of the boats coming DOWN in the morning, planned to turn around and head straight back up!

The plan was to get to Bingley about 11am - in preparation for the afternoons' "up" session that was scheduled to begin at 1pm.  Alas, a couple of boats appeared from behind and queue jumped early doors so we decided it best to pull pins and get in the queue before we ended any further back .

By the time I took a photo, 4 boats had already began their ascent and we paired up with Rupert and Rachel who were having a holiday on their friends boat.  They were 60 ft long and getting the gates closed behind them proved a challenge.  Note that Andy and I had changed roles... the plan being that as I need to lose 2 stone, I need to do more lock work... I don't know how that will hep though as from what I've seen, it's just lots of nattering to passers by! 😉

We stopped for the night in Keithley and then completed the journey into Skipton the following morning - luckily for us we were able to moor right opposite Pennine cruisers.  Whilst it's can be a Little bit noisy until the bar closes, it's actually probably the nicest mooring in the town with very little footfall passing by the boat at night but with the bonus of being able to watch everyone else.  Including the comings and goings of the day boats.  

Pennine have 6 day boats, 2 trip boats, a chandlers and a bar and EVERYONE working there we observed is a grafter.  Including the boss man.  It's clear he leads by example and gets stuck in... in a good natured and encouraging way.  

We spent a few days in Skipton and before we left, had a pumpout.  It still annoys me that CRT self pumpout cards cost MORE than paying for someone else to do it at a boat yard does! Go figure.

We've headed off towards Gargrave now - we know we can't go up the locks but will turn and enjoy the boat free section below.  At least that was the plan... we keep getting clonked into the side as day boats go by.  It's not the end of the world.  

We took a walk up to Gargrave yesterday and it does seem strange there being no boats in the pound...

The gates have been Ashed up to reduce water leaking through - it's working as there is plenty of water up there... just seems a shame some of it is leaking over a by-wash straight back into the river a bit further down near lock 30.

Here's a panoramic view of last night's mooring... 

I think we'll stay another night and do some jobs today as it's cooler and cloudy.

Until next time...

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Sowerby Bridge and a new plan...(well half a plan)

Yes I know it's been ages since I've been back here - sorry.  ALL I can say in my defense is that I HAVE done a daily (ish) tweet... on my phone as it's easier than sitting down and fighting with my non-compliant  using my aging laptop.

Anyway - I'm here now so lets make the best of it and have a catch up.

Since we abandoned the drought-stricken Rochdale, we took a brief exploration up the Halifax arm of the Calder  & Hebble in to Salterhebble Basin - it WAS'NT worth the trip

Why not you may ask? - well to start with at the end of the arm is a sewage works... and a Premier Inn with a Brewers Fayre (could be called Brewsters now) pub overlooking the turning hole... none of those were TOO bad but REALLY but what WAS a  problem was a submerged tree branch about 6 inch in diameter that got wedged between the rudder and prop and stalled the engine!  All of which happened with a wind blowing us into places we would rather not have hit WITH the biggest audience of lunchtime diners you could imagine.    After about 30 minutes down the weed hatch like a contortionist, I finally got the branch free and we returned whence we came.

The rest of the journey on to Brighouse was uneventful - although the heavens opened up for the last few hours and we both got soaked... well I say we BOTH got soaked...ANDY got more wet as he was convinced it would "blow over" so refused on several occasions the waterproof jacket I offered lol.  The skipper on the other hand, stayed relatively dry under the multipurpose parasol.

Whilst the Calder and Hebble (at present) isn't TOO dry, it's easy to see how much water is wasted all the time:

WE entered Brighouse and spotted for the first time, the climbing wall .

SICK of the rain by now, we moored on the 48 hour visitor moorings outside Sainsburys in a space that was about 58ft long... Perfectly - WAS anyone there to witness this? of course not!

We stocked up the larder and settled down for a wet night watching the telly.  About 1.30am we discovered WHY the space was available... it was right next to some "steps" that drunken/drugged teenagers are attracted to at that time of night/morning.  No harm, just lots of noise and in the morning we continued on our way.

I have to admit to feeling a little guilty when 2 volunteers older than my parents insisted on locking us down on to the river but took advantage of their kindness all the same and once through Mirfield, we tied up above Shepley Bridge lock and chilled out for the remainder of the day.

