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Down Under

by wilvir

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"Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints"

Chief Seattle (1786–1866) leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish Native American tribes

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Salthouse Dock at Night

(viewed 1450 times)
1. A Titanic projection.
2. The Echo Wheel of Liverpool.

The view from 'wilvir'.
7th May 2012, 10:37   comments (9)

More Memories of Liverpool

1. Your havin a laugh!
2. Liverpool Maritime Museum with the Pump House chimney to the left of the picture.
3. China Town.
4. Where are we?
5. The mighty 'Mersey'!
7th May 2012, 10:25   comments (0)

Memories of Liverpool

1. 'The Three Graces'.
2. The Royal Liver Building and Cunard Building.
3. The Port of Liverpool Building.
4. Albert Dock.
5. Done Cruisin, start boozin! (Helen and Jim)
7th May 2012, 10:04   comments (0)

Looking Back (The Liverpool Canal Link)

(viewed 913 times)
Photos (courtesy of our friend Helen):
1. Soaking wet.
2. Turning past Victoria Clock Tower on the waterfront.
3. Entering the city waterfront
4. Passing in front of the Royal Liver Building.

The Liverpool Canal Link that brings you down the locks and along the waterfront into Salthouse Dock is a reminder of how significant our sea-faring heritage is and our shipbuilding dominance once was. For me, seeing the dock area and the majesty of the 'Three Graces' for the first time, coupled with the old and new architecture, makes for a gem of a city.
7th May 2012, 09:25   comments (0)

The Cavern Club

(viewed 3961 times)
1. That most famous of door entrances.
2. The backdrop to the stage that set the music world alight.
3. Hi John.
4. Well worth a visit.

Along with Jim and Helen we visited 'The Cavern Club' this morning, just after it opened, to breath in the atmosphere and view the memorabilia this most famous of venues has on display. Sensibly priced souvenirs on offer too.

We popped back in the afternoon to listen to a live tribute to the songs of John Lennon and enjoyed a drink as we soaked up the music of a legend. We also watched a documentary recalling the demolition of the original club and the efforts to rebuild and re-establish what has become a shrine to The Beetles. Great stuff!
30th Apr 2012, 17:49   comments (1)

Liverpool Pier Head

(viewed 5299 times)
1/2. HMS Dragon moored alongside the Pier Head.
3. A Lynx helicopter overhanging the stern of HMS Dragon.
4. 'Manannan' coming alongside the Pier Head.

I managed to get a glimpse of HMS Dragon, a Type 45 Destroyer, before she left Liverpool Pier Head this afternoon and the always impressive Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Wave-Piercing Catamaran ferry coming alongside. For more info goto
29th Apr 2012, 18:24   comments (1)

The Run Into Liverpool

(viewed 1097 times)
1. Waiting for the 'off' at bridge 9.
2. The convoy.
3. Val and wilvir breasted up.
4. Moored in Salthouse Dock.

We arrived at the little hamlet of Melling, that sits above the canal, on Tuesday, ready for our run into Liverpool the following morning. We were now ten canal miles from our destination and the day had been glorious, with bright warm sunshine and a sky that gave us a clear view to the horizon where we could make out some of Liverpool's tallest landmarks. Jim is pretty familiar with the city, whereas we have never been before, and is to be our guide for the week of our stay.

The following morning we made our way to bridge 9 where we met with the five other narrowboats who, together with us, were being escorted by BW staff into Liverpool. The reason for the escort was to maintain the flow of traffic across the swing-bridges as we passed through in convoy and to operate the six locks that let us down into Salthouse Dock. There was also a noticeable police presence keeping an eye on our progress, although I would like to think that was more coincidence than actual necessity.

Jim and Helen were sixth in the convoy behind us and hard pressed to keep up due to the pace the lead boat was setting. The seventh boat was right on their stern and also forcing the pace so much that little 'Val' overheated and ended up being towed by the boat behind to the next service point.

Jim had managed to alert us with his horn that he had a problem, but I was unable to go astern due to the amount of plastic bags that had wrapped themselves round our propeller, and had to stop to remove them. This meant we ended up last in the convoy, which I was glad of. On catching up with Jim at the service point we decided to drop the speed to a reasonable paces and I would bring up the rear in case his engine overheated again. However, having reduced speed his engine was back to its old self and running quite happily.

Although there was no further sight of the boats in front we actually caught up with their tail-end charlie at the first lock proving once again that churning water to foam gets you nowhere. The BW staff were also very helpful and let Jim know that there was no rush so we couldn't quite understand why the lead boat had set off at such a pace. Infuriatingly, the 'lady' on the boat that reluctantly towed Jim to the service point couldn't understand why the pace was so slow. Some people! They haven't the patience understanding or consideration to be a narrowboat skipper and are only ever going to be just a narrowboat owner!

Ginny was afraid she might miss a treat if she stayed below so we were both drenched to our undies as the rain hadn't stopped for a minute throughout the journey. And what a great journey it was too. The view and sense of historic grandeur as we approached the Royal Liver Building was something we will remember forever.

Entering the city via the canal link and the huge docks connected to the River Mersey was, to say the least, an emotionally uplifting experience, especially considering that my father often passed through these docks in their heyday as a merchant navy seaman. We finally passed through Albert Dock into Salthouse Dock and the floating pontoons where we would be moored for our stay.

It continued to rain all that night and yesterday so we spent the day wandering the shopping centres and buying a few necessities before returning to 'wilvir' and taking Gunner for a walk.

Today (Friday) the sun is out. Hooray! Now for the cultural bit and lots of photos to take!
27th Apr 2012, 15:31   comments (2)

The Crew of 'Lottie D'

(viewed 1009 times)
(L-r) Elaine, Ginny and Jim

We were pleasantly surprised to hear from Jim and Elaine who we first met when we were moored above Wigan, at Haigh Hall, some four years ago. On that occasion we chatted about the merits of liveaboard life, as they were on the cusp of buying their own, and have since had their narrowboat 'Lottie D' built, which they moor at Scarisbrick Marina west of Burscough.

It was great to have them visit and to catch up on all that has unfolded since we last saw each other. We plan to meet up again when we pass by on our return journey from Liverpool.
22nd Apr 2012, 18:06   comments (2)