As we set off the cloud was thinning and the first signs of sunshine was showing itself, in fact, as the day progressed it improved and warmed considerably.
Just before the aqueduct is a narrow cutting. It reminded me some what of Grub street cutting on the Shroppy, like that, this too was dark and gloomy.
After crossing a wide pound we came to the aqueduct. From the canal one could easily think we were crossing Chirk aqueduct, the two are almost identical.
|Even this sign read similar to the one at Chirk
|An elevate railway bridge runs parallel just like the one at Chrik
After a sort cruise we arrived at the first of the 16 Marple locks. Our timing was off as the boat passing us going the other way had not come down the locks but had set of from the moorings below. We found all the locks against us. Not that it worried us, we have a routine where Chris turns the lock in our favour. I motor in and Chris opens the paddles. When safe for me to step off Chris goes up to the next lock to set it and I motor out of my lock, l close the paddles and gate by which time the next lock is ready to take AmyJo.
|Waiting for the next lock to be ready.
These locks are deep at around 13ft each and are in a lovely setting so different to the last few days, I was finally relaxing again, so good to be back out in the countryside. The depth of the locks makes the bottom paddles hard going when the lock is full. Chris has found by placing the windlass up right and pulling down half a turn then moving the windlass back and repeating she could open the paddles without too much strenuous effort.
|Deep locks, yes AmyJo and I are in there at the bottom, you can just see my head..
|Smudge helps Chris to open the gate
but keeps a watchful eye on me as well
|Single handing the lock from Chris's view point
|Blissfully unaware Chris is stood nearby
|Tied up and no way to move.
We've been monitoring the pound level all day and it has hardly dropped so we think we should be OK over night. I've deployed the anti shelf wheels and left the lines slack as a precaution. The two locks above us leak badly and are filling up on their own. I figure if needed in the night I can let these down to restore the pound level again.
Whilst waiting I contrived to jury rig the broken cable so that I can manually operate the throttle. Luckily it broke by the throttle lever so still plenty of usable length left. I slid the cable out of its sheaving and threaded it up through a gap between the back door and the floor panel. I just gently pull on the loop I fashioned using an electrical connection block and voila we have revs! Its not neat but it works and may just get me out of trouble should I really need to move. At least its better than calling for revs to the engine room crew (that would have to be Chris of course!)
|Jury rigged throttle cable hanging ready from the throttle lever. Thank god for electrical connection blocks.
So now we spend another anxious night worrying that the pound level does not drop too much, although, the location is quite pleasant it has to be said. Still one good thing really, the cable broke here and not on the Rochdale 9 or Ashton Locks so I guess thats the silver lining to all this! Someone is watching over us after all.