Friday, 18 September 2015

Aground again

What, I hear you say, again? It's not my fault this time, honest, guv. The fact is that Bosley was in the worst state we've ever seen it for water levels between the locks, at least in the top half, and it wasn't brilliant lower down, where there's usually no problem at all. We got there around half nine after a fairly relaxed start at eight.

A boat was working through the Royal Oak swing bridge as we arrived there, so we had a good run to the top of the flight. Each pound was low as we went down until, finally, as I came out of lock 5, I got about three boat lengths down the pound and ground to a halt. I tried backing off and taking a run at it, in case it was just a short obstruction, but no joy. Sheila then half refilled 5 and then emptied it. I moved forward a bit on the surge and the back surge, but not enough to get clear.

At this point, I gave up and rang CRT. I had to wait a few minutes to be answered but was then able to report the problem and speak to someone in engineering. Meanwhile, Sheila had gone on to 6 and warned the boat preparing to come up that we were stuck. Since they drew even more than us, they weren't very happy. The guy went up and ran some water down from the pounds above, which let me get going again, though at the cost of further reducing those pounds, of course.

Fortunately, the boat immediately behind us was a shallow draughted hire boat and they were still able to get along. As we worked down 6, a guy from CRT turned up and told us that the emergency team was working on the Cheshire Locks, running water down lock 57 there, but would be with us in a while. Most of the pounds further down were a bit better and we didn't stick again.

The boat which had been coming up decided to turn back and worked back down the flight backwards until they could wind in the broad bit between 11 and 12. Another even deeper draughted boat coming up swithered a bit but also decided to wind and return. In both cases they had planned to go to Bugsworth and were discouraged to hear of the low water levels in the upper Macc and the Upper Peak Forest.

We finally emerged from lock 12 at half 12 and boated on, eating lunch on the way. We've now tied on Congleton Wharf and have had a pleasant afternoon doing stuff in the cabin, like paying our Braidbar invoice and doing last Saturday's GK crossword. This last has been much better the past couple of weeks, smaller and easier to do. We suspect that the compilers have been told to stop making it a test of Google skills and set clues people might actually know the answers to.

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