We left the Heron in peace fishing for his breakfast to head downstream through Hunts Lock. There are two lock-keepers on duty who hand wind the paddles and gates open for you. The narrower of the two locks are used as there are no more huge working barges on the River Weaver now. There were plenty of fresh water muscles clinging to the lock-side and they squirted us with water as we went down! As we exited the lock a smallish dark brown creature swam to some overhanging weeds and hauled itself up onto the side. It was a bit bigger than a weasel, but scampered off so quickly it was almost a blur. Weasels are weasely recognised and Stoats are stoatally different, could this one have been a Mink?
We paused long enough at Northwich for coffee and a quick shop before cruising off past the Anderton Boatlift. The factories there were busy, but the one further down seemed to be derelict. The storm clouds gathered and we had a heavy shower of rain, then the sun reappeared to dry out the helmsman!