Lodge Hill Junction to Lancaster
3 miles, 0 locks
We had carried on from Lodge Hill Junction on 22nd May and continued to Lancaster. The junction was pretty full and was not really an ideal mooring - there is a large stretch of mooring for cruisers opposite.
This garden caught my eye as we went past - there must be a stream between the canal and the house as quite a few gardens had bridges, but this was by far the best
Just prior to arriving in Lancaster we were once again in open countryside
This was our first view of Lancaster Cathedral.
The problem with any popular mooring is whether there will be room. Sue and Ken managed to find a spot and discovered a boat ahead of them would be moving in about half an hour, so we moored temporarily outside The Water Witch Pub
This was to be mostly a shopping day.
I had two main requirements. The first was to visit a camera shop to see if they had any suggestions about the shutter that would not close properly and the speck of dirt inside. Wilkinsons was found on line and I headed there first The shutter was fixed and advice was given about the speck - it could be sent away and cleaned, but would not be back in time for our return next week. I was also told it is possible with my camera to clean it ourselves as there is information to be found on You Tube. I left with a new camera to have as a spare before they become obsolete. This is my fourth (one sadly did not last long as it ended up falling into Benson lock, never to see the light of day again!). I understand this camera and now have a selection of batteries - I hope this one is the last for a while.
The second was a new "bum" bag - something I find essential when locking etc to hold: my camera, walkie-talkie, BWB & water conservation keys, dog stuff etc etc. Mine had suffered a terminal decline about 10 days previously and I really missed it. Gillisons is the place to head for - round behind the Musuem
The stock is enormous and the staff very helpful. I heard one customer mention that if anyone ever wanted a particular bag and they could not find it in Gillisons, then that bag just does not exist! I have to confess to spending quite a long time in there and I was glad I had gone ahead leaving Chris to walk Monty before he joined me! When he did we went back to Gillisons and he managed to find a rucksack, so a very successful find.
A few other bits of shopping were done and the main impression we were left with of Lancaster was just how helpful, friendly and eager to please the residents of this city are. The ladies in Gillisons recommended The Old Bell Cafe down
Bashful Alley for lunch.
The food was excellent and our sandwiches arrived in an amazingly fast time, despite being made to order.
Monty's afternoon walk took us along the tow path towards the Cathedral - somewhere we will visit on our return next week
Our walk took us (by accident) past the rather splendid Council Offices
With a large statue of Queen Victoria behind me as I took the above photo
Then it was back into town to find Blacks as we discovered before we set out on our walk that one of our walking poles was broken. Hopefully the camera, "bum" bag and pole make our three breakages on this cruise!
We stopped on the way back at The Cross for a (we thought) well deserved drink
Friday 24th May 2019
Lancaster to Hest Bank
4.25 miles, 0 locks
It is surprisingly green and leafy as you leave the city
Then comes the first of two aqueducts - Bulk Road Aqueduct
and then the much more famous and impressive Lune Aqueduct. It carries the canal some 600 feet across the River Lune which is 60 feet below. A definite case of needing to jump ship and proceed on foot to take photographs.
Looking back across the aqueduct
Yet another rural stretch with wide open views and plenty of blue skies.
Suddenly there it was - something I was really looking forward to - our first view of the sea! More beach than sea, but it was there in the distance.
and the side hatch view was also pretty good.
High tide was due at 15:45, so both boat crews set off about half an hour before - even from the canal, the sea was definitely visible
Unfortunately we did not quite get the directions correct - when we left the towpath and walked through a housing estate we should have turned right at the end, but we went left. It meant a lot more walking along the A6 than we would have chosen and we also found we had forgotten a vital bit of kit - Monty's lead - thankfully I was wearing a belt which was pressed into action.
We did finally make it to the shore
Where there was a large group of oyster catchers
It was along here that we met up with the boater from the boat moored between Cleddau and Tentatrice and his little dog Patch. The boat owner was a mine of useful information as he knows this canal very well.
We left Sue ,Ken, Patch and his owner to pick their way over the stones
whilst we went back across the railway
to emerge out onto the A6 at the bus stop and post box by the ginnel that we would have found had we turned right instead of left when we first arrived at the A6.
before we met up with the other three and Patch and then made our way back to the boats for our first tow path Pimms of the cruise - a pleasant interlude even if we did need to wear coats!