This was the view from out front hatch yesterday evening. and this was the view at quarter past six this morning. Not a breath of wind as the sun climbed above the horizon, the silence was only broken by the regular passing of planes approaching Manchester Airport and the continuous drone of the M6 motorway.
We left at 0915 hrs. and this chap turned out to wave us off. The plan was to arrive at the Lion Salt Works Museum at 1030 hrs. when they first opened. There was loads of steam as we passed through the Chemical works and we were to meet several boats on the way. We moored right outside the museum and they have their own gate onto the towpath which makes life easy. I think we were the first customers of the day. Its an interesting place and well worth a visit. They have a good set up on one of the salt pans that is still pretty much intact still sitting on top of the fire chamber, the use of a smoke generator and lights makes it quite atmospheric.
I also spotted reference to my family name while I was there, I don’t know if he is any relation. Obviously a salt dealer with his own 40 lbs sacks, that’s 18.15 Kg in new money. After a pleasant wander round we crossed the road to the Salt Barge for a couple of pints of the local brew and lunch. From the road the pub looks tiny but once inside it opens out in all directions.
Just over an hour later we were on the move again, one thing I cant understand is how such a large church looks to be in the middle of nowhere, its actually the Parish Church of Saint Mary and All Saints at Great Budworth. We stopped for water at the Anderton services before continuing on passed the Anderton Boat Lift, this seems a very popular mooring with boats starting to breast up, the strange thing is that just passed the lift there was only one boat on probably 100 mts. of hard edged moorings with mooring rings. Not long after passing the lift we came to Barnton Tunnel, the first tunnel on this section, its not very straight and you have to get in just the right spot to be able to see all the way through because its not wide enough to pass a boat coming the other way. You are not long out of this and you come to Saltersford Tunnel, a bit shorter but a lot more bendy and almost impossible to see through so entry is time controlled so you don’t meet a boat coming the other way.
The next section was quite slow and we met an ex working boat with a Bolinder engine right on a bend, we passed OK with me on the inside of the bend as I should be, but about 50 Mts. behind him was a second boat which I just managed to miss, as I had to come straight out of the bend and onto the wrong side of the canal.
As I said we were making slow progress but it didn’t matter as the Bread maker was running and the loaf was cooked just as we reached where we planned to moor for the night. Its a section with rings at Dutton overlooking the River Weaver and the railway viaduct, unfortunately the sun has left us, but its been much better than forecast so we can’t complain. There were several boats hear already so we are hanging on the end, stern and spring on rings and the bow on a pin.