Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The “Ghost Ship” appears and so does the sun

Sunday 5th May to Tuesday 7th May 2013

It just appeared out of nowhere – through the mist – an apparition, a spectre; stories from long ago came flooding back into the mind; children wailed – “save me, save me” – the ghost ship had appeared.

Just appeared virtually from nowhere - the mist had enveloped it
We checked our watches – both of us – it was before 9am and nb Caxton was on the move – in fact they had left their mooring not long after 8am and were now back to reclaim it.

winding to reclaim it's natural mooring
They had wanted to water up and grey down and we were looking after their space until their return and then we were off ourselves with a timetable to keep.

It was so busy in Manchester on Saturday night that these three
moored above Lock 92 - haven't seen boats there before

How busy was it - even the geese were looking to take over the
duck's lodgings

We wanted to put a fair distance behind us before the end of the long weekend – a rough target of beyond Wigan, around Crooke would be nice.

Wouldn't be right without a picture from here

The day had started a bit on the coolish and overcast day (no threat of rain) and within about 15 minutes of our departure the sun was starting to break through the clouds.

After the junction things were fairly well settled so Diane looked after the boat and I went inside to work.

The miles ticked themselves off; the sun was shining; nothing of any concern at all.

We have seen so many capable people on day-hire boats -
sadly this group is not amongst them
Through Worsley; we needed to get diesel, a pumpout and gas – the big three (the water was already full from that morning) – and so we decided on Bridgewater Marina where we had been before.

Who should be there having just filled with diesel but nb Firefly with Ray and Leonie.

They moved back so that we had access to everything; the guy from the office took care of the boat whilst we chatted; soon the kettle was on; tea had been made and we were at one of the tables really relaxing – just a lazy hour on a Sunday morning – what else is there to be done.

Just enjoying the weather
Well actually we all needed to move along so we were away and Fire Fly was off in the direction from whence we had come.

Time for goodbyes...

see you both soon
We finally moored past Dover Bridge after a brilliant day of sunshine and virually no wind.

Could it get any better – well, yes – Monday turned out to be the type of day that we all want to have when cruising – a little warmer than Sunday and a little less wind.

glorious sunshine and the trees have discovered that spring
is here
We cruised through Wigan and then past Crooke, and then around Appley Bridge finally mooring up just in front of nb Compass Rose (Janet and Howard).

The chairs were out; the tea was poured – out on the towpath making a traffic hazard for the walkers and cyclists alike – we enjoyed ourselves – Diane and Howard returned form the café bearing ice-creams for themselves – Janet and I declined.

Two dogs and only one ice cream -
"give us a bit"

Towpath takeover

Busy busy busy - boats everywhere

What another brilliant day.

Howard continued with his warnings of making sure the insurances were all paid up and that the wills had been written – the big day of attacking the Ribble was fast approaching – Diane was concerned a bit, but all will be fine on the day (I hope!).

Tuesday arrived and we headed off not too early and through the two swing bridges before the Rufford arm, Diane swung the boat around and under the bridge just as a crew from a boat moored at the lock were opening the gates and she was straight in – not almost perfect timing – it was perfect.

After the first lock they pulled over and we carried on down the flight  eventually mooring up for lunch just before Lock 7 – our intention was to just have some lunch and Diane would walk Banjo up and check the canal out – our intention was to move a bit further down. It was our intention but with the sun out and feeling just a bit tired from a few days of heavy work we succumbed to the welcome warmth – Diane sitting outside to finish a cushion and catch up her reading of other boaters’ blogs and me to get a bit of work finished as well ( I was the one inside).

I'm the one in red - working on these heavy gates

A beautiful scene for a beautiful day
and someone was just taking it easy - Banjo wasn't
doing much either

Hands up if you can spot Wally

A precious cargo beneath

It was a lovely spot to moor and we enjoyed it very much – seemed a pity to move when it was like this – after all we were a day early for our scheduled crossing !!

Apologies to anyone who may have been expecting a different story based on today's date - you will have to wait.

33 miles, 14 locks, 1 lift bridge and 5 swing bridge

Totals: 1641 Miles, 1283 Locks, 56 Tunnels, 28 Lift Bridges, 127 Swing Bridges


  1. Ha ha ... the ghost ship ... you are sooooo funny !!! I can't wait for the next instalment - really want to know what you are up to !!!! El xx

  2. knew that you wouldn't mind me doing this; but it was an early start for a Sunday