Friday, August 19, 2011

The Best Laid Plans…..

…as some Scottish chap once wrote. We set of yesterday from Tewitfield after collecting a Tesco delivery at the service wharf opposite the mooring. The driver had no problem deciphering the location instructions; he lives in an apartment at the marina complex next door!

Just before we set off the wide beam MV Kingfisher arrived with an excursion party. This is the trip boat/waterbus based at Lancaster, which normally plies the waters between Lancaster and Carnforth.

Leaving Tewitfield, MV Kingfisher disgorging her human cargo.

We’ll be back again, it’d be nice to say when the Northern Reaches are open up to Kendal, but that’s unlikely in the near future.

Oh, before I forget, to answer Carol’s query – maximum length on the Ribble Link is 62 feet, Glasson Dock Branch 72 feet, Rufford Branch (L&L) 62 feet, so Rock 'n' Roll'l be able to get here OK. Just don’t forget a boarding plank….

Anyhow, back to yesterday. Plan A was to move just a mile or 2 from the noise of the motorway at Tewitfield, moor for the night in the sticks, then head for Carnforth today to stop there for the weekend. I’d already spied out several likely-looking spots on my morning run.

Reflections at Bridge 136

More reflections near Capernwray.

At least they’re not eating the water lilies this time!

Yes, it is a grass covered roof on NB Santa Cruz

We tried each and every potential mooring over the next 3 miles, thwarted at each by shallow water. We couldn’t get the fore-end in closer than 2½ feet, a no-no for Meg who won’t use the plank. Frustrated we moved onto Plan B, moor in Carnforth a day early. After all, it was only 13:30 and there’s lots of moorings, isn’t there. Wrong. The reason we’d seen no boats all morning is that they’re all moored here! We did try, right at the end of the officially marked moorings, but yes, you’ve guessed, too shallow.

Just up from Carnforth there’s what looks like an old lock chamber. The quoin where the gate post would be anchored is clearly visible. May just have been a stop lock to protect the embankment a little north.

Old lock copings

On we plodded, now on Plan C. We’d spotted some 7 day moorings at Bolton-Le-Sands on the way up, and although a bit shaded in a cutting, they’d do for one night. Anyway, I’d not had a look round this village yet.

I couldn’t believe it when we crunched to a halt on the rocky bottom still a good way from the concrete edge. Three times we tried, 3 times we failed. There were 2 boats moored near Bridge 125, I guess this is the only bit that’s deep enough to get in.

We managed to get Meg off for the pee that she was desperate for by this time, then carried on, finally finishing up back at Hest Bank, overlooking the bay. At least there’s space and sufficient water here for more than a rubber duck!

We did consider turning around and trying Carnforth again this morning, but Mag’s son George rang to say he was on his way, so we stayed put. His wife, Christine, came with him this time. She couldn’t come last week, there wasn’t room in the car. They stayed for a couple of hours before setting off on a shopping trip.

The afternoon turned cloudy and windy, so we decided to stay put. We’ll probably go back and try again early next week. I’d like to have a look around the town.

Had a call from Dave on NB Liberty Bell last evening. They made the return crossing back to the Leeds and Liverpool at Tarleton with no drama. We’ll maybe catch up with them later in September as we’re traveling in the same direction.

Locks 0, miles 7

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