Thursday, 23 March 2017

Home mooring Thursday 23 March 2017

Last night was the last night for our friends onboard so we had diner at The Old Broken Cross, a very popular pub who serve typical pub grub. The mooring was a bit noisy overnight with the nearby road and bridge but we still got a good nights sleep.
This morning we woke and the sun was shining, typical on the last day, we set off at 9-15 and only had a mile to go to our marina which took just on half an hour.

It was nice to be hailed by nb Lazy Bee who follows this blog.

Needless to say as I went into the marina and tried to turn to reverse down the pontoon the wind picked up and I just went sideways, so a change of plan and motor down to the loading bay and unloaded the boat to both cars and waved our friends goodbye.
The reverse back up the marina and then down our pontoon went like a dream even with someone watching.
Today's Journey  
1 mile in 30 minutes.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Broken Cross Wednesday 22 March 2017

Last night we walked up to the Stanley Arms to eat. Not the slickest of operations but good food and good sized portions, the beer was well presented as well, better than some we have had this week. Just as we were leaving it started to rain and continued until lunch time today.
We set off at 9-30 stopping at Anderton Service point to fill up with water and dump the rubbish and then on to The Lion Salt Museum, still in the rain. We had a 10% discount to enter the museum as we went to Weaver Hall, the Salt museum in Northwich and the are under the same management, West Cheshire Museums.  As soon as we went into the museum it stopped raining, but boy was it cold in there, if you go wrap up warm.
As we were returning to the boat for lunch we noticed that The Salt Barge  pub was doing main course lunch for £5 so we went in there to be greeted but a roaring open fire. The food was good as well with 4 choices, Curry, Fish & Chips with mushy peas, Gammon, egg and chips or a vegetarian meal.
Back on the boat we headed on for a bit to moor outside The Old Broken Cross for the night, tonight's venue for dinner and it has started to rain again.
Today's Journey
4 Miles in 2 hrs 10 min

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Anderton Tuesday 21March 2017

Well after all the rain, it was still raining when we went to bed , this morning was blue sky and sunshine but a tad cool. The Swans opposite were hard at work nest building, the husband collecting the material and the wife putting it in place.
We timed our departure to arrive at Preston Brook Tunnel at half past ten, didn't quite get it right and we were there about four minutes early so thought it best to wait. Diana and Chris decided to walk all three tunnels today so I dropped them off and headed through waiting for them again the other side. Dutton lock was with us but we still needed to open both bottom gates to get in, on leaving a hire boat was coming towards us so we were able to leave the single top gate open for them. 
We stopped for lunch a short way before Saltersford Tunnel again timing our departure to arrive at the tunnel mouth at one thirty. The fields between the canal and the Weaver are holding a lot of water at the moment.
Saltersford Tunnel is quite twisty and often you cant see light at the far end.
It wasn't long before Diana and Chris caught up with us at the other end, I hadn't even pulled into the side before they came walking down.
We had been told there was a good Co-op in Barnton so we moored just by road bridge 202 so the ladies could get a few bits and pieces, it would have only been half the walk if we had gone on to the footbridge. From here it was only a short hop to our overnight mooring outside the Anderton Lift visitor centre.
Today's Journey  
8.7 miles, 1 lock, 1 junction,3 tunnels in 3 hours 40 minutes.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Runcorn Arm Monday 20 March 2017

To say it was raining this morning would be an understatement, We were away at 9-30 so we arrived at the tunnel mouth dead on 10. It was good to see that the dry dock is back working but I have no idea who operates it.

At Preston Brook we turned down the Runcorn Arm passing this pile of stones which we think is in the Priory grounds.
Again I had the opportunity to photograph a Kingfisher, he was sitting still but I wasn't.
We winded at the end of the arm and moored up, after lunch we went for a walk down the old Runcorn Locks to the Manchester Ship Canal. We then went down to get a photograph of the Silver Jubilee bridge. Police divers were at work looking for someone who fell from the bridge Saturday morning.

