A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Posts Tagged ‘Wildlife’

No umbrella required

Posted by Alan on June 12, 2011

A squirrel using it's tail as an umbrella

Because I don't like rain either

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Narrowboat Log – Day 4

Posted by Alan on August 10, 2010

Today’s crusing started very gently with the short move back towards town bridge and a walk around Northwich centre to pick up breakfast and dinner.  The town is very much more alive during the day time!  Quality save and M&S brought forth various goodies inc. continental breakfast and anti-pasti for lunch.  Moving on we headed back to Anderton to ascend back to the Trent and Mersey canal and head northwards towards Preston Brook.


Speed is just an illusion

Speed is an Illusion - Barnton Tunnel, Trent & Mersey Canal

This section is the canal winds along the contours and in places is virtually ‘single file’ as a result of the reed growth. There scenery is pretty serene and there’s lots of wildlife – we spent a good few minutes trying to creep up on a heron. Sadly I don’t have a zoom lens yet so it was quite challenging for Ruth to get a photo (I was on the tiller at this point).  Then for some reason there’s an enormous light spot on all of them – not sure how she managed to do that!

Ruth's heron picture

Ruth's heron picture

Once through Dutton Stop lock we were officially on the Bridgewater canal and we travelled through the Preston Brook tunnel to the junction with the ‘Runcorn branch’.   Having a walk around (hoping for a half pint in a pub and Ruth hoping for land based facilities!) we found a spar sitting on a pub sized plot of land and a quiet sleepy village.  Luckily there was a boat yard where Ruth found some facilities (albeit dreadful!) and Dad bought an Anderson lift plaque to add to the collection marking the places Endevour has been.

Dutton Stop Lock

Ruth get stuck into Dutton stop lock - a drop of less than 1' (30 cm)

Giving up on the heady delights of Runcorn, we turn around and it’s now my turn and I take control through the tunnel. It’s hard work – Preston Brook tunnel is around 1mile (1.6km) long so around 20 mins sailing at 3mph. Because it isn’t straight you can’t see the other end, traffic is controlled by entry times – you can enter heading southbound between xx:30 and xx:40 meaning that the northbound traffic should be able to enter at xx:00. You can’t faff about going slowly!

At the tiller

Me at the tiller - not in the tunnel!

We headed south to close to bridge 211, within walking distance of Bartlington and Little Leigh, eventually ending up for a pint in the Leigh Arms.

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Narrowboat Log – Day 3

Posted by Alan on August 8, 2010

Mostly gentle cruising today, swapping skipper once in a while.  This stretch of the canal winds around country estates as well as some heavy industry.  It’s a slow and indirect passage.  In many parts the salt mining industry has caused the surrounding fields to collapse leading to the formation of vast ‘salt lagoons’.  It’s like taking the boat through a lake, except that aside from the actual canal cut the water is hardly deep enough to allow the boat’s passage.  Not that you can tell that from the surface!

Cows drinking from the canal

Cows!

Grey industry

Grey industry - Salt mining can be found over much of this part of Cheshire

Passing boats on the canal (monochrome)

Traffic!

After arrival at the Anderton boat lift, we decided to see how much it would cost to take our boat down to the Weaver Navigation. Just how cool would it be to take our boat down instead of the trip boat? Err… with a cost of £0 for our boat or £7 per person on the trip boat well, the Yorkshire in us won out – decision made!

Anderton boat lift

Anderton boat lift - the view from the Weaver

(I have a ton of boat lift pictures so I will save picking out the best for a future entry…)

Once on the Weaver Navigation (allegedly a river – pretty much a large canal without a towpath) we headed up to Northwich in search of somewhere to moor for the night and some tea.  Our first stop was near Town Bridge – a swing bridge in the town centre, providing easy access to the town centre and The Penny Black.

Town Bridge, Northwich

Town Bridge, Northwich

After enjoying the ‘spoons Tuesday steak club we decided to move a bit further up, just outside of Northwich beside Hunts Lock to escape the ‘bustle’ (traffic noise) of the town centre.

Hunts Lock and Railway Viaduct

Hunts Lock and Railway Viaduct

Despite the incredibly secluded look in the picture above (our boat is just visible in the dusk light – down from the second bridge arch) we were only a few minutes from a large housing estate containing the Blue Barrel where me and Ruth escaped to for cheeky pint!

Summary

Weather: Drizzle/Cloudy morning, clearing to fine by dusk

Destination: Hunts Lock, Northwich

Locks: 0

More photos

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