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Thursday, 4 July 2013

Moving along.

We started a bit latter than normal as it was drizzling and as there is no rush we just sat and waited.
We pottered on and as there are a lot of moorings along this stretch we didn't really get minimum speed for very long. As the day progressed the wind seemed to increase making the waiting for Helen to open bridges a little difficult. Discretion being the better part of valour I just held on to the centre line. After a couple of bridges we arrived at Burscough and we were looking to take water here but there seemed to be a bit of a scrum around the tap that was right next to a bridge hole and somebody wanting to wind there too. We just carried on to the next tap that was at the Rufford Branch Junction, 20 mins further on. Whist waiting for the water to fill up I had a bit of a poke about.

I think that this is Meadow Sweet. There seems to be lots of it long the banks here.

This is bridge No.1 on the Rufford Arm, looking from the arm. On the left is a dry dock. You can see that the corner of the building has been cropped to allow the tow line pulled by a horse in the past to get up the towpath and on to the main canal.

There were two volunteer Lock keepers at the flight of locks close to the bridge. They had had one boat all morning. The Rufford Arm leads to the Ribble link that is a tidal water passage to get on to the Lancaster canal. As the passage is limited by time and tide the number of vessel that can use it is very limited. The Link did not have another passage until Monday and each slot is booked up until September so we will have to book early for next year. I wonder whether the 'lockies' would be better employed on the heavy gates at Wigan and they certainly would get more action.

I make no aplogises for including this view of canal workers cottages again as with it's cobbled road it makes a very lovely scene. I assume the workers laboured in the dry dock that is just to the right of the black and white railings.

Tow path bridge over the Rufford arm from the water point. The flower is a sedum called Orpine that again seems quite common in this area.

I'm not sure whether you can make it out but this sculpture is a circle of two fish/sharks at each others tails. The mooring we are at was a Millennium Project I think by one of the boat clubs in the area. I think they laid out some 'gardens' as there are a wide variety of plants here but it has been kept up at all which is a shame, and there is no plaque to commemorate it at all. Any way it makes a nice mooring for the night. We were going to walk back into Burscough but after lunch we put it off until the morning.

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