It was pretty wet this morning and the forecast was for light rain all day. By the time we had dumped the rubbish and ash etc and paid our dues the rain has stopped. At Fettlers Wharf they are busy installing things and making berths better. The guys that are on hand every day are really obliging and kept an eye on 'Holderness' for us. However it was not hard to cut the umbilical and leave as we do like cruising.
A last look at out winter moorings before leaving.
The wind was blowing right down the marina so as we came off the pontoon we let the bow blow down, and then reversed up past the marina entrance, before making a sweep out and round to the port to head up to the first lock of the season.
And there, just 100 yards from the marina entrance, was the first boat moored on the lock landing! Of course it is broken down and can't move! The engineer should be coming in three days.
It is always a right of passage to get the first lock out of the way, and to see if you can manage to remember what to do, and see if you actually have the strength in the arm for the job. Helen seems to have retained her technique but needs to build up the muscles.
As we were leaving the first lock a boat appeared at the bottom. We turned the lock round for them and waited as we could share to the Burscough Junction. We left them to close up and headed a bit further up the cut to get the swing bridge open for them. First bridge under the belt too.
Our lock partners had spent the winter up on the Lancaster Canal had had come over the Ribble Link yesterday, just when I thought there was too much current for them. As they would be running with the tide I suppose it wouldn't be too much of a problem, but going the other way would delay arrivals on the tide.
The ruined glass house made me think of a crossword puzzle!
Burscough Bees hives were still there and I suppose that they will be starting to emerge now the weather is getting warmer. I don't expect they like the rain though. Many of the hives were plastic one, and the wooden ones were not what I would think of a traditional shape, or colour.
H & R Ainscoughs flour mill near Burscough Junction can be seen right across the flat lands. It was later owned by Allied Mills and until it closed in 1998. It has recently been converted to apartments and houses built in the grounds.
Some boaters from Lymm Boat Club met us at the penultimate lock to tell us the the electric swing bridge, to the east of the junction, was out of order as workmen had cut through the power cable. The moorings before it were full so our options were limited as where to moor. We decided to moor up on the water point to top up and consider our next move. The guys from Lymm said they had been told that it could be working again at 1630. They had been there since 1030. After taking water we decided to reverse down a line of about six boats to a vacant mooring and wait and see. Unfortunately I clattered alongside one of the moored boats and the occupant wasn't very happy, threatening all sorts of actions. It honestly wasn't very bad at all, not a Timothy West/Prunella Scales contact sport moment. Still we are getting everything out of the way in one day. The power cable also fed the few houses at the junction and more to the point the Ship pub. I had promised Helen we would go for a meal to celebrate our first day cruising. We will have to wait and see what happens.