Sunday, 17 October 2010

Sunday 17 October 2010 Birstall

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Last nights moorings were very quiet, the railway line was just a little bit further away than in Kilby Bridge itself. When we took the dog out the sky was clear and half a moon was well up. This morning or early morning alarm,about 8 am reminded us we were not that far from the real world as a two tone siren was hurrying along somewhere the other side of the railway. When we got up it felt decidedly chilly with a temperature of -1 outside and white stuff on the cut grass, yes it was our first frost of the season. The morning was very bright and sunny causing the temperature to rise quite fast.DSCF4937
We set off at 10 am to the first lock of the day,  Double Rail lock, as we passed through the lock it became obvious why its called that, the bottom gate has a double hand rail as opposed to the normal single rail making it much safe for pedestrians to cross, this is quite important because two footpaths seem to cross the canal at this point. There were very good moorings below the lock and I think I would moor there another time as its even further from the railway.
From here several of the locks were full thanks them overflowing the top gates, There had been a boat going down yesterday evening and on one had come up. Kings Lock saw us lock down onto the river section which was barely into the green from the bottom of the scale, at the next bridge I managed to pick up a plastic refuse sack round the prop, the water was so clear that I could easily see what I was doing and had it off in minutes.DSCF4944 At Freeman's Meadow lock by the football stadium, when Diana drew all four paddles on the lock the weir stopped flowing completely , there was so little flow on the river. Here we saw our first moving boat of the day, a rowing boat with 8 first timers on board, A chap ran forward and asked to please pass them slowly with care as they had never been in a boat before. As we passed the cox called to say that there was a road barrier in mid channel under the next bridge, right where I would have been travelling. We met the first Narrowboat of the day at North Lock, they were about to leave just as we arrived.
North Lock is right beside Frog Island, is this where the beer comes from by any chance? 
We carried on, the river now had much more rubbish floating about than earlier in the town. The town always looks very inviting but I have never seen anyone mooring there, no CC's, no bridge hoppers, not a boat to be seen, even the BW floating moorings were empty, we did consider stopping but it was still quite early in a very sunny day. We arrived at Birstall Lock just as a boat that we had been following was leaving, we caught sight of them at the last lock so I have no idea how long they have just been ahead of us. Just below the lock I winded in the stream that feeds the lakes and moored on the Birstall visitor moorings facing back upstream ready to retrace our steps tomorrow.

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