Friday, 7 August 2009

Tidal Turnings.

1 Lock, 4 Miles, 2 Swingbridges. Now moored above lock 7 Rufford Arm.

Rufford Arm 010 The River Douglas flowing out to the River Ribble and the Ribble Link.

For the lucky 8 boats today was the day for their trip across the Ribble Link. It was certainly a beautiful day for it. As the boats started to move down towards Tarleton lock we walked down to the lock to see Geoff and Gillian on their way. When we got there the River Douglas was still on the out going tide and there was nothing but mud on the river side of the lock. I made the comment to an elderly local gentleman that they had the tide times wrong. He merely stated “ Just watch” Within minutes of saying this the river just stopped flowing momentarily and then it was all on. The incoming tide arrived with a vengeance and rose at an alarming rate. As soon as there was about 3 feet of water outside the lock the first 2 boats were ushered into the lock. At the right moment the gates were opened and out they came under power until they hit the incoming flow and then it was a case of more power.These first 2 boats  really kicked up bow waves and created some heavy swell as they fought their way down river.

Rufford Arm 008 Tarleton Lock, the gateway to the Ribble Link and Lancaster Canal.

Geoff and Gillian on Nb Petroc were next but by the time they hit the tide it was beginning to ease and their progress down river sounded less laboured than the previous 2 boats, one of which was really working the engine hard. After what we thought were the last 2 boats to get away a couple of old fishing boats came out of the boat yard and headed down to the lock. By the time they got through the lock they would be lucky to reach the Asland lamp before the tide turned but being fishing boats it probably wouldn’t worry them too much. If they were heading out to sea it would work in their favour.

Rufford Arm 033 Geoff and Gill on Nb Petroc heading off through Tarleton Lock

Well after seeing all this made Dot even more determined that she would not be doing the Ribble link and I tend to agree with her.

Tonight we spent a pleasant couple of hours with Heth and Dave on their widebeam boat Takey Tezey in the lovely St Marys Marina.  Unfortunately Dave had to head off to work the nightshift as he hasn’t reached continuous cruising age just yet.

1742 locks, 3637miles, 66 Tunnels, 79 swing bridges and 53 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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