Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pennington Flash

Was it the thunder that woke me up, grumbling loud and close in the 7 o'clock sky, or did that raucous crow land on the roof before that, running up and down the roof above me, and cawing as if in anger? Either way, I was awake on a beautiful morning, and Grace almost was.

We weren't hurrying to move on. We only had a few miles' journey ahead of us today, this mooring was very pleasant, and the weather was totally laid-back. I stood on the stern, enjoying where we were, and along came a wide-beam boat. Not just any wide-beam, mind you, but a grey, speeding wide-beam, pushing around 26 or so tons of water away from it in waves which raised my eyebrows. Four miles an hour is the permitted maximum speed on canals. Three is more normal. Two or less would be the considerate speed for passing moored craft. This one was most certainly going faster than four.

Being generally non-confrontational by nature, I didn't do the boaty-screamy thing which others adopt in such circumstances, but the skipper must have at least wondered why my jaw had dropped so low, and why I didn't return his cheerful greeting. Kantara lurched as the fiend passed, and I turned towards the bank to see the stern mooring pins struggling to remain in their appointed position. They weren't going to manage it.

I jumped off in time to catch hold of the rope as the pins finally pulled out of the bank. I cast a glance towards the bow, just as the pins there ripped out of the ground and headed towards the canal. I called Grace. I called Grace again, louder and with rather more urgency. She arrived, the pins were banged back in, the ropes re-tied, Kantara's security re-established.
It wasn't long after that that we pulled them up again, and cast off towards Leigh, thinking that this town might be worth a visit. But it was one of those towns that makes you want to sail through, in fact. Not inviting to boaters. So we sailed on through.

It was on our way through that we saw the last of the canalside cranes that are a common sight on the Bridgewater Canal. Ancient, immobile, they stand next to a stack of heavy wooden boards. Both canal sides at this point have a slot cut in them, into which the planks can be lowered by use of the crane, one on top of the other, to form a barrier across the canal. The stretch of canal between two of these barriers can then be drained for maintenance.
Fascinating clouds!

At the top of Leigh, Leigh Bridge 66 has a large sign, welcoming boaters to CRT's Leeds and Liverpool Canal. We carried on to Pennington Flash, a huge lake standing in a country park. It's beautiful. What a place to moor!

I'd been having an email conversation with Steve on board NB Adagio. Steve and Viv are from Yelvertoft, too, and they were on their way back there from Liverpool. Steve had been recommending various places to moor along our route, and pubs and eateries. I'm following their travels on their blog.

We'd had a few exchanges over a period of some days, along the lines of, “We're here, where are you?”

“We're here. It'd be good to meet up and have a drink somewhere.”

“Yes, keep me informed.”

“Are you still in Lymm?”

“No, we're at Pennington now for a couple of days”

“Roger?” A voice.

There was a knock on the side of the boat. It was Steve. We'd moored just a matter of tens of yards in front of Adagio, but not recognised her. It was good to see them and have a chat, but we didn't get around to having that drink. I'm about to investigate a local pub which we found on the map, but Adagio passed us first thing this morning (Thursday), and we missed our chance.

We took a walk down to the lake yesterday afternoon.

Today's a day of odd jobs.

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