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Saturday, 6 July 2013

There and back.

What a lovely start the day. Glorious sunshine and still not too hot. The day was marred somewhat by Macy not coming back to the boat when we were ready to leave. At home she enjoys sleeping in the shade of a bush when it is warm. She had found a lovely spot and didn't want to leave it. We knew where she was as we had the tracker, and it was right next to the boat. Unfortunately it was in among nettles, thistles and thorny trees and I couldn't get to her. Eventually she shifted her self grudgingly back to the boat and we set off. We just got round the corner to where we had moored on the way to Liverpool where there was a bird box on a pole. When we were here before I had heard squealing but never saw anything. I thought it was an owl box. As we passed we could see that it wasn't owls!

I think they are Kestrel's but I am will ing to hear otherwise. There were definitely young in the box  with the row that was being made.

Through one electrified bridge and then we were at Parbold. We decided to moor up for a while for a look see. We went to look round the gallery in the mill. The artist was James Batholomew RSMA. He is a member of the Marine Artists Gild but I found his animal and landscape work more to my liking. Some of the animal pictures were very good and we bought so cards as they were very striking. We had a walk to the green grocer's and checked the time table at the station. Once back at the boat we had a bite to eat. We were passed on the by probably thirty male cyclist dressed as woman. I assume that it was a charity do, but Helen said it could be a Stag Do. I suppose it would save on taxis and drink driving if they cycled there. (I expect that you can still be drunk in charge of a bike though!)

Parbold Mill and canal bridge.

As we set off another boat was just coming round the corner so that was good to have somebody to share a lock with. They had a crew of six and they will need it as they are on the way up the Wigan 21. Appley was their first lock so they were a bit rusty,  but in a few days they will have definitely got the hang of it. Good luck to them. After the lock we spied an unusual critter in the water.

Not a very good photograph but as I didn't see any red I would think it is either a Yellow Bellied Slider, which I think is a Terrapin, or a Western Painted Turtle. Obviously they are not native but this one was quite large so could well have survived through a couple of winters with frozen canals.

After Appley Lock there are three bridges on the map but only the first was closed and Helen had some help from some children that had obviously done it before as they were telling her how to do it. It was just a manual push one so was quickly done. At Gathurst Lock it worked out nicely as there was a boat just finishing taking water so he went up with our previous partner and we could go straight on the water point. There seemed to be be a boat gathering in the old lock area with shelters having been erected and barbecues standing ready and plenty of cases of beer too. It looked like it was going to be quite a party.

Just at the lock taking water. The other boats are in the old lock area. The two old locks have been replaced by one deeper one. You can also see the M6 Motorway Bridge in blue above the lock bridge.

Once we were full of water we winded and headed back again to moor up in the open close to Appley Bridge as Helen will be catching her train from there on Monday.

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