We set off yesterday (Saturday) accompanied by our son and his girlfriend who were helping us down the 27 locks into Manchester. The sun beat down and we had a really good trip, only seeing two other moving boats all day.
After about 4 or 5 locks we met these 3 kids swimming in the lock. They were no problem, getting out of the water to help open the gates. I gave them the usual lecture about Weil's Disease and the general dangers of swimming in the canal and especially locks but they couldn't care less. They were young and having a ball and one of them was doing a great job of fishing debris out of the water and bye-wash.
Those of you who know me probably wouldn't recognise me away from the boat. In weather like this I'd usually be in shorts and strappy tops rather than all covered up and hiding under a hat, but needs must......
I was surprised how many tiny ducklings were bobbing about. We must have seen half a dozen separate broods. It must be the good weather stimulating second or even third matings.
The Ashton Canal goes right past both the Velodrome and Manchester City Football Club. Football fans will recognise these old signs. The roads don't exist any longer, due to major redevelopment in the area.
I was going to take photos of the new metro station and football stadium beside this lock, but we had a "major incident" which took almost half an hour to sort out. Three boys were messing in the bye-wash and when we pulled into the lock it was obvious they were in a bit of a state. Two of them had fallen and badly cut themselves and had decided to clean up in the canal water! So out came the antiseptic and plasters and I cleaned them up. It took almost a full packet of plaster to sort them out. One had a broken toe but there wasn't much I could do about that. They were extremely polite and grateful and we sent them off home to tell their parents what had happened, again with a warning about the dirty water and possible infections. It seemed a bit strange how grateful they were for the first aid but I understood why when one of the kids said his mother wouldn't care and he was in for a battering!
Just after this lock is the lowest bridge on the Ashton Canal.
We crept slowly through it with a couple of inches to spare.
You can tell when you reach the end of the Ashton Canal when the high rise flats start springing up. You can see the balconies in the centre of the tower.
Most were occupied so we had plenty of spectators as we went down the last lock.
As on previous trips, we moored in Piccadilly Basin. This is good secure moorings in a gated community but as we know the gate entry combination we went out into Manchester for a few beers to cool down.