Monday 1 July 2019


Today's Canal - Leeds and Liverpool

We only planned a shortish hop today so were in no hurry to set off. As Christine wanted to wash and dry hair, Mike was dispatched to a nearby convenience shop for today's newspaper. Google suggested about 9 minutes walking time.

Crossing over the nearby footbridge gave a chance to see our boat at its overnight mooring. From this angle, despite being moored away from the bank, it does not look an obstruction, tucked away behind a  lump of reeds.

The shop was readily found with Google GPS instructions. Although the area is reasonably neat and tidy - perhaps currently described as probably 'squeezed middle' - it was sad to see that the community centre next to the row of shops appears to be closed and certainly looks rather uncared for. The other shops in the row were all shuttered up. There was just a single copy of our paper - hooray as Mike was uncertain whether he would find one - but the joy was short lived as the shop keeper declared that they do not accept pre-paid paper tokens! We certainly were not going to pay twice.

After walking most of the way back, Mike discovered that he was about 9 minutes from another shop so, again with some uncertainty, he decided to take this extra diversion.

This time there were two copies (even if we only want one!) but this time the shop keeper did accept tokens but did not like the look of Mike's token so declined to accept it.

As luck would have it, on the opposite corner of the road junction was yet another convenience store (they are not so convenient if they will not sell what you want!) Yet again a single copy and, three cheers, our token was this time accepted, third time lucky!

Back at the boat coffee was ready and waiting so there was yet a further delay before we set off - not really a cause, just an excuse.

Eventually,  just after 11, we pulled out the mooring pins and set off. It was a very grey and rather chilly morning so most photos are not very attractive.

Passing one house we did see these two characters - perhaps they are refugees from Charity Dock!

Netherton Swing Bridge arrived - Christine again discovered that the padlocks on the new lock landings are less than easy to use - she even had to enlist the help of a passer by as a minimum of three hands seemed to be needed. Probably better to use the original landings on the towpath side which have no security locks,

As he dropped Christine off, Mike realised that he had picked up something around the prop which made it rather difficult to reposition the boat ready to pass through the bridge hole. Although he did manage in time, thanks to the delay with the gate padlock, he was clearly time to dive into the weed hatch. There was a bagful to remove, mainly plastic bags but did include part of an item of clothing and, what made the most problem earlier,  a stuffed toy rabbit! this distraction meant no photos!

A little later we passed alongside Aintree racecourse. It is obvious that the owners are very keen to make sure that no-one gets a free view of the horses as the canal boundary (which is in any case offside and very overgrown with brambles, had a solid wall, topped with several rows of razor wire. Only right at the end is there the briefest of glimpses - if you you look very closely you can just see one of the jumps.

Shortly after we reached the other swing bridge that this year has become boater operated. Even though this one is quite quick to operate, we still had longs queues both sides. It was then time to pull in for lunch.

After a relaxed break we set off with just an hour to go to Maghull where we plan to moor once again. Along the way we spotted a distinctive clump of lilies - these with much larger flowers than the general wild ones elsewhere along this stretch.

It is quite difficult to photograph the small yellow flowers on the main groups of lily as the passage of the boat, and the pull of the water, even ahead of the boat, drag the delicate flowers underneath the surface of thew water before we reach them!

After we had moored the weather improved, rather more like what had been forecast, with plenty of bright intervals.

Late afternoon, Christine took a pre-dinner stroll along the towpath looking for wildlife photo opportunities. Close up, these flowers could have come from something much more admired than the humble bindweed.

And here, some more about the common lily.

6.5 Miles - 0 Locks

No comments:

Post a Comment