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Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2015 – Day 30

Posted by indigodream on 20 October, 2015

Rewind to Thursday 3rd September

Burscough to Aintree (Hancock’s Swingbridge)

Heading out of Burscough...

Heading out of Burscough…

We were well on target for tomorrow’s rendezvous with CRT for the passage into Liverpool so we had a relaxed start to the day, getting to know Barley the whippet, from one of the resident boats, then Mabel the saluki/whippet. Mabel was a bit grumpy at first, but Ollie was very taken with her and they were soon enjoying towpath zoomies. Mabel was too shy to come on board, but her human family were fascinated by the boat. We would have offered them a cruise, making our usual assumption that the owner of a sight hound is not an axe murderer,  but mum had a hair appointment to go to. Her young son had a guided tour – he’s never been on a narrowboat before and loved Indigo Dream.

We set off late morning and had a gentle bimble along a canal which is now gently suburban; the post-industrial areas have been softened by nature, so the approach to Liverpool is deceptively rural.

We're about 12 miles away from Liverpool here adn the canal suddenlly becomes rural...

We’re about 12 miles away from Liverpool here adn the canal suddenlly becomes rural…

As passage along the Liverpool Link has to be pre-booked and accompanied by CRT, traffic is all or nothing – no boats at all or a whole convoy. We met the upcoming convoy at Bridge 14, Westway swing bridge – a member of the oncoming crew had opened the bridge – five boats coming from Liverpool and us going to Liverpool. The waiting cars were not impressed and one woman got out of her car to ask, rather testily, how many more boats there were. It was a curious thing to do,  motorists don’t usually get out at road junction to enquire of the crossing cars when they intend to stop! The hardy crew member manning the controls ignored the motorist and I’ve reflected on this – there were 6 boats to go through and you just wouldn’t close then swing the bridge for each one in turn – hmmm.

Having passed the upcoming convoy, we were guaranteed the rest of the canal to ourselves and we enjoyed it. We soon passed Magull, where I joined nb Greyhound for the passage to Liverpool back in 2011. I felt a thrill of anticipation, it would be Richard’s first cruise along the Liverpool Link and I was sure that it wouldn’t disappoint…

Bridge 9 - the unassuming gateway to the Liverpool Link...

Bridge 9 – the unassuming gateway to the Liverpool Link…

We had a debate whether to moor at bridge 10 rather than at Bridge 9 (Hancock’s) Swingbridge) as another boater had mentioned having some overnight hassle there. But I checked our own blog (how useful it is!) and on my previous trip on nb Greyhound we’d moored with no trouble and staying there would mean that we were in pole position for the morning. The road over Bridge 9 is quite busy, so we needed a certain vigilance with hounds, but there was ample towpath walking back towards Bridge 10 and, at this stage of the holiday, the hounds were very tired and not much interested in mischief!

We moored up quite late in the day, and anticipated being a convoy of one into Liverpool. But as dusk fell, another boat moored up behind us, d’oh, why didn’t I write her name down! Like nb Wine Down, who we met yesterday, this boat was a refugee from a closure this time of the Lancaster Canal, cruising around the network until they could get back to their home moorings.

For the record, Bridge 9 was fine – we ate on board, watched more “House of Cards” (we’re hooked) and had a quiet night.

Today’s Trivia:

Halsall Navvy

Halsall Navvy

We took some photos of a dramatic sculpture by Bridge 25 – I didn’t have to look very far for information as there is a useful signboard nearby, so here we have the “Halsall Navvy”. This was commissioned by the Lancashire Canal Partnership, who chose this figure by artist Thomas Dagnall to represent the sheer physical effort put in by the navvies who built this canal. They started building the canal at a spot nearby.

The stone bench nearby has a series of barely discernible carvings, apparently added by amateur sculptors to represent what the canal means to them….

The back by Bridge 25

The back by Bridge 25

 

 

Photoblog:

The mountains are behind us, but there are still views aplenty..

The mountains are behind us, but there are still views aplenty..

Canalside parking must be a nervous business...

Canalside parking must be a nervous business…

There are quite a few swingbridges on this section - some over quite busy roads. This one i adjacent to the "Running Horses" pub - the sign says "dog friendly for friendly dogs" - ust stop there one day :-)

There are quite a few swing bridges on this section – some over quite busy roads. This one is adjacent to the “Running Horses” pub – the sign says “dog friendly for friendly dogs” – must stop there one day 🙂

11 miles from Liverpool and you get a view - we have a little way to drop before we reach sea level...

11 miles from Liverpool and you get a view – we have a little way to drop before we reach sea level…

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