Friday, 16 September 2016

River Weaver Wanderings pictures to come

Friday 16 September 2016 up the Weaver from Saltersford to Northwich
A rainy night and cloudy morning saw us leaving the scenic visitor moorings (room for half a dozen boats, if you count the lock landing) below Saltersford Lock. We had said at Dutton lock that we would pass through Saltersford when they open at 0900, so we dressed for wind and showers for the three mile trip to Northwich, to view and maybe try the new town marina between the bridges. The huge salt works had been nibbled away even more by the demolishers: Only the working "Air Liquide" works opposite the Boat Lift will be left. Reaching Northwich on market day, we quickly used the services to empty loo holding tanks and get rid of rubbish before squeezing in on the visitor moorings opposite the pretty full new marina. The whole town side has been redeveloped since we were here last, although there is no chandlers nearer than Midland Chandlers at Preston Brook.

Thursday 15 September  Frodsham market and from Sutton Weaver Bridge to Saltersford

We both needed a rest after walking a long mile back from Frodsham, so got the chairs and table out on the bank. Later on, we set off up river to Acton Bridge, meeting at least half a dozen scullers on the way, from the rowing club just above Acton Bridge. We were following a small narrowboat with master, ex-soldier Jim and dog Rosie! After a walk up to the canal and back, we continued to much quieter moorings below Saltersford Lock, preceded by a cormorant. Overlooking the lock was a large willow tree with about twenty cormorants arriving to roost in the approaching dusk, quacking like ducks. A grebe lazily floated below the lock, head on shoulders. We had arranged to moor here and go up the lock next morning, as they close about five.

Wednesday 14 September A gorgeous day exploring the lower Weaver
Today, the plan was to travel all the way down the Weaver to the Mersey, so we set off inglorious sunshine through Saltersford Lock. They didn't answer either VHF channel 74 or the mobile, so we just arrived! The lock keepers unhurriedly used the larger lock, telling us they also cut grass and tend flowers when time allows. The scenery is sublime, We passed under Acton Bridge to Dutton Lock and onwards, noting the visitors moorings were not quite as in Pearsons guide in all cases. The river splits away for the last couple of miles, leaving us to travel down the navigation past a mile of chemical works before we paused to take photos at Weston Marsh Lock, the tidal lock with views of the mouth of the Weaver and the Ship Canal, plus the distant Mersey mud flats. We then continued up the deep Weston Canal two thirds of a mile, with the Chlorine works all along the right bank. We moored in front of the simple swing bridge which prevented us getting into Weston Docks and reaching the distant boarded up church visible at the far end of the dock through the bridge, which looked perfectly clear and navigable. The docks were being used to store pallets of chemicals, so we just popped ashore to take pictures from the bridge before making our way back up the Weaver to visitor moorings just up river of Sutton Weaver Bridge (not at the services on the opposite side, below the bridge, marked as moorings in Pearsons guide). We made the best of a lovely evening, reading on the bank with a glass of wine, etc. Happy Days!

Tuesday 13 September the Anderton Boat Lift
After a busy few days at home, completing various tasks, we arrived back at Anderton in plenty of time for our 1630 descent onto the River Weaver. John moved Annie to the services opposite Anderton Marina (where for two years we  moored our share boat Osprey), where we loaded up and did the usual jobs. Reaching the Boat Lift, we were asked to descend early, so happily chatted to the two staff as we did so. A mile or so down river, we moored on one of the two pleasant visitor moorings, well used by a number of boats.

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