Once back at base (no idea where the next days photos went) we set to and gave the boat a bit of TLC - mainly to repair Battle-scars from the trip to Ripon.  

I don't remember doing these but they were there all the same.  Hey ho - a few hours rubbing down and then couple of coats of paint and it's good as new (although doesn't hold up to CLOSE inspection).

Next morning, we decided to chug off towards Leeds to "create our own breeze" - it really was sweltering.  We stopped the night at Lemonroyd before an early start the following morning before it got TOO hot again.

On route, we picked up another solo boater - this time a lady called Alison.  She was on a wide beam and shouted to ask if she could come up Knostrop Lock with us .  She handled her boat beautifuly and although when we arrived at the lock, it was closed whilst CRT did something, she came along side without touching and breasted up to us whilst we waited.

It was lovely to natter and drink tea in the sun and we both throroughly enjoyed meeting her - we offered to work her through in to Granary wharf with us and we ended up moored nearby for a night.

Not long after we'd tied up, we spotted some new neighbors of ours from Stanley Ferry on their beautiful new wide Aintree boat...  After a catch up and natter with them, we helped them down the lock on to the river (that landing is a bit tight at the best of times) and there were a lot of people in the way, waiting for the river taxi.

Note the sun canopy for the dog on the roof - He's spoiled rotten!

The decision to tie up in front of the hotel whilst GOOD for the solar panels, WASN'T good for the ears...  it turns out they (the hotel) play "durge" (the sort Yo Sushi play) to the outside seating/smoking area... UNTIL 11pm .  IT really got on my nerves and whilst we COULD connect to their free wifi, I couldn't stand another night of that din so we moved outside the Candlebar the next morning...   

More rain again the other night - although this couple seemed TOTALLY oblivious to it...  I will not post any other photos for decency sake - suffice to say when they'd finished, we felt it appropriate to hold up marks out of 10 for effort and presentation! - they took it in good spirit and laughed as they went onto wherever they were going lol.

We're still there - not quite on the lock landing but closer than I'd like to be.Still, not many boats are moving around at the moment due to the imminent closure of the L & L between Gargrave and Wigan.

HOPEFULLY this won't affect our pan to go on as far as Skipton next week to pick up Andy's nephews for a weeks trip back to Wakefield.  We'll have to time Bingley right as it's now on restrictions too. Still, it did rain a bit last night and LOTS is forecast for tomorrow so things may improve slightly for us.  

In other news, due to a combination of broken locks, broken  chambers,  water shortages and closures, it looks unlikely we'll be able to navigate our planned route down to Wolverhampton for Autumn.  As such, I've been in touch the 4 guest bookings this will affect and suggested we do it in April next year - or in the case of the antipodeans, take them from Leeds to Skipton and back instead.  We're a bit down in the mouth about it but folk HAVE responded kindly and understand it's totally beyond our control.  

We've certainly had a baptism of "challenges" to deal with for our first year but it's not detracted from the adventure.

HOPEFULLY, CRT will keep up their half of the bargain and MEND the problems with the network quickly and effectively.

we'll see,

Until next time...

Friday, 20 July 2018

Hebden Bridge and trip over the Rochdale abandoned...

We set off next morning to Hebden bridge... many a tow path walker cheerfully pointed out we'd not be able to go much further as the canal was empty further ahead... UNDETERRED, we continued with our planned journey - optimistic that by the time we'd got near an empty section, CRT would have filled it with water...

This was to prove foolish.

The Rochdale canal IS notorious for being shallow but we'd never expected it to be THIS bad...dragging our bum along the bottom - hitting goodness knows what as we went and MORE often than not getting completely stuck for hours at a time.

We came along a chap who'd got stuck a couple of days previously who'd given in and was just waiting for rain...  right on a winding hole but to be honest it didn't matter as there was so little water in it, we'd not have been able to turn anyway.  It turns out, 'Ellis' sit's a couple of inches deeper in the water than 'Memory Maker'  -  ergo, US going up ahead (and getting stuck) wasn't helpful. 

Between locks 7 and 8 we got properly stuck in a thin section... the resultant call to CRT (and a couple of Tweets later), the water level increased enough to get moving again.

As we eventually approached Hebden Bridge, the result of CRT running water down to re-float us became apparent... although chatting with a local boater, it turned out it'd been like this for over a week.

