Thursday 31st. July, 2014 --- Back to Barnoldswick 

We are on our way home and this picture was taken just after we came through the double bridge at East Marton

I was up at eight and walked Mix and Rowan until nine, going all the way back to the lock beside which we moored the night before last. Back at the boat everyone was up, washed and breakfasted. I had some French toast and then we set off for home – first of all in solitude climbing the three locks out of Gargrave. The weather hadn’t settled after some overnight rain and some folk had perhaps waited to see what the day held. In fact, contrary to the weather forecast, it turned out well – hot and sunny and for the six Bank Newton locks we travelled in company (well for five of them) with Meandher and her crew of John and Janet Brown (Janet had just retired a fortnight ago and was enjoying this new way of life.)

Tom steered for the long stretch from Bank Newton to Greenberfield – amongst the most beautiful stretches of canal anywhere in England. I sat with the dogs on the fore deck (although Rowan preferred to bounce around inside). After all of my exercise walking dogs and working locks I was glad to sit and relax and enjoy the view, the tranquillity and the passing canal boats (most of which were hire boats – many from Snaygill, from whom we hired our first boat).

Canal life is so quiet

Even Mix enjoyed the views

although Rowan preferred the comfort of the cabin

What a wonderful way to spend a few days

We met a cow who really quite fancied coming into the canal

and there were so many ducks

I had a pleasant chat with a Water Ways official who was checking up to see that all was well. He lives on his boat and told me that he has to pinch himself to remind himself how lucky he is to work on the canals. He also told me that the locks were not in a great state at present – we discovered that for ourselves with several broken paddles and one broken ratchet. And the final lock of the day leaked so badly that we struggled to fill it.

Almost home -- on the outskirts of Barnoldswick

But all of this was as nothing. We had a wonderful cruise and berthed effortlessly with Mark, our neighbour, looking on, just after four. Tom and Dorothy were able to get away by five as they had hoped and I settled down to prepare the music for Arrochar and send it off to Jamie.

We walked the dogs, visited the Co-op in Barnoldswick to buy some supper – a prawn cocktail, some Indian Bhajis and Samoza, and a raspberry trifle to round things off. It is good to be back in our mooring.

Walked Mix and went to bed. Tomorrow in the morning we’ll sort out the boat and then drive home in the afternoon. Should also record that Durham beat Warwickshire at Gosforth in the 50 overs competition today, with a bright knock from Paul Collingwood. England also defeated India to level the Test series after three games (with two still to play) and the Commonwealth Games continues to go well – and the sun continues to shine. Wonderful!


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