Our next stop was to see the Anderton Boat Lift which conveys boats between the Trent and Mersey Canal and the River Weaver. Built in 1875 it consists of two caissons, or tanks, supported on hydraulic rams and as one ascends the other descends. Each caisson or water tank can carry two narrow boats or one wide beam. It became badly corroded and was forced to close for many years. After extensive restoration it reopened in 2002 and was extremely busy when we went along to the visitor centre. A trip boat takes visitors down in the lift for a trip up the river, boaters can use it for free too. I took my usual amble around the area while Bottle was engrossed on the computer catching up. I discovered that Manor Farm was selling fresh eggs and potatoes. I like to buy local produce wherever I can.
On leaving Anderton we had three tunnels to negotiate along the way. Barnton and Saltersford Tunnels were quite short lengths. Then we came across a boat stuck into the muddy bank just before a bridge floundering about with poles and bow thrusters. He tried forwards and reverse, then he threw us his stern rope over and we reversed and pulled him off as another boat had come up behind us. We caught up with them again and had to follow them through Preston Brook Tunnel which is also one way traffic it is longer and rather twisty. It was a bit hair-raising as he was being instructed by his wife from the bow of the boat to go right a bit, left a bit. We slowed right down as he zig-zagged his way through. When we cleared the tunnel he pulled over and let us all go past him, phew!
Then we encountered a little day boat coming at us round a heavily reeded bend on our side of the canal. We swung over on the left and avoided him. He had been advised to give bigger boats the deep water! He seemed surprised when we told him that he must always be on the right hand side when passing other boats. He immediately swung over, luckily missing the boat following behind us. Anyway we eventually arrived to moor at Moore and took the scenic route along the footpath over the railway to the village shop. The next day we pressed on as we had agreed to meet up with our friends who were cruising down from Sale to meet us at Lymm. As we needed water we had to pass through Lymm and up to the tap at Little Bollington. The tap is on a banked up section and quite exposed, and yes the wind was howling across, so it was fun fighting to get the boat over to the tap. We turned a bit further on and headed back to moor next to nb Tranquility.
After a snack and a chat all we went for a stroll around the town and up the valley path around the lake.
Sextons Bakery stands over the damn at the bottom of the lake and the church can be seen from the well used footpaths running along the edges of the valley.
What an enjoyable walk that was, we quite envy the locals for having such a beautiful, peaceful place to walk with their families and dogs.
The next day saw us moored at Stockton Heath to walk through the town and across the Manchester Ship Canal to shop at Morrison's.