From here you can see the new toll bridge that is still under construction, lets hope it gets more use than the M6 Toll road.
Once back onboard we retraced our steps, but this time in bright sun shine, passed a section of bank covered in primroses.
We moored a short way before the railway crossing still in sunshine, but by 6pm it was raining and as I write this its chucking it down again.

Today's Journey  
 11 miles, 1 Lock, 1 Junction in 4 hours

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Dutton Sunday 19 March 2017

Well it wasn't actually raining wen we got up this morning. We decided in view of the weather and the problem with accessing the locks we would leave the river and return to the canals. We pushed of at quarter to ten and went down stream as far as Saltersford lock where we winded to return to the lift, on our way upstream I was fortunate enough to have another Kingfisher pose for me
The old Soda works has virtually gone now, there are still a few 
reminders like the bases of the main pillars and the small heaps of rubble and ash.

I walked up to the office at the lift and the earliest booking they could offer was at 12.50pm. We were the only private boat to go up but they were only running one caisson, so it gave us time for a bit of lunch before moving to the holding area. By the time we were do at the lift it was raining again, I did manage one photo of our guests on the lift.
Once at the top we spent a bit of time in the visitor centre, I think CRT and BW before them made a good job of laying this out. Once we had enough of that it was on along the T&M, we arrived at Saltersford Tunnel with about hald a hour to wait so time for a cupper. when it was 4 pm I went out to untie and found another boat had pulled in behind us. After the tunnel things turned really wet and windy but we carried on to the site of the Dutton Breach to moor for the night.

Today's Journey 
7.5 miles, one river, one canal, one boat lift in 3.5 hours

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Barton Saturday 18 March 2017

Last night as we were going to bed I looked out of the rear doors and this was the view, the rain had just stopped for a short time and there wasn’t a breath of wind.

Well we haven’t boated far today, we spent the mooring wandering round Northwich returning to the boat a little before lunch just as it started raining again. We cruised up to just below Hunts Lock and had lunch.
After lunch we spent the afternoon at the Salt Museum in Weaver House, the old Work House, this was our third visit and still saw things we hadn’t seen before. We returned to the boat via Hunts Lock, again in the rain.
At 5pm we pushed off to moor by the Anderton Lift passing under the railway viaduct.
Just through the viaduct is one of the few remaining distance markers showing how far it is from the lock, they are moulded in concrete so most of them are damaged.
Between the rain showers it was quite pleasant with no wind, this gave so nice reflections as we passed Yarwood's basin with the Narrowboats all moored bows out to the river.
We passed the town centre again and I took another shot of the Odeon Cinema, you can see how murky the weather was.  
We moored on the 1 day visitor mooring pontoons just before the Lift but felt the noise from the soda works opposite might be a bit intrusive so we carried on for about a mile and a half to the 48 hr visitor moorings at Barton, this is inline with Barton Tunnel on the Trent and Mersey canal.

Today's Journey 
4 miles in one and a half hours

Friday, 17 March 2017

Northwich Friday 17 March 2017

Last night dinner was taken in The Big Lock pub, they do a first class meat pie.
This morning after a visit from the local ducks feeding on the weed growing round the water line. It was before 9am when we pulled away just as another boat was also approaching the lock so were able to share. The swans have started nesting on the pond a short way below the lock, so its all started happening, but today didn’t feel very spring like with continuous drizzle until half two and then real rain. We made a brief stop at the services at Anderton to fill with water where the boat we shared Big Lock with passed us, they were also heading to Anderton Lift but not going down until tomorrow.
Our booking for the lift was 1515hrs and you need to be there half an hour before. We moored just before the visitor centre and had lunch moving on to the lift holding area at half two. I nepped down and told the lady in the office we had arrived and not long later there was a knock on the boat with our safety talk and we were into the lock. We were actually at the bottom of the lock by 3-15 but it took another quarter of an hour to get the bottom gate open. It was quite windy as we entered the top of the lift but the wind died away before we descended. On leaving the lift we turned hard left and moored for the night in the still poring rain in Northwich. I am not sure how we will get on cruising the Weaver as it appears from the information that lock keepers don't work weekends until Easter.

Today's Journey
11 miles, 1 lock, 1 lift 1 canal and 1 river in 4hrs 20 min