16 locks to do today, and rain forecast for 11am. We set off at 8am, convinced there would be at least one boat in front of us, and all the locks would require filling. It was breakfast on the go today with fresh strawberry (me) and fresh raspberry (Toby) smoothies.
First two locks were against us, and we were convinced another boat must be ahead of us, then the locks were full, and half full. Half way we met a hire boat with six chaps and they said no one was in front (just imagine the snoring and the farts on that boat!!). We had a few leaky locks, Toby struggled to avoid this little spurt.
Marple Locks have been closed since Sept 2017 and only reopened a couple of weeks ago (something that passed us by!). Lock 11 became too narrow for boats to safely pass through, it was quite some operation for the contractors to get to the lock and then repair it. The photos below show the new brickwork, and a rose carved in to one.
The bridge to close the gates is below the top of the lock gates, it gave a different view looking inside and out of the lock gate.
Toby was fairly close to the lock gate, and then had to reverse quite some way to get in to position. Apparently it was all my fault, as I took too long opening the gate!
Every lock seemed to be so deep, the gates are huge.
We were soon through the last lock and then on the Marple Aqueduct, with the railway bridge in sight. The railway bridges were always built higher than the canal aqueducts, something about who can pee up the wall the highest.
All moored up at 10.50 and we beat the rain. To celebrate, we cracked open the popcorn (we’ve been keeping this especially for a rainy day). You may be surprised to read that Toby ate most of it, I had two….no, not two handfuls, just two popcorn kernels.