Saturday 13 September 2014

Salt of the earth

The Weaver navigation starts / ends in Winsford. The guide says you can go to the second bridge, but it's the first, blue one that carries the notice of the boundary, so that's where we tied up for a while, not wanting to risk the shallow waters beyond.

The area all around has been dominated by the salt extraction industry since Roman times. Originally it seems to have been brine, but the one remaining working mine on the Weaver is for rock salt.

It's subsidence caused by the brine extraction that has caused the flashes, these large expanses of shallow water good for sailing or canoeing but perilous for narrowboats. Winsford has made good use of it with some large leisure spaces.

We hear there is to be a salt festival here next weekend, with lots of boats expected. Apparently it includes a regatta, and a "salt fair" with the opportunity to go down a working salt mine. Google "Winsford salt festival" and see what you get.

 The CRT mooring outside the Red Lion at the end of the navigation was a useful place to tie up so we could have a wander but, with a busy main road over the bridge, held little appeal for an overnight stay, so we winded and returned downstream. There's just room to squeeze under the swing bridge…

and a handy headroom gauge so you can play with probabilities before you knock the top off that new chimney.

Last night's mooring at Vale Royal was still available, though the boat already tied up was preparing for a serious family barbecue, so tonight may well not be so quiet.

In more or less the same place where Jesus talked about his followers being the salt of the earth, he told them to worry about stuff as little as the birds of the air do. I don't believe he mentioned the butterflies of the air anywhere, but this one that came to visit probably didn't know that.


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