Saturday, May 10, 2014

Once more up to the breach…

Sorry, I couldn’t resist paraphrasing Shakespeare’s Henry V; we moored this afternoon near Dutton Hollow, where a major breach in September 2012 closed the canal for 7 months.

After a very wet night we’ve had more of the same this afternoon, but by then we were tied up and snug, watching the dominating Mercedes team secure the front row (again) for tomorrow’s Belgium Grand Prix.

This morning’s short cruise was sunshine and showers, only one of which was heavy enough to be uncomfortable.

Just around the corner was Barnton Tunnel, the first of two today. There were two boats in the tunnel when we arrived, so we pulled over to let them exit the one-way bore before going through ourselves.

Waiting at Barnton TunnelSAM_9473

Through Barnton and across the basin was the next tunnel, Saltersford. This one, due to a surveying error, has an S bend in the middle and no through vision, so now has timed passage windows to avoid congestion. Going north, access is allowed on the hour and up to 20 minutes after, southbound traffic have to go through between half-past and ten to.

Saltersford Tunnel, south entrance.
Before the time restriction was introduced about 6 years ago, it must have been interesting here at Bank Holiday weekends…

North of the tunnels the canal runs above the Weaver valley through lush woodland. Protected from the wind by the vegetation, we cruised through pools of perfume from hawthorn blossom, punctuated by the pungent aroma of wild garlic.

Above the WeaverSAM_9478

Out of the woods, looking down the valley.SAM_9480

Acton Swing Bridge over the river, and the Leigh Arms.SAM_9483

When we arrived at the moorings there was only one other boat here, but later on this afternoon the length of new concrete edge with rings is just about full.

Moored at Dutton Hollow

It’s a popular mooring for a very good reason…SAM_9489
You don’t get too many views like this from canal moorings!

Chas, you’ll be pleased to see that the hawthorn bushes you so diligently watered last time we were here seem to be doing well. Though the giant thistle is doing better…

We’ll stay here tomorrow, then push on on Monday to the end of the Trent and Mersey to join the Bridgewater at Preston Brook.

Locks 0, miles 4

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