Saturday, 4 May 2013

Bridgewater Canal

 Awake early with good intentions of a flying start out of Wigan but  a cool wind and shower of rain plus listening to the Otago  Highlanders beat the South African Sharks ,their  first win in eight games of the season in the Super Fifteen Rugby meant 11am was our kick off. Heading for the 2nd lock off the day, Poolstock 1, there suddenly was a bit off a crash, I'd slowed down to tick over eyeing up the bollards ahead to parallel park  and tie up too but had failed to see the protruding canal wall in between.Lucky we aint got a plastic boat as fragments of rock and dust were still on the right front corner of the hull.Only paint damage but was a good test of build strength.

 Hit this coming from way of walker,that light spot is probably the impact point.

Moved on to Poolstock lock 2, two boats coming up so had too wait a while, no bollard for the centre or rear rope so Leonie was put to use as a Bollard.No she didn't have to do the lock paddles as well, I took the windlass  and she done the steering which I must say she is getting very good at.Now we share the locking.

Lots of people around as there  were 5 more boats waiting to come up after we left the lock.

What was this queue of cars stretching back to the
bus lining up for?.Was it they'd heard there was
a former Highland Dance medal winning dancer
in town?,(as a kid)

 No it was not,it was because Leonie had raised the Plank Lane swing bridge. And the queue was as big the udder way too.
Unusual old building seen as the canal passed through Leigh township.Why the two large doors?,okay I can understand a Cadillac in the garage down stairs but on the 2nd floor??.
Thanks to the trail blazing of Paul and Elaine, The Manly Ferry, a Tesco shop was done, even though there's no canal side entrance or tie up.As per Pauls instructions tie up to the back,canal side fence,of  Frankies & Bennies Restaurant, go shopping then pass the goods over the fence to the boat,beautifull..
 Leonie with the bootie,and her best impression of a Spastic Crayfish walk.Reckons it was the trolley wheels woud'nt allow it to go straight, chuck it in the canal I reckon...OH, notice the Beers for me? 12 quid for 1 doz,or 15 quid for two,now I got 2 doz, Burrrrpppp... Excellent shopping.
Could'nt help but notice through out Wigan and surrounding canal tow paths a great number of Seious cyclists, you no,all the lycra and flash gear,well I did some enquires and it seems since Bradley Wiggins ,cos,he lives near in Chorley, won Tour D France and numerous other world champs the general public have gone bonkers on cycling.Not all with a great Ambition to emulate or better Brad, (mates call him that), but today we meet one who does.
THATS HIM, the new LEAD OUT,for the sprint parts, team mate of Brad, got talking to him as he paced our boat,Na, he was on the bike riding and tell you what,He had a bit of Toe, admits he's still a couple of weeks away from full fitness ,apparentley 7 burgers jammed in his throat and he couldn't train for an hour, but he'll be ready for Tour D France and he'll
 succeed cos while we was talkin I happened to mention that the shinning sun was nice and he said,"do you want to talk to him"?, Who Brad ? I say, No the sun because you know who it is?, Na I say, its Jesus Christ and  I can talk to him he says. With contacts like that he can't fail on the bike I reckon.About then the noise from the boat engine and my industrial deafness made hearing him difficult so he rode off to continue his training regime..
Parked up at Boothshall Bridge, tomorrow just Another normal Day..

Friday, 3 May 2013

Head.n South....

Had NO internet or TV coverage last night so two days travelling to catch up on.Stayed  Wednesday night at Spark Bridge on the Rufford, went to Janet and Peter Royle's for dinner,Peter being the chef, excellent food and great host's made for a top night,thanks. Headed off Thursday bout 11am in clear skies and rising temperatures. By the time we reached the Rufford Junction a fair old sweat had been worked up doing locks. Parked up for the night at Parbold. Up earley this morning on the move by 9am, another pleasant day but not as hot as the previous, made Wigan and have parked opposite CRT along with 4 others. The last two days seeing a lot of boats on the move.

The suns shining and no wind. Was I thinking about, OH must order those parts for the Jones job, must do that quote for IAG, Wilsons car has to be delivered by 4pm, NOT BLOODY LIKELY....

First bridge of the day and it's a manuel swing for pedestrian traffic in the wilds..Leonies turn.. 



Entering a lock with the" Paint It Black" tee-shirt
Go The Mighty  ALLBLACKS...

Leonie doing a lock with a " Clough",wooden arm  has to be lifted up to the vertical position to open the paddle.Did one other like it and think they're the only two on the network.

These mounds of dirt are made by Moles burrowing under ground,they're very common.

Leonie picked up some hitch hikers, gave Mum, Dad and young Jamie a ride between locks,was ok as we got a hand and it was getting very warm.

