Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Farewell Bridgewatertonians - we now know how to spot you !

Saturday 16th August to Wednesday 20th August 2014

We slipped out of Manchester relatively early, only on account of the weather reports - stopping at the services block to fill the water tank and empty the cassette - essential duties.

Diane single handed until we reached the Junction, allowing me some time to catch up on some work, as is the norm for a Saturday.

After the junction we were both out the back allowing us to say goodbye in full to Sale, Salford and Altrincham together - we shall see you all again early next year as we attempt the Rochdale 9 going up and then the Rochdale Canal in full.
"Bandit" country

For now though we were on our way to DunhamTown - planning for Sunday lunch always begins on Saturday morning.

The weather held off until after we had moored up and we were safely inside, but having also done a load of washing on the way there is the question about refilling - especially on the Bridgewater - water points never seem to be conveniently located to fit in with the random acts of cleanliness.

And it was in that frame of mind and again consulting the relevant iPhone app that changed our mind on Sunday morning and we headed off early to water up again - there was more washing as we prepare to leave the boat.

The forecast of random showers fortunately worked well for us, for although we had a couple of showers, the heavy rain came just after we had retreated inside to await the water tank to fill again - this time along side Ye Olde No.3 public house.
As well as the rain the high winds were a real problem and combined, they made it a lot colder than we had had for awhile.

Watching boats passing whilst this was happening reminded us that we have become skilled observers of Bridgewater registered boats.
The critical points to note are:-
·        where fitted, they invariably cruise with the pram hood in the raised position - even in fine weather.
·        usually have all of their fenders down, and
·        they never slow down when passing moored boats - usually passing very close - tickover is a southern word for them

In the time that we have visited these parts - either north from Preston Brook or travelling south towards it, we have always stopped in Lymm - it is one of our must-stop towns and for this day we would stop again and try a different hotel for our Sunday roast.

The Golden Fleece was the chosen establishment; upon entering we noticed that the football was due on shortly.
We settled in, selected from the menu, ordered drinks and watched a bit, chatted a bit, observed a bit.
The match would be Liverpool v Southampton - blimey, with a few players moving from the south to mersey-side it would be a meeting of old friends. No-one could possibly be pleased with a Liverpool game to watch, but we were there.
The meal came and whilst it was good, it would not be a page-turner in the culinary diary; we decided to try dessert and hot drinks - well, the hot drinks weren't really and Diane's dessert needed a second try to get it to lukewarm - a bit disappointing really.

We  had not moored in the prime spot - the mooring had all been taken, but instead we moored just before getting into that area, and whilst we were on pins and not rings, it did turn out to be a lot quieter - so now we need not fear that there are no spots on our next visit, we will gladly moor up north of bridge 23.

Next morning, the sun was out, the wind had gone and it was a really lovely morning.
Lymm - hotspot moorings full but we were happy just beyond
the bridge

The great thing about the Bridgewater is that the lack of locks means that as needed I can continue working whilst Diane just cruises along.
what a day for cruising

We finally agreed on a mooring just north of Moore (by Bridge 8) - it was sunny; it was peaceful and quiet; and it was somewhere we hadn't moored before.
A really nice spot for Diane to sit and rest after cruising and I was left to tap away on the laptop clearing up emails and the like.
Quite restful in fact.

Not so early on Tuesday morning we waved hello/goodbye quickly to Ali and John on nb Triskaideka - whoosh and they were gone away slowly.
Funny - north of Preston Brook tunnel the aqueducts become

By the time that we had decided to get underway on Tuesday, the calculator was out checking on how far and how long we had to Preston Brook tunnel, so as to avoid a lengthy wait if we missed the passage time. Diane had wanted to visit the chandlery, but in the end it would have to wait.
Calculated time and moored boats (where we ticked over, as usual) gave us a short time of just 2-3 minutes to wait to get through the tunnel - almost perfect timing with that.
The tunnel light was in full working order for this passage - so glad that it is fixed and works all of the time now. Diane didn't need to stand up the front with a lantern - like an undertaker in front of a flowerless hearse.

