Sunday, July 30, 2017

East of Leigh, or Astley

After a restless night with Al's back and Tooty wanting to go out, we set off at 8.00am knowing we were going to push on today.
Al walked to the first lock which wasn't too far away and we soon got in the groove to get going.. We passed through Crooke and soon got to Wigan where we passed the pier.
We took the turn onto the Bridgewater (which Marky missed first time) and got through the two tricky locks of Poolstock.
We headed on towards Leigh and first stopped for water just past the lift bridge.
After getting through the town and past the old mills we had made good progress to Astley.
Astley got its name because it was East of Leigh......East Leigh got changed to Astley.
We got a mooring on the old coal mining boat loading moorings, which still has the rings used in the 60's and 70's.
We then got ready to go down the pub to meet up with Chris and Vanessa with the kids. We managed to get a table and grabbed something to eat..
We all had a lot of fun and got back home at 9.00pm, as Al needed to rest her back.

On to Appley Bridge

Now the rain has stopped play because we didn't move on Thursday and had a lazy day in the boat.
On Friday morning the plan was to set off at 8.30am, but with the sound of rain on the roof and Al with a bad back we made it a bit later. We pulled the pins at 10.00am and the sunshine had come out at last..
We have enjoyed Parbold and its village feel, it wasn't a bad place to be stuck for a few days..

We took a nice steady cruise to the deep lock at Appley and a tricky lock it is too. First it leaks very bad and also one paddle wasn't working which made it slow to fill. It has gate paddles but you can't open them too early or the boat would just fill with water..
We then got to Appley Bridge which looked nice but was busy, this meant we were leaving Lancashire and now back in Greater Manchester.
This took us through a swing bridge and we then hunted for a mooring..
We only had a couple of hours before it was going to rain again so here would be perfect. We moored each side of a winding hole in which was to be the last rays of the sunshine.
After some lunch in the cratch we waited for the rains to come.. At 1.00pm we got the first few spits then the downpours.. It was a good decision to stop when we did..

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Rain didn't stop play

We woke up to the rain pouring down on the roof, so it was a non moving day, which was quite nice.
It meant we could have a long lay in and dosed till 11.00am. Once up we did a few jobs, but felt quite lethargic, its a job to know what we did do really.We did have a bit of drama due to the cat, Tooty, falling into the canal again. We have had to moor a little bit away from the bank as it is a bit shallow where we are, and we think he miss timed his jump!

In the evening we met up with Marky and walked to a couple of new pubs nearby, and then finished up back in the Railway which had an open mic night.
It turned out to be another good night and the landlord Adam even gave us a wheelie bin full of wood for the locker!
Wheelie bin in hand we walked back to D6, we really must give our livers a rest tomorrow..

Play your cards right

It was another long day ahead today as we wanted to make some progress, so we left Melling at 8.00am.
We made our way up to Maghull and Chris, The Laminate, lives in Mughull and asked us to call him when we were passing through.
Vanessa, his wife, also joined us with the two boys and helped us through the swing bridges..

We said our goodbyes and pressed on through Downholland Cross and Haskayne where we went through the cutting to Halsall.
 This cutting was the first cutting on the Leeds Liverpool canal in 1775, this fella was keeping watch!
We both decided it was time to fill up with diesel so we stopped at Scarisbrick Marina.
This looked inviting when we passed it on the way to Liverpool and when we turned in we could see a lovely tearooms and small chandlery in the main office. This is a family run marina and everyone was involved. It was packed with customers and the food looked great.. 
We got our diesel and made our way to Burscough.

We liked it here but wanted to get on a bit further as the sun had come out, so went past the Rufford arm and stopped at Parbold.
We were lucky to get a mooring here.
There are a few shops here to explore and obviously a few pubs, the Windmill being the most attractive with good food available. We had a look around and the landlord of the Railway invited us in.....'rude not to'.
It was a lovely inviting pub with Navy memorabilia on the walls, and it turned out that Mark had done a tournament with this guy on the same day back in 1987..
So the drinks started flowing. We had arranged to meet Chris at the Windmill so walked up there later in the afternoon.
It turned out Chris couldn't make it, so we ordered our food and really enjoyed it. It was quiz night at the Railway, so we thought we would give it a go.. We ended up coming halfway, so not a bad effort.
After quizzing we played "Play your cards wrong" and we all had a chance to win over £200.00 but failed, but it was fun trying..
This went on till midnight, and it was a steady walk back home.

Liverpool Exit

We were up at 6.20am as today was the day we leave Liverpool. It was sad, but also we were ready for the peace and quiet of the countryside. We know it has been free moorings here and also free electric, but you also spend a lot of money here, even though a lot of the museums are free, and drink prices are better than the south. The thing is you just want to be out all the time to soak up the atmosphere and meet the lovely people of the city. There are so many places to eat and drink all in a confined area. Shopping is easy and also trains, ferries and even the beach is easy to get to as well.
We Loved It and Derwent6 will be back!
We left our mooring at 7.40am to be at the lock for 8.00am and we managed to get first in a line of six boats going out.

The wind had got up and it made it a bit tricky in places, but it still looked amazing as you exit through the tunnels and docks.

When you take the last turn at the six faced clock tower you know you're heading up the locks back onto the Leeds and Liverpool canal.

We just want to say that CaRT have been fantastic through this experience, and looked after us right the way back to the swing bridges at 6 and 9. They even helped us with a pump out on the way out..
The only down side is the journey to and from the City on the Leeds and Liverpool. It is full of rubbish and also weed which plays havoc with the prop, which slows you down, but we only do slow anyway, and its still very pretty.
We pushed our way out in the now glorious sunshine, that's another thing we have been very lucky with, the weather, someone was looking over us.
We stopped at Litherland and topped up the shopping at the massive Tesco's here before heading to the meeting point to check out at the swing bridges.
We then did swing bridge 10 and moored up in the fields nearby..

We had been going six hours and felt ready to relax in the cratch most of the afternoon.
It felt strange to be off of shoreline and you have to go into battery management mode again, but we will cope.
After a nice shower and our cupboards full of food we were ready for a peaceful nights sleep. Tooty was in his element, after 11 nights staying in, he was out on the tiles all night!

Last Day in Liverpool

We were up early for a big breakfast and went back to the Turkish restaurant called Shiraz. Having over eaten for a fiver, we then did a bit of shopping...
It was then back to Derwent6 and we just felt like doing some little jobs so Del did the brasses and Al did the boat work.
It got to 2.00pm and we waited for Steve and Chris on n.b AmyJo to come in and join us.
We last met them in Chester and knew they were booked in as we were coming out, it was great to see them..
This was our last night in Liverpool and we intended to make the most of it, so a small pub crawl was in order.
We had to find some pubs with a bit of music and its not hard here in Liverpool.

We had decided to have an early night because we were going to be up early the following day, but we knew things weren't going to plan after the fifth pub, especially when Steve and Chris joined us with Smudge the dog ..
We finished back in the Baltic Fleet, probably because it was so close to Derwent6 and Al loved the Gin in there..
It started to rain hard so it was a good move to be close to D6, a quick sprint along the dock saw us home and dry. It was our last night on shoreline and we made the most of it, before we had our early night.
The evening finished with a firework display which felt like it was a celebration of us leaving the dock tomorrow, a fitting end to a perfect 10 days..