After three weeks in the very hart of the city, it was moving day. There was a little bit of house keeping to do before we moved Ezri, which really meant buying fuel.
Now getting fuel is a simple thing you find a place that sells it and go a get some, but it feel a little odd and strange is not like filling a car, van or bike
First off I couldn’t bring Ezri to the fuel pump which was a Portland Marina so I have bring the fuel to Ezri, a little car rode and a 20 litre jerry can did the trick.
Reading the canal plan internet pages the Ashton canal is around 7 miles and has 18 locks and two swing bridges after Droysden just open water until Ashton-under-Lyne and Portland Basin which on the plan is call Dukinfield Basin.
But we had stopped in New Islington which mean two extra locks before the turn on the Ashton, and finally saying good by to the evil that is the Rochdale so it would a around total of 20 locks and about 9 miles, so we had our work cut out for us.
Now we picked Sunday and get the Metrolink in Manchester because Ashton is the end of the line the car would have just slowed us down.
Ezri started on the button first and were off Dad working the locks and me keeping Ezri moving, I don’t like to temp-fate so I did start to relax until we had cleaned the turning and were on the Ashton after the Rochdale I didn’t really like going up locks the lack of water now being a bit of a fear.
We got around the bend and did the first three locks of the Ashton and were level with were we had set off from which was little odd feeling four lock done just be there?
Working at city ground I had walked the towpath many times so it was little funny to be powering up though the water I did had to watch out for a few thing but we made it, Dad sat in the bow enjoying the ride but I did get shock when we pulled Ezri into lock number four and saw there was no water the pound ahead.
We raised Ezri in the lock and then ran up the hill to let out all the water in lock five at one point I though we may have to take to water out six to but thankfully the Ashton as deep but narrow locks, after that I relaxed once again.
Now not working I had forgot the the stone roses were playing at the city ground and that the shift had started around 12 so there members of staff walking around and it was someone’s job stand on Joe Mercer Way and set the barrier for the Metrolink, I have no idea who it was but they took Ezri photo as they past under so that was cool I not sure if it was someone I have worked with but in yellow and looking up from Ezri it was hard to tell.
Anyway one achievement ticked off, to have Ezri pass the city ground on a work day, we reach lock seven we meet a narrowboat comming down they had started in Droysden so that helped us a lot because that mean the locks would empty, no waiting.
On we went lock after lock Dad opening the gate Ezri flowing in and then up we went, the rain started a little bit but nothing that really mattered, and then around lock elven I noticed there was another boat behind us, with four people working the lock so they were fast.
Then the rain came down hard really hard, the guys on the other boat came to help us though the lock which was not opening but with a like tap from Ezri’s bow it did, If the Ashton had been double locks we could have gone together to but the narrow locks just let one boat in each time.
As the rain beat down everything got harder to see Dad took of his glasses because no matter hard many times he wiped them the rain just blinded him, we pressed on and on.
I started counting down seven locks to go, six locks to go each time the other boat was close the guys came to help us out I guess it save them time as well as soon as Ezri was clear they dropped the water and in they came.
Four locks to go and were pushing on through, I told Dad we could just make it to Droysden that would be Ok, he said see when we get there, three locks to go and still the rain was beating down, a few of the lock gates didn’t shut first time so it was made more hard for my Dad.
Two locks to go and the other boat crew were there to help, one lock and we had made to Droysden. By this time we were so wet it didn’t matter, I sure the other boat crew had changed clothes. Now all that we needed to do was turn right and run to Ashton.
They asked me a little bit about Ashton and told them about mooring places I had seen at Portland, they said goal had been to do around 20 locks and stop if they felt like it I said thank you for they all their help but just before moving out of the lock.
Dad asked how it was to Ashton but all I could say was I didn’t really know, but he got inside Ezri and so I took this as a sign that we were going to run, but in the back of my mind I remembered swing bridges yet as we got around the corner the first was locked open so we went though.
Dad was a little dryer that me by the time reached the second and this we had to open it, I wanted to leave it open in case the other boat had followed us but just as Dad opened the bridge someone wanted to use it, so we had to shut it and Dad got back on.
Ezri ran and ran her engine running and purring like dream, but I do think I hit the propeller and prop on something as we ran I started to watch out for few things in the water and forget about the rain and the fact my feet sticking to the deck plate
With all this water the canal was filling up so much so when we went under the third bridge the water level caused the chimney to hit the roof and come clean off, not the cap we had taken that off before we started I mean the chimney pot it didn’t fall in the water but it now has huge dent in it.
We didn’t stop just carried on pasting a small boat yard, then two boats and then just as were about reach Portland there was I work boat from CRT in the way for mad second though they had shut the way and I would have to give up, the boat had just come away from is morring so we slowed down Ezri and push the other out the way.
We had started out at 10 am o’clock ran non stop, reached Portland at 6:00 pm wet though but happy, and as we made Ezri safe the other that had been following us came around the bend. They carried on to the Peak Forest canal a thing I will be doing in the comming days but not right now.