Saturday, 23 March 2019

Trafford Centre

Day : Saturday
Date : 23 March 2019
Start : 1030
Finish : 1430 Trafford centre

For those that follow me in Facebook will know we went to the Chilli Club for diner last night. Its a nice airy place with good lighting and good sized portions at a fair price, but we thought the wine a bit expensive so stuck to the beer.

This morning a quick trip to town and off at 10-30 am. The canal was much quieter than yesterday and we didn't meet so many boats but we did get overtaken as we passed a long row of moored boats. We also had someone say hello and that they read the blog.
There were a couple of nice lengths of hedge laying along the off side in Oughtrington, it looks as if it may be on the common.

There was very little change with the old buildings at the Linotype
works but there are now several more new houses around the remains. I don't think there was this much scaffolding last time.
As we came onto the mile straight at Sale I could see a bunch of rowers ahead of me all over the canal, luckily they were going in
the same direction as us when they set off so we didn't catch them up.
We met a few boats before waters Meeting including a couple of day boats and a wide beam but the canal is good and wide. At Waters Meeting we turned left past the Kelloggs works, we smelt it a little earlier. There is still the remains of the arm that use to run through the factory but I can't find out how long it use to be.
We carried on to the winding hole just past the Park Way bridge where we turned and then reversed back to the Trafford Centre where we have moored for the night.

Today's Journey

12½ Miles 0 Locks in 4 hours

Friday, 22 March 2019


Day : Friday
Date : 22 March 2019
Start : 0930
Finish : 1330 Lymm

We were a bit close to the railway last night, something to consider in the future. This morning we were off at 9-30 to arrive at Preston Brook tunnel ready for a 10 am entry.
Just prior to the dry Dock CRT have re-concreted the canal edge
and laid a semi hard foot path, I say semi hard as nearer the lock its quite boggy.Of course the dry dock is now unused again with the demise of Claymoore Narrowboats who took it on after Tim died, I think its the first time I have seen it full of water.

As we were leaving Dutton Lock a boat emerged from the tunnel so we were able to leave the gates open for them, we actually arrived at the tunnel mouth with about 10 minutes to spare and just floated around, as you can see from this photo the tunnel is almost straight, just a little wobble towards the far end.
Once through the tunnel you are on the Bridgewater canal, a separate company from the Canal and Rivers Trust, but our CRT licence is valid for 7 days on here under a reciprocal agreement.
There was no sign of life at the Claymoore yard but someone was working on one of the boats, so he may have bought one from them of it might be a sponsored boat, I know they had at least one. A little further on 2 canoeists and a paddle boarder were making the most of the morning sun. A quick pip and they moved to one side.
The canal was quite busy and I would estimate we have seen at least a dozen boats on the move today, 4 of the Canaltime share boats.
As we approached Lymm I not only saw my first Swan on a nest but just a few yards away was a second Swans nest with 3 eggs in it, I suspect she laid early and then abandoned the nest as I don't think 2 Swans would nest so close to each other.
When we arrived in Lymm there was only one other boat moored there so were able to get a mooring with rings, however since we have been here several others have arrived and moored up

Today's Journey 12 Miles, 1Lock in 4 hours

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Thursday 21 March 2019 Dutton

Day : Thursday
Date : 21 march 2019
Start :1030
Finish :1430 Dutton

Last night was a full moon, for some reason known as a "worm moon". I did photograph it but it just came out as a large white dot, the Tata factory was a bit better but a little shake on the long hand held exposure.
This morning we were off at 1030 am. A Canal time hire boat had already passed but we passed them moored up a few hundred yards along the canal.
This year we have seen the demolition of old buildings between the canal and Witton Albion football ground, they are now in the process of clearing all the trees from this site.
The old warehouse across the road from the Lion Salt Museum at Marston has been completely demolished and only the floor pan left in place to show where it stood with an interpretation board.
We stopped at the Anderton services to top up with water as we will be on the Bridgewater tomorrow so only a few facilities for boaters.
Passing Anderton Boat Lift this Cormorant was sat on the offside bank, he waited for me to take this photo before scuttling off.
It was then that we met the only boat of the day. We got the timing wrong for Saltersford Tunnel arriving at half past twelve, so we had lunch while we waited for our slot at one 'clock. As we approached bridge 206 we could see a Heron standing on the parapet, such a shame it was the far side parapet and not this side, as we got closer he was disappearing so this was the fullest shot I could get.
By now the weather was warming as the sun pushed through the clouds, we carried on past the site of the Dutton Breach before mooring for the night on some rings a short way before Dutton Lock.
Today's Journey
8½ Miles 0 Locks in 4 hours

