Sunday, 7 April 2013

Reversing through Ice

Sunday 31st March to Monday 1st April 2013

7 miles, 16 locks, 2 tunnels, and 1 lift bridge during this period

Totals: 1489 Miles, 1214 Locks, 50 Tunnels, 25 Lift Bridges, 97 Swing Bridges

Sunday awoke to a bright and sunny day but with the seemingly persistent ice on the water – with such brilliant days we needed to wait for a while before we could move – the sun doing its best to melt away the ice.

Anyway we waited and waited – the ice slowly thinning – saw Dot and Gordon; walked the dog; caught up with Peter and Meagan as well as Elaine and Paul.

11am arrived and that was it we were off.

Our plan was to reverse the 100 or so metres to the junction and think about reversing back to fill up – with ice still present – thinning, but still there – and a water tank just over ½ full we changed our minds.

The initial reversing went smoothly and we were able to start the locks not long after setting off.

How fortunate are we to have friends like Gordon who helped us through the first 4 locks – they were to leave tomorrow (Monday).

Unlike our last journey through these locks it was downhill and in daylight with no problems of dry pounds or faulty paddles – through the 16 locks in a little over 2 hours and a little bit further on to Romiley.

We had emailed friends David and Margaret that we were coming but no reply – seems that they were not at home this weekend. No problem.

Later in the afternoon we were joined by Elaine and Paul who had left later after watering up – progress reports via viber between Elaine and Diane gave an idea of where they were – a elderly solo boater was also going down and they agreed to go ahead and help with setting the locks for him as he was coming down after them.

All went well.

Monday came and at the totally unusual hour of 8am Elaine and Paul were outside the boat, windlasses in had and dog leads in the other – off to work the locks for Dot and Gordon.

We were off to explore Romiley a bit and then to head to Ashton for mooring spots.

Later that afternoon we raised the lift bridge for three boats – nb Caxton; nb Ewn Ha Cul; and nb Moon Shadow to breeze through and we were once agaon all moored together.

A bite of a chat; cup of tea and freshly made banana bread aboard Ferndale re-energised all a bit and plan were made for tomorrow.

These were miles and locks to give us some aches and pains in preparation for the next few days.

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