Gorgeous going down the Marple flight! There is lovely stonework around the locks and distant views of the Peak District. I was doing the first one and some girls came to help. The gates end up hanging over a lower path when open and you have to watch you don’t fall off. At another a paddle wasn’t working and I feared it would be hard work and slow going. Around then David and Nye turned up, so I was really pleased to see them. Shane invited David to helm and went ahead to prepare the next lock and Nye and I carried on working that one. David was doing a fine job but nervous of damaging a “new” boat and very happy to lock with Nye when I offered to take over driving. Nye was also keen to try out the new windlass!
As usual a couple of minor mishaps, or nervous moments. One boat was moored on the lock bollards. Was trying so hard to give him a wide berth ( of course lots of people watching) that I messed up the entry to the lock. Annoyed with myself and for that boat being in the wrong place, but apparently it had a broken rudder, so he was definitely worse off.
We kept our boat intact and canal and river trust volunteers were at the last lock and everyone could get on and have a rest and lunch.
The next bit of canal was like a condensed”best bits” of canals: a couple of tunnels and an aqueduct, pretty gardens and a kingfisher, and all 4 of us saw it.
Nye and David got a train home and we went a bit further and moored in a nature reserve. We went for a walk and got 3 more sightings of kingfishers at the river and a dipper. Then another kingfisher back on the canal. Amazed to see so many.
Now discovered that there is a large tree down across the bit of canal we want to go to tomorrow en route to Manchester and the canal is closed Hmm What next? More kingfisher spotting?