So the rain stopped and the sun came out, I once again moved the coal box and wood planks into the front of Ezri so her weight would be right, I did want to add the wood box to but Dad said the three things would be fine.
Then I removed her front chain but kept the center rope tied, Dad held it as I undid the end chain. He took his place as we made the right turn on to the Peak canal heading down towards Marple.
Five minutes later we stopped but just because of the lift bridge, I tied Ezri up and waited, you see a lift bridge like a swing one everthing is on the worng side, the tie are always on the opposite side to the mechanism which moves the bridge. So single handed boats have a hard time, that why I have huge front rope.
But I am getting off the point, Dad did the bridge and I slow took Ezri though he dropped the bridge and got back on, the last time we headed down this way Ezri blow her engine so I was feeling little tense, but when we past under the frist high road bridges I begain to relax just a little but even watchful of a place to pull.
We had done about three high bridges when I started to notice something as we travled under Ezri slowed down I didn’t touch her throttle but she just did ever so slowly, she didn’t stop, but I didn’t like the feeling.
Dad sat at the front being look out and told me about the floating tree roots and I asked him to lift one or two low hanging branches out of the way, we had just done such a manoeuvre when another boat came towards us, Now can never remember if I am to move to the left or the right.
i slowed Ezri down, and pulled to right the other boat went to the left and we past each other nicely, it was the day boat from Portland and full of Kids on a trip, I moved Ezri back into the middle, I was still thinking about the weight so I asked my Dad if he could sit on the right hand side, which didn’t really make much of a difference but just felt it did.
We past under the M67 motorway a wide high tunnel just as came to the town of Hyde, and watched as the industrial landscape changed to open fields and then back small housing estates
We’ve done a lot tunnels like that one since leaving the small towns as we traveled down into Manchester and then up the Ashton, So a tunnel is just a tunnel right?
No not your life I knew there would be two more but how far way or how long they were I couldn’t remember, The first one was Woodley I had just time switch on Ezri’s light as we entered and slowed her engine.
As you enter Woodley tunnel you can’t see the end Ok you can but only just for the three minutes before enter it and then you have to duck down so you don’t hit your head, but don’t think you can just set you tiller and push tought, because the tunnel has a very small bend in it and a tow path on one side.
I am glad we took the top off the chimney as the we touched the roof more than once, and touced to side a few times as well, leaving tunnel was such a relief. i didn’t notice the shape bend as we made it though Woodley but Ezri stayed level and all was forgiven.
We were going nicely along still recoving from the tunnel when we saw another boat comming towards us so I moved to my right so hey could past but unlike to last boat he didn’t slow down just carried on comming, I was luckly the cannel was wide at that ponit.
By this time I had no idea were I was or the time of day, I had left all the toys (my phone and my cheep gopro) in my bag on my sofa bed I didn’t want to ask Dad to start messing about finding them, so we press on.
As we went along I noticed that the CRT had put new metal anchor barrier all the way a long bank so if I needed to stop I could. But I knew the trip was to get just outside Marple, I had that pass though my head as I noticed yet another boat, but this time the cannal was narrow so I had to almost stop to let them past.
Then just as I was about to pull away there was second boat this time with lighr on which frist I didn’t understand, I stayed were I was and let it pass, but as we made our way on it became clear why.
The trees had closed in and there was a mist around the entrance to Romiley tunnel even before we had reached Ezri’s light was back on and she was slowing down, unlike Woodley, Romiley has no tow path and is a little wider, but the head room is still too short and you can’t look to your right or left to see because all there is black..
I didn’t hit the side or even touch roof this so thar was good, but I srill didn’t have any idea were I choses our stopping place, I just knew if I go over Marple Aqueduct that I had gone to far, buta few mniutes later I heard to train go by knew to second I saw it on my left I was in the right place.
A row of trees later and we were there, I floated into the side a good boat lenght infornt of a lovely boat and within minutes had Ezri chained up and safe and as we did yet more traffic came towards us this time and working CRT boat.So in total we meet four boats comming towards us so it quet the littel traffic lane,
I said before that I had work to following day and not having my work stuff on boat it would be much simpler if I came back (his house) for the night went to work then back to Ezri the following day, As it was almost five in the afternoon, Dad had come by tram so that would a two hour trip back home.
I locked up Ezri did two more things then we headed to Marple railway station, a little bonus of the rain ride into Manchester was the fact you can look down to cannal and see the boat there.So I saw Ezri one last time as we headed in Manchester.
When we get there rush hour just about started so the mad sea of people all trying to get home and loud diesel engines was a bit shocking after the quiet leisurely pace of the canal trip. By the time we did reach ‘home’ it was half past seven at night.