Another early start today, as we wanted to get through the somewhat grotty underbelly of Manchester. We cast off by 7.15 with Toby doing a grand job of steering out of the basin and back on the canal.
We were going down the locks, the water was overflowing the gates which at least meant they were all full, but very hard to empty and open the gates. I ended up walking up to the road and asking a construction worker if he would help us, it took three of us to open one gate.
Our timing couldn’t have been better, the canal towpath was filled with folk in their work gear going to work, not a troublemaker in sight. The landing pontoons were a bit tricky for me and meant I had to get off the bow, Toby did a fine job of slowly steering in as close as possible. Every lock gate and paddle seemed like such an effort, all I can say is that it must be doing wonders for my thighs and bingo wings!
All nine locks done by 10am, and then we were on to The Bridgewater Canal (with no more locks – yey!) Toby gave a nod to his football team as we passed.
We went over the Manchester Ship Canal, it’s quite impressive although sad in some ways to see it in such a state of disrepair.
We moored up in Worsley in time for lunch and before the rain. Worsley is the birthplace of the Bridgewater Canal, The Duke of Bridgewater being inspired by the Canal Du Midi. It looks like the rain will be with us the rest of the week, thankfully we’ve broken the back of the locks.