Thursday, 24 July 2014

A change of pace

Thursday 24 July, 0 miles (on canals) 4 1/2 miles cross country.

 The morning started with a plan to wait at the bottom of the first lock for a boat to pair up with. Before we get going a CRT bloke comes past and we start talking. Have you been to Malham? No, why should we? Its the best place in Yorkshire, Bill Bryson chose to live there, Some of the Harry Potter films were filmed there and a few other points were made. It is only five miles away and the bus goes once a day. We decide to see what it is all about. At the bus stop we find bus only goes Mon, Wed & Friday. Call in for a coffee at a tea rooms and have further discussions about Malham so grab the only cab in town and take a ride out there. No cell phone coverage so arrange a pick up at 1700. The area is limestone country with stunning waterfalls. Not this summer though, no recent rain. We set off on a gentle climb to the base of Malham Cove. Then there is the 440 steps to the top which looks like a glacier in stone. Not that easy to walk on. From the top we go cross country to Cordale bridge where a refreshment truck was doing great business on this mid 20's day. Up the road a bit further and walk into a chasm to Cordale Scar. Reminded me a bit of walking into the Bungle bungle's. The return trip was down a stream, bush covered for the first half then out onto farmland . I do enjoy the public paths across farmers land in this country. Back to Malham with 20 minutes to spare before the taxi brings us back to Gargrave. Should sleep well tonight.

The walk into Malham Cove
The steps came up the far side of the escarpment
Th top looks like a glacier or similar to the Giants causeway in Ireland
The track in from above.
A typical dry stone wall scene
More dry stone walls

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Gargrave and the Britz are wilting

23 July, zero.

Today has been a catch up day, Diana did 4 loads of washing and I did a bit of painting. Temp in the mid to high 20's but we were lucky moored under a tree. It was 1400 before we got to take a wander through Gargrave, another of those pretty villages with a mix of old houses and new but built to look old.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

You have to ask the right question.

22 July, 4 3/4 miles , 3 locks, 5 swing bridges.

Up this morning and down to the boatyard to pick up two oil filters that were going to be available last Friday. Sorry, no they have not got the Fram PH3950, it has to come from the manufacturer. So we have a long discussion, there is a similar filter that we could have here in an hour or we could have two this afternoon. Do you want the small or large version. Who knows so lets get the small, the large might not fit. As it has all taken so long I ask that they do the oil change when the filter arrives. On schedule the filters arrive and the mechanic removes the oil, looks at the filter and says this is not the best filter we should use the one we have in stock since last week. If I had asked if they had a Fram Ph3950 or a substitute then The oil change would have been done over the weekend and we would have got away yesterday.
We left Skipton at 1600 on a hot calm day. It was nice to get some air moving through the boat. An ice cream van parked at a swing bridge helped. Passing through the area adjacent to the Yorkshire Dales is rather pleasant, it was cloudy and windy last time we were here.

Yorkshire Dales
From the back of the boat with a drink in hand

Monday, 21 July 2014

Time to turn around

19 July, zero.

A wet morning in Skipton following the thunder and lightning in the middle of the night. Market day, Went to get some oil filters that had been ordered. Someone forgot so they won't be here till Tuesday. Wandered around the market and shops. Fined up a bit later in the afternoon so went to the supermarket for food and source oil for the boats scheduled oil change. After tea went exploring the suburbs, we went at least  2 streets away from the main street.


20 July, zero.

Bit of a domestic morning on the boat. Meet Pete and Sue for a Sunday Roast. I have had better. We all took a walk up the Springs canal that goes under Skipton Castle. Finishing the day with a coffee and Cider on the towpath beside Sokai.
Castle from below

The long drop
21 July zero.

