Sunday, 20 September 2009

September Cruise - Day Ten

Today we've encountered some of the worst steering we've ever seen on the cut. But the day started very quietly. We set off at 7.45; it was cold, but with signs of a promising day. Sure enough, within a couple of hours the sun was out and it was another warm day. We didn't seen another moving boat until we got to Rumps Lock at Middlewich, at which point we started seeing lots of southbound traffic.

As we left the Middlewich Big Lock, an Alvechurch hire boat with a hen party of at least ten girls on board, pulled off the water point in front of us. What followed was an excruciating 40 minutes, during which time they (and therefor we) covered just a mile as they zigzagged from bank to bank, crashed into bridges and boats, and spent quite a lot of time in reverse. Eventually, while they were paying another visit to the trees on the offside, we asked if we could pass them. Now we could enjoy this part of the Trent and Mersey, which has lovely wooded sections and wide fashes caused by subsidence. In the fifties, BW used them to sink lots of unwanted boats; one remains as a decaying hulk.

There's a brief change in character at Wincham, when the canal goes through the middle of a chemical factory, then it's back to more rural scenery. Soon we arrived at Anderton, where we moored up for a look at the boat lift. We walked down to the level of the River Weaver to watch the lift in action; the trip boat was going up, while two narrowboats came down. It's an impressive sight, and we resolved to take Debdale down the lift on a future trip.

It was 4 o'clock by the time we left the lift, so decided not to go too much further. An activity boat with a groups of Scouts on board pulled out in front of us in the short distance to Barnton Tunnel. I hope for everyone's sake that the woman at the tiller wasn't any type of instructor: the boat was all over the place, bouncing off the walls of the Barnton and Saltersford Tunnels. We moored for the night in a very quiet spot just beyond Bridge 204. There are some rocks sticking out below the waterline, which means we make a bit of a grinding noise every now and then, but as we don't expect any more boats to come past, we shouldn't be troubled too much.

18 miles, 9 locks. (121, 101)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re Hulks in the flashes. I fyou look closely in the other flashes you can just see other remains, in fact if you go to Google Earth you can in fact see even more just under the surface !