Tuesday, August 09, 2011

City dwelling – for a couple of days.

What a difference a day makes, in the words of the song. Although still breezy, it’s been nothing like as strong, and we’ve had blue skies most of the day.

Empty mooring pontoons at Galgate. Not long enough for narrowboats…

Countryside near Park Coppice

South of Lancaster the canal enters a long cutting, very reminiscent of the Shropshire Union cuttings.

Brantbeck Bridge in Deep Cutting.

While in the cutting we met a very wide wide-beam coming the other way, and moved over to give him the deeper channel. Of course the inevitable happened and we finished up aground, but not badly. There were two narrowboats following the fat boat so we decided to let them past before manoeuvring back off the bottom.

The first was the boat with the unpronounceable welsh name (I know now it means “Free Spirit”), one of the three boats we joined for our trip down the Rufford Branch locks.

The second was NB Yesdear, last seen on the Wednesday morning after our own crossing.

Dave and Jan, NB Yesdear.

As we were aground and there was nothing else coming, they pulled alongside and we caught up with the news. They’ve been to the terminus at Tewitfield, but are heading back towards Garstang as they’re immediate plans are a bit vague. They’re due back across to Tarleton next Tuesday, but a family funeral might coincide. This afternoon they were joining “the welsh boat” down the locks to Glasson Dock, so at least they’ll have covered the whole waterway, even if it’s been a little faster than planned.

They left us after around 40 minutes, and we carried on into Lancaster.

Coming out of the cutting the canal curves around a valley before heading into the built-up area.

Looking across to Lancaster, the Priory and Parish Church of St. Mary clearly visible.

We arrived at the moorings near to the Waterwitch, filled and emptied at the services then pushed across the canal to moor alongside Dave and Barbara’s NB Liberty Bell. They’d caught the train to Grange-Over-Sands for the day, but had invited us to come alongside when we arrived.

Moored near the Waterwitch.

Those flats dead ahead were a milk distribution depot last time we came this way….

Tomorrow it looks like we’re back to wet and windy weather, so we’ll probably stay put. Although living less than 20 miles away for 20-odd years, I’ve never visited the Maritime Museum on the quayside. A chance to remedy that omission.

Oh, and thanks to Roger who found a link to a forum which mentions the CaraCraft. Maybe only 8 made, one on the Lancaster Canal. I guess that’s the one, then.

Locks 0, miles 5½

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