Narrowboat Ezri – The First Adventure (The End but only the begining) Part One

Ezri now sits just at the start of the Rochdale Canal, in the small town Sowerby Bridge, she been there since Tuesday afternoon. I will explain why later, But the last time wrote I was still at Dewsbury Junction having spent 12 hours at home regrouping.

Before I set I had new list of places and new map which I knew would get to Sowerby Bridge in two days so Wednesday afternoon there was one last bit of river and a night stop just outside a place called Brighouse were I could take on a some more water. Something I needed to do for the last few days.

Working things out I started at nine in the morning so it would three o’clock so could have good rest at night, the first set of locks I had do were Lock 21, Double Lock Bottom I had seen it done and even worked out the best way to cover it without to much fuss but, when it came down it I still stuff it up, the problem was getting Ezri to stop

I put to much power on her so she flies about a lot in fact I almost turned her around but in time I was able tie her up and work the lock, I started to work the system, straying at the back on the left then climb the ladder rope in one hand lock key in the other.

Shutting the gate behind me I open one paddle slowly Ezri does bounce about a little and I do have to pull her back a little but it works, the only thing really is that opening just one paddle it takes far longer and then I have to jiggle the lock gate they are heavy things, the next task is to float out and tie Ezri up so I can shut the lock behind me which easy said that done. Sometimes the ties are on the right hand side but I am on the left

Any way lock after lock, we reached the first bit of river floods were open so we powered on though only half speed just to keep Ezri in the centre and safe, reaching the end of the river is a scary thing, first being to stop and tie Ezri up I use the right hand loop rope and knot the end then run up to the lock,

I do my gate check and run back to Ezri who by this time is floating a little bit away the ropes I have are a little to long but they work so I have to pull her in, The only thing is that I never never switch he engine off so I get back on a into to open lock.

I got to place called Mirfield around 1 o’clock I was helped though a lock by a man and his dog and they walked as far as the next one with me, but I got even more help from a young lad who though was just out for the walk but to turned out owned one of two big fibreglass boat which were a few yards away, the man and lad talked for a bit and then the lad asked if I could tow him and his mates boat to Brighouse and they would help me with the locks.

With Ezri’s engine going I didn’t really understand want he was asking just nodded and said yes, I tied up and asking if I had a jerry can when into his boat came out with a small petrol can and then walked away to the petrol station, sitting there think about want had been said and what I had agreed with I changed my mind, there boats were junk covered in all kinds of stuff and very very unsafe.

So I did the only thing could which was to untie Ezri and get away at top speed, I don’t care if you think I did the right thing or not but Ezri is not tug boat. I got to the last bit of river in double quick time and was at Brighouse half hour early I reached the top of the lock and the place was full of boats.

Not wanting to stick around to long I tried to get to water point but I didn’t see it in time, before people were asking me if I was heading though the next lock I told sure I was and it took less then four minutes and we though I did this two reasons one I was making good time and thought sod it keep going and the second the young lad may have found himself a ride to Brighouse

I press on and on stopping only when I reached a lock a few times I meet boats coming the other way and even got asked if wanted a bottle of home made wine,

I know I was pushing it a bit, I stopped wearing my watch a few days ago and to open to hatch to see the time is a little bit of a pain, but it was getting near five so I started to think of a place to stop to but not have mooring pins I can’t just stop any were, the next lock I when though I would be safe, no another boat used it to wait for me to come though the same with next.

It was only when I got to Longless lock did stop I tied up a spent the night.


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