I'd decided that being single - handed and on someone else's boat that I wasn't going to do anything too exciting during my time on Areandare, and certainly not going to go down Marple Locks.
But moored-up near the top yesterday afternoon I couldn't resist taking a windlass and having a look to see if anyone else wanted a hand to tackle the flight.
At the second lock down I came across Dave and Gill on "Yes Please ", which rather answered my question of "Would you like a hand down the locks "
It was great to work the flight alongside people who took the same approach to locking as I do and we flew down the flight (in so far as that's possible with slow filling locks and heavy paddle gear) in two hours including the time taken to refill a drained pound, with Dave and Gill offering me a beer at the bottom, which we enjoyed sitting in the bottom lock as it slowly emptied itself, all feeling that we'd made new friends.
This morning, I emerged from the boat to see on the towpath an old boating chum, Duncan, who has mastered the art of boating without a boat by joining a boat club that has a lot of members always looking for crew. He was here to help one of them down the flight. I was tempted to do it all again, but I had other things planned and decided that i'd done my bit.
This was a wise decision as it turned out as he rang me later to say he'd got thoroughly soaked in the heavy rain and was going straight home to dry out.