Monday, 6 July 2015

Salthouse Dock.

Hi all,
This week we have cruised the final stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool canal into Liverpool.On our way we stopped for a night or two near Scarisbrick Marina and then Melling respectively,before being at Hancocks Swing Bridge for 9am on Friday to continue our journey into Liverpool with help from C&RT.Right now we are moored in Salthouse Dock at the end of the Liverpool Link in the centre of Liverpool.The last time I visited Liverpool Docks was when I worked for British Road Services in the 1970's when they were working docks.Sad to say I am unable to recognise anything from those days.
Our mooring after Scarisbrick Marina.In the evening and morning we watched the Skylarks.Something we saw quite a lot of on this stretch of the L&L.

We arrived here on Friday afternoon after what I can only say was,an interesting journey down to the end of the L&L,and then a fantastic journey along the Liverpool Link,through the docks and the tunnels and past the Three Graces,the Royal Liver Building,the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building.The interesting bit down into Liverpool was of course a new stretch of canal to us,which wasn't as bad as I'd been led to believe,after all said and done it is an urban canal and it has the things you can associate with such canals,rubbish in particular.It may well have been that we were in a convoy with other boats,or it could have been because the water level was a bit lower than normal but,as a result,plenty of rubbish got stirred up to get caught round a prop.Anyway,we only had to go down Chyandour's weedhatch once and that was as we waited to go down the four locks of the Stanley Flight.There were plastic bags of all shapes and sizes and some that could well have been in the water for quite a long time.Perhaps if everyone takes a prop full of rubbish out of the cut we'll have it rubbish free in a year or two.

Pete,the Captain of Tadpole 2 down the weedhatch.He had quite a lot on his prop,a lot more than can be seen on the stern of his boat and loads more than us.

The fantastic bit of our journey came after we left the bottom of the Stanley Flight where we had been helped through all the locks by C&RT full timers,and volunteers,ably assisted by Lisa and her trusty Windlass.From the flight we then went through the first of the docks,Stanley Dock with the huge Tabacco Warehouse on the left,and then into Salisbury Dock.After turning left out of Salisbury Dock into the partially backfilled Traffalgar Doc we then entered Sid's Ditch,which I believe is where the infill was excavated out of part of Trafalgar Dock to form the Central Docks Channel.
Looking back at the Tabacco Warehouse as we cruise through Salisbury Dock.This Warehouse was built in 1901 using twenty seven million bricks and was claimed to be the largest building in the world at the time.
Victoria Clock Tower at the River Mersey end of Salisbury Dock where we turned left into Trafalgar dock.The tower was built in 1848 and gave an accurate time for Mariners entering and leaving the docks.
Sid's Ditch,or it's proper title,The Central Docks Channel,I know which title I prefer.I think it's named after one of the C&RT volunteers that helped us through the locks on the Link.
After Sid's ditch we went through more Docks and a Lock before entering the three tunnels at the Pier Head from where each of the Three Graces can be seen as we passed between each tunnel.
The Three Graces,unfortunately it wasn't easy to get a good picture of all three as we passed between the tunnels 'cos we were too close.
Approaching the Museum Tunnel which goes under the Museum of Liverpool and you can just about make out Chyandour's reflection in the windows.
The last lock of our journey is on the other side of Museum Tunnel,Mann Island Lock,from there we entered Canning Docks then Albert Dock and finally the last dock,Salthouse where we are going to be moored for thirteen days.
In the few days that we have been here we've had a great time because it's been the final weekend of the seven weeks of festivities that have been held to commemorate the 175 years that Cunard have been associated with Liverpool.We didn't get to see the magnificent sight that was the Three Queens,the Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2,when they visited for the weekend at the end of May,but we did get to see Queen Mary 2 on her visit this Saturday.

There we are,nicely moored on the pontoons here in Salthouse Dock.She's a little Tiddler compared to the pic' below coming in at about 20 tons with a crew and passengers of maybe 6 at a push.
Queen Mary 2 at her berth here opposite the Pier Head.She looks awesome,weighing a hundred and fifty thousand tons and carrying nearly three thousand nine hundred passengers and crew.
Leaving her berth on Saturday night,after the firework display,watched by crowds of cheering spectators,an amazing sight.
Over the weekend there have been Classic Cars and a Food Festival as well as Live Music to celebrate the final weekend of what has been called Transatlantic 175.Along with thousands of other people we've been able to enjoy aspects of it all and now we can spend the next nine days enjoying some more of the delights that Liverpool has to offer.
One of the classic cars on show here in Liverpool over the weekend,there were cars from both side of the Atlantic on display.This one is an American Paterson 30 Tourer from the early 1900's
The Red Arrows flew over on Saturday afternoon and caught many by surprise,including us.Lisa just managed to get a couple of pic's though.
One of the many very good bands performing at the rear of Albert Dock,just across the water from our mooring.

This entertainer brought a lot of pleasure to the crowds here.
Well,that's all for this week folks.Since our last blog we have covered 25 Miles and 6 Locks,that gives us a Grand Total of 1,190 Locks and 2,044 Miles since we set off on our travels in October 2012.Take care everyone.

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