Sunday, 19 July 2009

Liverpool Canal Link.

6 Locks, 2½ Miles. Now moored at Salthouse Dock. Liverpool

Liverpool 001 Gypsy Rover all tucked up in Eldonian Basin, Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

Amazing, exhilarating, fantastic, brilliant, you may have guessed that our trip down from Eldonian village through the Liverpool Canal Link was a real treat. We had read quite a lot of literature about Liverpool docks and the new link but there was still a little apprehension as we set out this morning.

Liverpool 007 Peeking through the railway arches from the Stanley lock flight, Liverpool.

Due to some problems with the boats that BW were escorting through the Hancocks and Netherton swing bridges earlier the BW guys were 20 minutes late arriving at Stanley Locks this morning. We were all set awaiting their arrival with 2 boats in the top lock and the other 4 on the lock moorings. The first 2 boats were already being lowered in the second lock by the time we finally entered the top lock which was approx: 10.40am.

Liverpool 016 Liverpool Dockland.Tobacco Warehouse on the left now derelict and Stanley Warehouse on the right. The railway lift bridge across the dock is high enough for us to pass below.

The trip down through the Stanley lock flight went quite smoothly and we soon found ourselves in dockland waters. Thankfully the wind had died down since last night so we had no problems on that score. As we progressed through the various docks Dot didn’t know where to point her camera next as things to photograph were coming thick and fast.

Liverpool 019 Heading into Salisbury Dock with the Jesse Hartley clock dead ahead.

Lock 5 at Princes dock was still occupied by the first 2 boats when we arrived due to BW having not arrived on site yet. Our only option was to go to the left of the lock and moor up best we could. The wall on the right of the dock is at such a height and angle that you would scrape the paint of the cabin sides by going alongside that. Something for BW to improve upon. While waiting our turn in the lock we watched some abseilers coming down the side of the Liver building and took note of the time which was 11.45am. We eventually got through this lock OK and it was off under the St Nicholas, Cunard and Museum tunnels. It was only a short distance from the last tunnel before we came to the last lock. This lock was no problem because even if the lock is occupied, two boats can sit in the throat of the lock quite safely.

Liverpool 033 Princes Dock approaching the new footbridge. Liver building in the background.

As we left this lock we were told “2 right turns and 2 left turns and you’re there”. Going from Canning Half Tide Dock into Albert dock a gentleman called out from the bridge above “S8”  to which we confirmed that was our booked berth. Once the last boat was through this bridge hole a huge hydraulically operated steel gate was closed effectively locking everybody in and maintaining a constant water level.

Liverpool 044 Heading into Cunard tunnel, Liverpool Canal Link.

1728 locks, 3599 miles, 66 Tunnels, 63 swing bridges and 53 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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