Sunday, 3 August 2014

Woodley to Marple

We got a few jobs done whilst staying in Woodley and it was my turn to check out the weed hatch and see what delights awaited there, not too bad considering what we had been through, there was a thick piece of rope, a long zip with nothing attached to it, the thin metal parts of an umbrella along with some material and the compulsory plastic bag. We are quite lucky and don't ever seem to get much down there but after the Ashton 18 and lack of water I think I was let off quite lightly.

Our inverter also took sides with the charger and prop gen and decided it was fed up with working, not a major issue short term as we could only think of three things we have which aren't 12 volt. The problem being we use it to charge the batteries when we don't run the engine and the solar hasn't put in enough, but over the last couple of weeks even that hasn't been necessary due to the lovely sunny days we've had, until yesterday, when raining all day and spending most of it watching the Commonwealth Games.

Inside the poorly inverter, don't think it should look like that!
This morning being a lovely sunny day it was a nice early start, pulling pins around 7.15am to tackle the Marple locks, but first it was two small tunnels and Marple Aqueduct over the River Goyt. 
On the aqueduct looking towards the viaduct
What a pretty flight of 16 locks this is, the first 11 were all against us which meant emptying them first and most of the bottom paddles were quite hard going, they all have lovely stone bridges by the bottom gates and the top ones had one ground paddle and one gate paddle both operated from the same side and one top gate so no walking round, or over the lock for me.
Approaching lock 1

They're all deep locks, but not all mossy sides
All the locks had these stone bridges
We experienced low water levels at locks 3 and 4, but this was due to very small pounds, I think all that's needed here would be a bit of dredging so the water capacity is larger. Lock 3 had notices on to say leave empty, but I was grateful it was full as least I had a lock of water to flush down the emptying pound, as I knew there would be other boats using the locks today I also left it full, it would be needed for a boat approaching either way as the pound above lock 4 was also very low. 

My view

James' view

This was converted into offices

Ducks making the most of the low pound
After lock 11 we passed 3 boats coming down.

Lock 16 with taped up ground paddle
My only gripe with the flight was at lock 16, the final one for us, the ground paddle to fill the lock wasn't working it was all taped up, that only meant filling by gate paddle, which could only be opened a short way because of the wash and so was slow going, I'm not sure how a full size boat would cope with that, the water would have been going right into the front deck.

We turned right at the junction to go down the Macclesfield Canal, winded a short way up and moored on the visitor moorings at Marple ready for our next move to Bugsworth Basin.

Last space

But a nice sunny spot
Today 4.25 miles and 16 locks
Total 323 miles and 210 locks

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