Wednesday, 15 August 2012

We set off early yeterday, and arrived at the top of the Wigan flight of locks at 10.30. We then both filled up with water.

The weather was fantastic, warm and sunny.

Pete & Mark then went into action preparing the locks. Wendy and Jean steered the boats.

We had a flight of 21 locks, followed by another 2 later on.

Pete & Mark soon had a good system going, and Wendy & Jean were entering and leaving locks together, like synchronized boating.

The first 12 locks went very well. Then we hit a problem. A boat in front of us had stopped for lunch, but had left a lock paddle open.This drained the water in the pound he was in, and the one we were approaching.

A  British Waterways official turned up, and advised us to stop in the lock. He then went back up and drained water from pounds above us. As more and more water came towards us, we opened one paddle in the lock we were in, to start filling the pound below This delayed us for about half an hour, but gave us a chance to have a bite to eat and a drink..

Finally we moved on, but we found other locks, which had paddles left partly opened.

After 4 hours we had completed the flight. Shortly after, we came to Wigan Junction. Straight ahead, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal continues its course to Liverpool. To the left is the Leigh Branch, which is the route we took.

After negotiating the final two locks, we started to hit countryside again, passing Scotman Flash (pictured above) a resevoir used to fill the Nortern canal systems.

Finally we arrived at Dover Bridge, where we moored up by The Dover Lock Inn, for a much needed meal and drink.

We have 2-1/2 miles of the canal before we leave the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, having completed 97 miles, 87 locks, 40 swing bridges in 25 days (9 days of which were spent at Hapton)

We will be joining the Bridgewater Canal tomorrow, as today we are having a well deserved rest day.

We  are also saying goodbye to Mark & Jean, as they are moving on today. They have been great company and we will miss them.

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