Saturday, 1 June 2013

Homeward Bound

Friday 31st May to Saturday 1st June 2013

We are now at the stage that we feel more than ready to set cruise speed for home and back to our marina; we left on March 14th intended to be out for about 3 weeks and cruise the 4 Counties Ring – apart from the section Aston Lock to Hardings Wood Junction, we haven’t been anywhere near it.

It appears that all of the reports on the television about the sunshine being more prevalent in the south were correct – we had reached Tarleton – south of the Ribble and it was very much warmer that the weather we had seen north of the Ribble – I am sure it must be even warmer further south – even in Birmingham

After a short walk around Tarleton and the obligatory visit to the supermarket and a very nice deli, we were back to the boat; Diane sorted out with Jim and Karen (nd Owd Nell) to move off and share the locks to the junction; we bid goodbye to Ruth and Peter – they are now in a position to fix the problems with their boat.

wonderful sunny weather

...everywhere
 
 
A visit to the services at Sparks Bridge for water and then off to the first lock – a couple of hours later on and we were at the junction – we had had a good time throughout the time – they are such fun.

still plenty of water down the bywashes
Goodbyes all around and they were off to the right and Burscough and for us it was left and to Parbold where we spent the night – we were pretty tired after a couple of heavy days, so there was nothing much that we could or wanted to do.

these guys were picking lettuce in the shade - thanks to this
large cover attached to the sorting machine
An early start for us on Saturday and as we were cruising along quite well our eventual target changed and we ended at Plank Lane.

Nothing exciting along the way – the double locks were, as usual, with heavy gates – there was boat movement each way and we were finally through Wigan Junction and able to relax a bit with the prospect of more plain cruising for a few days more.

In contrast to the bright sunny day on Friday, Saturday was sunny with cloud and a colder wind which called for more than just T-shirts.

Plank Lane Swing (aka Lift) Bridge - in my book it says it
is a swing bridge

This large expanse of water next to the lift bridge is allocated to
be a marina with shops and accomodation - maybe in the future
Again we are feeling pretty tired, but the boat needed a good wash to rid it of the salt deposits from the crossing – this didn’t take to long and we can now relax a bit.

After we had moored a boat passed heading for the bridge - asking "Is there someone to operate for us or do we need to do it ourselves?" in a bit of a posh sort of voice - "Sorry mate, you have to do it yourself" - fluttering behind the boat was the New Zealand flag - must be here for the cricket.

23 miles, 15 locks, 1 lift bridge, 8 swing bridge

Totals: 1769 Miles, 1331 Locks, 56 Tunnels, 29 Lift Bridges, 139 Swing Bridges

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