Pennine Explorer Cruise – Climbing to Diggle

Monday 19th June 2017

18 locks, 13 boats and the summit reached by all.  The ‘Everest’ of canal pounds  – 645 feet above sea level and the highest in the UK – was reached by the whole Pennine Explorer cruise plus one additional boat after a fascinating if challenging day.

With so many on the move on one day it was inevitable that there would be some adjustments needed to ensure sufficient water in all of the short pounds.  However, an added complication was a failed downstream paddle on Lock 30W coming only a few days after the other paddle of the pair had become detached from its rack.  Not daunted by this, the CRT team put their mind to getting us through and succeeded.  Phil Smith applied all his ingenuity to what he described as ‘Heath Robinson engineering’ and with support from his colleagues managed to sufficiently fix the damaged paddle to get all boats though.  Steve Wood of Bream, a 70ft traditional narrowboat, said ‘he’d not had so much fun for ages and when can we do it again?’

Thanks to friends from Tudor Cruising Club, volunteers from Huddersfield Canal Society and CRT’s own volunteers for all their efforts in helping the Explorer cruise keep on schedule.

Tomorrow Standedge Tunnel beckons…….

The Cruise reaches Wool Road ready for the ascent of the Diggle Flight.  (Bob Gough)

Taking a tea break on the Diggle flight are L-R – Ali from Huddersfield Canal Society, Kim and Nicky from ‘One from the Vine’ and Duncan from Tudor Cruising Club.

Wild flower show on the Diggle flight

For a period it looked like the problem at lock 30W would mean mooring on the flight. This did not seem to trouble Nicky, Kim and four-legged friend.

Phil Smith applies his magic from the Stern of Pomona whilst Ann looks on.

The Pennine Explorer cruise at Diggle Summit with Standedge above.

Julie Arnold and friend rest after the climb.

All other photos:  Alan Stopher

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