Thursday 13 August 2015

Weaver Trip Day 6 - On the move again

Today was our day to move again.

We breakfasted and then got AmyJo ready for the off.  We upped pins about 10am and ambled along the river taking it easy as theres no rush.  This area is so delightful it was nice to go really slow and take it all in, besides there are very few boats here and none on the move yet. 

Leaving devil's Garden.  We enjoyed our stop over here.

Several herons frequent the shores and this one took flight just as Chris was going to photograph it.
One thing I like about the Weaver is it always has something to see around the next bend.  This magnificent railway bridge spanned the river about a mile or two after we got under way.

We knew Dutton's lock was coming up soon and sure enough in about a mile it came into view.  As there was a water point below it we wanted to pull in to top up.  It was a tight fit as another boat had moored on the landing overnight but there was just enough room to squeeze AmyJo onto the water point.

Topping up with water at Dutton's lock
Whilst the tank was filling Chris went of in search of the lock keeper.  He informed her he was waiting for a boat to come down and then we could go up.  After about 30mins there was no sign of the boat so he phoned them.  Seems they had rung the wrong lock and were not due here after all.  With that the locky turned the lock in our favour and we entered in together with the other boat.

Waiting inside Dutton Lock for the other boat to come alongside
 On exiting the lock one passes one of the River Weaver's famous wrecks, the MV Chica, looking a sorry sight nowadays.  

This wreck has some fascinating history and started life in 1894 as a cargo barge in Norway and was commandeered by the German Navy during the occupation of Norway in WW2.   After the war she found herself running guns in the Mediterranean then finally smuggling cigarettes and tobacco across the straights of Gibralter only to find herself as part of the fishing fleet in Liverpool bay in 1950.  In 1981 she was bought by a businessman to run cruises up and down the river Weaver but during a period of inactivity in 1993 she started taking on water, with nobody onboard to operate the bilge pumps she listed and her fate was sealed and she has not moved since and can still be seen sticking out of the water having become part of the scenery.

This is how she looked when she sank c1993.
Leaving Dutton Lock behind we cruised in solitude through the countryside.  I admit to being slightly selfish and enjoyed not having to dodge boats coming the other way.  This sure is a great place to get away from the "madning crowds".  Bit like a larger version of the Monty but on a grand scale.

Lock side cottages,  The one on the left has just sold.  Missed a good oppotunity there.
 Another mile and we found ourselves at Acton Bridge.  We had planned to stop overnight here but the noise from the traffic on the A49 would have meant a disturbed nights sleep.  Instead we settled for lunch in the Leigh Arms just on the far side of the bridge.  Moorings here are good and we can thoroughly recommend the food here.  Portion sizes are such that even I could not partake of a desert!

Acton swing bridge carries the A49 to whitchurch
 Ahead lay Saltersford locks so after returning to AmyJo I called ahead to book us through.   Ian the lock keeper gave me the all clear and I let him know we would be there in 30 minutes.

Bridge side moorings, the pub is on the opposite side of these.

Does not look much but inside is quite nice.  Keeps some good real ales too.
Shortly after that we passed one of many side cuts leading to sluices.  This one had a lovely wooden bridge across it

Fantastic reflection of the bridge beams

Superb looking log cabin at the river's edge
This colourful chappie stands guard over the rowing boat

Top this for a garden ornament
 On our way to the lock we passed nb Jo's Delight and her crew asked if we intended to ascend the lock.  When we told them we did they asked to join us which we accepted so they then followed us up to the lock.

Saltersford lock hoves into view
When we approached the lock it was ready for us so we motored straight in with Jo's Delight mooring in front.  As big as these locks are the water flow into them is quite gentle so it was just a case of handing Ian, the lock keeper, the warp and holding onto it as the lock filled.  The old railway semaphores are no longer used but were intended to signal which chamber a boat should use and when to enter.

Saltersford lock stands ready to receive us. 
Jo's Deleight crew reassures their dog all is well

Lock keeper Ian hand back the warp to Chris after passing it round a bollard

Another set of sluices just after the lock
A short distance after the lock we came across Barnton Moorings which looked tempting so we pulled in for the night. 

We're not sure what we'll do tomorrow as the forecast is horrid.  Heavy rain is on the cards so we may just hunker down and chill  but for now its quite calm and our setting beautiful so we'll enjoy the evening with a bottle of vino calapso.

Total distance:3.07 miles Elapsed time:2h29m59s Locks:1 Bridges:1 
Average speed:1.23 mph (1.63 lock/mph) 

Total distance:2.41 miles Elapsed time:1h26m36s Locks:1 Bridges:1 
Average speed:1.67 mph (2.36 lock/mph) 

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