I was surprised by how quiet our mooring was last night especially as we were right by a railway bridge, also the share number of moorings available in Wigan with mooring rings.
We got woken at 6-30 this morning by a boat going by, I don't know why because the locks just ahead of us don't open until 8 am.
While we were sitting having a cup of tea before setting off there was a knock on the boat, it was the lock keeper checking we didn't want to go up before he locked up for the morning.
We pushed off a little before ten in the dry and worked down through the first lock,. Again something I hadn't come across on the British Canals, a gear mechanism to open and close the gate. We have a lock where the gates work like this in Oulton Broad.
We had to wait at the lock for a boat coming up, they were only using the towpath side paddles until we arrived and Diana worked the off side. To get from one side of the lock to the other is quite a walk down to the tail and over the road bridge. We worked the next lock and Diana rejoined the boat at the short length of floating pontoon by the Wigan CRT office. Then under the bridge and sharp left to Wigan Pier, There are a few words about it set into the canal side steps, although Wigan Pier as I understand it is a little further along with a statue set beside it.
One of the old buildings converted into the Orwell Pub after George Orwell, unfortunately its been closed for a few years but today its covered in scaffolding which may be a good sign for the future. I wonder how long the pigeons have been resident here to make a pile this high? Most of the locks were against us and although they are quite heavy everything seems to work quite well including the anti-vandal locks. Not long after we met Ariel breasted to a butty coming through a bridge hole, a couple of minutes earlier and we could have left the lock gates open for them.
Just after this it started raining and that continued all day, so far we have had 6mm and although it looked bright at times it didn't stop.
The wild garlic is now in flower between the canal and the railway a little further on it was the turn of the Bluebells to brighten up awet day, I must say in spite of the weather I have enjoyed this canal so far, much better than yesterday.
The journey along this canal is punctuated by milestones, I don't think they are original and we both think the writing is on the wrong side, take this one, Liverpool is to the right, so we would expect to see the word Liverpool as we approached the stone heading for Liverpool, but these stones have it on the face facing Liverpool so you have to pass the stone to see how far it is.
At Appley Deep Lock, this lock bypassed two shallower locks, we caught up with a Narrowboat who had just entered the lock, so we were able to share the last lock of the day. He was heading for Parbold for the night and was worried we might get the last mooring, as we locked out first I let him go by while Diana closed the lock up. We stopped just below where the two disused shallow locks rejoined the canal for lunch hoping that the rain might stop but by a little after 4 pm we thought we had best set off again, still in the rain. Our target for the night was the moorings at The Ring O bells and maybe a meal in the pub, but all the visitor moorings were taken so we had to moor down below the long term mooring, in view of the weather we decided it would be dinner onboard again.
Today's Journey 10 miles, 6 locks in 4 ¾ hours