Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Wonderful Week - Anderton Boat Lift and Weaver Navigation

Monday started out a bit grey and rather windy as we made our way to the Anderton Boat Lift.  This lovely contraption carries boats down to the Weaver from the Trent & Mersey Canal and back up again.  It works on the principle of counterbalancing, as one caisson goes down it pushes the other one up, with the final push upwards provided by an extra bit of oomph.  If you want to know more about the history and workings you can find it here on wiki paedia.

So lots of pics:
Looking down onto the Anderton Boat Lift entrance from the canal bridge

Entering the right aqueduct trough

waiting to enter the caisson

In the caisson

On the way down

Passing the left caisson

and down

exit from the lift

Looking back at the lift on our way upstream
We passed through Northwich and 2 locks to get to Vale Royal visitor moorings where we found the 2 boats we were looking for.  The owners were not aboard so we got ourselves settled and waited for them to get back from wherever they were.
Swingbridge in Northwich
Ladder built into the wall - look like some surprised faces :)
It was great to meet up with Dave & Ange and Blanche again.  We had not seen Blanche since the dreaded lurgy struck at Gnosall at Easter and Dave & Ange since they came for a quick cup of coffee and drop off our special gift from NZ, on their way to Kent when we were at the bottom of the Napton Flight in May.

Night sky after 11pm when we made it back to our boat.  The swan thought it was going to be fed !!

Moorings at Vale Royal
So now we have our special gift all sorted out and the flag

Thanks Dave and Ange :D

The following day we ventured as far upstream as we could go with in the boats negotiating the very low swing bridge

 and enjoying every minute of it all

Blanche on the roof, Ange and Dave and of course we can't forget Milly

and back under that bridge :)

Taking over the towpath Milly, Ange and Andrew
With the lovely sunny weather all the birds came out and in the late evening we were serenaded by some very charming owls.  Not able to actually see them and as yet not able to identify them from their calls either unfortunately.

Now that we had 'done' the upstream, the next day saw us returning downstream back to the lift and then on through the 2 downstream locks to moor up at Devil's Garden. I googled the name to find a reason for this odd name but could not find anything except a whole bunch of boaters blogs :D

Three abreast in the lock

Old Boat

More of the Interesting old boat
Here we were greeted by some young buzzards.  Again no pictures as they were flying in from the sun all the time.  I guess it was practice for when they have to hunt for themselves.  Once more there was the evening chorus of owls :D

The Weaver really is fantastic but I wonder if much of it's charm was because there were so few boats on there and we had no problems finding the moorings that we wanted. It was quite pristine and quiet, just bliss.  It was great to be able to enjoy all this with some wonderful company and lots of laughter.

After a good night's sleep, and on to the end of the line
nb Iona leading the way

the Manchester Ship Canal as viewed from Marsh's Lock

Andrew crossing the bottom lock gates

top lock gates Marsh's Lock
End of the line - swing bridge before Weston Lock
Lots of industrial chemical works along the lower Weaver
 I was just awestruck with the miles and miles of pipes, scaffolding and other stuff that goes into the building of these monstrous works.

Another mink, they are really fast !!

nb Suzie Joy and nb Iona following us to Dutton Locks

and after Salterford Locks
 We moored up for the last night at Barnton moorings with Blanche while Dave and Ange continued on to the boat lift. They needed to sort out some stuff as they were having a special visitor the next day.

Obviously they missed us and a while later there they were, delighted to see us again :D

 Another beautiful evening with dinner sitting on the towpath serenaded once more by an owl, what more could one ask for.  I know a bit more money to enjoy this much longer :D

This blissful 5 days on the Weaver came to an end on Friday, Andrew's Birthday but this was not the reason for moving on.  Dave and Ange picked up their special visitor and disappeared for the day.  We, meanwhile, ascended the boat lift back to the canal, attended to the topping up and emptying of the appropriate tanks and cruised on a couple of miles to the agreed mooring for the night so that we could all go and celebrate Andrew's birthday as it should be, at the pub.  Another great night with lots of chatter and laughter and no photo's even though I took my little camera !!  It seems that I would much rather photograph the wildlife than the ' wild life'  hehe ;)

As it is on the canals, everyone is off on their own travels, so on Saturday morning we bade farewell to Dave & Ange and Blanche as we have a longing now to be on the Llangollen canal.
So that is where we are headed, slowly of course as one cannot 'speed' on the canals, unless you are on a limited time span and want to see everything :D

And along the way as usual we see lots of birds and butterflies 
Silver Studded Blue (not a great photo as they do not stop for long)

Mother Scaup and chicks

Southern Crested Grebe and chick

Aylesbury Ducks


Comma butterfly caterpillar
So now on a fairly quiet canal, on a late Sunday morning, we are off on our next little hop.

Cheers to good friends and may we see you all again soon.  Keep well everyone :D 

1 comment:

  1. One of the lock keepers gave us a reason why it's call the Devil's Garden. People used to moor there and in the morning things would have disappeared from their boats, namely flowers etc. They were convinced that the devil was to blame. However, if you get up early enough, you might see cows coming down to see look at the boats - they can just about reach the roof of your boat!

    NB Mary H