Friday 5 April 2024

Norton in the Moors

Well another wet night and also the wind picked up for a time, but by the time we set off it was  dry and surprisingly warm.
Yesterday evening a short narrowboat arrived to moor behind up but they were able to wind at the very end of the canal, other than that is was very quiet. Today was different, we met 3 boats just before the aqueduct, 6 moored on the aqueduct, a day boat just before Hazlehurst Junction, a CRT work boat full of volunteers planting trees in a bridge hole(trying to pull it just through on ropes) and then two at the services. The services were so busy with 3 getting water and one waiting I had to reverse back through the bridge to let the oncoming boats through. Finally we caught up with a boat at the bottom of the Stockton Brook Flight.
We set off back along the canal passing this broken, fallen tree on the way, it didn’t happen last night it was there when we came down. Loads of room so long as you don’t meet anyone on the bend .DSCF9170

It was all quiet and pleasant, chatting to people working in their canal side gardens, and there are some very nice ones along this canal, things livened up just before bridge 4 where we were passing a row of long term moorings and 3 boats came the other way.DSCF9172

Nice and gently off the aqueduct , under bridge 3 and round the bend, thankfully this is not whereDSCF9176

I met the day boat, that was by the 2 day moorings and I want hard aground about a yard out from the side. 
It was the next bridge where I met the CRT boat. Talk about blanking people out, the only one who spoke was the steerer. They have planted trees all the way along this stretch of canal and they are all looking healthy at the moment.
On to Endon and under the bridge by the Stoke Boat club with the old swing bridge pivot point dead ahead.DSCF9177

This boat has sat on the bank for as long as I can remember, but what I only noticed this trip was the rudder/skeg set up, with a bar behind the rudder, I wonder if it effects steering at all.DSCF9181

On to Stockton Brook Locks, the first was 90% full which looked good, as we worked down the flight they were all similar, at lock 6 I could see the bottom gates opening on lock 5 so we assumed there was a boat coming up, wrong it was a single hander going down and I sat there until Diana opened the top gates and no boat came out. Its not surprising all the locks were full, they all leak badly at the top, this one looks like its flowing through the cill, others through the paddles.

When we reached the first lift bridge the single hander had gone through, he half raised the bridge to give room to get his boat through then jumped from the deck to the ground, moved the boat through and was wondering how to get back to lower it. I dropped Diana off on the offside, she raised the bridge fully so I could get through and then lowered it. We worked the next one for him and he then set Engine lock for us and invited us through first. We both moored for the night below the lock.

Today’s Journeyimage

6 Locks and 6¾ miles in 3¾ hours

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