To say it rained last night would be an understatement, it chucked it down during the early hours and has rained on and off ever since.
We left at 1020 hrs. heading upstream, almost opposite where we had moored is a row of telegraph poles that still have cross beams and insulators on them, there is even tangles or wire on them (but the photo isn’t that good).
Just before the railway viaduct I phoned the lock keeper at Dutton lock to tell him we were on our way but would be stopping for water before locking up. He replied it would work well as there was a boat 20 minutes behind us. I wouldn’t say the tap was slow but by the time the other boat arrived our tank level was at about half, and its not that large. The wind gave a bit of trouble passing up ropes in the lock as it was blowing straight into the open bottom gates. It turned out that the boat we shared with was the same one we waited for at Saltersford lock coming down and we had also shared the lift with them in the spring. We did all 4 locks with them going upstream as they headed for Winsford for the night.
Passing the old Soda Ash works today there was a man using a pecker to break up what looks like a solid lump of Soda Ash.
Some people entered the works in June 2015 and took these photos which they have published on the web HERE or follow this link:- http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/wallerscote-soda-ash-works-northwich-june-2015.t97406
We had planned to stop in Northwich for the night and had told both the other boat and the lock keeper as the lock keepers ring ahead to tell the next lock, but as the sun was shining we decided to push on a bit. Passing the old British Waterways maintenance yard in Northwich it was good to see that at least the old crane was being put to good use by these Cormorants. We slowed down to wait for the other boat as they had pulled in by the lift to let their dog have a quick run, and they caught us up just as we approached Hunts lock which was just ready for us.
The next lock was Vale Royal which was not quite ready when we arrived so we had to just sit outside a couple of minutes, these locks are manually operated by swinging very large windlasses. The is a great deal of floating penny worth growing in the river and the lock keeper dragged large quantities of it from above the top gates to allow us to leave, after this we only went another half mile to moor at the Vale Royal visitor moorings which are not only quiet but also have convenient mooring rings to tie up to.
12 miles, 4 locks in 4¼ hours