Monday, 18 August 2014

Out and about, if a little damp!

Today we escaped!  Actually, Anderton Marina was not a bad experience and the problem we had with the bow thruster is now sorted (sort of) and the Skeg is now it's correct shape.  The staff at the Marina were brilliant, thanks go especially to the manager John, who just could not have been fairer. So although somewhat traumatic at times, all's well that ends well.

After prepping the boat, we unhooked (bye bye electricity on tap) and slowly made the turn north.  Passing the boat lift it was remarkably quiet and we made our way to the first tunnel of the day at Barnton.  This one is only short and it is a first come first serve, so peeping down it, no boats proceeding south, so we were in and soon through.  The morning sunshine waned, and shower clouds began to roll in. We were soon at the south portal of Saltersford tunnel.  You can proceed north through this from on the hour, to twenty past.  We were well in this window and so went straight in.  I say straight, the tunnel is anything but,albeit very short.  Soon through though.

Leaving this we began the journey following the contour of the valley above the River Weaver, affording some splendid views, especially at Dutton, the scene of a recent major breach.  CRT have done a wonderful job here. The site now has fantastic moorings and as the trees were swept away during the flood, affords some really good views.

Dutton stop lock saw us catching up with a couple of narrow boats and a cruiser. This is just south of the southern portal of Preston Brook tunnel, for which the passage north is between the hour and ten past.  Five past saw us through the very shallow lock and last in the line of boats heading north.  Although we began some distance behind the next boat, we soon caught it up and spent the rest of the passage at tick over or in neutral!  Gasping from exhaust fumes we finally emerged into a heavy downpour. The slowest tunnel passage ever!  We are now lock free for several days and the depth of the water on the Bridgewater Canal made a welcome change from the shallow canals we have become used to.  The weather was fine in the sun, but chilly in the showers.

By the time we reached Moore, we were ready for a stop and managed to find a space outside the shop, on rings no less!.  Chilled for a few hours then walked down to the Ship Canal for a nosey, as did Dave and Angie previously.  We then did a circular walk into the village and visited the Red Lion for a drink and a bite to eat.
Not a boat in sight - Manchester Ship Canal

You get used to different things on the canal - but a moving bridge (well section of)

Now back on the boat, with TV, Internet and full telephony signals.   Back in civilisation. (aka Lancashire)

Miles 10
Locks 1
Tunnels 2235 yards

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