This morning we toddled along to the services to top up and empty the relevant tanks, and had an interesting time turning around in the strong wind. We tended to go sideways every time I tried to send the fore-end round, until I stemmed it up to give me a chance to put the stern across. It wasn’t too bad, then.
We motored back to the holding moorings for the lift, and I went down to the booking office to see if there was a slot for us today. “13:40 do you?” Just ½ an hour to wait. That’ll do nicely, thankyou.
We went down solo, with the brisk wind skewing us diagonally across the caisson.
The paired caissons (tanks) are linked to the canal by short aqueducts, isolated by guillotine gates.
The two tanks counterbalance each other, with very little extra power required, although the system now allows for each side to operate independently.
Tell you what, it’s the easiest 50’ level change on the system. A lot more relaxing than 4 or 5 locks!
The boat visible below the lift is the restored fly-boat Saturn. The only one of it’s kind left, these boats were built with fine lines to rapidly transport perishable cargos. They worked 24 hour days with crew and horse changes at strategically sited stops.
Just over a mile from the lift we pulled in on a quiet bank on Barnton Cut. We’ll be heading into Northwich tomorrow for some shopping and a visit to the opticians.
The strong wind and heavy pulses of rain have made today’s short trip less than enjoyable, but the wind is due to drop and the rain clear (for a bit).
I’d just started this post when we had a knock on the side of the boat. It was Pete Dawson, a local who spends a lot of time walking his dogs on the canal and river. He was kind enough to donate last year when I ran the Great North Run for Cancer Research UK. We’d met before, and spent a few minutes catching up before he carried on with his walk. I hadn’t realised, but he tells me that during last winter the river had frozen over bank to bank at this point. It looked thick enough to walk on, but he chose not to try! We’ll have a brew or maybe a beer next time, eh.
Locks 0, miles 3¼