Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Life's a breach

Thursday 12th September

Leigh marks the transition from the Leeds & Liverpool to the Bridgewater canal. Other than that it has little to recommend it but we did stop here to have our diesel and tank 'polished'.We wanted to do this after issues with dirty fuel on the Thames last year and with a view to our upcoming trip on the Trent. Victoria went shopping at the nearby Aldi while Pas Meche was taken care of by Steve from Fuel Scientific.

After that we carried on to a lovely mooring near the delph at Worsely, where the water turns bright orange from iron ore deposits.

Friday 13th September

Unlucky Friday 13th saw the weather finally break and it rained a lot of the way into Manchester. It has to be said the Bridgewater is not the most interesting or scenic canal we've done. The journey into Manchester was pretty unremarkable except the Barton swing aqueduct which carries the Bridgewater over the Manchester Ship Canal. No big ships were on the move sadly but the experience of crossing the swing aqueduct was impressive nonetheless, with views of the ship canal as well as the adjacent road and motorway bridges.

We carried on into Manchester, passing the Trafford Centre and Old Trafford to moor in a very busy Castlefield Basin.

Saturday/Sunday 14th/15th September

We stayed in Castelfield Basin for the weekend, looking round Manchester, especially the Museum of Science and Industry, as well as catching up with uni friends.

Monday 16th September

Another rainy day but we were up early and backtracked out of Manchester to Waters Meeting junction. Again, the Bridgewater is mostly unremarkable for this stretch so having battled wind and rain all morning we stopped early on the edge of Lymm, where we were visited by Karen, a uni friend of Victoria's.

Tuesday 17th September

Passing through Lymm this morning we wished we'd gone a bit further last night, the village is lovely with a range of pubs, restaurants and shops. Very good moorings too. Next time....

We moored for lunch at Preston Brook, visiting the canalside Midland Chandlers for a few bits and pieces, before passing through Preston Brook Tunnel to join the Trent & Mersey canal. This is the first narrow tunnel we've done in a long time and not exactly straight either so a bit of a challenge. Still, it was a good warm up for the mighty Harecastle Tunnel which we'll pass through later on the T&M.

We immediately liked the Trent & Mersey, it's a 'proper' canal - narrow, twisting and very scenic. The stop lock after the tunnel caused some confusion though, with no level difference, water pouring over both sets of gates and a bizarre width of around 8 1/2 feet (neither broad nor narrow).

Tonight we are moored on the Dutton embankment, site of a disastrous breach last September (see Google images).

CRT have thoughtfully installed a plaque to note that we are moored right on the centre line of the breach. Let's hope they fixed it properly....

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