Title photo: How many high viz jackets does it take to mend a bridge?
Only 3 weeks left now. One week more on the Lancaster, and then a hustle back to Stafford to the agreed handover point.
Having met up with our friends near the southern end of the canal, we are now headed north again to have another try at the Glasson Arm and another meet up this time with family. According to the notification from CRT the top lock should now be functioning.
Picture: Trees filling out and new crops in the ground - covered with a starch based degradable cover. (Thanks Pip)
Happy to report the lock was operating well and had been cleared of the huge pile of accumulated floating weed debris, but were very, very heavy going though. The paddles are wooden boards that are cranked sideways to open the aperture, however when the lock is full of water the board is pressed against the hole and is extremely stubborn to shift. The gates likewise are very heavy. Thankfully there were only 6 locks to get to near sea level. It’s bizarre to arrive in Glasson basin, to find large yachts, old lifeboats, fishing boats and other seagoing craft there. The basin itself is large, and the difference in handling in deep water is amazing. In the shallow canals you are sucking the bottom and going slowly, in deep water at the same revs you are chugging along.
Picture: A soggy Inca Trail hat, whisked of my head by a tree and sailing away in the canal, amazingly I was able to rescue it!
We had called ahead to find out the hours that fuel would be available - not many. 1000 - 1330 for the next two days and nothing for a while after that. We went straight to the fuel dock (once we had found out where it was) but it was cluttered up with other craft temporarily parked there and very difficult to access.
We got alongside without squashing any other boats and took on board enough fuel to more than comfortably get us back across the Ribble. One job done. We tied up in the dock and awaited our visitors.
I took a walk around Glasson, it’s very tiny. Some beautiful old buildings, a cafe and a smokehouse. The basin is connected to the Lune estuary via two more locks. The port still handles coastal ships bringing /taking grain. The smokehouse was a cornucopia of edible goodies. We just had superb kippers for supper.
S&C had booked their motorhome into a farm site a mile or two away and cycled to find us. We planned to spend the weekend down the arm and go back up the locks utilized our bonus labour force on the Monday of the bank holiday weekend.
At my request we took the MH and went to visit what should have been the end of the canal in Kendal. It’s a rambling old town but very difficult to find parking for a slightly oversized vehicle. We had a wander around and admired the old buildings and quaint streets and decided that if the canal hadn’t been terminated 14 miles prematurely and you could arrive by boat, parking would have been much easier. It’s been no problem to tie up in the middle of Lancaster!
Picture: A fisherman with just a few bits of equipment.
Having made our way back up the main canal we turned left and headed north again for one more trip to Lancaster in the vain hope of visiting a renowned bakery. With a little Google searching we found a couple of laundries walking distance from the canal - and best of all they offered a service wash - bring it in dirty, returned clean, dried and folded. Wonderful.
It was worth every penny, in fact it was less expensive than the full day of hanging around the machines in the marina where they seemed to consume coins without any results. I gave the lady a decent tip - she seemed very surprised.
Picture: The vehicles that use these tiny bridges - I know a coach is light but a milk tanker went over just before this.
The bakery regrettably wouldn’t open until Weds at 1100, and we had to be on our way before that in order to catch our Link spot on Sunday, but the yarn shop that was closed when I was last in town was now open and what a treasure. The only problem is that I feel morally obliged to buy yarn. It was odd skeins of yarns purchased in this manner that gave rise to my Around the World DK Blanket at the start of the lockdown.
Picture: Coronation decorations are starting to appear! I hope they didn’t all blown away in the gale yesterday.
The wash wouldn’t be done until 1530 so I trotted around the city and found the remains of the Roman baths, nothing to rival Bath though. We had to turn around in Lancaster and we attempted to turn just opposite the sanitary station - it looked as if it might just be possible. All was quiet on the canal so we gave it a try, we were about 2” short of space and you cannot turn a 57’ 6” boat in a 57” 4” width. We shuffled back and turned in a dock nearby.
Picture: The Wyre aqueduct built in 1794 by John Rennie. He did a good job.
We are pacing our southbound route to arrive at the dock ready for the Link on Sunday. The coronation is on Saturday and we are trying to plan our grocery shopping to take into account all of the bank holidays.
None of the swans seemed to have hatched chicks yet but they are still diligently sitting, one swan was stood up rearranging her plumage and I was able to see 8 blueish green eggs of a significant size. I’ve seen a few more moorhen chicks, Egyptian goslings and a few rabbits and hares. The trees are not all in leaf but it gets greener every day.