In fact so warm this Pommey fisherman threw his own gear in the canal so he had to get in and find it, plus cool down at the same time, I bet he's a forman at his work.

I got a spare towel if you want to swim....

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Rufford 2

 Another sunny day,thats two in a  row,but who's counting,about 10am had breakfast on the foredeck in the sunshine.

Past Rufford and the trees are starting to show some cover.

Then through the greenery appeared Rufford Old Hall,now a National Trust property and old
Willy,thats William Shakespeare, on good advice was said to have visited here.


 Rufford Old Hall.

 The canal narrowed somewhat with reeds both sides,up ahead was a nearly 90 degree turn,bit tricky keeping the rear of the boat in the deepest part.

Arrived at Tarleton which has the visitors moorings in an industrial area,not worth a photo and  didn't
venture to village.Used the winding hole to turn,our 57 foot boat, only just had room,  plus a permanent was parked on one side,DOOOHH. Down the weed hatch wasn't to bad for the day.

The ultimate BOY'S bach,right on the water,tell the "missuss" "just going down the bach with the boys,back soon" yeah rite.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Up The Rufford

Paul caught up on some body touch ups during our lay day in port Halsall.Later Me and Paul had a cupla pints in the pub.

We don't miss out on "nutt,n" on the "cut", Vanilla ice cream infused with raspberries and white chocolate accompanied by strawberries "split'd down Da Middale" with a "sprinklaaay of icing sugaaarr",


Headed off today got to swing bridge number bout zillion and three bout mid day and it couldn't be opened even by  adding all our IQ'S together the best we could do was a message on screen of bridge control box saying,Wedges Jammed. A call to C&RT and the reply,be there in an hour.With time to kill and the sun shinning, no crap it was, a sample of Leonie's Yummy baking,Tan Square, and a couple of Heinies were partaken .Some people might say 12 o'clock on a Tuesday is too early to be drinking,well its 7pm somewhere in the world. The C&RT man was there sooner and we were on our way.

 Carried on in convoy until Rufford Branch,we stopped for water fill,Paul & Elaine carried on toward Wigan.Been excellent sharing your company the last week and a half,hope we can catch up later on.

Seeya, just lapping up that sunshine..

 This was the sight as we entered the Rufford Branch,3 locks here,the swing pedestrian bridge was just about unmovable with  Leonie and me pushing harder than an All Black scrum.We got through completeing a total of six locks and a swing bridge parking up about five thirty.

Look at that, unobscurred sun,must have hit 17c I rekon,cant wait till tomorrow.

Goin down in a lock practicually under the arch of the bridge.Windlass operater Leonie showing great patience, you can't rush the process..

Monday, 29 April 2013


Headed out of Liverpool Docks 9am Saturday with the C&RT deputy sherrifs escort,actually they do the manual labour on the locks,Happy Feet who was so Sing Song on last  Fridays escort had trouble even pretending we existed ,I reckon his "team"lost the day before.Still the transition from the  salt to the  soup went smooth but a chilling wind spoilt the effect of the sun.Done our first sharing of double locks with Caxton, Elaine and Paul. By the time we got to the Stanley Locks,and after some good advice from senior officer Paul, we were moving  from one lock to next and entering locks side by side.I'm an expert now. Having passed through  the last C&RT operated bridge,No 9, the banks were busy with fisherman trying their luck, then we heard a clang on the side of the boat,looking toward the bank in the scrub were too teenage pieces of S--T just about to throw a second missile ,luckily it flew over the top of Leonie and myself. We yelled at them and grabbed for the camera but they retreated only to emerge and do the same to Paul and Elaine with two hits.It only takes a couple of Scumbags to give the area a bad rap.We moored up in the country side and went for some beers with Paul & Elaine at the local,had to walk bout 500 metres.

Nice Stone Walls

Country pub at Melling

To get to the Pub we walked along a Public walkway which gives access right across the farmers property.
Old stone buildings on the farm.

 Sunday we headed off  about 11am travelling through Maghull,Leonie & Elaine operating the frequent swing bridges and walking between them exercising Sam & Bombo.A cool wind blew which turned to rain,a good excuse to park up,this time outside The Saracens Head pub,we four had dinner and drinks, Paul and Ray going for the Beef and Pork roasts.

Apparently you can moor closer to a pub,NB FireflyNZ with Caxton behind.

Monday dawned fine blue skies but a gusty 30-40 mph wind made up our minds to stay put.

                   Lookind at bridge arch with grooves worn by ropes from days past when horses towed working boats and rope had to "bend" as horses followed tow path.

Tuesday forecast looks ok so well move on probably head up Rufford Branch for a look.OH,gonna have a beer tonight  at "Local"because we can.(you would like it Joanne & Birnie,True..)