On Saturday morning we moved the short distance from Marston to Anderton, passing through Marbury woods, now looking distinctly autumnal.
It must be the week for steam-powered boats. After spotting Adamant the other day in Middlewich, today we passed Emily Anne as we approached Anderton.
Emily Anne was built to her owner’s specifications in 1991, in a narrow-beam Dutch barge style. She’s been up and down the network since. Power is from a two cylinder compound engine, rated at around 20HP. More info here.
We dropped the rubbish and recycling at the services, then moored up opposite Anderton Marina for a couple of nights.
This morning started bright and sunny, a good day for a couple of hours cruising, but I decided to reverse the 200 yards back to the services to top off the water tank before we left. That was the plan, anyway. I started up the donk just as two boats arrived to occupy the service wharf, then another arrived to queue up, followed by another. So I gave up that idea and we set off. We’ll turn off the main line of the Bridgewater onto the Runcorn Arm tomorrow and fill up alongside Preston Brook Marina.
Boats waiting to drop down onto the Weaver…
…and one just come up.
It’s likely that we’ll use the lift to spend a week or so on the river at the end of the month.
More autumnal colours as we pass Barnton
We had the two tunnels to deal with today, Barnton and Saltersford. An awkward turn under a road bridge takes you into Barnton Basin…
…with the tunnel entrance just around the corner.
If you keep well to the right here you can see through this one. There’s no traffic control.
Out of the 572 yard long tunnel the navigation crosses another broad basin only a stone’s throw from the Weaver (but 50 feet higher) before arriving at Saltersford Tunnel.
This one is 150 yards shorter, but, due to an unfortunate surveying error, has an S bend in the middle, so there’s no line of sight through to the far end. To avoid the inevitable arguments over who has priority, a timed entry system was introduced in 2008. Going north our “window of opportunity” was the top of the hour to 20 minutes past, allowing a 10 minute passage before south-bound traffic can start at half-past till 10 to.
North of the tunnel the canal runs on the side of the Weaver valley, through woodland cloaking the slope with only brief glimpses of the river below.
But beyond Bridge 206 the trees thin out and the views open up.
The badly-eroded towpath further on is having some much-needed repairs.
They did leave enough room to pass, though.
A bit of a worry, this. Floating Pennywort is a rapidly multiplying invasive species. It’ll only get worse…
Dutton Locks, down on the river
We pulled in not far past Bridge 211, on the moorings that were installed after the 2012 breach was repaired.
Great views from up here.
Dutton Railway Viaduct.
We stopped here in 2013, 6 months after the canal had re-opened. We were traveling with Chas and Anne (Moore2Life), and I remember Chas walking along the hedge line with a watering can, giving the just planted hawthorn bushes a thorough drink. Sadly, he’s no longer with us.
Tomorrow we’ll be swapping CRT water for Bridgewater water. We’ll have a shortish day, stopping at Moore to collect mail from the Post Office alongside the canal. My race number, for this weekend’s Manchester Half Marathon, should be there.
Which reminds me… We’re nearly ¾ of the way to my £400 target for Macmillan Cancer Research. So if you’ve been meaning to add to the pot but haven’t yet got around to it, now would be a good time. And thanks again to all those who’ve already contributed.
Locks 0, miles 6¾