Sunday 30th August
Barrowsford Top Lock to Church
Oh what a beautful morning…
Today was a classic Indigo Dream day, full of fine company (hound and human) as we welcomed Max Greyhound, with his slaves Anna and Michael (who last cruised with us in July – can’t believe it was so long ago!) along with Portia with Amber Greyhound and Tiger the Terrier, who was beside himself with joy at being allowed on the boat! There was a celebratory air to the day – it was Max’s first “gotcha” day (anyone who has a rescue dog will know that we celebrate “gotcha” days – the day a new hound came into our lives; if we know their birthdays then lucky hound get to celebrate both!).
We had a quiet night on the moorings and the day dawned fair with blue skies and brilliant sunshine. We set off from Barrowsford Top at 9am as we needed to get five locks down to our rendezvous point close to the car park on Greenfield Road. We soon piled five humans 7 dogs on board – the dogs got on famously right from the start. I think that being introduced on the neutral ground of the towpath helps, but even in the confined space of a narrowboat every hound we’ve ever cruised with has just got on with enjoying the adventure. Tiger the terrier absolutely had the time of his life. :-)
Once we got to Barrowsford bottom lock, we hastened to get coffee made then Richard went off to do the car shuffle – I’d cruise us along the lock free pound (rare enough on these high canals!) and he’d cycle back to meet us.
Portia taking the helm :-)
I didn’t take many notes – the photos will tell the story, needless to say, coffee, pastries, baguettes and cream teas were consumed and greyhound tales were exchanged – all in the spectacular setting of the Yorkshire Dales on a rare sunny day – you couldn’t ask for more from a day’s cruising :-)
We passed through Burnley during the canal festival – we flew our Retired Greyhound Trust and Diamond Jubilee flags and encouraged all 7 dogs to smile at their admiring public – they drew lots of admiring comments from the packed towpath, were much photographed though one photographer looked quite worried when we told him that the greyhounds demand a modelling fee :-). The festival itself was great, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society had their short boat Kennet there, don’t be misled by the “short boat” bit, she is massive which is just as well as she had a steady stream of visitors. The beer tent was doing a roaring trade as was the team sending kids out on canoes, oh sugar wonder how many we ran down. We have to say, well done Burnley!
We stopped for lunch by the old brewery just outside the centre of Burnley (away from the busy-ness of the canal festival) – there are useful mooring rings here. Our initial target for the day was Hapton, where Richard had left the car; but it was such a lovely day, the whole crew decided to stay on to our overnight mooring in Church. This meant that Richard did a second car shuffle. Although it was tremendously useful to have the car at our end point, I was a bit sad that Richard missed the magnificent views around Shuttleworth and Rishton – wow!
We always encourage our (human!) guests to take the helm and learn a few more skills – Portia was up for it and soon got the hang of the tiller. Recently, when we’re “tutoring” our guests, we’ve got into the the habit of encouraging them to move the tiller while we control the throttle. But after today we’ll change tack, because the tiller and throttle work together to control the boat’s movement and it’s worth teaching both at the same time, even if it does need a lot of co-ordination at first We found this out at an unexpected swingbridge, where I opened the bridge while Portia brought the boat through (Richard was car shuffling). I hadn’t realised that she had no experience of using the throttle which resulted in a bit of to-ing and fro-ing and a bit of a bang against the edge of the bridge – oops! No great harm done, and, to her credit, Portia didn’t panic and followed my shouted instructions from the bank to get Indigo Dream safely moored so that I could get back on!
I did note that we enjoyed the “up and under” with the M65, which stayed close to the canal but surprisingly the traffic noise was not intrusive.
Seven dogs on deck :-)
The mooring at Church is unassuming – a moth-eaten concrete platform flanked by uneven grassy fringe with one mooring ring; the whole structure being next to a derelict factory/warehouse and a desultory alley into the village. But we decided that it would do. We gathered all our guests and I drove them back to our starting point in Barrowsford. While I was doing the final car shuffle, Richard was investigating food. The Thorn pub nearest to the mooring was not serving food, so we went for a Chinese takeaway from Ho Ho’s instead. We thought we’d made a modest order, but the gargantuan northern portions scuppered us yet again! After enjoying a lovely sunset, we had a quiet evening with the DVDs – this time starting on a box set of “House of Cards” – the American version – gripping and repellent at the same time!
I had mentioned that the mooring was unassuming, and my heart sank when I heard a motorbike buzzing down the towpath at midnight – but that was the last bit of activity and we had an undisturbed night.
Yet another type of paddle gear and a toxic haze of blue-green algae – there were signs warning people not to allow your dogs to swim/drink in the canal :-(
If you’re not using locks to carry the canal up and down the hills then you have to use aqueducts to cross the valleys instead :-)
Crossing the M65…
Tiger had the time of his life -this may be the only time that he’s been totally worn out, and Michael’s lap was very comfy :-)
Magnificent views – those steep sided hills in the distance are, apparently, characteristic of a post-glacial landscape…
Tiger the terrier finished the day wth a great new game – jump off, get lifted back on, jump off, get lifted back on….best game ever!
A fine end to a wonderful day’s cruising :-)