Thursday, 27 July 2017

Summer Cruise 2017 ❼

Summer Cruise 2017 (7)

Subtitled: "The Magnificent Five go to Liverpool" As Nb Kalkara, Nb Alchemy, Nb My little Nightmare, Nb SWJKSDL and Nb Rose of Arden team up to enjoy a summer cruise along the inland waterways.

Mort's Bridge (182) on the Trent and Mersey to Pickering's Bridge Thelwall.

Date: 27/07/2017

Overnight the weather was cold and punctuated by occasional showers of heavy rain. The morning dawned under a leaden sky. The omens for the rest of the day did not look good.

Morning: Its was raining as we set off and progressively got heaver throughout the morning. Soon I had to put on the heavy weather gear. Aided by a largish golfing umbrella.

Afternoon: The weather improved after lunch. There were frequent breaks in the showers. Just as we were passing the Anderton Boat Lift, we had a strange encounter with a Cormorant. Now these are normally shy birds because they are hated and shot by game keepers and fishermen and so they tend to give people a wide berth. The Cormorant was sat on the side of the towpath and slipped into the water when we were almost past. It disappeared and surfaced a short distance behind the boat with a tiny fish. 

Then it quickly swam back into the propeller wake and when about six feet behind the boat it went below the surface again. This time surfacing about halfway along the boat side. It waited until we had passed and went swimming  back into the propeller wake again, before diving under the surface again. A few moments later it came to the surface with another small fish. The Cormorant continued to do this performance of catching small fish in our wake for about a quarter of an hour before finally flying back up onto the towpath before assuming that curious crucifix stance when they dry their wings.

By late afternoon we had refuelled the boat and navigated the major three tunnels on today's journey. Starting with  Barnton Tunnel  where a boat with a bright white light on its stern created the impression that a boat at the far end was coming towards us. Well only until it exited the far end of the tunnel. Then it was onto Preston Brook Tunnel which is timed against the clock. The next point being Dutton Stop Lock which is almost at the entrance of Saltersford  Tunnel which as before is also timed against the clock. 

Evening: The weather was much improved though the wind still had a sharp biting edge to it. We moored up at XX for the night.

Birds: House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Rook, Blackbird, Mallard, Mute Swan, Chaffinch, Robin, Coot, Moorhen, Cormorant, Grey Lag Goose, Canadian Goose, Grey Heron, Wood Pigeon, Buzzard, Greater Black Backed Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Black Headed Gull, Swallow, House Martin, Swift, Pheasant, Green Woodpecker the highlight being the Cormorant above.

Butterflies: Common White and Small White.

Today's Total:
Miles: 19.9
Locks: 1
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 3
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 8.1

Accumulated Total:  
Miles: 2828.3
Locks: 1805
Swing / Lift Bridges: 362
Tunnels: 71
Pump Outs: 27
Engine Hours: 3850.2

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