TW3 (That Was The Weaver That Was)

View of the River Weaver, taken just outside the entrance to the Saltersford Tunnel

The beautiful River Weaver, that we love so much, is now behind us. But I’m a little premature.

Seren Glas proceeding majestically along the Bridgewater Canal

From Little Bollington, we cruised a short hop into Lymm, a pretty Cheshire Village we’ve stayed in once before. We only intended a quick overnight stop and to take advantage of one of the fish and chip shops, but got a bit more than we bargained for. Poppy the cat went walkabout. She sauntered back to Seren Glas at about 3pm, but by that time we’d given up and spent a most congenial afternoon in the Brewers Arms. Thanks Poppy!

Cheers from The Brewery Tap, Lymm

The next day, the cat glued to the wall, we set off for our third canal, the Trent and Mersey, and Penny and Andrew’s first big challenge, the Preston Brook Tunnel. It’s 1239 yards long, and like most tunnels, has a bit of twist inside. We got through with no problems, and I helmed up through Saltersford and Barnton Tunnels the next day.

Thankfully, there aren’t too many sights like this

The Trent and Mersey isn’t my favourite canal. I find it narrow, overgrown and generally a bit grim. This year it’s growing on me, it seems brighter and more pleasant. I even saw my first kingfisher of the year near Dutton, where the canal breached disastrously in 2012. We’re going to be on it for a good while, so I might end up feeling the same as ever about the Trent and Mercy (as Bailey called it last year) and we’ve got some grim industrial and urban bits to cruise through yet.

The Daniel Adamson moored by Sutton Swing Bridge

At Anderton, we descended the boat lift to the River Weaver for the third year in a row. The boat lift is only operating on one caisson. The ceramic coating on the hydraulic ram is wearing off the other one. It looks like the boat lift is going to be taken out of commission for at least a season for a significant overhaul, but according to one of the fine gentlemen who operate it, not this year or next year, so we should get at least one more go.

Moored up under the Anderton Boat Lift as the sun goes down

I’m not sure what I can say about the River I haven’t said before. It’s a joy. It’s not terribly long, you could probably navigate the entire length in a day and has only four locks, all electric and with lock keepers. The only major town is Northwich, and it’s almost in the middle, with convenient moorings right by the shops. This year was all about giving Penny and Andrew a taster, so we only went in one direction. We moored twice at Barnton Cut, which is super mooring and lets me haul the sheets and the towels a mile uphill to a friendly launderette, and found a new to us spot at Devil’s Garden. You just have to watch out there for visiting cows! The best bit was we hooked up with Paul and Anthony on Morning Star and had a barbecue and a lovely evening with them and Heidi, on the Pirate Boat (who offered us rum and ice cream!). Heidi runs a badge making business, amongst other things, from her boat, The Rum Wench, and it turns out I ordered from her a few weeks ago before I knew who she was. It is, as they say, a small world.

Seren Glas and Morning Star at Dutton Mile

The only incident was descending Dutton Lock. We were the middle boat of three, and it was a bit of squash. The lock keeper started letting the water out and we tilted to the left. We had hung up onto the remains of another lock gate to our starboard side. The couple in the boat behind said they could see our bow coming up, and for a few seconds, which of course seemed like an eternity, it was very scary. We were shouting at the lock keeper but he didn’t hear us. And then, as fast as it happened, the boat came free, lurched violently from side to side a bit and rearranged the interior, but then all was well. No harm, no foul as they say, but I can only imagine the enquiry if the unthinkable had happened and we had sunk in a manned lock. I was glad to see the back of Dutton Lock on the return trip.

Cruising along the river, deep water under our prop

And now we’re back up on the canal heading south. 89 miles behind us so far this year.

Saltersford Lock. The middle cottage is for sale, with a mooring. I’m tempted!

8 Replies to “TW3 (That Was The Weaver That Was)”

  1. Always a joy reading about your travels. So pleased the Dutton Lock incident didn’t turn into a disaster. Doesn’t seem that long ago since they were restoring the Anderton Boat Lift from the derelict state it had sunk into. Happy cruising xx

    1. Thank you. I guess the boat lift is so old the best they can do is keep it more or less in service, and I hope for many years, or the only way to the river would be via the Manchester Ship Canal.

  2. Yikes, why wouldn’t the half-sunken craft be removed? Loving the tales of your travels, wishing you deep water and uncrowded locks and keepers with hearing as sharp as my husband’s!! Xxxooo

    1. Thank you! They do raise sunken boats eventually. And if it ever happens again I hope I’m quick thinking enough to blow the horn. That would wake them up!

  3. Oh that scene with your boat tilted!!! So scary. Could have become stuck and the need to be pulled out??

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