So skilful was our passage that we made it to the stop lock and it was ready to open and a boat was coming up so no need to shut the gate.
Looking down on the Weaver from the T&M

But around bridge 208 "disaster" struck and we were slowed dramatically - rubbish around the prop - mixed in with it were some of the hedgerow cuttings - the fingers are still a bit sore from the thorns.

Nevertheless we cleared it and moved a bit further on, this time perfectly timing the Saltersford Tunnel and then the Barnton one, and finally moored up just after bridge 201- overlooking the Weaver.
It is a lovely spot and after a bit of a foraging trip on Wednesday morning in search of a cow, we found a lovely little Co-op as well as an interesting Indian restaurant that will need some further investigation next year.

Our time on the Bridgewater had left us a bit sluggish - the lack of locks has a detrimental outcome on the amount that you tend to walk/exercise, so we both decided to give it a full mile individually whilst the other cruised - Diane went first and all the way to the services block where she made sure that the hire boat moored towards one end of the available space and not in the middle - she did say that they were moving that way anyway.
Above Anderton - I cannot recall ever seeing
this without a boat moored here - usually you
cannot get through for the boats.

we have seen this boat before, but strangely we had been
talking about it just a day or so ago
So it was the usual - water tank to fill and this time 2 cassettes to empty.
I heard this boat winding - from the sound of it's bowthruster !

Then it was my turn for a bit of walking and it felt good to be able to stride out a bit - a little bit of time off from it and you really do feel it.

Diane did slow down to let me back on board - the oncoming boat through a bridge hole plus the prospect of a narrow section after with moored boats suggested that this act of allowing me back on may have been a bit more for her benefit than mine.
I need to include this so that the kids remember what I look like -
only so they will know me at the airport.

Was it really a month ago that we moored up at the flashes with Joan and Jim (nb Two Jays) for a few days - anyway we were now back and probably will spend a couple of nights here.
I have done some more berry picking and another apple/blackberry pie/crumble will be making an appearance in the kitchen quite soon.
It is just so peaceful and quiet - obviously the wind is coming from a different direction as we haven't heard a plane overhead all day - and may it continue tomorrow.

Not Tixall Wide - it's the flash at Brook Farm

37 Miles, 1 Lock, 3 Tunnels

Totals: 2819 Miles, 2059 Locks, 97 Tunnels, 34 Lift Bridges, 151 Swing Bridges


  1. Nice to see you both, although fleetingly! We know what you mean about " Bridgewatonians"..... But they have double standards. As we passed a line of moored boats on tickover, we saw a boat approaching us with a bow wave! This caused a "Lady" on a moored boat to remonstrate, with us!!!! The injustice. We did point out her error as the offender tore past, with pram hood erect!

  2. Barry & Brenda (WB Jus Chillin)
    Must agree with your observations re the speed, it really peed us off.
    Heading for Liverpool now.

  3. It was good to meet you, we met at the No3 on your outward journey. Well as a Bridgewatonians (like it) yes we do travel with our pram hood erect, This serves two purposes the first we are shaded from the sun and protected from the rain. Of course we can do this because we have high bridges and deep water. We cannot understand the mentality of the speeding boat brigade from both Bridgewater licence cruisers and CRT cruisers alike. After all narrow boating should be about being the fastest way to slow down. Glad you enjoyed your stay on the Bridgewater enjoy the rest of you summer and hope to see you again soon. We are about to go on a cruise to Llangollen

    1. Mich
      we of course must talk in generalisations but the data suggests a skewness towards more boaters speeding past moored boats when on the Bridgewater than on other parts of the system.
      There are too many boaters that lack a general respect for others by not slowing down.
      We will be looking forward to our next foray onto the Bridgewater and all those lock-free miles

      all the best