Everyone we talked to said "it's impossible - you'll never make it - you're mad"... you get the gist.
You really think folk would have learned by now not to say that to a 'ginger super hero' wouldn't you?
Now OK - even I thought we wouldn't make it but that wasn't going to stop us trying... BEFORE we began, I'd already primed my brain to expect AND accept defeat and talk itself into thinking it'd be nice to spend 3 weeks trapped in the long pound between Wigan top and the bottom of Johnson's hillocks.... which isn't actually a bad place to be.
Crt had (via badgering of the business manager bloke) agreed to open the bottom lock at Gargrave at 8am Friday instead of 10am, in a bid to give us a chance of getting into Barrowford locks before they close entry at 3pm.
Working on the principle we might get delayed by other boats, (and with a birthday cheque from dad to finance it) I asked for help off a couple of chaps... THATS something I'm learning as I go through life ... to ask for help when you can't do things on your own. NOT an easy thing for me but as time trundles on, something I can accept. I suppose in business terms, it's just a matter of knowing how to respond to situations you can't control yourself and know WHEN to ask for backup.
I'd asked a day boat skipper if he'd fancy a days boating (socially distanced of course) and if he had a mate that might come along and crew too - turned out, his mate was also a friend who I'd not thought to ask, as he had further to travel and BOTH of them are far better skippers than 'Capt. Ellis' lol.
In TRUE boating form, Friday morning arrived Wet and VERY windy... so, after a night of NO sleep through a combination of
The wind and rain made for a very unpleasant start...HOWEVER, as well as the recruits, the CRT chaps also worked in relay with our team going ahead and having the Gargrave AND Bank Newton locks set ready - especially useful in the wind. I didn't take my first photo until half way up Bank Newton
We made it up to the top of there in record time (10.30) which meant nearly an hour ahead of my planned schedule)... an hour we WERE to need however as by Greenberfield locks (the summit) we came across a boat coming down - followed by 2 others also doing the same - BOTH Of which effectively Stole the locks! NOT cricket with water being so scarce... THAT Said, you can see why given how much