This morning we set off around 09:30, heading downstream. We had a short wait at Saltersford Lock, then were on our way again.
It’s around 40 minutes to Dutton Lock, and the lock keeper was expecting us, but he was also expecting three boats coming upstream and had set the lock ready for them. After waiting 10 minutes there was still no sign of them so he decided to fill the lock and drop us down. Of course, as soon as the lock was full the convoy of three narrowboats appeared!
These were the only narrowboats we saw on the move all day.
Pickering’s Wharf used to have a swing bridge across the channel. Since it was removed the houses on the north side of the river have to use motor launches to get to the road.
Frodsham Cut was the old line of the navigation until 1827, dropping the river down through a shallow lock towards the Mersey. There’s no access this way now; the “new” line, known as the Weston Canal, takes the navigation into the increasingly industrialised edges of Runcorn.
Sutton Swing Bridge looks a bit careworn, not much paint, quite a bit of rust.
I wonder why this looks so neglected when those upstream still look fresh in black and white paint?
We pushed on down to Marsh Lock, which links the Weaver Navigation to the Manchester Ship Canal. We turned around here and moored on the lock pontoon for lunch. We knew that we wouldn’t be in the way, this lock is used only rarely these days.
Over the wall is the Mersey estuary, with Liverpool on the far horizon.
After lunch we retraced our steps, heading back upstream to moor just above Dutton Lock at around 16:00.
Alas, no-one fell in. I just knew I should have gone faster….
It's been a good day today, dry with even a bit of sunshine. The weather is predicted to steadily improve towards the weekend. We’re heading up onto the canal tomorrow.
Locks 3, miles 17