Thursday, 10 September 2009

Back down the Ribble Link

Thursday 10th September
So the time has come to leave the Lancaster. We have been here for 5 weeks. I wish I could say five glorious weeks but that would be a lie....five interesting weeks maybe but good weather we have not had! However since yesterday the sun has been shining....could this be the start of an Indian Summer.......

Meeting time at the top lock was 1122hrs and when we arrived about 10am it was devoid of humanity but such a lovely sight. In fact we had not passed another boat on the move for two days......

Not a breath of wind and wall to wall sunshine
Top Lock all ready for us ...... just need the lock keepers
Barnaby inspecting
Looking down the flight of 3
We had been told there was one other boat and CITRINE arrived about 1045 and was told to go straight into the lock. We followed, reversing in again because of the very sharp turn at the bottom of the flight.

They certainly are BIG locks

Once you have reversed out you go under these bridges with a sharp left hand bend
Not a lot of headroom

After that there are 5 more locks down to lock 8 where we had to hold for just over an hour. Since there were only two boats today Geoff had an easy ride as the lock keepers did most of the work. During this lunch break Barnaby had been quietly sleeping on the shore and when the call came to start off again we forgot about him!!!! By the time we realised he was not aboard the level in the lock was well down. Geoff leaped ashore and tried to persuade him to jump down....to no avail.......he had to manhandle him onto the roof and then encourage him to climb down into the cockpit...needless to say he was not amused!
Once at the bottom of this lock we set off for the twisty journey to the last lock which is the sea lock. The lock keepers warned us that the water was still quite low and they were not wrong. It was a tortuous trip down and hard to believe that this was the section where we had been towed by NB Ragamuffin on the journey up. It is little more that an large ditch and we felt we had been let out a little soon. The tide was coming in and we had to be through the last bridge whilst there was still enough height but had we been a little later we would have had more water and still have got under the bridge.
Big Ditch!!

Nobody would know there was a navigable waterway here

We touched bottom in several places
Could have been going up the Amazon!
We had to hold once again on the pontoon just before the sea lock. This is not a lock in the normal sense as once there is enough water we just go right over it.
And so to the River Ribble. Citrine just turning onto it

Because of the clearances requires both for bridges and locks the whole trip up both the Ribble and the Douglas is done against the tide.
We were just so lucky today as the weather was perfect. Citrine had not been so lucky with their trip over. They only came over last Saturday having waited 3 days for the wind to die down. It was touch and go whether they would go even on the Saturday and they had a very rough trip....rather them than me!
Captain Birdseye on the helm going down the Ribble

And so to Tarleton Lock and the entry back onto the main canal system. Citrine entering the lock here at an angle as there is quite a current coming from the right. The tide is still flowing out fast.
We stopped briefly at Tarleton to buy milk but then pushed on to the bottom of the next locks. We have to position ourselves tomorrow evening ready for the run to Liverpool so it will be another long day.
Forecast looks set fair for a few more days yet....can we be this lucky

1 comment:

Heth said...

Sorry guys, missed you cos I only checked my email about 11pm, got up early to see if I could spot you in the marina, but nope. Mind you it was difficult to spot anything in that mist, took some photos for the blog & mentioned how our paths crossed but erm by chance we didn't... Awww

H