Sunday, 10 April 2016

An unexpected stop

We awoke to the news that FMIL (Favourite Mother-In-Law) back in Sydney had crashed into a street light pole overnight.  This was all a bit of a surprise as she has good eyesight and excellent hearing. Well that’s an understatement!  She has the eyesight of a hawk and the hearing of a bat.  Unfortunately I’ve not inherited any of her genes.  I’m told there was low cloud which reduced visibility.  Fortunately she wasn’t hurt and there’s minimal damage to the pole. A picture is worth a thousand words so I’ll leave you to examine the photo below.









mother in law

Just joking mum…… still love you! Smile

We are trying to make the best of the weather whilst attempting to reach Liverpool in time for our assisted passage.  This means either morning or afternoon cruising, depending upon the weather forecast. 

Yesterday we saw our first clutch of 2016 ducklings and today we’ve seen a further two clutches. 


Mum had already lost one duckling which was frantically chirping from the other side of the canal.  I have been trying to take a photo of a Kingfisher for the last three years.  They are so darned elusive.  However today I finally came upon a bold one who was prepared to wait until the bow reached his perch before flying off.


The photo isn’t quite in focus as I was trying to both steer, focus and press the shutter button. 

It Is always a little sad to see what was once someone’s pride and joy with as much water inside as out.


By 1130 we had reached Hancock’s Swing Bridge (No9) and Daniel went forward to open it.  After five minutes he returned telling me the BW key didn’t fit the lock.  We exchanged roles and I went forward only to also discover the key didn’t fit the lock.  Actually there didn’t appear to be a bridge control box.  After looking at Paul Balmer’s Canal Maps I realised the bridge operation was controlled by CRT.  The transit times are 9-10AM and 2-3PM.  Unfortunately CRT didn’t arrive at 2 PM so we will be spending the night on the bridge mooring bollards waiting for transit at 9AM tomorrow.

I was somewhat annoyed that there were no CRT information signs for boaters.  I wonder how many other visiting boaters get caught?

Local blog reader Tim passed us yesterday but we unfortunately didn’t see each other.  He subsequently emailed us and from the information he provided I have assumed CRT decided not to man the bridge today.  Apparently there is a local horse race on today.  Never having been to a racecourse in my life or placed a bet (probably why we could afford to buy a boat), I wouldn’t know much about the industry.  By now any UK based reader will realise we are very close to Aintree Racecourse and the Grand National is being run today.  Out of curiosity and in the need for some exercise I wandered down the towpath towards Liverpool.

IMG_9562 I don’t think these are duck hides Smile

A long row of buses moored parked on the other side of the fence.


The roost of a rare TV bird


A small helicopter was circling overhead.  It seemed to have a large camera attached to the nose.  My guess it was either following the horses or a police helicopter watching the area.  No photo because small solid lumps of precipitation were falling from the sky. 

Oh…. photos of those other two clutches of ducklings.  This mum nearly committed infanticide when she decided to take her brood between the bridge mooring and Waiouru just as I was coming in to moor.



These look a few days older than the first two clutches.


Judith Emery said...

Tom, I think you have to ring up and book the C&RT man to come with his key for Hancocks bridge and I think bridge 8 similar to booking the Liverpool Link.
Judith nb Serena

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Judith,

There's nothing to that effect on the booking instructions or Skippers Guide. Jan phoned CRT yesterday and left a message.

Quaysider said...

I really Did laugh out loud at the lamp post photo... I presumed you too, know my MIL?