Thursday, 27 April 2017

Ferry across the Mersey

We had a wonderful journey to Liverpool yesterday, sunny but chilly and a slight breeze. There were two other narrow boats doing the journey with us. The CRT staff were waiting for us at Hancock’s Swing bridge. There are two swing bridges on the stretch into Liverpool that are for major roads, so to minimise traffic disruption the trust staff operate the bridges for us at set times during the day. There was a new member of the Trust’s administration staff out with bridge and lock keepers seeing ‘what it’s all about’, she had a go at operating the bridges and locks for us. 


Once at the bottom of Stanley Locks she hopped onto our boat for a ride into Salthouse Dock. 

Leaving St Nicholas tunnel
Entering Cunard Tunnel

It seems so odd cruising along such huge spaces and through new tunnels that don’t leak onto you. 


Mann Island

Canning Dock

Princes Dock

Pump House pub, Canning Dock
Entering Albert Dock

There is a new stretch of navigation cut through one of the in-filled docks which is named ‘Sid’s Ditch’. Sid was one of our volunteers who helped us down the locks. 

Sids Ditch

The passage into to Salthouse Dock from the Leeds and Liverpool Canal was opened in 2009. There are two tunnels to navigate through. We had a slight wait at Mann Island lock as there is drilling work in Canning Dock. You feel so tiny against the other vessels in the docks and they are smaller than the major sea going vessels that used to dock here.
 We feel like we’re living in the laps of luxury as we have free electrical hook up, which means we can use the laptop as long as we like, boil the electric kettle, have the immersion heater on, use the washing machine and I ‘may’ even do some ironing. It’s a hive of activity around the dock, along with all the sight seers there is an international Taekwondo competition on at the ‘Echo Arena’. All the teams are milling around in their brightly coloured kits. 

Sunset over the Mersey

Last evening we strolled along the river front, the tide was out and we could see a wrecked boat and the wheels of the trucks that used to convey the cargoes from ships to warehouses and a beautiful sunset. We went as far as sea lock at Brunswick Dock where the boat we shared the locks with yesterday will be going next week, they can’t wait for the Bridgewater Canal to open so are going across the River Mersey and into the Manchester Ship Canal to access the Shropshire Union Canal at Ellesmere Port.

 Today we had an open top bus tour around the city which included a Mersey Ferry trip. Luckily the front of the upper bus deck had a roof as it poured with rain. We have a list of places we’d like to head to, since the bus trip. By the time we went on the ferry the rain had subsided and the wind picked up no end. There were large waves on the river and I had to take off my peak cap for fear of it blowing away. The River Mersey is a mile wide at this point. We stopped off for lunch at Seacombe and then jumped back onto the ferry to Woodside where we visited the U-Boat exhibition. Birkenhead was just so not what we imagined it to be like, very quiet, with very few people about and many shops closed down. We are so pleased it wasn’t so windy or rainy yesterday for our trip into Liverpool.

This is what happens when a depth charge explodes

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