Yesterday evening when the rain eased we went for a walk round, the guide books say to look at Store Street Aqueduct from below but I didn't think it anything amazing. We walked down the junction with the Rochdale canal and then up to the New Islington Marina, along the side of the marina back to the Ashton canal and back to the boat. We had not been back long when it started to rain, it was still raining when we left this morning at 1000 hrs. The mooring was very quite for being in a City.
As we approached the top lock of the Rochdale 9 a boat had just come up so the lock was full, as was the next one and emptying the top lock put a lot of water down the flight. After the first lock you are underground for the next two. This area has such a bad reputation for anti social behaviour that this underground section is now closed at night, but boaters can still pass through. The bottom gates have very short beams so a chain winch is provided to pull the gates both open and closed, this happens on some of the other gates as well.
We met 3 boats in the flight, the first complaining of problems getting the gates open, this was probably due to us emptying locks above as the water flows down the flight over the gates so sometimes it is difficult to open them.
The canal passes through the gay area of Manchester with its clubs beside the canal, this has lead to another problem of revellers falling into the canal, to counteract this a glass screen has been erected along the top of the wall between the towpath and the road so they cant fall over, it also means that boaters cant walk from one lock to another and have to make sure their captain doesn't leave without them.
Lots of the canal pounds are underground and more construction work is going on which will put another lock below a new building. The rain finally stopped as we made our way down, but returned about 2 locks from the bottom, by which time my coat was on the boat and I just got wet again.
Once through the last lock it was hard left at Castlefield Junction into the Basin where there were quite a few mooring spaces.
After getting changed into dry clothes again and having lunch we headed off the Manchester Science Museum, needless to say it stopped raining. The Museum is well worth a visit and we will return in the morning to see the rest of it.
Other photos from the Rochdale 9