55 Miles, 51 Locks, 3 Tunnels – for these 9 days
We finally left our home for the last 6 months – not just the marina but the town of Stone – slowly at first just making it to first Barlaston and then to Stoke in the first two days – no new territory here – we had been here already this year and must have done the trip a half dozen times before.
We did however moor around in the arm off to the
They have their own thinking in the way of their priorities.
After filling the water tank and a self pumpout we continued northwards, through the Stoke area, past Westport Lake and into the Harecastle Tunnel – our 6th trip through there; finally getting through 12 of the locks making up the Cheshire flight to moor up at Rode Heath.
We caught up with Lyn and Phil on nb Valentine who were friends of Joyce and Ray on nb Jemma from Aston Marina – they too were heading into
|Mother Duck went quack, quack quack|
and there were 12 ducklings to round up
She explains it as simply pure coincidence.
The following day – now the Tuesday – we planned on completing the flight to Wheelock – again sharing the locks.
In the time honoured tradition of “paper, scissors, rock’ – I started on the locking and at the second hurdle there was a message over the walkie-talkie to come back to help her – in the process of mooring the boat at the bollards she had whipped the rope and hit both the thumb and forefinger on her hand, pulling back the nail – “I can’t do the locks, I have a serious nail injury” – so it was the sit down job for her and the other 14 locks for me.
|After tying up at Wheelock the skies opened up -|
rain, wind and hail
The journey continued the following day – a bit cold and windy – through into Middlewich where we moored just up from Kings Lock.
Taking an after dinner walk we bumped into Ali and John off nb Triskaideka – they were waiting around for the engineer to appear for their 750hr service on the engine.
We chatted for a while then agreed that we would meet up further along the way – we are both pretty much heading up along the
Down through the three Middlewich locks with their tight turns should have been a bit quicker (no rushing in this) but being held up by other boats leads to interesting conversations as we had with one single hander who we later caught up with and shared the Big Lock with – he was moving on ahead and us slowly after.
We had decided that we would take up a mooring at Brambles Cutting if there was one available –
|at Brambles Cutting - very relaxing|
|he finally sat still for the photo - he still won't smile though|
All well this time – so it was time to apply the remaining transfers with the boat name and home town – she was now completed for a bit longer.
Alas, the following morning, Friday, we were joined by another boat – nothing wrong with that, but the news was that we were to be joined by other members of the boat club for their regular clean-up of the area and BBQ prompted us to leave and head a couple of miles further on and moor opposite one of the flashes – just before the wind really blew up and the rains appeared.
We had been debating for some time about doing the Ribble link and the management was a bit concerned about doing a river so we had decided that we might venture down onto the Weaver and kill another bird by also doing the Anderton Lift – expecting that we might be lucky to get an available spot we called in and the lovely Kath was ever so helpful and explained so much to us about the river and what to see that we were sold over again.
|entering the holding area and then onto the aquaduct|
|moving into the caisson ready to go down|
|smiling at the moment - but before we start the descent|
|one is smiling - the other concerned about taking the photo|
|the view as we descend onto the Weaver|
It is a true feat of engineering and the trip down was further enhanced by the both Richard and Dave the two guys rostered on that day – had a great time talking with them both through the trip down.
We headed left out of the lift toward Northwich town centre where we moored up to have a look through; “she” felt not too comfortable, for no particular reason so we headed back in the other direction and moored up at the mooring bollards in Barnton Cutting.
Sunday was a brilliant morning – cool air and sun – down through Saltisford Lock – the lockkeeper was equally friendly and helpful about places to go – on a bit further past Acton Bridge (bridge) – the bridge at Acton Bridge – winded and back to claim the last mooring ready for a walk and then lunch at the Leigh Arms – can highly recommend it too.
|the locks on the Weaver are massive - according to the lockie |
they can fit 24 narrowboats into them
Over lunch we chatted about going back up the lift and continuing our journey north – and so we did. The return on the lift was equally as good as the one down – Richard and Dave were again there – their roles reversed to the previous day – but great guys to talk to.
|Going back up the lift we met the other caisson going down |
with the trip boat
|thanks to Dave for the picture of us both on the return journey|