Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Back to our comfort zone

Thats it Liverpool has been left behind. Back to familiar ground, Westayed one night at Scarisbrick where we had the company of our Kieth and Carol for the day, which was a very happy surprise, I managed to get the little paint job that I had promised to do and returned a paint job I had taken with me so I am now a free man with no outstanding  jobs. Heading now for Manchester unfortunately we have a funeral to attend next week so Manchester is quite convenient for us especially as its a bank holiday weekend and we can guarantee loads of visitors. Lets hope we can find a mooring. passing through Plank lane today there were 7 permanently  moored boats where once there was none all moored on the waiting moorings for the lift bridge I have a strong feeling that Castlefield will be the same, as more people are living on the canal moorings are becoming to be in very short supply However why do people not use Marina's or permanent moorings. I know they are expensive but this just dossing about will eventually be the down fall of our accepted life style.
Enough each to their own. Sorry about the rant.
We are hoping for better weather tomorrow because yesterday and today has been diabolical from here it can only get better. Last night whilst moored at Crook I saw a deer come down to the canal for a drink But as always with these things I was to late with the camera
The Disused Lock at Dean Lock

Bronze statue at Wigan

Be careful coming out of the last lock from Wigan

How many more running lines will this takes. I recon it has had 150 years of wear

Saturday, 25 April 2015

The Leaving of Liverpool

Hi All
In the words of the great sea shanty  “Its not the leaving of Liverpool the grieves me” but the awful weather conditions that we did it in.
Last night we had a bit of a DO on buggerlugs we had Steph Phil and Emily onboard for dinner a great night and a fitting end to our stay 
Leaving Albert Dock was great nice sun rise and a warm wind but by the time we reach the first Lock it was raining with a strengthening colder wind and that’s how it was until we moored up at 14.00 hrs being wet and cold. Except for the weather everything was with today we did the whole trip took five hours so that was cutting 90 mins off the inward trip easy once you have done it and got the lay of the land/water  in your head 
However not to put a dampener on what  has been a remarkable visit to Liverpool, we are now moored about 4 miles outside Magul the rain stopped about 18.00hrs and the wind died down an hour later, we have just witnessed a most spectacular sunset so all is well with the world We will be in Scarisbrick by lunch tomorrow where I have a job to do on a boat. The weather for the next 4 days looks quite grim  but we will start off again on Monday heading towards Manchester and all going to plan should be in by Thursday see you all soon
I am keepingb these short and sweet but maybe a bit more regular?????
 Sun set at bridge 10 L&L


Thursday, 23 April 2015


I am not sure if this site is working, as there are no comments which for you lot is unusual  so please do comment and let me know

Big Al 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Day out New Brighton

Great day out

Today we all took a walk in the past and took the Mersey Ferry to New Brighton just crossing the water on the ferry to Seacombe then the 2.5 mile walk to New Brighton but what a walk its right along the shore line, its  flat with no traffic, the weather today was fantastic you would have thought we where in Spain on the esplanade New Brighton was a revelation  it was clean nice shops plenty of places to eat, fantastic views towards Crosby and Formby, you also get the added excitement of the ships passing towards the Bar and out into the Irish sea all in all a fantastic day. However we had glorious weather what it would be like with two kids in the rain that’s a different matter.   

I have just bedecked the boat with bunting ready for tomorrow, St Georges day I intended to put more out but I have left a lot in my Flag locker on the Marina but I am flying the flag and by doing it early many other boats have been encouraged to do the same (plenty of flags on sale in Liverpool) I hope I have started the trend.
Mersey ferry Snowdrop

New Brighton

The iconic Liver Building 

Buggerlugs half the bunting missing but I managed bow and stern
Noreen and Kath?????????????

Friday, 17 April 2015

The Centre of Liverpool

Liverpool is such a diverse city, now coming from a Mancunian this piece about how wonderful Liverpool is may sound strange I know and love my birth city and consider it to be the best in Britain however Liverpool has its merits. Our mooring here is just below the main gates to Albert dock we couldn't be more central.  It’s a great place to visit by boat, just imagine how much a 10 day stay in a central hotel would cost, and we get it free.
Yesterday was a big walking day we visited the Catholic Cathedral which is for those who do not know its one of the highest points of the city. As all readers of the Blog know Noreen and I love our religious buildings. Although very beautiful in its own right I am not the greatest advocate of modern places of worship, I feel they lack an awe about them, that’s just me as far as the beauty goes Liverpool cathedral is a magnificent example of a modern place of worship. We even had time to take part in Mass which was very nice and it always calms my soul. Matthew was also in Liverpool yesterday on business so he collected us outside the cathedral and drove us back to the Dock Having had lunch Mat headed for home and we set off again, I needed to get a couple of decent art brushes as I have brought work with me and Im running out of brushes. Again we set off up hill to the art shop which is on Bold street, now every town has a Bold street where every shop is weirder than the its neighbour but absolutely fabulous just very small outlets selling everything from candles to car-parts, Tattoos to Table cloths, Josh sticks to Jumpers, there is a lot of new development going on so lets just hope that the street can remain an oasis of private individual enterprise.
Back to the waterfront which is my favourite place I have a very vivid imagination I can see, hear it, smell it 100 years ago, the place full of ships coming and going on every tide transferring cargo onto barges for transport to Wigan Leeds Manchester Chester Birmingham, there must have been every language spoken around here and every British dialect. Looking at the wear on some of the cobbles and the stone work it must have been real hard graft for the bargees, sailors, stevedores, carters and so on. I probably have made it sound very romantic but always remember the poverty, child mortality rate, poor wages  and bad conditions that takes away some of the romanticism.
We went to Weatherspoons last night with John and Kath ( thurs night Curry and a pint £6.00) that’ll do me.
I love it no matter what city it is they are a melting pot of its inhabitants, I am a people watcher I just love people creed, colour, ethnic origin no matter I just love them all, I would love to be a linguist and talk to every one, I an restricted to very poor Arabic, incoherent Swahili, unspeakable French and not bad German but non of them are fluent oh how I wish they were.
Just a few pics of the last two days I am sure I will have a funny story to tell soon for tomorrow Noreen and I are on a shopping expedition that always causes some chaos to somebody
God Bless


                                                    The night time veiw from our  window
Buggerlugs tucked up in the corner 

Liverpool Catherdal RC

Thats the smile of a skipper who has just negotiated
through the Dock system and Albert Dock  

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Entering Liverpool

Right we are off on our summer cruise.

