Narrowboat Ezri – The Littleborough Chronicles – After the Winter

I am going to break off from updating you about Ezri’s refit for this blog post, and talk about want happens next.
As my winter mooring will come to an end soon, I need to start to think about moving once again and continuing the adventure that is now my life aboard Ezri. My plan is to travel around the whole of north west England’s canal network and it time criss cross the whole country but that’s long term.
However for now I have work out how much of the Rochdale Canal I can still travel,
My first plan was to turn Ezri around a head back up the way I came and head back to Sowerby Bridge in west Yorkshire, then slowly retrace our journey on parts of the Calder and Hebble Navigation staying off the rivers. Because the first time around was one mad blur and it would give a chance for a proper look around.
But with flooding at the tail end of last year, the canal around there has been left in what can only be called post apocalyptic state with whole sections of banking missing, Narrowboats left high and dry and locks in need of repair, so much so the canal and River Trust have put out advisory travel notices.
As you may have work out this means heading that way may not be the best thing to do, I can however travel down the Rochdale Canal and then all the way into Manchester, some of which I did the first time around but only got as far as The Sandbrook Pub then turning Ezri around to the safe harbour of Littleborough.
So between the Pub and Manchester there are a lot unknowns, and even when I get there it looks like money will play its part first on mooring fees to the private company redeveloping the land around the canal and then again if I want to use the Bridgwater Canal on the other side of Manchester for more than a week.
I have worked out that I can turn Ezri around and head up the Ashton Canal and then the long way back to Sowerby which looks fun out in the countryside once again.
It dose leave me a lot to think about in the next few weeks but for now its back to the refit.



Narrowboat Ezri – Tales from the Towpath

I will get back to the history lesson very soon, but for now I thought I will fill you in on the things that have been going on in the last week.

Ezri had been at home just outside the village of Summit which is really just the other side of the border Lancashire / Yorkshire, after that it was just as few yards away of a big narrowboat which had been there for a few weeks before.

It rained most of the time which meant, not going anywhere or doing much of anything.

But I did walk down back to Littleborough to see if there was anyone about the only boats I did see were two boats I knew but not owners,

Tuesday was a better day I had another boat pull up the night before it was a little odd having three of us, in such a small place, but the other did move on the day after, I even meant them as they when down into Littleborough,

So we come to Thursday the rain had stopped and the sun was trying to dry out the towpaths, so it was time to move on a little, but not turning back to Littleborough just yet I want to have look around the places I when though finding a safe place.

The only odd thing to happen was that I meet the same man who had been checking on the locks as I made my way up to Littleborough, but this time he was not only looking at the lock but I think he was checking on the boats to, He didn’t remember me he just tapped at his ipad, so if I get a letter I will know why, its a bit of waste as I have now moved on.

Having help moving Ezri lets me relax a little more and even play with the video on my phone, I could take photos after photos but you don’t really get the true feeling of being there on Ezri’s back deck.

Narrowboat Ezri – Moving Day Part Two

Waking up back at Chelbourne Wharf was a little bit surreal, as if the few weeks at Littleborough were all some funny dream, the night before I had walked along the towpath and worked out were Dad could park the car as he said he would like to help me and Ezri though the remaining locks.
Unlike the last post I not going to name the locks as there are only a handful we past though. Bit we did cross the Yorkshire and Lancashire border again.
Having someone with me was a bit odd, the system I use gets tweaked a lot,
We tie up just before the lock and then walk over to lock itself, most of the time without thinking about it I start to open the paddles letting the water in or out which ever is needed, leaving whoever is with me just standing there to watch.
This happen twice when Dad was helping the first time as I was getting out of the lock and Ezri’s rope slipped out my hand,
So Ezri bounced around the lock until I could get hold of the rope again, I know now I should just thrown Dad the rope and let him tie off but I didn’t just when it muscle memory mode. There was another boat wanting to come down so they were of help to dad in opening the gate
The gap between the lock just after Chelbourne Wharf and the next is a matter of five minutes walk but in Ezri say about fifteen, Its the highest lock in England last I was going up this time were going down.
It was fun just be moving again I even got a few photos the lock its self was bit odd but in time everything worked out.
Now we come the swing bridge I had forgot there was a little footbridge so that made things a lot simpler in fact it took less time that the lock to do.
There was second boat heading down towards us so we had some rest time, only thing was that they make the mistake everyone does, when you come into the lock which ever way it is people try and move the lock gate with paddle down/shut now a gate is around 15 tons and they try to move it against the flow of water.
What I have found is that if you open the paddle or leave it open just a few inches the gate with move more easy because the water is going though not around the 15 tons of wood and steel.
Now we come to second time I mistimed something it was as we were in the second to last lock, Ezri was in the top of the lock and were going down hill I had got off Ezri and show Dad how the lock key, she was tied on and I was getting back to just be with her as she went down.
I wrapped my hands around her rail a stepped out only for her to slid from under my left leg and slip bang I hit Ezri if I hadn’t had my hand under Ezri’s rail I would have ended up in the water suck between the lock wall and Ezri a little bit of close call.
My left side is a little bruised and the wind was knocked out of me for a few seconds but I carried on and got Ezri to her safe place.
We have been here before and there is another boat just up by the lock so things are fine, Dad knocked in Ezri’s mooring pins so now all that left is to reestablish my routine here for the next few days