Monday, 11 June 2018

Sailing through Sale and Wandering through Worsley

The last time we were in Worsley was before I started this blog in 2007, so we've really been straining our brains to remember the details of this part of the cut. Before getting into that, though, the story of the man looking for a meal last evening. We were sitting on the mooring at Dunham, Sheila reading and myself talking to Elanor on the phone, when this total stranger dropped into the well deck, peered in through the open bow doors and asked if we were some names I didn't catch.

It emerged that he thought he was due to come to us for dinner. When we persuaded him otherwise, he apologised, sort of, got off the boat and wandered away down the towpath. There were a couple of other boats tied behind, so hopefully one of them was expecting him.

With a lot of boating to do, we made another of our early starts, taking it in turns to breakfast. I'm saving my thoughts about the Bridgewater in general until we are safely off it, but I don't think anyone could be too enthused about the part through Sale and Stretford to Waters Meeting. It's very straight and dull and with a lot of moorings at the various cruising clubs, finally ending with the Watch House between Stretford and the junction.

In the open bits, you can make very good time, but it is necessary to slow down for the moorings which seem to crawl by.

No traffic on the Ship Canal, so no delay at the Barton Swing Aqueduct. On we plodded through Patricroft to Worsley where we tied on the rings next to where there used to be a sanitary station. It all felt very noisy and urban, so we only stopped to drink a coffee and for me to buy some hot pasties from the newsagents – we were almost out of bread.

Then we headed out again into the countryside, coming on into the sort of parkland between the motorway bridge and the marina at Boothshall. It's generally very peaceful here, though bikes come zooming past from time to time. A couple of men did come by this afternoon cutting the lavish growth of grass. I'm pleased to say that they avoided the bit alongside the boat, so when we leave tomorrow there will be this odd length of unmown grass.

We'll go on towards Plank Lane tomorrow, stopping to shop in Leigh where there's an Aldi right by the moorings. We've got a couple of days in hand, but will probably use them up once we are through Wigan at somewhere like Parbold.

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