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Wincham Bend Wednesday 20 March 2019

Day : Wednesday
Date :20/03/2016
Start :1700
Finish :1800 Wincham Bend

Well it certainly felt like spring had sprung as we drove back to the boat under a clear blue sky. We stopped off at Alvecote to enquire about a mooring for next year.
It was 5pm before we were ready to cast off and decided just to go down as far as Wincham Bend for the night. Work is progressing well at the building site opposite the Broken Cross pub.
A little further on just before Wincham Wharf, Tata are removing 3 redundant iron brine pipes, These are being removed by boat
and then taken to Wincham Wharf to be carted way.
Our chosen mooring is a set of rings about 300 yards being the wharf and we pulling just before 6 pm.

Today's Journey
2¼ miles in 1 hour

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Sunday 3 March 2019 home moorings

Day : Sunday
Date : 3 March 2017
Start : 0900
Finish : 1000 home moorings
When I looked at the weather forecast yesterday it said rain for after lunch today, it lied it was raining at 8 o'clock this morning so a wet trip back to the marina, on the plus side there was no wind which meant the reverse down to our berth went well, but no one was watching. So that's it for a bit. We had three wet tips and the rest was lovely weather, a lot better than expected. We did 100 locks, I think 16 were in our favour and 102 miles.

Today's Journey
2¼ miles in 1 hour.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Saturday 2 March 2019 Wincham bend

Day :Saturday
Date :2 March 2019
Start :1015
Finish :1300 Wincham Bend.
Started a little later as I had a couple of jobs to sort out first. Just as we pushed off in the sunshine two boats came towards us so Big Lock would be ready, No, the bottom gates leak so much it was already half empty and we had done about a quarter of a mile.
Its good to see that CRT are making a proper job of raising the concrete edge at Croxton Flash, this has slowly been subsiding and last year CRT screwed a piece of wood along the top to stop the water lapping the towpath, ( see my Blog) now they have raised the concrete several inches above the water.

We have been out for 15 days and until today had not seen a single Kingfisher, then we saw two close together, so I suspect they were a pair, one flew off but the other dived and caught a fish, by the time I got the camera it had just swallowed it. Then a short while latter we saw a third.

The sun stayed with us until just before we were going to turn round at to the north of Wincham Wharf, then it started to spit with rain, we winded and then moored just by Wincham Bend, we had only just tied up when it started raining properly.
Today's Journey

7¼ Miles, 1 Lock in 2¾ hours

Friday, 1 March 2019

Friday 1 March 2019 Middlewich

Day :Friday

Date :1 March 2019

Start :1000

Finish :1430 Middlewich

Last night we ate at Barchetta the Italian restaurant, It was a toss up between there and Shampaan and as it was still raining Barchetta won. Its probably our favourite Italian restaurant. It was still raining when we went to bed.

We set off at 10 o'clock this morning to much better weather, we had to go up through Wheelock Bottom Lock to wind and then come down again. By the time we returned the Black Smith had his workshop open and his wares on display We lingered for a short time to fill with water and make use of the recycling facilities.

We were soon on our way an as normal now all locks were against us. We did meet one boat, but he had only come from the long term mooring above Booth Lane top lock.

As the day progressed the weather improved, a bit of care is required coming down Rumps Lock as the water jetting out from under the cill could easily end up inside the back of the boat if you drift back too much. I think Kings Lock would have been with us but a lady came up and drew the bottom paddles so I had to sit above the lock and wait for them, still I suppose it was in our favour even if Diana did help them through. We then dropped through the Middlewich 3, again against us to moor for the night a short way above Middlewich Big Lock.

You may recall at the beginning of the trip I voiced my concerns about the safety of people crossing Big Lock now that the footbridge has been condemned, I have just had an email from CRT telling me they plan to put a scaffold bridge across the canal while the existing bridge is refurbished and until that is erected there will be signs to the nearest safe canal crossing point.

Today's Journey 7 miles, 10 locks in 4½ hours.