Treading Water

Next weekend we’ve been invited to attend a family celebration, which means we’ll have to leave Cyan in a secure place. The nearest marina from where we’re moored at the top of Barrowford locks, is Reedley Marina, which is the other side of Nelson, less than 4 miles away. The very friendly staff at the marina have booked Cyan in from Thursday till Monday. We’ve also booked a hire car to take us from Burnley to the celebrations. The sort of hire company that “picks you up and gives American customer service… etc.”

This has given us the opportunity, which I’ll gladly take, of a postal address for the purposes of doing a bit of internet shopping. Using the car, John will be able to shop for oil, and oil filters to perform an engine service at some point. We’ve also got an empty gas bottle to exchange for a full one, and we’ll need to fill up with diesel. The last time we brimmed the tank was just above Bingley Five Rise. It’ll be interesting to see how much diesel we’ve used since then.

The weather has been abysmal, and the laundry basket has grown to an alarming size so before we run out of clean clothes I’ll be availing myself of the marina’s laundry.

This all sounds like a plan!

Because of our plan, we’ll be ‘treading water’ for a short while, therefore we’ve decided we couldn’t moor in a better place than top of the locks at Barrowford for several days.

The mooring at the top of the locks are brilliant, with both rings and bollards. We couldn’t see a notice telling us how long we could stay, though another boater mentioned the moorings used to be ‘residential’, when CRT decided to ‘auction’ the moorings, there were no ‘takers’. John did chat to a CRT employee who said our moorings were fine and to stay put.

Wish there were more information signs around the waterways like this one, it’s brilliant. It’s got a little bit of history, a map, a list of businesses and shops which are noted on the map, and a special section with telephone numbers for doctors, dentist, and tourist information.

There was also a separate notice with handwritten information of what birds and other wildlife had been spotted around the locks that week.  (I should have taken a picture of that duh…) The notice is updated by a Lockie who’s a keen ornithologist.

A Canal and Riverside Trust ‘roadshow’ was set up for a morning at the top of the locks. CRT are trying to make the public, especially children, aware of the dangers surrounding the canals, particularly swimming in the locks, as well of course promoting the many positives of visiting canals. Now that school’s out, CRT are doing all they can to keep everyone safe during the summer holidays. There is an offer of free ice creams to draw the attention of children to their message.

John did have a discussion about the blue-green algae in the water. Though typically, John made a suggestion that warning notices about the algae should be dated. The notices could be thought as being ‘old’ news and ignored. Believe the suggestion was noted.

There’s a lovely walk around the reservoir at the top. Though we’re surprised to see it half full. A local said there’s a leak in the reservoir at half point, to plug the leak will cost many millions of £’s, therefore the authorities have decided having a ‘half full reservoir’ is not a problem, and have drained the reservoir to half full.

The blue-green algae gets everywhere.

While at the mooring we were terrorised by a single swan. Don’t know what happened to her mate, but my goodness she was aggressive. John thought it was no wonder she’s ‘single’! At one point she stopped Rusty from boarding Cyan. I had to chuck a slice of bread to get her away from the back of the boat, giving Rusty time to jump on.

Talking to John while on board, I absentmindedly flapped a hand about, unfortunately it was near to the open hatch doors. It’s such a shock and a heart stopper when the swan stretched her neck and nipped my fingers from outside of the boat.

I’m pretty sure she’s mastered the art of ‘reading’ boats, detecting any movement inside; the movement is quickly followed by her tapping on the side of the boat asking for food. Rusty was demented by her beak tapping, think he thought she was trying to get inside Cyan.

There was another ‘family’ that was terrorised by the ‘demented’ swan, it was a mother duck with her two almost grown ducklings. The ducks were pretty, yet very nervous. We’ve no idea what breed they are. I’m going to ask on the RSPCS’s forum, and hope to report back. Anyone got an idea on the breed?

This morning we moved down through the locks, though not before using the services at the top of the locks, and filling up with water.

Picture taken from the second lock from the top.

At the third lock a Lockie joined us to help – that’s always a joyous sight! The Lockie had a mate at the bottom locks, who had set the locks for us to go down.  In no time we’d dropped down the 7 locks.

The 2nd Lockie asked where we were heading for, I told him we were heading for Reedley marina for Thursday, so we’d be taking our time. He suggested we wouldn’t do any better than staying on the moorings at the bottom of the lock, as mooring around Nelson wasn’t advisable (?).

Here’s our mooring for the night. The picture is of a beautiful widebeam, coming out of the locks.

Today we’ve done about half a mile and 7 locks. Digital TV’s very good. WiFi 18 Mg.

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