Top of Bratch Locks

A lazy start today, we had a cup of tea in bed at eight and didnt get going until just gone nine. The weather was grey and overcast with occasional drizzle on and off all day. We were hoping for a barbeque tonight and had planned on stopping at the picnic site at the bottom of Bratch, but it was obvious by the afternoon that is wasnt going to be barbeque weather.

There was a noticable lack of water in the canal. The levels were down and with the need for dredging in places it was very shallow making progress slow and steering difficult at times. On the very sharp bend just before Debdale lock we met an oncoming boat. I slammed in to reverse, there was a load clunk and the engine stalled. I restarted, into gear, nothing. Obviously something round the prop. The crew from the other boat took our rope and got us to the side. I went down the weed hatch to find a large log about 4 foot long and 3-4″ diameter. It came out fairly easily and were were off on our way again. A ‘full english’ was taken just above Whittington lock.

We got to the bottom of Bratch at about five o’clock and decided to carry on up as it wasn’t really barbeque weather. There was aready a boat in the bottom chamber and the lockie said to follow them up. We moored up on the vistor’s mooring by the cricket club shortly after 5:30.

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