Our luck ran out on the weather today. It has rained heavily overnight but was not raining at breakfast. We were moored in a disused lock site alongside the last lock we’d done. I went out to check the lock right next to us, as Roland wasn’t sure whether he left his windlass there. (He hadn’t.) I tried to avoid getting wet feet by walking on the coping stones along the lock edge rather than in the longish grass. I slipped on the wet stone, luckily right beside boat and was able to steady myself by grabbing hold. It was a timely reminder that those lockside stones are slippery when wet. I duly warned everyone and Shane recalled slipping on them in the past too.
We had a few locks to get through going towards and through Wigan and the rain just kept coming, brief brightening would give us hope, then it would get heavier again. After the first one, Shane accidentally misled us about the distance to the next lock and we found we’d done quite a long wet walk – it was nice weather for ducks, as they say.
By lunch time we were all very wet. Some of us found dry socks and Margaret changed her trousers.
Wigan offered a shopping opportunity that might not be available tomorrow, so Margaret and I set off for the supermarket. I had the first chance to try out the birthday present of matching mask and umbrella! We didn’t see the unmarked path to get to the road and ended up cutting across some waste ground.
Margaret’s foot slipped in the wet earth and she fell, but was up quickly. The clean trousers now quite muddy, just what you want heading into the supermarket. We found what we wanted and discovered the correct path back.
We headed towards Wigan Pier and turned at the junction.
We were now at the lock where we found the hedgehog. It had been pouring rain then too. A boat was already in the lock was glad of extra hands to work it. It had an unusual winding mechanism for the lock gates.
After operating the Wigan locks we were back in and changing socks again. We have had the chance today to try out the central heating, to dry things out on the radiators.
We were aiming for the Flashes for our mooring. We had a tricky situation with the bow thruster sticking on while mooring but Roland managed to find a way to switch it off. It is now resolved so we think that it was caused by the wet on the electronics too.
Amazingly when we arrived the rain had stopped. We had a short walk at dusk in the dry. Taking care on the banks not to slip on the slope down, we got a lovely view of a great crested grebe and a flock of lapwings circling and calling.
We celebrated all being warm and dry with some prosecco, beer and and fantastic veggie chilli by Margaret.