Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Mission abandoned

Knowing that we wanted to be up and about early today meant a poor night's sleep for both of us. It's ironic that we weren't planning to be any earlier than we have been recently anyway, but that's how it goes. Maybe we were foretelling today's bad news and change of plan.

I got up at ten to six to make tea and, as usual, turned on the hotspot on the phone, took the iPad online and checked email as well as downloading the paper. I then took a look at Canal World and there was the thread "Breach at Magull". In fact, it's a collapsed culvert at Melling, just by bridge 10. It happened yesterday evening and that huge pound from east of Burscough to the top of the Canning locks started draining through it.

There was nothing to do but wait for more info at that stage, but it didn't sound good and we started planning what to do if we couldn't proceed. So far, they've managed to isolate the breach site but there's no more info as yet. However, the uncertainty was enough to make our minds up – we're turning back.

The last time a culvert collapsed on this canal, at Rufford, it was three months before the canal reopened. We could hang around for a couple of days waiting to see, but that would be as unpleasant and stressful as anything. A couple of other boats tied near us came to the same conclusion.

We walked up to Plank Lane bridge and noted that the water point is just on the Leigh side of it, right by the lay-by type marina they've built alongside a big residential development. Crossing the road, we had a natter about things with a nice couple learning to live aboard on a Liverpool boat they'd inherited from his brother. On hearing that our main problem now was going to be the humongous amount of rubbish and recycling we've gathered, there being no facilities for disposal of same on the Bridgewater, they told us that there's a council tip just down the road from the bridge.

Only thing is, you're not allowed to walk in there, only drive. But that's ok, they said, we've got our car here, just let us know when you want to go. So, after a coffee, we boated up to the bridge, chased off a couple of anglers from the water point, rigged the hose and I got a lift to the tip from Eddie. What a nice man.

I winded Sanity Again in the marina space and took her back to a spot a bit short of where we'd been. We're planning to stay here tomorrow in view of the yellow warning for wind in this area, then head back to Mercia for a break. This at least means I can get stuff like blood tests and repeat prescriptions sorted without hassling a strange general practice.

We've had another nice walk round the flash, checking out the bird life from various locations and watching a dinghy stooging about – it's a superb sailing lake. We also scoffed an ice cream apiece, yum.

We've decided in future to split our cruising in the summer in this way, so that we get a chance to enjoy Mercia in fine weather (hopefully), so we're not likely to make it back here. Ah well, I'm sure we can manage without seeing Liverpool from the water. The descriptions of hassle at the swing bridges was starting to put us off anyway.


Jo said...

Sad for you and your postponed adventure. But the easy segue into a new plan marks you out as true boaters! And we'll welcome you back here of course. And you're the only person outside my family whom I've know use "stooging"! My uncle was RAF so I think that's why it became a 'family' term.

Melanie Coote said...

So sorry to hear your not going to make it to Liverpool. Let us know when you are back this way.