A CRT "operative" was just setting lock 81 for us as we arrived. The last time I came out of Manchester this way we were literally escorted by at least two staff all the way up to lock 65. Things must have im;roved however: today we were just told that we could go through as soon as we liked and that he would be "around and about"!
He also told us that with two boats coming down, we could leave all the top gates open - and that they would leave bottom gates for us. This was a great help, although as we had now been joined by Duncan, who lives locally, we had a crew of four, which was more than adequate.
We met the downhill boats at lock 71 and then picked up additional help in the form of a volunteer lockie, who accompanied us up to 65, where we stopped for lunch.
|How Many Men Does it Take to Change a Fuse?|
By now, plans to get to Littleborough had been abandoned and we tied up for the night outside the Rose of Lancaster pub half-a-mile further on.