Cruising along the L&L west ward towards Liverpool at the beginning of April was a little ambitious for leaving our mooring at 08.30 it was extremely cold and windy with dark clouds looming.
Though the L&L is so pretty this time of years with everything coming into bloom, Birds Nesting, young Lambs bouncing, and farmers doing what ever they do, these days it would appear they make a lot of noise no matter what they do. As you pass through Burscough you are drawn to the staggering amount of agriculture that is all around you, acre after acre everywhere you look is cornucopia of fields with every type of vegetable, this area is of course renown for its Potatoes, Onions, Leeks, something maybe not known to you is the lawn grass that is grown in the area hundreds of acres of the best turf in Britain.
As you glide through the farming villages of Scarisbrick, Halsall, Haskane, and many more you understand why this area is called the vege basket of Britain. The canal is good well maintained and pretty, at this time of year very little traffic and moorings are plentiful. And as from Parbold to Liverpool there are no locks that’s about 30miles of lock free canal however there are plenty of swing bridgesto attend to. I would advise anyone to treat the swing  bridges  through Magul with care and after 9,00am and before 4 .30as a couple are quite busy roads.  Noreen  had one driver only just beat the barriers, and one that didn’t ! which meant Noreen restarting the whole procedure with him sat between two Barriers. Noreen as you know is far more Christian than I am. I would have swung the bridge with him on; it though on second thoughts that would have done the bridge more harm than the driver.

Form Hancocks that is just before Aintree race course all the swing Bridges to Albert Dock  are controlled by CRT so that eliminates any road/canal rage.
Wednesday, the day we were entering Liverpool dawned dismal overcast and very wet the wind got up and made sailing difficult BUT as always we overcame the minor problems of weather and I insisted Noreen enjoy herself 
The trip from Aintree right through to Albert dock is controlled by the CRT staff and volunteers this is so you get a straight through run through, what some people regard as difficult areas though I have never found it that way it just a run along a normal inercity canal the same as any other, The exciting part comes when you leave the last locks and go into the real docks starting with Stanley Dock, Collingwood Dock, Salisbury Dock, then Central Docks, taking our little craft through the Docks where once great cargo ships would load and unload tons of imports and exports it was quite I found it quite thrilling and Noreen steered Buggerlugs passed the iconic Liver Buildings which one has to admit is exciting ( well maybe not to you but to us old sea dogs IT WAS) 
We are now on our mooring in Salthouse Dock where we will now stay for the next ten days exploring what this wonderful city has to offer. 

Be Good 

Sorry about the pictures it was a very overcast day and no time to re set camera settings 

First sight Of the Docks

                                                                          Stanley Dock

                                                                       Canning Lock
                                             Very Happy Skipper at the end of a hard Day?????


Sunday, 12 April 2015

OK Everyone

Having picked up our new car on Thursday I have now just finished putting it in moth balls for the next six months, I have said before that since the knock on my head in the dry dock  I am completely disorganised, anyway if we do need a car for emergencies we have now a brand new one AND NO! I do not need anyone to run it in for me so forget that. But honest I did not realise we were picking it up on thurs so weds guess what I did? you were right I filled the old car that was for Part X with a full tank of petrol which was almost as much as I got for the bloody.  
Tomorrow is the day we set sail (actually we have no sails but it sounds very nautical) and I have now got my sailors head on. Noreen and I will pull out of the marina hopefully about 08.30 / 09.00 with our companion boat Orion with John and Kath on board sailing along with us in convoy, keeping a close eye out for U-
boats along the L&L into Liverpool
The weather isn't sounding too good so the seven locks up to Burscough will be a tester, though I have been moving other boats up the locks for the past month so I hope I am well practiced?? From Burscough we will be heading along the L&L passed Scarisbrick  then mooring overnight at Lydiat,  Tues we have the  busy swing bridges though Magul and moving on  Hancocks bridge No 9 to await our passage though Bootle into Liverpool docks on Wednesday morning .
Having missed last years trip due to Hospital appointments and a bit of internal re-plumbing  we are really looking forward to this years trip, it’s one we have done before so I am hoping that we will not have any surprises awaiting us along the way ?? It will be nice to meet up with all our boating friends and of course non boating friends. Though travelling by boat can sometimes be strenuous it is also so very relaxing. Travelling by boat as we will be until Aug, and living on a boat in a Marina with a job, car and responsibilities, by the way I have no job and no responsibilities (except grandchildren)  Its Noreen who refuses to slow down The two life styles are very different!!!  but we love them both.
Noreen and I love our travels so when we return to Rufford in Late Aug we depart for Australia on the 27th for about 8 weeks, I will be keeping everyone informed.
Stay watching this space for updates on our travels, or check out alonthecanal.blogspot.com
I shall be giving a frank and honest guide to the new Liverpool Link I am told that changes have been made I  am interested to investigate just how slick it is???
So for the next 10 days we are at jetty S10 Salthouse Dock

                                                                    Here we go
                                               Entering lock 7 on the Rufford Branch
Love to All
Big Al