Sunday 25 September 2011: Paper boat
What a day........a couple of weeks ago a work colleague told me that he was moving house, that is his narrow boat, from the Leeds Liverpool canal to the Lancaster canal, this would mean a trip via the Ribble Link, I jumped at the chance to crew for him.
We set off this morning from Tarleton through the sea lock into the tidal river Douglas, a flotilla of 3 narrow boats. It took us an hour to reach the river Ribble where we turned towards Preston, another hour found us at the entrance to Savick brook. Everything had gone to plan, the early rain had stopped, there was hardly any wind and the Ribble was calm (my main worry in a flat bottomed boat).
A short way up Savick brook we passed the sea lock and were asked to moor alongside a pontoon to await instruction from the Waterways staff. My skipper stopped the engine and when we came to move off the engine would not start again! Not a whisper it was obviously electrical, while the skipper set about tracing the fault one of the other boats kindly offered us a tow which was very kind but not easy in a very narrow, twisty tidal river. Luckily our skipper managed to trace a loose wire which he sorted and we were back under our own power again.
The rest of the journey was interesting, sailing along the Millennium link to the last flight of 3 locks which we had to reverse into because the turn was too tight, these are very deep locks and it was exciting to rise up to the pleasant pool at the top.
During the journey I managed to take about 200 pictures, guaranteed a Blip from one of those I thought but how to choose?
I shouldn't have worried, when we arrived at the top of the locks in the sunshine there was a large group of
Preston Poly sorry, UCLAN students building rafts out of cardboard and sticky tape - total madness and great fun.
One group made a raft that they managed to row back and to across the canal but the other group (pictured here) designed a glorified bathtub which sank almost as soon as they climbed in!
Most of them ended up jumping in anyway.