Monday, August 08, 2016

Dry and windy

I'm not sure if it was the wind rocking the boat, or the sound of it in the tall, dense reeds opposite us that woke me this morning, but, either way, it was blowing a gale. The water was very choppy, and the coots bobbed about on it like corks. But it was very sunny, and we set off into the headwind towards Hoscar.

It's Sunday. A very warm, sunny Sunday. So the nation's anglers were out in force, with men sitting five metres or so apart right along long stretches of bank. Most were friendly, and wished us a good morning, but some obviously resented our passage through their fishing grounds. The canals were cut for them, of course, and we are but intruders.

Today was the day of swing-bridges; manual, automatic, semi-automatic (“I'll do the traffic lights, the alarm and the road barriers, and you push the bridge open and closed”, or, “You do the barriers, I'll do the bridge. Too bad about the traffic lights and alarm.”)

The wind, which blew strongly from the towing-path side all of the time, and gusted much stronger, making it hard for Grace to pull Kantara alongside for me to get off and on at each swing-bridge. It was equally difficult for us to moor in Maghull, to go and buy milk. It was impossible to moor for lunch three miles further on, and almost impossible a bit later, where a row of trees formed a bit of a wind-break sufficient for us eventually to tie the boat up.

We ate our lunch, a strange but delicious concoction of smoked mackerel, fried tomatoes and left-over potatoes, poached egg, and lettuce. Something of a clearing-up of bits and pieces in the fridge! Then we looked out at the wind, and decided we weren't going to face it again today. We'll stay here for the night, then move on to Hoscar and the farm shop tomorrow. A stop at Burscough is imperative since we have little water in the tank.

As I write, the wind is blowing harder than ever, and the sound of it in the trees is quite alarming. But the wind-break trees are doing the job well, and Kantara's hardly swaying. Here's hoping the wind doesn't swing around during the night!

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