Saturday 20th August.
Setting off before 09.00, I was hoping to catch another boat before he went through Foulridge Tunnel. Sure enough, he had to wait for the green light before he could continue. We had a chat and it appeared that he was another first time hirer, who was hooked. I followed him through and his crew of wife and two children worked the seven Barrowford Locks along with a volunteer, who mostly just stood by and watched.
It was probably the worst day of this cruise so far by way of weather. Not only was it raining on and off, but the wind was gale force, making manoeuvring difficult on and off moorings or staying mid-stream. There were very few people to be seen on the towpath, nor did we pass any other boats, the weather was so bad.
They advised me to moor for the night in Reedley Marina, rather than risk the towpath in this area and after making enquiries, I paid £15 for a secure mooring on a pontoon, not really needing to tie up, as the wind was pushing Stronghold so hard.
There was a bar and cafe on site, so after a shower and change of clothes, I took a walk over there, only to find that it was closed, despite the notice on the door telling me that they were open on Saturday until 10pm.
Sunday 21st August.
I made a fairly early start hoping to see the hire boat again, but no sign of them either in or out of the marina, so it was a day travelling solo. No locks on this trip, but four swing bridges to cope with. Now they had moorings on the off side, i.e. not on the towpath, so could be operated by a single hander. Once again, the method of unlocking the bridge was totally different than previously. A windlass and handcuff key both being required to unlock the mechanism, but with that done the bridges swung effortless.
Four of these to cope with.
Windlass spigot on the RH side,
which raises the vertical locking bar on the left.
During the whole day, I only passed five boats and it was raining on and off all day.
Burnley Embankment was interesting, being 60ft above the town and straight for half a mile. At one point I got too close to the edge and ran over a fridge, which tilted the boat considerably¸ but not enough to upset my brewing coffee on the hob.
View over Burnley from the embankment.
Looking back at the Burnley Embankment.
This strange egg appeared on a disused wharf.
Being too far away to read this, I photographed it
and it explains a little about the Exbury Egg.
More here:- https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=exbury%20egg%20burnley
Once again, the canal winds around the contours of the hill, avoiding the need to build expensive locks during construction – Joseph Brindley at work again?
After ten miles, I came to Rishton where a supermarket was marked on the map. There were two other boats moored there and the guy from one of them took my centre line to hold Stronghold in while I hammered in the mooring pins. He was doing some work on his boat, so I had to have a look. He was replacing the engine stop cable on a BMC 1800, so we already had something in common. He was waiting to have his boat examined for the safety certificate and would not be leaving until Tuesday, which suited me as Monday was forecast to have rain all day and one day cruising in the wet was enough for me for a while.
The supermarket was very basic and had limited choice, but I got enough to be going on with for a few more days.
Monday 22nd August.
Not much to report today. As forecast, it rained nearly all day, so after a lie in, I had a late cooked brunch and lazed around on board for most of the day, only going out for a cheap pint at 6pm, before a meal on board later.