Monday, 29 September 2014

Plan A

It all worked out quite well in the end, returning to our original plan of cruising the Rufford arm of the Leeds and Liverpool canal before going to Liverpool itself. We'd planned to set out around 9, with Jonathan and Heather on NB Mary Penington for company through the seven wide locks – much easier to negotiate those if you do it in pairs. But overnight in Rufford the poo tank light came on. Experience said it would be best to sort it sooner rather than later, so we pootled over to St Mary marina in Rufford, just 100 yards on from where we'd been moored. They, however, are always particularly busy on Monday mornings, and could I come back in a couple of hours.

So I reversed back through the bridge to our overnight mooring and explained the situation to Jonathan and Heather, who left on their own while we waited. Over we went again at 11, and got a good pump-out. Their standard price was already cheaper than a good many other places, but because I had been very cheerful when told we had to wait, he gave it to me for their standard resident moorer's price of £8.50!!! That is the cheapest I have ever had a pump-out. Plan A was working well. (Note to self: Cheerfulness is a Good Thing)

After the first lock we came up behind NB Goosemoor, our companion from Wigan to Purbold. No longer under the direction of Steve and Wendy, but a different couple of members of their boatshare consortium. So we had company up the next two locks, until we decided to stop for a bite.

After that it was by ourselves up the remaining four locks, with their various complicated arrangements of paddles and anti-vandal mechanisms. Then, at the junction with the main line, we turned right towards Liverpool, filled up with water, and came through three swing bridges (power over the traffic!) before tying up for the night at Heatons Bridge, near Scarisbrick Hall. It was a long day's boating, but we made it before the rain. Checked the email, and found that CRT have approved our passage to Liverpool for Wednesday. Plan A marches on.

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