Pete & Sue leave today heading for York. They pull up alongside with 2 pork pies for me. Pete had been up early and gone to "J Stanforth" The  celebrated pork pie establishment. Well know in the area for the quality of their pies. They brest up and stop for a coffee while we sample a pie. Their reputation is justified. It was sad to see them go, we even had a thought about heading to York with them. I'm sure we will see them again. Skipton Castle was next on the list. A well preserved Castle and very well presented. After the castle I passed the Pork pie shop so topped up with another couple to keep me going. Next was a model shop where I was tempted to buy a canal boat for the train set but at 40 quid decided not to. Back on the boat to do a bit of maintenance then off to Bizzie Lizzie's for tea. When you find a good F & C shop you must use it while you can.

Pete & Sue head for York
The Gate to Skipton Castle
We have decided to change our plans and will turn the boat around tomorrow and head back to Wigan then down the Bridgewater onto the Trent and Mersey, up the Macclesfield and home to Furness Vale. In time the trip is about the same but the comparisons are 93 miles and 151 locks or 150 miles and 106 locks. We keep hearing how hard the locks are on the shorter route so think it would be better to get back onto a narrow canal. We have found the canals different this trip so it would be nice to travel over some we have done before to see if the difference is where we are or have things changed with the shift from "British Waterways" to "Canal and River Trust" control.

Saturday, 19 July 2014


17 July, 5 miles, 3 locks

We set off about midday and pulled into a boatyard at Barnoldswick to check out what they had in their chandlery. Another boat pulls in so we get talking and join up to go through the locks. At the end of the locks we had become quite chatty with the other crew and spent a long lunch with them under a tree on a hot day. Then we toddled off together until finding a nice spot with a view and moored for the night. After a joint BBQ on the towpath, Pete, ex Navy produced a bottle of Navy Rum. We were still there well after dark and it doesn't get dark till quite late.

Interesting bridge at East Marton

18 July, 8 1/2 miles, 12 locks, 5 swing bridges.

Away at 1000 with Pete & Sue on their boat SOKAI, did the 6 locks at bank newton and pulled up in Gargrave for lunch. Very windy and stayed in our boats. Off again down through well spaced locks then the series of swing bridges into Skipton. Today is friday and there are hire boats everywhere with some stressed people on board. I hope they settle into canal time and enjoy their boating experience.Sokai & Molly Rose find separate moorings and we meet up later for Bizzie Lizzie Fish and Chips. They have a good name for themselves and they lived up to that. Diana had a Jumbo Haddock and finished with a Raspberry Dream for pudding

More locks, Going down now.
A must do in Skipton

Guess who felt a bit full.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Top of the hill

16 July, 4 1/4 miles, 1 mile underground. 7 locks

Started the day coming up the Barrowford locks. Teamed up for the climb which always helps. There were some very leaky gates and low water in many ponds. Interesting there are notices everywhere telling us how to save water and tons could be saved with a bit of maintenance. At the top of the locks we head towards the Foulridge tunnel. There are a number of boats heading off as the tunnel is one way and controlled hy lights. You get a green for 10 minutes every hour. We were lucky to follow an old boat towing a butty. Once through we stopped at Foulridge for lunch and a walk around a small village. Now we are on, what they say is the prettiest section on the canal so we take it slow and pull up at Salterforth, the rain comes down and we sit it out. About 5pm rain eases and we go to the village, takes about 10 minutes to see it all so back to the boat. Fortunately there is a pub, Anchor Inn, above the boat so call in for a pint. The most friendly we have found so far. The pub has an interesting history. When the canal was built the basement flooded so what had been the bar is now the basement,the first floor is now the bar and an additional floor has been added above.

View from a dry place
Inside the tunnel

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Clear of the Bad Lands

Tuesday 15 July. 4 miles

After a peaceful night north of Burnley we had a slow start with me fiddling on the outside and Diana fiddling (cleaning) on the inside. We set off along a meandering canal through countryside and industrial sites. then at a convenient bridge I spied a B & Q, very much a Mitre 10 store. I needed a bit of ply so we stopped and I found what I needed. Also we now have flower pots on the boat!!!! Then less than a mile on we found a secure mooring alongside a Morrisons supermarket. We needed our handcuff key to gain access but this meant we could get our trolley to within 10 yards of the boat. It beats carrying bags of food along the towpath. The boat is now restocked with heavy nonperishables. We set off with 3 bridges to the bottom of the 7 lock Barrowford flight. Even with a great evening ahead we think it is a bit late to start up so spend the time on the back of the boat for drinks, nibbles and dinner.

My view with flower pots
The locks can wait till tomorrow
One of the best sights today was a recycling depot, exclusive to boaters, with a waste oil collection as well. If we want clean canals this is a good way to start. lets have them every 50 miles or so?

Monday, 14 July 2014

Joan & Dennis join us

Friday 4 July, 8 miles, 5 swing bridges

Saturday 5 July, 3 1/4 miles, 2 swing bridges

Sunday 6 July, 4 1/2 miles, 2 locks, 2 swing bridges

Monday 7 July, 5 miles, 25 locks

Tuesday 8 July, 4 1/4 miles

Wednesday 9 July, 0 miles

Thursday 10 July, 3 1/4 miles

Friday 11 July, 2 miles, 6 locks

Saturday 12 July 5 miles, 1 lock

Sunday 13 July, 6 1/2 miles, 6 locks

Monday 14 July, 15 miles, 3 swing bridges.

watch these spaces. may be I will add detail later

Check Google Maps to follow our progress

Saturday, 12 July 2014


21 June, 0 miles.
Our sea level apartment at the Hilton.

Did the 24 hr, hop on hop off bus tour to suss out the layout of the town. Went around for a second time and hoped off at the Catholic Cathedral, known as “Paddy's Wigwam”. A modern building. There was a service of presentation from a group, like Rotary, who do a lot of funding for the parish. Service finished with a great peel of the bells. Most impressive. Moved down the road towards the Anglican Cathedral stopping off at the Philharmonic Dinning Room, a pub. A well known haunt of the Beatles so had a coffee in there. The Anglican Cathedral is the biggest one in England. Built of stone to a Gothic design but only finished last century. A huge building which makes me wonder where else the money could have been spent. As we left they provided us with another peel of bells. We must be important.
Paddy's Wigwam

Anglican Cathederal

22 June, 0 miles.

Used the hop on hop off again and got off in an area of town the furthest from the boat. Checked out an old church near the water front. Turns out there has been a church here for at least a millennium . The present one was built in a stile of late 18th century. Rebuilt after the war. Walked into Mathews Street and wondered down into the Cavern where we sat and watched 2 acts and had an ale. You could feel the atmosphere of how up and coming performers and bands got their start. Wondered around the old buildings of the St George quarter. Most exciting was the library. An old stone building that when you went inside there was this most dramatic 21st century four story high atrium of glass.

The Cavern
23 June, 0 miles

Boat Maintenance day. Molly Rose has been vibrating badly and I am concerned that too much of this could cause all sorts of problems. Fixed up some window catches, got stuck into cleaning out some rust under the shower floor and spraying it with rust killer. Walked down to the nearest boat yard to talk about the vibrations. They are coming to look in the morning.

24 June, ½ mile.

The mechanic arrived by boat at 0900. had a good poke around and didn't think it was the gear box although he detected a bit of gear box oil in the bilges. He came to the conclusion that the next thing to check would be the shaft but the boat has to come out of the water for that. The lifter was available. After the pump out boat had been and done his job and we got a fill of diesel it was down through all the docks to the boatyard. Lifting out was interesting with me backing in between the straps, helped by an RIB as there was a bit of cross wind. Once we were positioned in the straps we got off and watched as Molly Rose took to the air. The engineer has one look at the rear end and says shaft is OK, propeller is the problem. Yes it had plenty of dings but it also looks like a bit of wood has been stuck between the prop and the rudder stern post. A bit of a discussion and few phone calls later we are advised to go and have lunch and come back by which time they hope to have some options available. Lunch, a good idea there is a Marina a block away with a restaurant. No money, every thing is on the boat which is hanging out over the water. The boss of the boatyard gives me 20 quid. I meant to pay him back, maybe one day.
After lunch we are given 3 options. 1/ Take the prop off and have it refurbished. Take about 3 weeks. 2/ there is a refurbished prop available but it would need the hole bored out and that could probably be done by a mate of the engineer in about three days. 3/ the prop manufactures have one off the shelf of the right diameter but with an extra inch of throw, think that is what it is called. The hole would need to be tapered to suit.
Coming up.
Molly Rose can fly.
Option 3 was taken. The prop came off and a number of photos and measurements were taken and sent to the manufacturer with a delivery date of next Tuesday. We leave Liverpool on Thursday. The old prop is put back on, we are lowered back into the water and wander back to our pontoon in Salt house dock. I relaxed in the Maritime museum till it closed and then we went up town for a feed before going to the Royal Court Theatre to watch “Lennon” the musical. An excellent production.

25 June, 0 miles

Back to the Royal Court to watch a lunch time variety show. Good fun but not a patch on Lennon.
From there it was a quick walk back to the docks for a guided tour of the old docks. The first wet dock in the UK. It increased productivity of goods across the docks so much that Liverpool became the most important dock in the country. The dock is now under the Hilton Hotel.
Under the Hilton

26 June, 0 miles

Today's adventure was to Port Sunlight. A village established by Lever Bros. who decided that employees should be properly housed and treated. It was a well laid out town/village with all amenities provide. I bet they didn't have staff retention problems. From Port sunlight we took the long way home via New Brighton at the mouth of the Mersey. Fascinating watching the shipping entering and leaving.
Sunlight Factory

A street in Port Sunlight
Port Sunlight Building
Fort Perch, New Brighton
"Art Work" on the Mersey River bank.
27 June, 0 miles.

3 tall ships entered the adjacent dock this morning. Makes the place look a bit like it would have a couple of centuries ago. Spent some time in the slave museum before back to the boat for a quiet afternoon. Need a day off every now and then.
The Tall ships
This yacht arrived with the Tall ships.It had sailed in from Ireland.
Owned by a Kiwi living in Liverpool. His plan is to prepare it to take his family back to Wellington
28 June, 0 miles

It was Armed services day on the docks with many military vehicles to check out. Stumbled across a field kitchen and had a second lunch. The police also had a large presence and ended up checking out some of their emergency vehicles. Craig I have some ideas to bring back. As the weather wasn't the greatest spent some time in the Museum of Liverpool. Probably the best of what we saw. After tea we walked up to the Anglican Cathedral to an Organ rectal with organist Ian Tray & special artist, Tine Thing Helseth on the trumpet. At times the organ was overpowering but it is a huge place to fill. The trumpet was superb. Tine has been to Australia, I will be watching for her coming to NZ.

An Idea for you Craig
29 June, 0 miles

“Ferry Cross the Mersey”. It's pretty hard to get the tune out of your head while on the ferry. A good trip and we found out more of the history of the area. Had a look over a Steam Tug that is being restored in Albert Dock.
Reflections of a Ferry passenger

Steam Tug. All working parts working.
Interior fit out still to be completed.

30 June, 0 miles

Maintenance day on the boat, a general tidy up and primed a few bare patches on the back. With head down I hear a voice, Hello there”. Heather from Napier has just arrived in Liverpool and come down to see us. That evening we all went out for dinner.

1 July, 0 miles.

Marmite for breakfast! Heather had brought me a jar from home.
Up early waiting for the call to take the boat down to get the new prop fitted. The call came to say the prop wasn't here yet but would be tomorrow so went to town to buy some hardware and took the opportunity to go up the radio tower. What a great view of Liverpool and the surrounding area. Should have gone up there a lot earlier in the visit.
Catholic Cathedral
Anglican Cathedral
Looking across the Mersey.
 That evening we went to the Empire Theatre and watched “The Lion King” from the cheap seats in the gods. Great show but missed some of the expressions being so far away. Still think Lennon was the pick of what we saw.

Ceiling light. Empire Theatre
On the way home we went to the “Amazon Locker”. Since arriving in Liverpool I have been trying to buy a battery for the laptop. The best advice I got was to get it from Amazon. Great idea so now to find somewhere to send it. Information centre, No, nearest Coffee shop, No, local PC retailer, No. Eventually the Harbour Master said he would accept it but I am a bit concerned as he spends a lot of time out of his office. I go to the Amazon site and order the battery and when it comes to delivery they offer delivery to an Amazon Locker. One is located in the car park across the dock. After completing the purchase they send an email with a code when the goods are delivered. You put the code in and a locker opens, goods inside. A great system for those on the move.

2 July ½ mile

Dennis and Joan join us today so we tidy up the engine room to make room. Up town to the supermarket to fill the fridge and cupboards as we have no idea where we will be tomorrow. Diana goes to meet the train and I wait for the call to get the prop fitted. They all get back to the boat just after I have a discussion with the boat yard about when we are leaving. Eventually they agree that I should have the boat down at the yard by 1600. A quick cuppa and away we go. This time all 4 of us get to experience Molly Rose being out of the water. New prop on, back in the water and back on the pontoon within 45 minutes. The new prop must be fast as I lost my cap on the way back.
Shiny new high speed prop

3 July, 16 ¼ miles, 6 locks, 7 swing bridges.

6 boats left the dock, 2 pairs of narrow boats then us by ourselves as the 6th boat was a wide beam and couldn't fit in with us. Once out of Liverpool we travelled on for a while and enjoyed and evening moored in the country side.

To sum up Liverpool, I would go back again and stay for the 14 days.

Friday, 20 June 2014

A Long Day,

20 June, 9 miles, 6 locks, 2 swing bridges.
Dawn at 0349, Dusk at 2236.

Here we are at Aintree, 6 boats under starters orders. 0900 and the swing bridge is opened. We are off, Molly Rose settles into 3rd place. At Litherland the 2nd boat pulls over for water and Molly Rose slows while getting rid of some weight (rubbish) then back out into the centre of the track holding 2nd position until the last lock where she leaps forward and enters Salthouse Dock First.

What a great introduction to Liverpool as you pass through the old docks with old buildings being renovated and new buildings of modern architectural design being built. I am looking forward to the next 2 weeks here in Liverpool.
Heading towards the Mersey

The impressive  "Liver Building"

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Swing Bridges

13 June. 440 yards

Today the intention was to go to Preston so we could take a train to Blackpool tomorrow. We moved to fill up with water and talked to a local boater that said a bus went from Garstang to Blackpool. Easy decision as it would be better to end the day at Garstang rather than Preston. So what do we think of Blackpool? Been there done that and don't need to go back. It was an over the top party town with flashy lights and not that attractive arcades etc. There were some lovely buildings amongst the tacky ones but generally felt that Blackpool had no pride in itself.

14 June 16 ½ miles

Spent the day cruising through the countryside to Preston. Once we settled in I rang Jim, who had made our acquaintance when last we were here and lent us a book on the Lancaster canal for our journey. We were invited around and had a delightful evening with Jim and Anne in their home. This is the bit we really enjoy. Meeting and getting to know the locals.

15 June 0 miles

Went into Preston to check out the Harris Museum, Unfortunately closed on Sunday but we did get to go into the beautiful building which was also the library which was open. I needed to get a document printed off so am now a member of the Lancaster Library. Walked to Preston dock for a look around and a coffee. Saw a steam train on a tourist run. Before back to the boat

16 June. 1 ½ miles.

Yesterday we spotted a big supermarket by the docks. Just 20 minutes away, so we stocked up this morning. Set off, filled with water and moored up in the basin ready to head down the Ribble in the morning. A fellow boater made himself known and came over for a cuppa to while away the evening. We have been told, in the local vernacular, this is called having a crack.

17 June. 14 miles, 10 locks (4 operated by CRT staff)

Going down the link as far as Savick Brook is like being on a canal, then they drop you into the river which is not flowing because it is held back by the sea lock which is closed. Just before the sea lock we wait for an hour or so, waiting for the tide to come in to give us sufficient water to go out onto the River Ribble. Green light, sea lock open and off we go 4 narrow and 1 wide beam. We are first on the river but not long before the wide beam is the only one behind then he drops back, we look back and all seems normal. He drops further behind and I check through the binoculars and all looks normal. Next I see him throwing the anchor out which brings back memories of sitting on the Severn river in 2010 with our anchor out being rescued by a wide beam of similar colour. A quick call to the lock keeper to see if we have time to go back, we have, so around we go keeping clear of the mud banks. We arrive at the wide beam and by then he is arranging a tow with a life boat. No way we could take him anywhere. He is now organised so back down the river and checking with the lock keeper that we have time to make it. Arrive at the Tarleton lock with plenty of time to spare. Now back on the main system and heading for Liverpool. Spend the night opposite Rufford hall where we had visited 3 weeks ago.

18 June, 7 ½ miles, 7 locks, 4 swing bridges.

Soon after leaving Rufford we pair up with a couple of English gentlemen, who had crossed with us yesterday, and travelled through the 7 locks to Burscough where they stopped for lunch and we turned right towards Liverpool. A pleasant, fine,hot day ended with us mooring up at Halsall. A short time later the two English gentlemen decide to join us. We enjoyed a pub meal together.
Swing bridges. Not Diana's favourite job and today didn't help. Arrive at an electronic bridge, puts in key but can't read the instructions because of the bright sunlight. Stops the traffic, nothing happens, then a voice from the pub alongside gives instructions and eventually we are through and traffic flowing again. 300 yards further on another bridge, different design. Electrically swung but manually stop the traffic. Luckily there is CRT staff near by who come and assist. I'm through and the bridge closed, then, confrontation on the bridge. 1 Large tractor with big trailer in middle of bridge facing one very small car with stubborn driver. I watch from a distance as eventually the tractor backs off the bridge and “normality” returns.

19 June, 9 miles, 7 swing bridges.

Last night I was feeding a Coot. He would take two bits a bread and set off about 100 yds to his nest and then return for some more several times. This morning when I get up he is waiting at the door with mum and the kids. We feed them and then another family of Coots and a family of ducks arrive. All hell breaks loose as the Coot from last night makes it very plain that we are feeding his family and the rest are not welcome.
Set off towards Liverpool through open country which is mostly in market gardens and the outskirts of suburban Liverpool. Swing bridges again the feature of Diana's day. No angry drivers but all were different. At one they were making repairs so we stopped for ½ an hour and then the workers opened it for us. On two occasions we opened it for other boats. The last one was being kept open as we passed 9 boats that had come out of Liverpool together. Now we are moored up at the last of the swing bridges, beside Aintree Race course. This one is locked as it can be a busy road and the CRT staff open it tomorrow to let us through to complete the trip.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Tropical Weather

Monday 9 June 2014. 7 ½ miles. 1 swing bridge, open for a boat coming the other way.

Up early to be ready at the marina by 0900 for the boats oil change. Was reasonably sure I knew what to do but wanted to confirm it by watching the expert the first time. With that all done we have decided it's Diana's turn to go to the doctor. Tried to make an appointment with the doctor I had seen in Lancaster but as she wasn't registered couldn't book in. I had a couple of tasks in town so called in on a doctor on the way in and they could see her in half an hour. Back to the boat to get her. Thunder storm passing at the time so I am soaking. Rain had eased a bit for Diana to go to the appointment. I finished what I had to do in town. We picked up her antibiotics and back to the boat for lunch by 1300. 1400 and the day is sunny, all the clouds have gone so off we go south. Following the road to Morecambe for a while. After we turn inland there is a huge crane visible. It is about to put the deck on a new bridge across the canal to a new subdivision. It will be 3 hours before they do the lift so can't wait. Passed over the Lune Aqueduct, moored on the other side and walked down to view it from underneath. An impressive structure and such a different form of construction to the new bridge we saw earlier. Stopped in Lancaster to pump the crap out, still not sure the right way to do it but it is done for now. Moving off the pump out mooring we could see a 65ft gap in front of the Water Witch Pub. With about 30 patrons watching Molly Rose just slid in and stopped alongside. Now I had to mention that as most times with that many Gongoozlers it all goes wrong. The intention is to have a meal and then motor on a bit further out into the country. We are eating outside when another thunder storm decides to make a visit. Rush inside and finish our very nice meal in the dry. We now have two choices, move off into the country and probably get wet or stay moored up outside the pub and hope it is not too noisy. There was a bit of chatter for a while and then a quiet night.

Tuesday 10 June 2014, 5 miles.

Another slow start but that's OK. The Water Witch coffee is the best we have found in the UK so better have one before we leave just before mid-day. It's just one of those nice sunny days putting through the country side watching the world go slowly by. Stopped at Galgate to see their Cafe and Craft shop, neither of which were spectacular. Wondered into the village up to what had been the last Silk mill in England. Nice village nice buildings. Left Galgate with the intention of walking the Glasson branch. No point in locking down 6 locks and then back up for about a 6 mile walk. 5 minutes from Galgate we are looking for a mooring, should have stayed where we were! Eventually we moor up about 5 minutes passed the junction. We will walk down in the morning. Thunder storms looming. Lightning about 4 seconds away. Heavy rain. Hail. All gone an hour later and the sun peaking through again. Just like the tropics with a thunderstorm every day, need an increase in temperature of 10+ degrees to make it convincing.

Wednesday 11 June 2014. 13 miles, 6 locks. (6 miles and 6 locks on foot)

A Lovely day for a walk. We went down to the sea side at Glasson Dock. Not much to see but enjoyed the walk and the Fish & Chips for lunch. Back on the boat and arrive at Garstang about 1900. moored up with the sun still shining. Maybe summer is here?

Thursday 12 June 2014. Nil

Market day in Garstang so off we go. Just before we go there is a knock on the door."I should introduce myself, I'm Tony from Furness Vale and wanted to meet who bought Barry's boat". Tony lives in a house at the marina and has his own boat. Retired in April and been on the canals since. Morning in town, lunch on the boat, a bit of cleaning and now it's late so off to the pub for tea.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Turned arround

Friday 30 May, 5 1/2 miles

Had a wonder into Garstang, checked out the Wyre Aqueduct. Nice village. Bought some bits for the boat before walking, the completely wrong direction, back to the canal. Needed the GPS on the phone to sort me out.

Saturday 31 May, 7 1/2 miles

Headed to Lancaster and tied up close to the centre of town. After lunch I needed a Nan Nap while Diana and Murray checked out town

Sunday 1 June, 0 miles

Murray leaves us today. A quick stroll to the railway station arriving with about 10 minutes to spare. Plus an hour, I got the time wrong. Another cup of coffee. After Murry catches the train we head off to Lancaster Castle arriving in time for a guide tour. The castle is know for hanging the most criminals. It is still used as a court and until recently was a jail. Great value and very good guide. After lunch it was the Cottage museum and the Judges Lodgings. Two quite different buildings. The first a tiny 4 level house and the second the opulence of where the circuit judges stayed in Lancaster. Walked around a bit more of the town before an early night

Monday 2 June, 0 miles

I'm not feeling that well with a persistent cough keeping me awake at night. Went to town in the afternoon to make a doctors appointment and sort out a better phone plan. Saw Doctor at 1700 and there is nothing he can do, recommends rest so the immune system can do its magic.

Tuesday 3 June, 0 miles

36 hours in bed and starting to feel a bit better.

Wednesday 4 June, 4 1/2 miles

Thursday 5 June, 3 miles

details of the past week to be filled in when better internet and on mains power. Laptop battery dying slowly.

Friday 6 June, 6 miles
We spent the morning in Cranford, a town of interesting architecture. We almost didn't go in as the Nicholson guide said "Not particularly attractive but good for supplies". We didn't see it the way they did and will probably be back tomorrow. The afternoon took us to Tewitfield, the end of the navigable canal and the most northern point of the English canals. We moored 100ft short of the end and then walked north for a while to see what a canal looks like after a motorway cuts across it. I was surprised at how good the condition of the now unused locks were. Full support to the trust that is working on restoring the canal to Kendal. It would be a great asset to the network taking you to the gateway of the Lake District. The downside is that the Lancaster canal would no longer be lock free. As Molly Rose was moored  about 200ft from the M6 we could not see ourselves sleeping with that noise.
As Far as you can go

Looks like one day you could go further.

