Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Escape from the Bridgewater

For once, we didn't want to get going early, with a fairly short run to Leigh for shopping in prospect. So we had a very leisurely start and finally set off after half eight. Sheila was steering and took it fairly easy, slowing right down for moored boats and barely getting above 3.5 mph the rest of the time.

At that rate, we took a couple of hours for the six miles or so from Worsley to Leigh. The two moorings on the offside through the bridge were taken and I thought we were going to have trouble finding one on the towpath side. There was a boat setting off who then dived into the 70' space I'd spotted. However, it turned out he'd forgotten to take his TV aerial down and was soon on his way again. I'd almost reached him before we realised this and had to finesse my approach to the slot, but managed OK in the end.

After a quick coffee, we got out the wheelie basket and both day sacks for the raid on Aldi. Back at the boat, Sheila set off whilst I stowed away the goodies. We've stopped for the night on the towpath by Pennington Flash, just a bit short of Plank Lane swing bridge. There are a few other boats here, it being a very pleasant mooring a couple of hours short of Wigan.

There are a number of paths around the flash together with a bird hide for viewing the wildlife. Plenty of locals seem to take advantage of the opportunity for exercise in pleasant if very post-industrial surroundings, as we did this afternoon.

I've a couple of humorous incidents to report. As we approached Astley Green, site of a colliery museum, we became aware of a man on the towpath filming our approach to the bridge, just beyond which the hire boat Marilyn was tied on the offside, surrounded by the rest of a film crew. Peering inside, Sheila reckoned she spotted two familiar actors...

So Sanity Again might have a few seconds of fame in a subsequent series of canal programmes. Or then again, Sheila might have imagined the whole thing.

The other is more mundane but funnier. As we sat eating our lunch with the towpath on a level with the dinette side hatch, I was startled to see a black and white spotted muzzle appear in the window. The Dalmatian stood there for a while, clearly thinking "that man's got a beef and rocket sandwich, yum."

Occasionally he glanced over his shoulder at someone out of sight with an expression which said "Mum, that man's got a beef and rocket sandwich". In due course, we heard his owner telling him to get away from the boat, then, as she got closer, she realised what was going on and burst out into profuse apologies. We just laughed.

The bow doors were standing open and we half expected to have to repel a drooling boarder. A dog of Sally's brain probably would have tried it, but it would be a bit of a stretch for a Dalmatian to figure that one out.

Tomorrow, we plan to work up Poolstock locks and down through Wigan to Crooke, where we'll sit out the storm forecast for Thursday. Plank Lane can't be worked between 8.00 and 9.30 a.m. because of traffic congestion, so it's going to be an early start.


Dave McKenna said...

Hi Bruce & Sheila
Still following the blog after all these years.

Last time you were on the Bridgewater I came to meet you at Stockton Heath back in 2013.

When are you actually doing the Liverpool Link.
Once your in the docks I’ll pop along and say hi.

I only live over road from the “Royal Albert Dock.”

Yes Sheila is right Tim West & Pru Scales have been spotted today filming on the Bridgewater. There were spotted at Worsley I’ve seen a few posts regarding it on Facebook.

Hopefully I’ll catch up soon

Dave Mckenna said...

Hi again Bruce. Just thought I’d inform you......although am not sure if it’s true or if it is how bad....

I’ve just spotted on a canal Facebook group there has been a breach at Melling this evening.
I’m Sure if it’s true we will find out more tomorrow

As soon as I saw the post I thought of you both