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Monday, 27 May 2013

Leek Arm

There was a little more movement on the canal today but all went well, even at the bridge holes and shallow bits. We went up the three locks at Hazelhurst Junction and turned into the Leek Arm.

Top lock, under the bridge and hard a port into the Leek Arm. Hazelhurst Junction.

Very quickly you are passing over where you had recently been but no boats moving down there. The start of the Leek Arm is lined with moorings and is narrow so you just have to sit back and enjoy the view. And the view is well worth the trip. You have to stay in the middle mostly as there isn't much water in places, but with the sun shining and just chugging along at minimum speed it made you feel good to be alive. 

The Caldon Canal to Froghall underneath us. Hazelhurst Aqueduct.

There were views over the valley and the woods were full of bluebells and wild garlic. The colours of the leaves on the trees were very varied and some were not really out yet so everything is late. The colours were almost as bright as in the autumn It was really quintessentially English and I had the Enigma Variations in my head.

Hollinhay Woods near Denford.

After the woods the fields arrived and gave another atmosphere to the canal. There were bullocks and heifers in fields and they had access to drink at the canal. They were naturally curious and came down to fee what we were up to and have a drink.

When these bullocks came down to the canal it reminded me of the Wildebeasts on their migration in the Masi Mara. I hadn't been drinking either!

The canal widens out into a lovely isolated pool and then there is the 130 yd Leek Tunnel. It looks very tight from a distance, and is definitely not two way. After a short cruise after the tunnel you have to wind and back down to the moorings at the end of the arm.

Leek Tunnel.

After mooring up we decided to go and get some shopping in so that we will be largely unencumbered when we go round Leek tomorrow. We came back laden down and as soon as we got the kettle on it started to rain. That was the Bank Holiday I suppose. The moorings have now filled up.

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