For pictorial accuracy I should say that I had to make do with Nicky as the model for this photo although if you ask her she'll pretend it wasn't her and that say that I'd just downloaded it from the Internet, but who would you believe?
Now I usually do the hard boat bit whilst Nicky has the easy and fun part of doing the locks, but this time I thought I’d better lend a hand as there were some
stiff paddles and
a face that didn't seem like it was having much fun.
We got ourselves into a good routine though and when I was in the lock and Nicky had opened the two main paddles she would move onto the next one. When the boat had risen enough, as some of the locks were quite deep
deep as the flight takes you up about 200 feet in all, I’d clamber onto the roof to get ashore and open up the other two paddles and then the gate once the water had equalised. I’d then slowly edge my way forward and when past the gate pop the boat into reverse, jump off, close the gate (keeping an eye on the boat to make sure it was on the same wavelength as me) and jump back on before it decided to drift off into the pound without me or reverse back to far. Only went wrong(ish) two or three times, but not so as I had to go swim for it or anything as drastic as that.
Here's looking up and
then looking back. I guess you could this enough locks to send you round the bend ! Wigan is in the background on the other side of the trees.
The boys had a bit of a boring day and as it was going to be a long cold one with scattered showers forecast we put their coats on as although Benji goes inside when he gets a bit cold and wet, Binks just stays out the back whatever. As it happened, it wasn't as wet as we'd expected and probably didn't get more than about twenty minutes of light rain all day that was a bonus.
Last lock of the day and had to dodge a piddler or is it a pisser? (a leak in a lock wall) that was angled just right to go down the chimney and that would have played havoc with our fire that we were looking forward to sitting in front of in about twenty minutes time.
We've only clocked up 10 cruising hours to the 16th November and whilst we've had some good clear days for the solar panels we have actually had to run the engine for about three hours during this time when the batteries got a bit low on really dull days. Still not bad though for November and still running the engine for less than an average of one hour a day compared to the three that we used to have to so they're still doing their stuff for us.
The reason we haven't travelled all that far is that we were going back home (Jersey) for three weeks at Christmas at a cost of about £850 to put the boat into a marina, hire car down, boat trip across and then the return journey so we’ve decided to go back home for seven weeks instead as it only costs a little over £200 extra for the time in the marina. Now here's a bit of a paradox for you as it seems strange going home for a holiday before coming back home again, but then Jersey will always be home to us, but then so is our boat.
Well that's job done, all moved across and safe and secure (Badger Sett is pictured here just in front and a bit to the right of the yellow car) plugged into the electrics and a stern full of coal ready for when we get back in January.
And one of our mooring places.
We’ve had some excellent walks, some
along the canals
disused train tracks
and open countryside.
They've normally been around the 2 – 3 hour mark that we do with the boys to get rid of their excess energy, but whilst we’re starting to flag towards the end, they just seem to get even more energy from somewhere and rush about like they’ve only just started out. Get them back to the boat though and that’s them out for the count until we next them excited with the prospect of another walk.
When Benji was a puppy we'd got him his own dog basket, but he always ended up sleeping on Binks and that hasn't changed.
We had the country park and golf course on one side and on the other was just open fields. Just getting towards dusk in the next photo with the mist rolling in.