We set off at 9am through bridge 10 with the aim of being at bridge 9 for the 9-30 opening window, Due to the traffic flow the bridge can only be opened between 9 30 am and 2 pm of after 6pm until 7 30am the next morning. We actually arrived at 9 20 am and were met by 2 CRT chaps who told us it would be another 10 minutes as they were replacing a hydraulic hose. When they finished they opened the bridge to test it and let us through.
We wanted to get through early as our next timed section would be Stanley Locks which open at 1 pm.
Until last month bridge 9 and bridge 6 were operated by CRT personnel but are now automated and boater operated. The good new for single handed boaters is that on Bridge 9 the control pod is on the towpath side and at bridge 6 they have installed a landing stage on the offside where the controls are.
We were expecting to see a boat called Patience at Litherland services but she had already left and we found her on the lock moorings at Stanley locks when we got there at about 1230pm.
On the course of our travels we picked up something round the prop so while we waited for 1 pm locking time I delved down the weed hatch and found some cloth and a length of wire and what felt like curtain wire, quite sharp on the hands. Once I had it out on deck it was piece of electric blanket, the flex and the spiralled element wire which I mistaken for curtain wire. We got along much better after that.
We set off down the top lock at 1pm, the padlocks were already off and we met the two CRT chaps at lock 2 and they assisted us with the rest of the locks down the flight and trough the docks. They also gave very helpful navigation advice.
One of the chaps was Sid, who Sid's Ditch is named after.It seems he was on the first trip through the link on the trip boat, The Pride of Sefton and when they got to the new channel between Trafalgar Dock and West Waterloo Dock he said its nothing but a ditch, and it stuck. There are even unofficial name boards at each end.
The trip through the docks is quite interesting, it should be noted that when passing through Waterloo dock you need to keep between the buoys and the wall, it looks like a channel between the buoys as you approach but its not.
When you first enter the docks you go past the Tobacco Warehouse , we were told this is the largest brick built building in Europe, I don't know if that is correct.
After you have entered Albert Dock they raise a barrage across the entrance, they also close the flood gates at entrance to canning Dock.
I will upload all the photos of the docks and what we take while in Liverpool to my "Drop Box" so you can look at them if you want to rather than fill the Blog with them.
This was our actual route through the docks recorded on Waterways Routes as we made our way through.