Friday, 12 April 2013

Salthouse Dock

Friday 12th April 2013

12 miles, 6 locks, 3 tunnels, 2 swing bridges for today

Totals: 1553 Miles, 1255 Locks, 53 Tunnels, 26 Lift Bridges, 110 Swing Bridge

Having completed the trip into Liverpool’s docks last year there was a lack of apprehension about the journey, but there was a degree of excited expectation – it really is a magnificent sight and feeling to cruise through the old docks area; there is a smell of salt air about, seagulls overhead and of course being dwarfed by some of the other vessels about.

There were two other boats to come down with us – both single-handers – Nigel on Slo-Mo-Shun and Jeff on Mullein – we all headed off before 8am to get through the last of the swing bridges that we had to operate – moored up at Bridge 9 and waited a short while before the CaRT guy came along – he would be opening the bridge at 9am – and true to form we were through just after.

It is about 9 miles to the terminus with only the one additional swing bridge to get through – that was opened for us by the CaRT guy.

last year we saw this sign and the fence was littered with
plastic bags of rubbish

this year - all very clear

We didn’t need to get down the weedhatch today, but instead at one stage we could have been a hydrofoil – there was a door lodged under the bow – any wonder we were struggling to get any speed at all.

just one of the very pleasant sights along the way
We managed to get this away and the boat improved; a little later there was more rubbish lodged around the bow – a length of timber, a large industrial sized woven plastic bag and about half a tonne of weed and bulrushes – again it needed to be removed – but whilst it was at the front, it meant the prop was OK.

The weather started off very cloudy and whilst there was no breeze it was a  bit on the coolish side, but by the time we reached the top of the locks (at the terminus) it was really quite sunny.

Diane took the boat down through the locks – sharing them with Jeff (nb Mullein) – we had 4 CaRT volunteers to help us through, but I got off to give them a hand and have a general chat – really great guys and so very friendly.

Then it was out into the old docks area and onwards to the two remaining locks, the three tunnels and through Albert Dock into Salthouse dock and mooring up.

the iconic sight that we see first at the bottom of the locks

just a reminder of how old this area is

nb Mullien behind us - Jeff's first time in so he was happy for us
to show the way

caught in take-off attempt

the Liver Building - Liverpool's iconic building

and a memory of the history of Liverpool

through one of the new tunnels

from one tunnel and onto the next

All done and completed by 1:30pm and the sun was out; we were warm, moored up and completely settled in again.

It is not the same as saying “home again” but there is a large degree of familiarity with the surroundings and feeling comfortable with it all - knowing about it all from last year.

Diane was eager to get a bit of shopping out of the way so we walked the dog and headed out – knowing where things are makes it easy.

Everything purchased, a coffee on the way back and then back aboard.

The mooring is perfect – the sun shining on us all afternoon and the views from both sides are all encompassing.

Very interesting to see the groups of young men and the groups of young women who you just know are not going to feel any better than they are as they arrive; the line of taxis waiting for fares before their customers are too drunk.

But mostly it is the lights on the old buildings and the colours given off that give the whole area a wonderful ambience.

If you have the chance to do it – take it full on !!

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