Sunday, 24 August 2014

A Hop, a skip and a Sunday Roast.

The day dawned well, with wispy cloud, blue sky and warmth from the rising sun.  We did not rush our departure as our intended destination was not too far and we had no locks to tackle,  But we did have a number of swing bridges!

Another wash load completed just prior to our arrival at the first swing bridge of the day that needed working, Spencer's Bridge.  This is key operated and Ali after a little head scratching soon had it sussed.  None of these are the same to work, some have automatic barriers, some are manual.  Since our last visit, one is now fully electrically operated, whereas before it was part manual.

We soon passed the rather grand entrance to the Rufford arm, no diversion down this time.

Anyway, we were soon into Burscough, which has brilliant facilities. ( Read that as water, elsan and rubbish)  Quite a nice place. The moorings were empty, which is somewhat surprising over a bank holiday weekend.  They also allow you to stop for an hour, so plenty of time for a quick supermarket and Bakery shop. Once loaded up, we resumed our journey west.....

Looks like this mill is being renovated

Ambush & Viktoria - Ainscough working boats - open weekend at Burnscough, you can see the size of these boats in relation to Triskaideka on the left - 72' x 14'

Until, a few hundred yards out of town we encountered what proved to be a massive angling match! Now I do like to drown the odd maggot, but this was a match.  The competitors were very intense and somewhat resented our presence.  The fact that they all fish using " Roach Poles" which extend right across the canal can be intimidating, as they only lift them as the bow is almost touching them!  We were taking bets when we would clout one, but they have a sixth sense it appears.  Every bend we thought that was it, but no, miles of them.  At one stage several boats appeared in convoy approaching us.  These must have left Liverpool together, and worked the swing bridges between them.  One was a wide beam, whose occupiers were obviously not happy.  As they passed us, they shouted to the anglers that they were mooring up!  Bet that was fun!  We think this went on for three miles.  Three miles on tick over.  At least we were subject to a sort of compliment when one angler  said we should train others to pass, which we took as complimentary to our speed and positioning.

Finally, we left the anglers behind, and then came almost a mile of moored boats.  So good fuel consumption today!

Approaching Scarisbrick bridge, we debated about topping up with fuel. There was a source just after the bridge, Red Lion Caravan Centre, but it is no more, being replaced by hard stands for mobile homes.  So we turned into Scarisbrick marina and topped up the tank.  The gent there was very pleasant and helpful, which is more than can be said of the staff in the cafe when Ali enquired about obtaining fuel.  Topped up and back onto the cut the sky in the west looked somewhat threatening, with a large, dark bank of cloud getting ever nearer.  Good job we had not far to go.  We managed to moor just prior to Halsall Warehouse bridge, secured the decks for storms and the cloud passed over with not a drop of precipitation. 

 The sky behind

and infront - the clouds gathering

In celebration of our escape from a soaking and because we were starving, we jumped ship and went to the Saracens Head for a roast dinner.

And very nice the meal was to.  So now chilling and waiting to see what the new day will bring weather wise. Not looking that good, but then our faith in forecasters is not good, so we will await the day before deciding on our plans.

Miles 10
Swing bridges 4.

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