Thursday 9 October 2014

Zippers, poppers and other fasteners

When Wilsons were discussing with us the canopy they were making for Erin Mae, they wanted to create a zipped slot for the tiller bar to come through, in case we wanted to cruise with the canopy up. I thought this a most unlikely occurrence. Truth to tell, I probably looked down my nose a little at people who did things like that, though it was possibly all right for GRP owners.

How wrong can you be! After the experiences of the last two days, looking at the forecast for the next two days, and wanting to make good progress, I decided to experiment with "showery rain trim".

What a difference it made! I could cruise along with torrential rain on the canopy, without feeling that I was turning into some sort of iced slushy. I could also, with a clear conscience, invite my best beloved to brave the elements tackling the swing bridges and the locks – being from the West of Ireland she has a natural affinity for rain.

So just look at how Wilson's cunning crafting of the canopy enabled me to remove the bits that would impede travel, but leave in position those that protected myself from instant dissolution. Removing the side panels also meant we were not troubled by side-winds.

I been mostly concerned with bridges, but there was only one alarum. We cleared the pedestrian bridge by lock 87 of the Leeds and Liverpool by about an inch. Probably it was all due to this being a wide canal – I doubt I could do this under the bridges on the Shroppie.

So we put in one of the longest days we've done for a while. We stopped at Parbold to visit the art gallery in the old mill…

 and then popped across the road for coffee and treats in the "Yours is the earth" cafĂ©. Then we found ourselves hooking up with Richard and his sister Janet on NB Naomi May, who we'd been moored next to in Salthouse Dock. We came through several wide locks together, which made them easier, and arrived at Wigan.

So I thought that this time I couldn't pass Wigan Pier without a photographic memento.


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