Brighouse

After an extremely long day we are moored in Brighouse Basin and very much looking forward to a drink and pub meal. It is beautifully sunny now but that wasn’t the case when we started off this morning at 9.00. Rain jackets and waterproof trousers were needed for most of the morning and there wasn’t much space between the showers.

We passed the submerged car, marked by an orange life buoy tied to the now broken back window with rope. There is obviously a shortage of warning floats hereabouts! Then it was on through a steady stream of locks and our Calder and Hebble spike was getting a lot of use. We crossed over with four boats at the Figure of Three locks but otherwise there wasn’t much traffic. We were constantly transferring from canal to river and back again. As we headed through Ravensthorpe Liz and I, who were walking, found ourselves on the wrong side of the river from the lock, and even if we had walked back to the only bridge we would have had to take a very long route round to the lock. Alan turned Lazy Days and headed back towards us indicating with a very remote form of semaphore that we should walk all the way back towards the Greenwood Flood Lock to be picked up. As we all went under the bridge, us on foot and Alan on the water he came under attack from stone throwing local kids and at least one stone hit the boat. He pulled out the camera and took photos of them which seemed to make them vamoose. We were all getting seriously fed up with this section of the navigation. Alan pulled into the riverside at a high concrete wall and Liz and I managed to climb onto the roof. This wasn’t an easy manoeuvre as there was a very strong wind. We managed it unscathed but at the expense of some bad scratching on the edge of the boat cabin.

As we came out of the Shepley Bridge Lock we were joined by Liz and Robert’s daughter Catherine with boyfriend James, so we had two very welcome additional helpers. This really was a great help because three of the locks we went through weren’t long enough for both boats so we had to go through one at a time (with the single boat at an angle while the gates were closed. We had thought that we might stop above Battyeford Lock but it wasn’t attractive so we decided to go on to Brighouse. When we reached the Basin we found that it was a very small mooring area and one of the three spaces was taken up by a boat that was up for sale and not even licensed. We were advised by other boaters, rightly or wrongly, that this was the only safe place to moor, so Blue Point (as they have a blind dog on board) went into the only space which took her cockpit right to the edge of the lock. It was indicated as visitor mooring so we thought it acceptable. Then Alan brought Lazy Days up to breast up but it seemed better that he turned so we went cockpit to stern to make it easier for us to get off the boat. The wind was really quite evil in intent so this took some time as he was blown across the basin, under the gaze of many onlookers. At the same time our speed control lever came off in his hand and he was trying repair it as he was blown around. By the time we were both securely moored we had been on the go for over seven hours non stop. I guess this is good training for the rigours of the Rochdale!

Today we did 11.59 Miles and 18 Locks

Statistics so far:-

2643.82 Miles, 1584 Locks, 175 Swing Bridges, 90 Lift Bridges, 45 Tunnels

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