Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Day 5: Gale force pace from Appley Bridge to New Lane swing bridge

Well when we set off this morning – to say it was windy was an understatement, had to keep the tiller 30 degrees starboard just to go in a straight line!
 
Three little ducks and a swan stopped by before we left to say “Tada” and wish us luck…
 
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First of all we backed down the disused arm and went through Appley Bridge lock, the final destination today being The Farmers Arms pub at New Lane Swing bridge. It meant passing through Parbold again. It’s a lovely run till you get to Burscough, there’s only a short stretch through the town itself, but the canal there is HORRIBLE…
 
This is the kind of “scenery” at Burscough we had to go past and avoid. See what a hazard the sunken front end of this blue “wreck” is,, on a bend too? Next to it is a burnt out hull…
 
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Exhibit 3…
 
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And there’s more. BW take note, amongst the wrecks we noticed several boats with out of date licences (one going back to early 2008).
 
Now if this particular stretch were checked up on as often as every boat in our marina is. LIKE IT SHOULD BE, there’d be enough money made in fines to clear the area of all eyesores. Nothing’s changed since we went past here last year, it’s a disgrace. Beyond there, the countryside opens out again in a blaze of glory, and what a relief.
 
On a lighter note (further along the canal), I noticed this scarecrow impersonating a snowman…
Clever eh? And he knows it…
 
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Later on we came across another “incident,” we pulled in just before Tickety Boo to stop at a water point. They weren’t far behind us when a widebeam about the same size as ours broke free and was headed straight for them! It was being blown around side on with the wind and gaining speed. Apparently it was only moored up temporarily and tied down using just the centre rope, the owner wasn’t far away.
 
But that’s not enough to securely hold a big boat even for a couple of minutes. It took some clever manoeuvring  from the Tickety Boo crew to get out of the way in time to prevent any damage…
 
I got this photo of the widebeam being pulled back in with Tickety Boo passing by safely on the right of the picture afterwards…
 
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After all this we had an uneventful (phew) and relaxing journey to the Farmers Arms…
 
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Even the wind eased off. We moored up in a lovely spot opposite the pub, which meant we had to walk all of 100 yards across the New Lane Swing bridge to get to the front door. It was easy on the way there, but not so on the way back. HIC, (titter).
 
We certainly went out on a high note and came back on an even higher one. This was our last night together on our little voyage,, we sure went out in style…!

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