|Our car park. AmyJo is behind the car on the right.|
We hung about the boat all morning after we heard the boat in front had an intruder during the night about 1am whilst they slept. Turns out it was a drunk and we think he thought the boat was unattended. We think we were left due to Smudge being seen and barking at a hoody earlier.
In the afternoon we had a look round the museum of Science and Industry. Sadly half of it including the air and train halls were closed to the public.
We still spent a good time going round the rest of it and its amazing how many everyday items they have in their collections hall. Everything from a sweet wrapper from 1920 to full bomb disposal kits to trim phones to every desktop computer brand ever made. Fascinating.
|Stations around the photo spiral allowed you to take your selfie and have it displayed on the monitors.|
Then your photo moved to the next monitor and so on until it reached the top on the 3rd floor.
|Mural on one of the museum halls|
We rushed to get AmyJo ready to cruise and then Chris set off to help with the lock as I bought AmyJo round to meet Oakmere
|AmyJo and Oakmere wait at the bottom lock|
|Lock 91 the first of the Rochdale 9|
|Night clubs line the canal. At night these take a different persona like a scene from a syfi movie|
|Only way to cross this lock was to climb across the wet beams by stepping on the top of the lock |
whilst holding on to the beam itself..
|It did improve further up though|
|Lock 87 where Chris was propositioned.|
|The gloomy Lock 85, denizen of sordid goings on, but lucky for us, not today it seems.|
The top lock was causing us problems as can be seen from the photo. A torrent of water was cascading over the top gate. So much in fact that the lock would not fully drain so we could not get the bottom gates open. We tried cracking open the top paddles for a bit but the flow persisted. In the end it took Chris and Dianne on one lock beam and the full might of AmyJo's engine to get the gate open. Now I know this is not a good thing to do as it puts a strain on the lock gate bearings but there was no way we could have got through and by now a queue was forming above.
|So much water flowing over the gates|
|Turning onto The Aston Canal is a bit tight and we had to avoid the stairs|
|nb Oakmere and us stopped for a well earned cuppa|
I did not enjoy Manchester as much as I did Liverpool. I'm sure its a lovely place but I could not feel at ease the whole time we were there. What with drug dealers and intruders, the constant wailing of Police sirens and drunks etc it did feel a bit off putting though I'm sure its not really the case all over Manchester.
After creeping under a very low road bridge I unlocked the Cuff locks and we set off up the next set of 18 locks. Unfortunately all set against us.
|Another low bridge|
We worked our way up the locks one by one. I unlocked the cuff locks in turn and when Chris motored out of each lock, shut the gates and then opened the bottom paddles to set the lock for nb Oakmere below.
|Chris managing to negotiate the locks perfectly|
|Passing the home of Manchester City FC|
|Chris enjoying working AmyJo in the locks|
|Resistance is futile or at least it looks that way|
She then ran past us and proceeded to try and set the next lock above us unsuccessfully, she did not have her cuff key. On her return I explained that I was unlocking the paddles for Dianne as I went and she seemed surprised. It was clear to her things would not go any faster so she went back down to her boat. She would re appear later armed with her key only to find a boat had since come down and from now on all the locks would be in our favour. With that she then proceeded to help Dianne from then on. I in return left the cuff locks in place on the bottom paddles safe in the Knowledge Dianne had help.
|The lady on the right hand paddle helping Dianne|
|Into the lock like a boss|
At the last few of the locks a gentleman appeared on a push bike and proceeded to help me work the locks. To our sailing club members I think he looked a bit like Bill don't you think? Who he was or why he helped we had no idea but were grateful for his help none the less
|Bill's look alike offering advise on where to water and pump out whilst we wait for the lock to fill|
Whilst filling I took my now usual jaunt down the weed hatch to find a bumper catch consisting of a complete yellow cycling t-shirt, 15 plastic bags in various states, a thong (or at least thats what it looked like, yuck) and more rope.
|The top lock and water point just ahead on the left.|
|Fairfield Junction just after the top lock and we turned right here.|
|Moored at Portland Basin|
|The basin itself and the museum dedicated to wooded history boats|