Day 37 – Slaithwaite to Marsden

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Overnight we had some very heavy rain and the signs were not good. Breakfast was taken before we moved off and we also received a briefing as to what we might encounter whilst we ascended the remaining 21 locks to the summit. It was inevitable that as we set off the rain started! We had been forwarned that we might encounter low water-levels above Lock 28E and so this proved to be. As instructed we waited in the lock-chamber, summoned BW and awaited the arrival of a boat that had set out downhill from the summit. The BW lock-keeper and the boat arrived at the same time just as we we rising in the lock! Some nifty boat handling enabled us to pass the other boat without going seriously aground in the low water.

The entry into the next lock proved to be more of a problem as we became jammed between the lockside and one of the bottom gates. Closer inspection by the lock-keeper found the problem and it was soon cleared. As we rose in the lock the cause of our problem rose with us and deft use of our new boat hook lifted a length of timber out of the lock. This was immediately claimed by the lock-keeper who quickly identified it as part of some now dismantled temporary work at the next lock. He would present it to the culprit who had not retreived it as it was taken apart.

We continued our climb with each lock coming closer to the next as we mounted the valley side. We were met by the lock-keeper working down from the summit and with his assistance we eventually rose to summit level through Lock 42E. The average rise for each of the 42 locks is well over 10ft per lock and canal seems to creep, unannounced, into Marsden through the back door.

Menu: breakfast sandwiches; homemade beefburgers; Guleh Kambling curry.

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