Gerrards Bridge to Scotman’s Flash
With drizzle in the air we took our time before moving this morning and with hindsight we should have let Tilly dictate what time we left, but it’s rare we let her out on mornings we want to move.
Things dried up a touch so we pushed off around 11:30 with the intention of reaching Scotman’s Flash, leaving the two Poolstock Locks for Tuesday morning as we’d rather not moor overnight below lock 85.
The canal is a bit samey samey. Wide with concrete edges that seem to have moved through the years, some downwards and some inwards due to mining subsidence. All the route is green, very green, so green that there are very few views to be had through the trees, just the odd glimpse of water.
There were a couple of boats at Dover Locks where two locks have been removed, the gate recesses still visible where the cut narrows.
A toppled branch now seems quite settled halfway across the canal, I think we chopped a chunk out of this when we were on our way to Liverpool a few years ago.
Now the banks are high and so over grown. Fat greenery at the narrows where bridges once used to be make the canal look like it is a narrow waterway. Ferns, brambles all sorts, we were just waiting for a yodel and then for Tarzan to swing into view.
Through Moss Bridge we could see the large flash of water stretching out towards Wigan, sailing boats lined up on the shore. There was a gap in the over growth so we pulled in, then adjusted ourselves so that the galley window would have a better view, all the time avoiding the mountains of goose pooh.
A gaggle of Canadian and Greylag Geese suddenly made a dash for it as a lady walked up to them. They were heading in her direction despite the two dogs on leads, they knew what she had in her blue plastic bag was going to be tasty.
The towpath is quite wide, we both took it in turns to have a look over the other side. We’d expected there to be a bank of some sort which trees grew out of before the waters edge. But no it was a sheer drop. A conferring H&S huddle was had, verdict sadly for Tilly that it was an incident just waiting to happen and with the water maybe 10 ft below the top of the wall, we’d not be able to assist should some footing on the trees go wrong, No shore leave today!
During the afternoon I scanned the sketches I’d done yesterday and wrote a lengthy email to Vanessa with my suggestions. I also had queries for The Garden regarding what materials I’d used for my illustrations, so that this could be added to the audio description.
Then a spot of baking, a sugar rush might be needed tomorrow on the locks, so I made a half batch of blueberry muffins.
Access to notes from the Wigan Flight Crew were read and a link sent to my phone. One of the crew has complied handy notes for ascent and descent of the locks, so I should know which locks on the flight have troublesome gates and when to use all the paddles and where not to. Apparently above the top lock there is lots of weed at the moment, so it’s best not to use the gate paddles as the weed would be sucked through and clog the grills, luckily this lock has newer gates so holds it’s water well.
As the evening progressed numerous groups of teenagers walked by all heading in the same direction. None of them came back, maybe there was a big party happening somewhere, at least we couldn’t hear it if there was.
0 locks, 3.78 miles, 1 grey day, 1 green cruise, 0 Tarzan, 10ft wall of death, 1 bored cat again, 6 muffins, 5 sketches, 1 day until The Garden goes live, 5 years an amputee.