Saturday, 8 August 2009

Ribble Link continued

Friday 7th August
The pontoon above lock 8 where we had to overnight was a really good mooring. Secluded and secure. We did see the odd dog walker but the place is very difficult to find from the road as we well knew from a couple of years ago when, staying with friends Ros & Mike who live in Wrea Green, we tried to have a look at the link.
The good side of our delay meant that Ros & Mike could join us for the trip up the link today. We were not due to go up until after 2pm so Mike kindly drove us to do a big shop (all the heavy items like beer and dog food!!) in the morning.
Peaceful mooring
Our own pontoon

Even the sun was shining
We set off with Geoff & Mike at the ready with their winch handles but they had very little to do. We were the last boat up so the BW guys did all the work apart from lock 4, the one before the flight of 3.
And here is the approach to the flight. We had no idea what to expect but having done several flights of locks we did not anticipate anything different. What a surprise.

A couple of very sharp bends and then we (I) had to reverse in. Another first....

The lock chambers looked ginormous

Two of the chambers were this height but the last one was slightly smaller. Geoff was forward with the bow rope and Mike back with me (Ros was the photographer). I was very glad of Mike because the rush of water at the stern made it very hard to hold onto the rope.

Eventually we emerged at the top, reversed in the pound and aimed for the Lancaster...we had finally arrived.
The goal was the Hand & Dagger near bridge 26 but first we turned right to use the facilities at Preston. Geoff managed to leave the keys in the water box but luckily a kind lady on a nearby boat rescued them and passed them to us. As we reached the turning point we also realised that amongst the rubbish we had thrown away today's paper! Didn't we do well.
It was almost 8pm when we reached the pub. The moorings were not brilliant and we had our first taste of having to moor bows to the bank and the stern well out. Not only that but we couldn't get the bows very far in and had to use the gang plank...first time this year. This was a novel experience not only for Ros and Mike, who rose to the occasion very well, but also for Barnaby. He was not very impressed but forced himself after a long time considering.
When we reached the pub we discovered it was Karaoke night which was not a good sign. However the food was fine and surprisingly we enjoyed the Karaoke. A lot of the people who sang were obviously regulars and were quite good. So ended a long but good day.

1 comment: said...

You will need to get used to that gangplank!
I am feeling a little green - Lancaster calls. Beware, the saying goes, once visited it never leaves you!