Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Do You Fancy a Trip to Parbold?

Well, yes! Our mooring at Crooke is mainly as a base for over the winter but it is nice to have somewhere to call 'home' even for brief periods of time as we stop en route to our other favourite stopping places. In the winter months is is lovely and quiet but on a sunny July Saturday afternoon it can get a bit, er busy...and noisy...and you are sort of on display to the whole of the beer garden. Whilst we are generally used to being moored in public places, on popular towpaths and outside pubs, it is nice to get away for a bit of piece and quiet. We really don't need much of an excuse to go somewhere in the boat anyway. Parbold village is an easy three hour cruise with just two locks and one swing bridge and we enjoyed a couple of beers as we pottered along. We treated ourselves to a meal in one of the rather good eateries and there was a really good atmosphere as it had been the village fete that afternoon. On Sunday morning we had arranged to help a fellow boater through the six locks through Wigan as she was travelling alone (well, not exactly alone if you count the dog but to be honest she wasn't much use) which got us up early for a change. In the afternoon we brought the boat back to Crooke and were treated to drinks in the pub as reward for our lock wheeling. I didn't take as many photos as usual so apologies for the lack of them but Mr F did take a few on the way back to Crooke with his iphone.

Noisy young moorhen was copying mum

Telling everyone about it

Nice reflection

Mum strutting her stuff

Tiny coot chick

On our way to the winding hole to turn round we met our neighbours on Venus

Always impressive, fuel boat Ambush

Derek has been boating for 60 years and was even on TV with Tony Robinson in his 'Walking Through History' series when he visited Crooke village as he walked the Leeds Liverpool canal

Our catchphrase

For a change Mr F is behind the camera, albeit a phone camera

The boat looks its whole 62 feet from above

Sliding into the lock at Appley - the deepest locally at a rise of 12 feet and known locally as 'Appley Deep Lock (obviously)

When alone in a double lock there are ways to minimize the boat banging around due to the flow of water, which is mainly a problem going up. Some people use the centre rope hooked around a bollard to hold the boat to one side but this can be ineffective in a deeper lock and the undercurrents from the ground paddles are stronger than you might think. Instead, we usually open the ground paddles on the same side of the lock to where to boat is, the theory being that the water flows out under the boat, hits the opposite wall and then flows back towards the boat pushing it against the wall. This works in most cases along with using the engine to control the boat as it gets pushed backwards by the flow. In this lock however Mr F opened the gate paddle on the opposite side (above left) a tiny bit to allow water from above to flow down and keep the boat to the right before continuing with our normal ground paddle procedure. It was very effective. Normally opening a ground paddle first is a real 'no no' but we are a good team and with the long tug deck we can afford a bit of water to splash on the fore end.

It seems to take forever to fill!

Approaching the last lock of the day at Gathurst

A thoroughly enjoyable weekend boating, as always.
Living the dream!

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