For some bizzare reason this post was deleted from our blog. It was posted before our cruise through Staylebridge . Thanks for pointing out that it had vanished Della , NB Muleless ………..Hopefully you can now seee it !!
After a good night moored just before Marple junction we pulled pins at 07.50 with the 16 locks of the Marple flight in front of us . This is now where I am in my element as we have never done this part of the Peak Forest before . In fact for the next few months all the canals we visit will be new to us . I just love not knowing what is around the next corner and just love any new challenges we may come across on the way.
Then at lock 12 we couldn’t believe our eyes . The top gate was hanging off and there was no way we could carry on down the flight. I immediately rang Canal and River Trust and explained the problem . They said they would have a gang out within the hour to start repairs .After half an hour these two friendly operatives turned up . Not having the gear to fix it they had to call out reinforcements.
Eventually an engineer turned up with a ratchet strap and after a lot of struggling including three of us sat on the balance beam the gate was finally back in place . It seems that a boat might have hit the gate and knocked out the Feathers which are the strips of metal on the floor . They are used to keep the top of the gate in position.
With the lock repaired I was told to drop down to the pond below and wait there for a couple of boats coming up . But unbeknown to me the pound below the one I was in was empty ,so they let down water from my pound to fill it . Needless to say my pound soon started to empty and I started to tilt over .
This is the empty pound below where I am . After a bit of shouting one of the Canal and River Trust guys opened the paddles above me and started filling the pound and eventually putting me level again.
After a four hour delay we eventually made it to the bottom of the flight and soon started to cross The Marple aqueduct over the river Goyt . With Carolyn hiding down below myself and Curly enjoyed the short trip across.
After a longer day than we had anticipated we picked up a mooring just before Dunkfield junction . We had been told by The Canal and River Trust guys that there was no way should we moor anywhere near Ashton or Stalybridge. We have been advised to have an early start and get through this area as soon as possible.Having never been here before it sort of makes sense to this to folk that have local knowledge.