Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sunshine – glorious sunshine

Friday 5th April to Saturday 6th April 2013

17 mile, 1 lift bridge for this period

Totals: 1513 Miles, 1241 Locks, 50 Tunnels, 26 Lift Bridges, 98 Swing Bridges

We  bid adieu to P&M and E&P on Friday morning as we really did need to make some progress on getting to Hancock’s bridge by next Friday morning to be able to go into Liverpool.

So we were off after 10am, and with no locks until Wigan it was also a chance to sit back and rest some aching muscles and just enjoy yet another glorious day – sun on our backs and later on our faces; a gentle breeze – the high seas of the Bridgewater awaited – deeper and wider to what we had been used to.
looking back along the Manchester Ship Canal

Old Trafford - in just a few days The Match
Which way to go - left towards the south; right to Liverpool

The wallet was saved a little when we couldn’t really find a suitable mooring spot for access to ASDA at the Trafford Centre (ASDA is a little further on the the Trafford Centre proper).

Then across the Barton swing bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal and through some of the outer “suburbs”/towns of the Manchester area – Barton-under-Irwell and Patricroft – finally reaching Worsley where we moored up in the same place as last year.

Diane went ahead to check out other moorings and came back with the suggestion that the rings further on might be better than the mooring pins where we were – a fact confirmed when we both walked up to there.

Pulling off the mooring we immediately ran into problems with prop speed – almost none – something around it slowing it right down – bah humbug!!

We got the boat up to where we wanted to be and then promptly headed off to the pub – the weedhatch would be waiting to the next day.

We went for a drink and to check the menu – dinner was quite nice – a simple gastro pub but nice inside.

We had wanted to see a bit more of Worsley, especially only seeing a little last year – it was a very well presented village, but just the two pubs and a newsagent who fortunately sold milk, so the customary purchase was made – the cows of England remain gainfully employed whilst Diane stays in this country.

Morning surfaced, we weren’t quite so accommodating, but the paper was still back aboard by 7am – fancy finding possibly the only newsagent in the country by a canal who opens at 5:30am – Paul would be saying “Are there two 5:30’s in the day”

Again, wonderful weather beckoned – blue skies, coldish air and warm sun in the sky.

Diane had checked the day before that Bridgewater Marina would be open for a pumpout – they opened at 8:30 (yes Paul two 8:30’s as well).

After checking the weedhatch from the previous day, I extracted another length of thickish wire as well as a number of plastic bags which had been wound and tied off together and then presumably just thrown in the water.

this mess wrapped itself around the prop in just seconds

So we were off after that and were at the marina just after 9 – a little bit of a wait whilst they were going to get 2 day boats away for people who hadn’t turned up yet.

Bridgewater marina

Not a problem – we breasted up next to a dutch-barge narrowboat; cup of tea made; and chatted with the owner – Peter – about this and that – turns out he had a Mykuni heater as well and some spare fuses (25amp) which he was gracious enough to give us two of them – we had one blown fuse (from Paul’s look see on Thursday) – so it would be another look at this later on – I just knew it would be happening.

By about 10:15 the marina people decided to move the day boats – no one had turned up yet) and we got in for the pumpout and fill the diesel – the time goes quite quickly when you are chatting – and with the sunshine it was ideallic.

Money handed over; goodbyes made and we were off again with a stop at Leigh to be made for a galley top up.

Visits to Lidl, Tesco and Aldi redistributed the “wealth” equally amongst them and the galley was now full to overflowing again.

Just a short journey now to our intended stopping point at Dover Bridge – we saw the pub here last year and thought it might be worth a future visit next time we were here – didn’t realise then that it would be so soon.

Moorings were fine and Diane’s instructions of down the weedhatch again to check it; check out the fuel-line for the Mykuni; put the fuses in; etc etc etc where completed eventually – the contortionist in me seemed to come from virtually nowhere – the burning thighs from leaning against the freshly stopped engine are a reminder to let it cool down next time before going into the engine bay again.

Still no luck on the heater and now definitely decided to wait until we are back at the marina around mid-May.

The ever-lovable Dr Who was on and Diane decided to watch that and no complaints about me heading off to check the pub out – the earlier brownie-points came into good use.

It has the feel of a gastro pub whilst it’s location suggests a local pub – it was quite comfortable inside and the food being served seemed quite good – will stop here again for a longer sampling period next time – maybe another Dr Who night and then I can have another drink until she turns up for dinner.

The sun was very warm again today and along with the slightly burnt thighs there is a slightly burnt face – the first sunshine effects of the “summer”.

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