Thursday 24th October- Manchester City Centre
Bridgewater Canal to Rochdale Canal
This was a toughie – the notoriously difficult ‘Rochdale Nine’, the first nine locks of the Rochdale canal taking you through the city centre. It all started off beautifully though – waking up in Sale was just gorgeous, a sunny, cold autumn morning and a kids’ canoe club filling up the canal just as we set off. We managed to get through without hitting anyone, and called at the lovely Stretford Marina for a shower, to do our washing up, to empty the loo. Malcolm and Steve couldn’t have been kinder and friendier and I found myself dreaming of a long-term mooring here..
On we went, the suburbs becoming more and more urban, more grafitti, more tumbledown mills and relics of Manchester’s industrial past, we passed the junction with the Manchester Ship Canal at Pomona Lock, and entered the city.
The Rochdale Nine:
We were stumped at the very first of these famously challenging locks. There was far too much water upstream and Emma had to run to the next lock to let water though to speed things up. And we were joined here by Daniel – a lad who was innocently passing by on his way to look for work (with a can of Tetleys).
Working together seamlessly (mostly) we got through Oxford Road, the Piccadilly underpass where men cruise and all along sunny Canal Street, finally arriving at New Islington Marina – a fancy new marina near Picadilly with truly lovely facilities for guests.
We showered again (just because we could!) and even did a laundry load – imagine our joyous little faces.