Monday, August 15, 2011

A stay at Hest Bank and a cruise to the end.

Following the “generation get-together” on Thursday, we had Mags’ son Eric and his wife Diane come and visit on Friday afternoon. We got a phone call around lunch-time, “Where are you, we’ve wandered all around the Waterwitch in Lancaster, and we can’t find you!” That’s because we’re in Hest Bank, I explained…

Anyway, they did find us finally, and we had a good afternoon catching up.

On Saturday, still at Hest Bank, we were treated to a Thai afternoon, our friends Val and John turning up with their friends (and ours too, now) Yen and Mike. They came laden with Thai curry, a mild chicken curry, rice and noodles. And wine, of course. Mags provided the puddings, apple crumble and a fresh strawberry flan.

We had an excellent afternoon, and we’ll all be getting together again before we head south.

The gang, all full up.

L-R, John, Mike, Mags, Val and Yen.

A couple of pics for Yen, she loves swans.

We had a quiet day yesterday, the only visitors being Dave and Barbara on NB Liberty Bell who stopped for a brew on their way back towards Preston. They’d been up to the terminus at Tewitfield while we’d been entertaining. They are due back across the Ribble on Thursday. We’ve still got nearly 3 weeks on this delightful canal.

I’ve taken Meg down onto the foreshore a couple of times, at low tide there’s a huge amount of space for her to let off steam. She gets blathered in sand and mud, but it washes off.

Meg on the salt marshes, the south Cumbrian fells in the background.

It’s a pity we didn’t have clear weather while we were there, low cloud and haze obscured the higher peaks inland.

Southward towards Morecambe

Straight across the bay to Walney Island

And northwards towards Grange-Over-Sands

A little out in the bay there’s a derelict wharf, once used to unload goods from coasters due for transhipment by canal.

Old Wharf.

Now covered at high tide, it was made redundant by the coming of the railway.

The West Coast Main Line runs between the canal and the sea.

Even though spring tides cover the salt marshes, remarkably heather seems to thrive in patches.

Heather on the foreshore.

The receding tide leaves drifts of shells behind

This morning dawned dry and bright after a drop of overnight rain, time for us to move on.

Hest Bank long term moorings, the Sanitary Station on the left is closed “Until Further Notice”

No matter, this must be one of the best serviced canals on the network.

Hest Bank Bridge, the white building on the left was the transhipment warehouse, used to store goods in transit between sea and canal.

The canal runs steadily north and slightly west, parallel to the coast which is often visible above the rooftops of Bolton-Le-Sands.

Long views over the roofs.

Mag’s mum lived here for a while, just a few yards from the canal.

Carnforth is a popular mooring spot, most congregating around Canal Turn, where there’s a boatyard, pub and another sani-station.

Canal turn, Carnforth.

We did the necessary tank emptying and filling, then set off again on the last leg to the terminus.

This last 3 miles is often twisty, narrow and weedy, but is the best bit so far of this fine navigation.

Oops, another sharp turn

Every corner brings another view, either of rolling pastures or distant hills.

Cruising north of Carnforth

The photos speak for themselves…

Here’s something you don’t see every day…

Unusual diet

Grazing on water lilies.

After 2 unsuccessful attempts to get in to the side near the marina, we motored right up to the end, turned around and moored in the dead-end arm that will one day again be the route through to Kendal.

Moored at the end

A detailed plan to re-open “The Northern Reaches” has been devised, all that’s needed now is the will and the funding. Could be a while yet, then. But I know where I want to be when the first boats go north…..

Sorry about the length of this post, but I’ve let you off a couple of days!

Locks 0, miles 7

1 comment:

Carol said...

great blog and pictures Geoff xx