7.5 miles, 7 locks, 5 swing bridges
After a last trip to Tesco and a Monty walk we pulled pins at 10:00 to head back to Burscough Junction where we turned left to the first of 7 locks of the day and a journey that notionally should have taken 4.5 hours. There was a VLK on duty and two boats just entering the lock to go ahead of us - not the best timing on our part.
Now this arm was a steep learning curve with very odd lock mechanisms. This was the first we came across - clockwise to open.
The VLK had swung the bridge - it is a beast to move
and for the first time this year nb Tentatrice and nb Cleddau headed into their first lock together
Quite a modest house by lock 2, but with a wonderful outdoor space
Lock 2 and we came across our first clough mechanism
The first task is to open the catch - anti vandal keys are required at all locks, but all the catches seem to be different and take some working out how to work them
it is a fairly simple mechanism to operate and apparently rarely goes wrong - unless someone pushes as in opening a gate - apparently that happened last year. There were two boats in the lock going down and the wooden arm was floating in the canal, however, no one ever claimed responsibility! As you can imagine there was a long delay whilst the engineers were called and it was all repaired. So you push up
until it is vertical at which point a large door has opened in the gate and the lock fills fairly quickly.
Then it was back to the horizontal wind
which requires quite long arms
We caught up with them at the services to find Ken emptying their poo pot. There was a boat on a permanent mooring who wanted to move back for a pump out, so dealing with that took a little longer, allowing us time to catch up. We arrived and whilst I dealt with water and the yellow water, Chris did the fastest empty or our poo pot on record!
The last swing bridge was the easiest of the day and we were soon moored up right at the end of the moorings ready for the trip tomorrow - we are due at the lock at 09:30. So how long did this trip take - well not the expected 4.5 hours. Not including stops for diesel and the services it took a good 6 hours which was due to the odd locks and difficult bridges. Still we made it, but I doubt if we will be late going to bed tonight.