Well, my hope for good weather for our Ribble Link crossing yesterday was forlorn. It was raining when we got up, raining when we set off, raining all the way down Savick Brook and across the estuary and still raining when we tied up in Tarleton.
Even the cows, not the jolliest of animals anyway, looked thoroughly tee'd off.
My camera gave up part way, so the last few photos were from my phone. But the poor quality is due to the weather, not the equipment.
Duckweed right across the channel nearing Preston.
We’re the last to arrive at the top basin.
The 32’ Viking centre cockpit cruiser had a problem when he arrived the previous evening. His prop was damaged by an underwater obstacle as he entered the basin. Luckily he was able to change it in a shallow corner.
We were first in the staircase locks, sharing with NB Moonstone.
Reversing into the staircase top lock.
Looking down the staircase.
After clearing the staircase we made steady progress down Savick Brook, the locks were set ready for us, and we left them refilling for the next pair of boats.
Seyella and Moonstone in Lock 8.
Below the locks, the tidal section of the brook doesn't look any wider on the way down.
We had an hour’s wait at the pontoon just upstream of the sea gate to allow the tide to flood enough to cover the cill, then we were away.
Sure Thing, the 32’ cruiser, arrived while we were waiting, with the news that the replacement prop was now damaged, having picked up something in the upper basin. They were reluctant to push high revs with an out-of-balance prop, concerned with compounding the problem and causing gearbox damage. So, rather than punch the tide down the Ribble to the Douglas, they’d decided to head back to Preston, an easier trip going with the incoming tide.
Out on the Ribble, the poor conditions kept visibility down to less than ½ a mile, fishing vessels heading into Preston looming up out of the murk.
Fishermen coming home.
There were a couple of motor yachts about too, one going in each direction.
MY Coral Wind Heading out.
The hour from the sea gate to the Asland Lamp and the turn into the Douglas seemed to take forever, it’s right about time being relative.
Strung out across the Tideway, NBs The Gnome of Rishton too, Moonstone and Kathleen Margaret. NB Alexis is a dot of the far right.
NB The Gnome of Rishton Too rounding the Lamp
By this time the tide had reached it’s peak, so we made good time to Tarleton Lock. We had to wait for about 10 minutes for the previous pair of boats to go up, before it was our turn then we tied up on the visitor moorings at around 16:30.
Actually a shorter day than the crossing in the other direction, but it seemed much longer. All the crews on this trip had had enough and stopped over here in Tarleton for the night.
This morning was dry and sunny, and has stayed that way all day. Sod’s Law, I guess. We had a good natter this morning with the other crews; Mike and Ann on NB The Gnome…., Ray and Jane on NB Kathleen Margaret and John and his wife (sorry, no name) on NB Alexis. We learned that the cruiser, diverted to Preston was now mobile again and would be arriving at Tarleton for a 17:00 locking through.
We were all wanting to move on today though, Tarleton moorings are right alongside an industrial estate. OK on a Sunday, but pretty busy through the week. NB Moonstone had left at 09:00, we moved on at around noon and the other 3 followed ½ an hour later. They all passed us where we’d moored for the rest of the day near Bridge 10. We’d decided to have an R&R day, but they were pressing on to points south.
Sure Thing came past around 6 this evening, repaired and with smiling faces aboard. They’d heading back home to Nantwich.
I’ve had a fiddle with my camera, it appears the LCD backlight has died. It takes pics OK, but you can’t see what you’re pointing it at! Out with screwdrivers, methinks.
The forecast for the rest of the week isn’t promising, but we’ve got to head down, back to the Trent and Mersey. C’est la vie.
Locks 9, miles 14
I’m running The Great North Run to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.