Boatwif Blog

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Being ‘Anoraks’

Hest Bank to Tewitfield: 8 miles, 1 swing bridge The last 8 miles to the Lancaster Canal’s terminus was done in two stages. First from Hest Bank to Carnforth (3¾ miles, I swing bridge) and then, three days later,  the final 4¼ miles from Carnforth to Tewitfield. There have been times in the past when a moorings strategy has been devised. Would it be difficult, Impossible even, to find places to moor when there was a bank holiday weekend ahead...

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The friendliness of folk…

Glasson Top Lock to Hest Bank: 10 miles It’s about a 90 minute cruise between the top lock of the Glasson Branch and the county town of Lancaster. After the remoteness of the canal arm Galgate seemed a veritable hive of activity: visitor moorings, an offside marina,   services, village facilities, a railway line, the A6…There’s an abrupt finish to the busyness and the canal resumes its rural route. In an open area farmers were seen hard at work. There are...

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New waters – Preston to Glasson Top

Preston to Glasson Branch Junction 24¼  miles;  Glasson Branch Junction to Glasson Basin and back: 4½ miles, 12 locks When Cleddau left the top lock to join the Lancaster Canal it was through a field of red sludge,   or so it seemed… Blossom had settled on the water in a thick pinkish brown carpet. As the canal wends its way north gradually the blossom covering thinned. There is other flotsam in the water though, tree branches and reed islands bob about and the...

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The Ribble Link

“Be at the lock for about 9.30.” That was the instruction given by Roger, the relief lock keeper, on Thursday evening. Six boats were booked through on what is called the Ribble Link, that’s the maximum number on any one day.  The crews of Tentatrice and Cleddau had obviously planned to travel together. What would the weather be like – an important consideration to prepare for when going out on open water. The strong easterly winds seemed to have decreased...

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Not without trials and tribulations…

A life afloat will never be without its trials and tribulations. Over the years (over the decades, actually) there have been engine emergencies, electrical issues, water discovered in wrong places, failures of domestic equipment and so on. The boating community, thankfully, is always very supportive of others in trouble. On countless occasions the child’s fishing net kept on the front deck has been deployed to scoop up footballs, dogs’ balls – and once, in 2016, to retrieve a pair of...

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Seen and heard around Liverpool 3

Salthouse Dock, Liverpool to Burscough: 25 miles, 6 locks, 3 Liverpool Link tunnels, 10 swing bridges So much to see, so much to do… During the week moored in Salthouse Dock there were new places visited and others revisited. Many of the museums in the city are operated under the umbrella of National Museums Liverpool.   In these museums the staff wear distinctive turquoise blue shirts which makes them easy to spot; in every location the staff were brimming full...

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Third time lucky…?

It was nearly seven years ago when a very particular cruise saga started. Techno Son-in-Law announced that a birthday present for two would be dispatch on a Cruise – a cruise along the Manchester Ship Canal… Arrangements were made, tickets were booked – but, if you read here, you’ll see that due to most unusual circumstances the cruise ended up in a very expensive taxi ride… A boat trip to within sight of Runcorn and a clamber over a wall...

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Looking on the bright side

Liverpool – upbeat, lively, self-mocking, positive:  that’s the impression gained of Liverpool three years ago – it’s an impression that has not changed. There is much to see – the skyline, the varying shapes and styles of buildings, the UNESCO waterfront, sculptures, museums and art galleries. Yet often it is the incidental remark or chance sighting that sticks in the memory. On the first day as floating residents in Salthouse Dock the Captain and Boatwif made their way (again) to...

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Destination Liverpool

Lydiate to Salthouse Dock: 14½ miles, 6 locks, 7 movable bridges and 1 tunnel Only a couple of weeks ago Cheshire Mum and Cheshire One had driven from Macclesfield to Liverpool. Their journey had taken about an hour and a quarter.  Cleddau’s journey started about three hours north of Macclesfield – and took something like 62 hours to complete. The last stretch of this 129 mile long cruise was to involve some physical effort, a continuing attention to timing and...

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B words: the Bridgewater to THAT bridge…

Dunham Massey to Lydiate: 47 miles, 8 locks, 7 movable bridges B words (not swear words, just B-beginning words): Bridgewater, Burscough, bridge, baked beans, baby, birthday… To back track: eventually, a day later than planned, Cleddau had reached Dunham Massey, and in lieu of the planned “day off” a couple of hours was spent at the Dunham Massey Estate. It was Sunday, it was dry – and it felt a slightly dangerous place, the grounds packed with families and bikes,...