We’re supposed to have another day of warm dry conditions before it goes downhill again towards the weekend.
We made a shopping and services trip into Northwich yesterday, which took so long that we ended up at the bottom of the lift again for another night. But this morning we were off at just after 10:00, heading downstream.
The rising ground dead ahead is through where Saltersford Tunnel takes the Trent and Mersey Canal further north, 50 feet higher than the river.
We just missed out at Saltersford Lock, a pair of boats were just on the way down. If we’d been 5 minutes earlier we could have joined them.
Another boat came up, and then it was our turn, joined by a narrowbeam Dutch barge and a small launch.
Acton Bridge is a couple of miles further on, and we were surprised to see empty moorings here. It’s a popular spot, close to car parking (for those boaters that have cars!) and a pub.
We caught up with NB Gemini just before Dutton Lock. They’d stopped for water, and were taking it easy knowing that we’d have to wait for the lock-keeper to finish his lunch.
Three of us shared Dutton Lock, then NB Gemini pulled in to moor below the lock while Strawberry Fields followed us further downstream.
The electrified West Coast Main Line crosses the river on the spectacular Dutton Railway Viaduct just below the lock.
The Grade II listed structure was built in 1836 and carries the railway on 20 sandstone arches.
Unfortunately it’s graceful outline was marred in the ‘60s by the addition of the overhead cable gantries. Such is progress, I guess.
There was only one boat on the meadowside mooring at Devil’s Garden, so we pulled in there. This is another popular mooring spot, but for entirely different reasons than those at Acton Bridge. Here we’re way out in the country, no pub, no cars, no noise.
Later in the afternoon we were joined by another narrowboat, then 3 wide beam boats arrived, having come on to the river at Marsh Lock from the Manchester Ship Canal. They’d come down the Leeds and Liverpool from Rufford, then into Manchester and onto the Ship Canal near Salford Quays.
Locks 2, miles 10¼