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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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A Spring Rendezvous

(viewed 1032 times)
1. 'wilvir' and 'val' rendezvous at Abram.
2. Jim (KiSA), Ginny and Helen enjoying a chin-wag.

On Saturday we met with good friends Jim and Helen crewing their narrowboat 'Val' for a few months cruising together.

We had planned this rendezvous last year and decided to make Liverpool our first destination as the last time we were on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal the Liverpool Link had yet to be completed. Me and Ginny have never been to Liverpool and really looking forward to this trip. We'll be moored in Salthouse Dock, adjacent to Albert Dock, for a week and amongst other things hope to delve into some maritime history and find out more about the ships my Dad served aboard from 1914 to the late 50's, as well as take in all that Liverpool is famous for.
17th Apr 2012, 15:23   comments (1)

Jim's Damsels!

(viewed 904 times)
On the day Jim and Helen met up with us, Jim became a knight in shining armour for this group of ladies who were having a celebratory 30th birthday trip aboard a narrowboat.

One of them accidentally dropped her phone into the canal at Leigh and Jim gallantly and expertly managed to recover it with his fishing net.
17th Apr 2012, 14:36   comments (1)

New Horizons, New Friends

(viewed 1388 times)
1. Droylesden Marina moorings.
2. Shaun and Sue.
3. 'Whisper' turning out of the marina

Having 'tweeted' for a while now, I came across the skipper of narrowboat 'whisper' who moors on the Lower Peak Forest Canal. So in the time honoured tradition of making new friends I invited Shaun to the boat while we were in dry dock. There we properly introduced ourselves and arranged to meet again, with his wife Sue, aboard their boat at Droylsden Marina where we were to moor over the Easter Weekend.

Suffice to say, we have all become good friends and look forward to hopefully meeting again sooner rather than later.
10th Apr 2012, 15:33   comments (6)

You've Got to Laugh??

(viewed 1394 times)
1. Not a day for photographs, but I managed to catch these gosling's as Mum stood up and revealed them.
2. Ouch!

We completed twelve miles and twenty-seven locks From Droylesden, down through Manchester, onto the Bridgewater Canal yesterday. On leaving Manchester we turned west onto the Leigh Branch of the Bridgewater Canal and are now moored just west of Worsley.

Both of us are bruised and a little pain weary, as I slipped on the pontoon decking at Droylesden on Friday, skinning my shin and twisting a knee, while yesterday Ginny slipped down some stone lock steps and fell onto her left armpit which has left her uncomfortably bruised too. So we're taking things easy for now.

The incessant rain didn't help either as everything was very slick underfoot on the lock stonework and cobbles. Not helped by goose droppings, algae and wet moss. I can't believe we both came a cropper as we're used to it and always take the utmost care, but hey, it could have been worse. Bring back proper lock keepers I say!

The propeller also became badly fouled approaching a lock, which took all the steerage away. That allowed the bywash to suck the boat towards it until I got over 2000 revs up to even begin to enable the propellor to give me some way astern, but not enough to stop the bow fender bouncing us off the lock stonework. Fortunately it only took half-an-hour down the weed hatch to remove the assorted debris of a zippered dress, plastic, baling tape and a tyre inner tube. Fortunately no real damage done to wilvir.

Eating lunch at the tiller as we came out of Manchester, my chicken role turned to mush faster than I could eat it and Ginny absent mindedly drunk half a glass of rainwater.
10th Apr 2012, 13:20   comments (4)

Dry-Dock Maintenance

(viewed 1293 times)
1. Day three (three coats of Dacrylate later).
2. Day four (paint curing and tinkering day).
3. After eight years the steelwork is unblemished by corrosion or electrolytic pitting.
4. Plenty of elbow room.

The past two weeks have passed far two quickly for my liking.

However we completed what we set out to do during a planned five day layover in Portland Basin Marina Dry-Dock last week. We left on Friday to spend Easter weekend in Droylesden Marina.

With everything shipshape once again we're making an early start at dawn tomorrow (bank holiday Monday), to work down the eighteen locks of the Aston flight into Manchester's Ducie Street Junction, and then on down the Rochdale nine through Manchester. So a long day ahead of us. We hope to make Worsley on the Leigh Branch of the Bridgewater Canal by late Monday afternoon.
8th Apr 2012, 18:36   comments (5)

Buzzing Along!

(viewed 1072 times)
I was sat on the bow idly picking the strings of my acoustic guitar when this Bumble Bee decided to add his own accompaniment by landing on it.

I was also paid a few compliments by passing walkers as they caught the strains of my own take on a few Led Zeppelin, U2 or Pink Floyd numbers played as instrumentals.

There's nothing like the honest sound of an open-air acoustic guitar instrumental, even played by someone like me who is self taught and far from perfect. Great fun and a great days practice. Perfect weather too!
24th Mar 2012, 17:30   comments (3)

Me and My Mate

(viewed 955 times)
Gunner looking a little damp, but no less appealing on our return from his late afternoon swim and our exploration of the wooded river bank.
22nd Mar 2012, 22:50   comments (0)

Near Miss?

(viewed 1469 times)
20th Mar 2012, 15:27   comments (1)