Friday, 8 June 2018

Once more unto the Breach

Sorry, couldn't resist it. Never say you don't get "kulcher" on here – Gilbert and Sullivan yesterday and Old Bill S today ;)

As was only to be expected, we had a brilliant evening with Peter and Susan last night. They picked us up from the Lift car park and we drove to the quaintly named Spinner and Bergamot pub for an extended meal. There was much talk and laughter as well as catching up with news from Braidbar.

It made for a late night, but well worth it. This morning we got going before eight and headed off through the beautiful cutting that leads to the two short tunnels. Both are convoluted inside. Barnton is moderately straightforward but Saltersford is on timed entry, from the hour to twenty past going north. We got there at 25 past eight so tied on the waiting area and did various jobs until nine.

Sheila wiggled Sanity Again round the bends inside, then it was hey ho for the winding run through Acton Brook to the moorings at the site of the Dutton Breach. On the way, whom should we see going the other way but Brian and Diana on Harnser. We haven't seen them for several years but only had time for a quick exchange of greetings.

It did mean that, since we know the Breach moorings are one of Brian's favourites, he'd probably left a space. As it happened, when we got here there was only one other boat, so plenty of choice for us.

The site overlooks the River Weaver, of course, but you can't actually see much of it for the trees. A bit after lunch we heard much hooting and saw plumes of steam coming up through the greenery. Acting on advice from our fellow boaters, we took a walk back to the bridge before the moorings and up onto the footpath that crosses the canal. From there, you can see the river quite plainly and that there is a bridleway leading down to the riverside path.

Walking down to this and then downstream, we came to Dutton Lock. We could see a couple of narrowboats heading for the lock so decided to wait and see them through. They proved to be Banbury Blue and Just Joshing, both boats we've been leapfrogging with for weeks on the Staffs and Worcs.

We had plenty of time for a natter with both as the lock emptied. The lockie is a mine of helpful information too. She told us that the steamer was the Daniel Adamson. We plan to spend a bit of time on the river on our way back from Liverpool as we don't need to be in Poynton until mid-August.

Tomorrow, through Preston Brook tunnel and onto the Bridgewater, probably stopping at Stockton Heath.

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