Monday, 24 July 2017
Sunday, 23 July 2017
The above is a link to a video of the aqueduct swinging back across the ship canal. I’ve speed it up a bit to 8 times the actual speed. Warning if on limited internet it is around 45MB, the original was nearly 2GB and my arms ached taking it.
Saturday, 22 July 2017
Lymm to Bollington Underbridge
Waterproofs were needed as soon as we set off today. Drizzle turned into rain pretty quickly. The gusty wind got stronger as we progressed slowly towards Manchester.
Water points and bins are not frequent on the Bridgewater Canal so after we’d passed the two boat yards on our way out from Lymm we pulled in at The Old No3 pub for water. Being exposed on an embankment with the wind blowing Oleanna across the cut meant it was hard to moor up. The bow had been brought into the side, but the wind was forcing it out. A couple of blasts of the bow thruster helped, so then I could get off and get a rope through a ring.
The water pressure was exceedingly poor so we both retired inside to wait for the boom from the tank. Mick later discover a kink in the hose which won’t have been helping matters. It’s a determined kink, determined to stay put no matter now much persuading Mick gave it. Once full it was time to move on. As soon as the ropes were untied there was no holding Oleanna in. So I stayed stood on the bow and slipped the loop of the bow rope off the T stud to then pull it through the ring, by which time we were half way across the cut.
The wind has been rattling the doors and whistling around us. Tilly has had freedom down in the fields below for most of the afternoon whilst Mick has watched the Tour de France. Later on Tilly and I had a walk along the towpath. She chats as she walks, only occasionally getting distracted and then running to catch up. We only walked 500m, wonder how far she’d follow me? Maybe we’ll walk the towpath towards Manchester and see how far we get tomorrow. Only problem will be other towpath users and the occasional tree!
0 locks, 3.28 miles, 2 cheese twists, 1 full water tank, 1 very strong wind, 1 rendez vous for covers sorted, 2 damp boaters, 1 boat well and truly tied up, 2 tyres deployed, 0.5km cat walk a start, 259 miles walk for Tabitha!
Friday, 21 July 2017
Thursday, 20 July 2017
Whatcroft Flash to Breach Site, Dutton
No rain came during the night and so far today we’ve not seen one drop, let alone any thunder and lightening. The sky has been grey all day and the air heavy and still full of moisture, really hope it rains soon.
As we rounded the next bend we could see where everyone had moored last night, the next flash north. It looks like work has started on what will be a marina here, a few piles have been driven in along the far bank and a large pile of them sits waiting. In time here will change, a new marina and crossings of HS2. Although I’m sure that once the new rail line is built and the disruption gone, canal users will just take the bridges as just another one, it’s just a shame that it will be another area with frequent trains. But that’s progress for you.
Yesterday Mick had been bitten on his arm and last night it had swollen up. I drew a line round it so we could see if it had gone down any over night, but this morning the line of course had worn off. So we pootled along to Broken Cross where Mick headed down the road on a bike to a chemists. He was told that he was dong the right thing, allergy tablets and cream. He returned stocked up with some more pills and a stronger batch too, just in case. The insect repellent was being used liberally at the stern today.
Through the chemical works which looked moody with grey skies behind them. We passed NB Earnest, a famous boat that has been to places with The Tuesday Night Club that other boats will never go, like going through the lock on the River Dee in Chester and navigating as far as possible on the Witham Drains. Another long line of moored boats brought us to the Lion Salt Works which are well worth a visit if you ever pass.
Next along the way was the Anderton Boat Lift, working again after a mishap a week or so ago. We ventured down the lift back in 2011 March on NB Winding Down. As we passed today we decided that a return visit was needed to fully explore the Weaver, along with the Llangollen and heading up to Chester and Ellesmere Port, but this will have to wait for another year as we’re booked into Liverpool in ten days time.
Up ahead we had two tunnels, Barnton and Saltersford. I was posted as look out at the bow, as the approach to Barnton Tunnel has some very tight bends, one under a bridge. One way travel only in these tunnels, so I had to check that the way was clear. There is a wiggle in the middle of the tunnel so looking at the right moment is important, we were clear so could proceed. I decided to stay at the bow which confused Tilly somewhat, she spent our passage through shouting out of the bathroom window at us, which echoed along the tunnel.
Being at the bow I could see that Oleanna was still smiling, such a happy boat.
Saltersford Tunnel has timed passages, heading north you can pass through anytime between on the hour to twenty past the hour. We’d just missed our window, so pulled in for a cuppa and counted down the minutes until we could go through. They still needed reminding that I was there ready to go off exploring, so I returned to the bathroom porthole and made my presence known. They just meowed back at me, how rude!
We hoped that we’d be able to moor at the breach site shortly before Preston Brook and luckily there was space for us. No view, but extra mooring rings have been added into the concrete edge since we were last here. There used to be space for four or five boats, now more like ten. The edge is low enough to be able to paint gunnels at too, but that will have to wait until we pass another time.
0 locks, 10.45 miles, 3 packets of pills, 1 arm still in tact, 8 expectant beaks, 0 people at home, 1 Earnest, 2 for the trip boat, 2 tunnels, 2 and 1 mysterons, 40 minute wait, 2 Black Prince boats, 1 mooring without the view, 1 mile to the Bridgewater, 0 rain too play in, 67838956465 rain now I’m inside!