Sunday, July 24, 2011

One river, two canals.

On Friday we left the Weaver for the Trent and Mersey, going up the Anderton Boat Lift.

Last lock on the river, Saltersford, the deck hand going forward.

Ducks in a row.....

We moored on the holding moorings below the lift, walked up to the office and were allocated a passage in just ½ an hour’s time. As it worked out we were a bit later than that. The trip boat, MV Edwin Clarke, had a breakdown and missed it’s own up time, so pinched ours when it was repaired. No matter, we’d plenty of time.

It’s a good view from halfway up to the exhibition centre.

After the peace and quiet of the river it seemed very busy on the canal, but the service wharf was empty so we dealt with the “housekeeping” then turned around and headed back to moor above the lift so Mags and Corie could go in the exhibition and have a look around.

It had started to rain by this time, so I sneaked the boat up onto the upper holding moorings right outside the door to wait for them.

The rain eased as we set off, heading north parallel to the river but now 50 feet higher. Corie was fascinated by the two tunnels we had to go through before mooring just north of Bartington Wharf.

Barnton Tunnel.

Corie’s camera takes sharper pictures under these conditions; mine would just have shown a blur of brickwork. Something to do with shutter speed and aperture settings, or some such wizardry.

Corie and I took Meg for a walk and met a couple of South American visitors.

A bit shy….

But they finally came to say hello.

I like this guy, reminds me of someone in a band…

(photo from

Our visitor was being collected on Saturday, and we originally intended to wait here, but Corie didn’t want his boat trip to finish just yet, so we decided to have an early start in the morning and get up to Moore on the Bridgewater Canal in time to meet Melanie who was coming down for him.

So at 07:45 (wow, that IS early!) I pulled pins and set off for Preston Brook Tunnel, leaving the other two in bed. And I thought the early start was a JOINT decision…..

Looking down at Dutton Lock in the early sunshine.

They were both upright by the time we arrived at the Dutton Stop Lock an hour later.

Tug Kennet at Dutton Dry Dock

Working down the 3 inches of Dutton Stop Lock

Claymore hire boat coming out of the south portal of Preston Brook Tunnel.

After the tunnel we pulled over at the road bridge to visit the handy Spar shop just two minutes away, then moved on a few hundred yards to Midland Chandlers.

We’d decided to buy a couple of those automatically inflating lifejackets to use instead of the bulky waistcoat type ones we’ve got at present. The Ribble Link trip is imminent…

Meg had also grown out of her “water wings” so we invested in a new jacket for her, too.

“I don’t think I like this, Dad.”

She won’t be out on the deck during the tidal passage, but you never know.

So, lighter in pocket, we cruised the last 2½ miles to Moore, where we pulled in just past the Post Office. Mags’ granddaughter, Melanie, arrived with her three daughters to collect our erstwhile crewmate, and we had an hour or so gossiping before they all set off back up to Ingleton.

Boat full

L-R – Emma, Melanie, Lauren behind Joanne, Corie and Mags in the sunshine.

I’m sure Corie has enjoyed these few days with us; we’ve certainly enjoyed having him. For a first trip to England he’s certainly cramming some stuff in. Tomorrow they’re going to have a look at Malham Cove and Janet’s Foss, then on Tuesday up to Middlesborough to see another of Mags’ granddaughters, Zoe, and her family, with a side trip to Whitby. He flies back home on Friday, with quite a few memories (and a bag full of souvenirs) of his visit. We’ll look forward to seeing him again.

We were having a quiet day today, with the Grand Prix to watch this afternoon, but I think Mags’ sister and nephew are on their way….

Locks 2, Boat Lifts 1, tunnels 3, miles 16½


Carol said...

Brilliant family picture - great to see! The sun shines on the righteous Mags !!!
Nice to hear from you yesterday - take care of eachother - and mind that bed!

Geoff and Mags said...

Thanks Carol
It's always good to have a bit of a get together, isn't it...