Beneath the cover of October skies and all the leaves on the trees are falling, To the sound of the breezes that blow, My dad and me take Ezri on one last trip before my winnter mooring shut down begins. But I will come back to that later in the next blog.
Now lets talk about the trip itslef for the last 14 days Ezri had been facing down towards Marple, I have been using chains ever since Ezri came off the Rochdale frist on the Ashton and now here so it came as little bit of shock when I saw that Ezri’s back rope was almost cut all the way though.
You see the chains give some slack but pull tight when something goes past and something had with such force that it had caused the damage, Ezri wasn’t in danger or in the way of others, She was tied on the front and clipped in by her center, want got me down is that I was given the rope so it felt sad to take it off, but I will keep it
So there we were Ezri facing the worng way and a new back rope, in hindsight what I should have done was to turn Ezri around a few days before but I though the space was sufficient to turn around I was wrong, Dad took Ezri’s front rope and begain to pulled her around, me steering all the time 4 inches was all we needed but we just didn’t get it.
There really only one option and that was to head to Marple Junction and turn in the huge circle area, an extra half hour So off we set down to Marple Dad walking, me at the helm. But as I did not only did start noticing the drop in the water level but Ezri began to rattle again a sigh she was hitting bottom.
Dad had disappeared from view as I went around the bend heading to the last bridge before Marple when there was a boat comming the other way I slowed down and waited but he kept coming and wouldn’t move around Me forcing me to move to my left in fact I’m sure he sped up almost pushing me in to the shallow water but pushed Ezri hard down and we didn’t get shuck only a little shook up, But by now all really wanted to was tie up and start again the next day.
Want I did was get Dad to hold Ezri in place and take the weed hatch off I really have no idea but it made sense at the time to start looking for anything wrapped around the propeller. To do this I had to take off my coat and my hat as both were in the way. And plunge my hand into the freezing water and feel around to find nothing, I gave the propeller a few turns and put everything back.
Once again in hindsight I should have waited a few more minutes and put both my hat and coat back on but feeling a lot better I decided we should go now so in the space we turned Ezri around and headed off, only to find out that we now the head of a a convoy made up of two 60 foot boats each with more powerful engines.
We reached where he had been more the other boat only minutes behind and I Began to get cold and noticed the weather above me the sunny clouds 10 almost black and I was beginning to get a little worried half an hour later I decided to call it we were going to tie up and come back tomorrow but Dad in for me I would have been doing the trip on my own so, I pulled in a let the other two boats pass and put my coat and hat back on.
We set off again but almost got caught in the silt build-up around the edges of the banking which didn’t help at all but I power down through and as he continued to touch bottom. I don’t really know how we did it but we managed to catch up with the boats at the first bridge they had both made it through and then kept open for me Dad got off and walked to next.
Dad lifted the bridge and the other boat went though he got back on and took his place at the front we powered on Ezri still touching bottom as we went along so I was not so happy, we made it to the last bridge and one of boats had pulled over so Ezri and me were now in the middle of the convory.
We carried on the weather changed again this time back to the blue october sky it had been when started, the rain didn’t ever begin. Somewere along the way the last boat drop away then as we reached New Mills the second boat made a turn to right but the canal goes left. They were turing around I gave them space but still felt Ezri rush a little towrads them even turning left herself.
We said thank you for the help and headed on our way, half hour later it was our turn to stop, Everyone was feeling the trip, Dad for all the walking me as my hands were frozen and Ezri most of all beacuse I had pushed her a little hard. When everthing was calm we took stock of the trip, it had taken a longer than planed, Ezri was little bashed, tempers were a little high but she was in the right place for next week. I later found out the water level had dropped few inches because a lot of boat were heading down the locks over the last few days