Thursday, June 03, 2010

Here comes summer????

You might even think that summer was finally here… but I for one am not holding my breath. It has been another fine, warm sunny day, so I suppose we should make the most of it while we’ve got it.

We set off from Boothstown at around 10:30 this morning. Several boats had already passed us, part of the Mersey convoy intending to cross the river from Liverpool Docks to Ellesmere Port. Still no sign whether or not it’s going to happen, though. The locks around Wigan junction are still closed due to water shortages, even though they’re now pumping from the River Douglas to help relieve the situation. An update will be issued tomorrow…

Coming into Worsley the canal passes under 2 modern bridges, one carrying the M60 and the other a feeder to it. The shadows and bright sunshine show the ochre colour of the water clearly.

Sunlight and shadow under the M60
The colour is caused by iron oxide (rust!) dissolved from pockets in the Duke of Bridgewater’s mine.

Worsley is also home to the oldest working inland dry dock in the country, built in the 1760's.

Worsley Dry Dock
From Worsley the outskirts of Greater Manchester fringe the canal, factories and houses never far away. Coming through Patricroft there were several fishermen, so I slowed right down so as not to disturb the fish. Unfortunately I also failed to disturb one of the anglers, and finished up with his tackle wrapped around the rudder!

Trailing hook, line and sinker.
I expected a barrage of abuse, but got the opposite. He apologised for not seeing us coming!
It didn’t hang on long, we lost it along the straight past Trafford Park.

Nothing moving on the Ship Canal as we passed over Barton Swing Aqueduct
We turned left at Waters Meeting, just past the Kelloggs factory, and headed directly into town to Castlefield, arriving at around 1 o’clock.

Into Castlefield.The restaurant boat LS Lowry has been spruced up ready for the season.

It’s busy on the moorings towards the Grocer’s Warehouse. By this evening most of the available space had been taken up. Should be interesting tomorrow, the grapevine has it that Lymm Cruising Club are planning a weekend meet here.

We came into town rather than heading for the green fields of Dunham Massey because there’s an exhibition on at MOSI I particularly want to see.

The Leeds and Liverpool isn’t the only canal suffering through lack of water. The Kennet and Avon has problems, too.

Locks 0, miles 8½

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