Sunday 15 July

Still no clouds.  After such a wet winter I’m not really complaining but it’s so hot and the ground is so scorched we could be mistaken for thinking we were in the south of France. It’s going to come as a shock when we wake up and the sun isn’t shining!   Anyway the suncream was applied to all exposed skin before we set off.  Max and Storm headed off on foot for Bulls Bridge from where I picked them back up again.

There is a tap beside Bridge 20, which isn’t shown in our Nicholsons, and it doesn’t appear to be a standard CRT one either as our  screw on hose wouldn’t fit – most unusual!

In the relentless heat we carried on; with few trees there was little shade.   Storm, as he wasn’t steering, sought shade inside and encouraged Max to keep him company.

Above Cowley Lock we pulled in to fill with water.  Two CRT volunteers engaged us in chat about the boat and the canals but they put no pressure on us to sign up to donating a regular monthly amount to the Trust.   I think with the licence and mooring fees we pay already, we contribute enough and the cyclists, fishermen and walkers should be encouraged to support it instead.

We couldn’t find a lock buddy today and eventually after six locks and 12 miles we pulled in just before Stockers Lock where there was some shade to see what was happening with the tennis and the football.

The rotary airer demonstrated its fragility today when it dumped my almost dry double quilt in the canal when the line came undone at the connector.    Thankfully I saw the quilt drop and dashed outside just to see it being pulled below the surface.   My shriek alerted Storm and he reached for our new boat pole and managed to locate it and bring it back to the surface where I used our  hook to get a firmer hold.  I knew there’d been a good reason for buying a new pole last month, and Storm’s coming round to that way of thinking too!   The quilt will go back in the wash tomorrow as we need a clean set of bedding for next week’s crew!

After we’d eaten and when the heat of the day had died down, we went for a stroll to explore.  Springwell Lake, one of a series of lakes created by the extraction of sand and gravel in the Colne valley was just beside us.


The  monkey that hangs on high from the girders of a disused canal-side building is still clinging on – he was there in 2010 when we first came this way.

Licenced moorings on the towpath side should be discouraged we feel, as boaters and their belongings spill out everywhere making it unpleasant to walk past when the towpath becomes their living space.


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