We went up through the next lock and moored for the night near the Bike/coffee shop - which has a very laid back approach to opening hours:

The plan HAD been to go out for tea but we were all just so exhausted and to be honest, thoroughly miserable after a such a frustrating day, we just sat down and discussed what to do for the best.  

Wendy and Eddie didn't really have much of a choice but to continue towards the summit  - they would NOT be coming back this way anyway so it didn't matter to them if the canal gets closed...  WE on the other hand would HAVE to come back the way we came due to the Leeds & Liverpool being closed at the end of the month AND the current problem on the Huddersfield.

So, with a heavy heart, we decided to end this journey in Hebden and return whence we came - to get off the Rochdale asap before it's closed all together... ironically, the heavens opened for a couple of hours and we ALMOST reconsidered.

Next morning, looking at weather forecasts, it was abundantly clear, no rainfall is expected in the next 10 days.  We walked along as Eddie and Wendy set off and worked them through a few locks - this turned out to be a good plan as it was so shallow they'd be unable to get to lock landings anyways.  At one point, they got totally stuck and I went ahead to run some water down ... when I got to the lock, a CRT chap had beaten me to it - to help a boater coming the other way who'd gotten stuck further along in the same pound we were stuck in.... I got chatting with them and it turns out this was their 6th passage and the worst they'd ever seen it - they too getting off as fast as they could expecting it to close altogether.

When Eddie and Wendy were off again, we continued on foot and did the next couple of locks for them - water levels being consistently low.  Saying our goodbyes, we returned to 'Ellis' and had fish and chips for lunch.  We are already really missing having them around.

Looking at the notices on the CRT website, they have effectively closed the section between locks 7 and 11 (to keep Hebden bridge in water) and also put further time restrictions on Tuel Lane Lock with effect from today (Friday 20th)...  luckily for us, the Thursday closures would not begin until after then which meant we could get a booking to go back down at lunchtime then... subject to being able to get there of course.

With this booked, we reversed down through the lock to the service point and turned in the basin - made more difficult by a boat moored on the services AND another one moored in the winding hole...  no matter,  we managed and set off back towards Sowerby Bridge... scraping our bum all the way.

We took some water down with us in anticipation of a repeat problem on the thin bit between lock 7 and 8 ... a wise decision.  Things got tricky after we came out of 7 as 3 boats (that HAD been stuck over night) suddenly realised they could now move with the water we'd sent down and did  just that - resulting in a bit of a difficult passing procedure - no one got too badly stuck and we eventually managed to pass them... only to find another solo boater stuck slap bang in the middle of the cut beneath lock 6 - he'd been there over night... unable to get to the bank.

I suggested he ready himself for the increase in water level as we descended the lock and try to get moving - agreeing to stay in the lock until he'd come in so as to reduce the risk of both/either of us getting stuck .

This worked quite well.

A bit farther along, we encountered the same chap we'd seen on the way up - still stuck but happy to sit it out and wait for rain.  Getting passed him was difficult as there was something under water and I felt the tiller lift up as we eventually went over it...

After another long and hot day, we tied up for the night on the mooring above Tuel Lane lock.

Not the nicest place to spend the night but it was quiet (ish) and at least it's close to the shops.

Another (solo) boater arrived before bedtime and said once he'd seen us leaving Hebden, he phoned and tagged on to our booking.  He'd made it all the way over from Manchester but had also spent a couple of nights marooned in the middle of the cut with no water... he too was "escaping" to try and find some water to boat on.

I got a call the next morning from CRT warning they'd have to delay our time slot due to operational issues - that meant they'd not work us down until about 3pm... not the end of the world.  Anyway, about 3 as promised, 2 chaps turned up, ran some water down through the tunnel and topped up the pound below so we'd be able to get down into Sowerby Basin.

We called in to Shire Cruisers for a pump out, top up with diesel and to buy a new hand spike - the pic-axe handle now looking the worse for wear lol.

Once replete, we chugged back around to the visitor moorings (ish) where we spent last night with a new friend...

Today's plan is to service the engine whilst Andy has a been of a clean and tidy inside the boat - we're moored in the shade so that should keep the temperature comfortable whilst we work, then after lunch we'll set off towards Brighouse and maybe spend the weekend there.

Until next time...