Wednesday 17 September 2014

Weaver reflections

Last night was our last night on the River Weaver.

With dusk approaching there was a little excitement as a cow (something bovine anyway) and the grey calf in the photo fell into the river. The cow got out, but the calf couldn't manage it. There seemed to be a ledge just under the bank so it wasn't having to swim, but it wasn't able to scramble up the bank. I phoned the police, as did the occupants of the boat just down from us, and fairly quickly there was a response team, though they were soon working in the dark. We didn't hear the end of the story, though we think it found its way out eventually (the calf, that is, not the police).

This morning we were getting breakfast when NB Wine Down pulled pins and started upstream, followed after a few minutes by NB Dorothy Goodbody. The first lock was about half an hour away, and since they are huge they involve a long time waiting if you miss your turn. So we got the canopy down sharpish and set sail in pursuit. In the event the lock needed to be emptied, and we caught up the other boats up just as the first was going in. There was easily room for the three of us and an Atlantic steamer besides, if need be.

After a quick visit to Northwich for some shopping and to fill the water tank, we came back to the Anderton boat lift and found ourselves the only boat in the queue. If you book you pay. If you turn up on spec you don't pay. We didn't pay.

So this mighty piece of engineering was our way off the Weaver

It's been a great week, with the September sun shining most of the time. The Weaver has some fabulous stretches, as well as its less appealing industrialised ends. It's interesting to be able to (metaphorically) put your foot down without feeling that you're missing the point. Coming north along the Trent & Mersey canal this afternoon was slightly odd after a week of river cruising. And I'd forgotten just how shallow is the canal through a bridge just north of the boat lift. We went aground – and that didn't happen on the Weaver! Tonight we're moored overlooking the Weaver valley from about 60 ft up – we've been noting, from a much greater distance, some of the places we passed this week.

We'd cheerfully come back for another visit. But there are other places to go…


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