Well it may have stayed fine for our journey from the marina to the top of Anderton Lift, but overnight it bucketed down. This morning we were back to warm sunshine and I wandered back to the CRT office under the visitor centre to se if we could get a passage down the lift today. We made the first decent of the day at 10 am. All I had to do was reverse to the waiting area and wait to be called in. At about quarter to ten the upper lift attendant said I was clear to enter the first caisson, he was just looking for a second boat that was booked to go down. Spot on 10 o’clock the bows of a boat turned into the basin and joined us in the caisson. It was a Canal Club boat and the steerer had no shoes on. It turned out they were booked for the next transit, but as the boat that had booked hadn’t turned up they were invited to go early so had to rush somewhat.
It was exactly 10-30 when we left the bottom of the lift and both turned right to head downstream with instructions to ring the lock keeper at Saltersford Lock as we passed the Soda works that was being demolished. This task was entrusted to me which I managed without problem, the only problem was when would we arrive, the Canal Club boat was only doing just over 3 mph.
The old Soda works is well on its way to obliteration, they have even started nibbling the end silo. When we came passed in April they were removing the first sheet of cladding.
We eventually arrived at Saltersford lock and not long after we had run our ropes ashore the second boat arrived and breasted to us. We had taken so long to get here that the lock keeper had received a call to say a third boat was on its way so we had to wait for them and in the mean time it had started to rain.
We all locked down, the third boat was stopping at Acton Bridge for lunch, the second boat wasn’t sure what he was doing, but we were carrying on. Being on the inside we were last away. The last one to arrive set off at a good pace, the Canal Club pulled over to walk the dog. he had been told he mustn’t go passed Dutton Lock. It wasn’t till I arrived at Dutton Lock alone I realised that the hire company probably meant Dutton Stop Lock on the T&M.
Just as we cleared Acton Bridge I rang the Dutton keeper to tell him we were on our way, at that point the sky’s opened as you can see from the photo but by the time we approached Dutton weir the sun was back out, the second photo.
We carried on down stream, the lock keeper advised us that they were dredging further down and sure enough at the mouth of Western Marsh Lock the dredger was manoeuvring away from the bank and hooking up to a pusher tug to move upstream, so we had plenty of room to pass.
On the way a buzzard was getting a hard time from a bunch of crows until he decided it may be best to leave their territory. We went as far down the Weaver as we could before winding in the mouth of the derelict Runcorn and Western Canal. On our way back we stopped at Western Marsh Lock, another change since we were here last is the wind farm out on Frodsham Sands. As you can see its getting a bit overcast again, but thankfully no more rain. We did consider mooring by Western Marsh Lock for the night but didn’t fancy being so close to the chemical works. so we headed back upstream to Devils Garden. There had been a boat moored here when we came down, but now we have the spot to ourselves. We moored up at about quarter to four, so not a bad days boating.