Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Down the Anderton Lift to the River Weaver

and 'ere tis
But first we had to travel a couple of miles from our mooring which included two more tunnels. Yesterday we went through Preston Brook tunnel and today we had two shorter ones at Saltersford and Barnton.   Now tunnels  are just not my thing and normally Barney and I go below and pretend we are somewhere else, but I must be getting braver in my advancing years as I sat at the stern with Geoff for all 3 of these tunnels.  It was partly because Barney hates going below and this way I could hold on to him and let him stay up........what one does for ones pets!!
Interestingly at the northern end of the Saltersford tunnel there is a notice that says entrance is from the half hour until ten to the hour......but when you emerge at the southern portal there is no corresponding notice.......we hit it dead on half past so we were lucky.   It is a very bendy tunnel and the boat that had set off just ahead of us could be heard banging the sides as he approached the southern end...I have to report that there were no such bangs aboard Petroc......there might have been if I had been on the helm!

The mooring between Saltersford and Barnton tunnels are in a lovely setting but it was a good job we had not continued on yesterday as they were all full.

As we set off this morning just as we were about to cast off another boat hove into view going our way.....the same thing happened yesterday morning.  How can it be when there are so few boats about!!  Both time we let them go through as there is nothing more annoying than a boat casting off just in front of you, beside which Barney and I were walking and Geoff would have to stop to pick us up at some point.

Approaching the lift entrance
entering the caisson
Looking down to our destination......luckily no sensation of height 
Looking back as the caisson is closed behind us
As our caisson descended the other one ascended.
Country view as we started upstream.....downstream was not so pretty as we emerged from the lift....
We thought we would investigate Northwich first and see what the moorings were like.   They were not really to our liking as the ones on the left had an extremely high bank and I don't think I would have managed to climb off let alone Barney.  The ones on the right were slightly lower but full!!
So we contented ourselves with getting rid of our rubbish at the sani station and carried on.
As briefed we called ahead to the lock keeper at Hunts Lock who said we could come straight up...he must have moved his lunch time.....

Once inside he passed down a bit of BW string for us to attach our line to which he then took up and secured....
He only opened one paddle so the ride up was very smooth
These signals seem reminiscent of British Railways
The lock keeper at Hunts Lock called ahead for us to Vale Royal Lock which was about 1/2 ahead.   originally he said he was on late lunch and we would have to wait until 1.45 but when we reached there he was all set to go...very obliging.
About 5-10 mins after the locks are the Vale Royal Visitor moorings complete with rings in a secluded and lovely spot.  At first we were completely alone but now have been joined by two other boats.......but suitably spaced fore and aft of us.   The only other people are are occasional walker or jogger.
Total distance:4.04 miles 
Elapsed time:2h37m50s 
Average speed:1.54 mph (1.54 lock/mph)

Anderton Lift 

Total distance:4.46 miles 
Elapsed time:2h13m21s (includes lift)
Average speed:2.01 mph (2.91 lock/mph) (see how the speed has risen on the river)

No comments: