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|
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.
|A bit specific on speed limit|