We turned around and found a quiet spot next to a delightful village at Borwick. A great day, warm and the first without rain in a week.
Molly Rose heading south

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Lazing on the Lancaster

Monday 26 May, 14 miles, 9 Locks (a 3 lock staircase), 1 swing bridge.

So this was the day of the Ribble Link. Arrived at Tarleton lock and hung around trying to keep the boat in one place while we waited for the two in the lock to go down. It is a manned lock and they won't let you on to the river Douglas until the tide is in to a specific height. First pair of boats were on there way at 0900. We and another boat went down and onto the river at 0915. We were following the other boat into a reasonable current with no idea what speed we were doing. After weaving our way down the Douglas for about 4 miles we turned around the buoy and headed up the Ribble. Tide had now turned and we were pushing against the current again. After 3 miles we approached the entrance to Savick Brook, Diana rang the lock keeper to tell them we were about to enter, their reply was, "get a move on we are running out of water". In we turn and the outgoing tide swings us west of the entrance, back into the current and a fair bit of power on now we struggle a bit until finally we are in Savick Brook. I had forgotten what a brook was. Narrow, winding, shallow, and with the outgoing tide, fast running water, we bounced our way off mud banks and artificial walls through the sea lock until we reached the first of the "normal locks. Now time to relax. We are taken through lock 7 & 8 by the CRT staff. The next 3 locks we work ourselves with the couple we came across with. To complete the journey the CRT staff take us through the last 3 staircase of locks. They are deep and this is the first time Diana would have been in a deep lock. The other interesting part of this exercise is that you go in backwards as the turning basin at the bottom is too small for a 60fter.
Down the Douglas
Up the Ribble
Sculpture at top of the staircase
Now we are on the Lancaster canal and head into Preston as Murray, Diana's brother is joining us tomorrow.

Tuesday 27 May. zero everything.

We had been chatting to, Dave, a local from across the canal  where we moored. He was going to a shop next to the Railway station so took us in. It was a great walk into town as Dave gave us information about various buildings and the history of Preston. Murray arrived from Glasgow and we wondered around the town for a while before back to the boat for lunch. We went back to town about 1500 so Diana could get some of the problems with her Mac sorted out. A very helpful assistant from Western Mac gave us a great service. Wondered around a bit more of the town and decided a pub meal was in order. Nothing special.

Wednesday 28th May. 12 3/4 miles.

A wet day but we have to go as I'm not sure how full our sewer tank is and I will be happier if it is empty.
The Marina at Preston had a pump out but are now closed. First stop 1/4 mile. Just a water stop, no pump out here. The Boat yard at Swillbrook don't do pump outs. Nobody home at Moon Bridge Marina.
No pump out  at Bilsborrow but have been told there is one 1/2 mile further on. Nice location easy to get at mooring. This is a private facility so we need a token  which can be bought from a shop just down the towpath and over the bridge. A local tells us it closes at 1700, time now 1658. We turn around and go back to Bilsborrow as the pub, "Ow'd Nell" there has been recommended as a must visit. Another Pub Meal. Nothing special here.

Thursday 29 May, 4 1/2 miles.

Diana and Murray head off to Ow'd Nell's as it is a bit of an arts & crafts center. It was closed. Before lunch we head north again and stop before the pump out. We head off down the towpath and across the bridge to get our token. The token can be purchased from a farm shop. This Farm shop is part of a complex that was named destination Garden Centre of the year 2012 & 13. We spent time looking through garden, farm, cooking, gift shops then lunch in their cafe before back to the boat and pumped her out. Much relief. Carried on a few miles through rural environs to end up at Garstang.

Garden centre
A bit specific on speed limit