Gale Force Link
Posted: October 9, 2013 Filed under: Disasters, Moving on, Waterway wonders! | Tags: Albert Dock, Canning Dock, Leeds and Liverpool canal, Liverbird Building, Liverpool, Liverpool Link, Salisbury Dock, Salthouse Dock, swingbridge
Up far too early. Through the first swing bridge, no great show. Met with hugely theatrical arm waving at the second, figuring that probably meant stop we pulled over. Sure enough there was a ‘bridge failure’, basically hydraulic fluid spurting about all over the place, an engineer about an hour away and a bridge stuck shut.
At 10.15 the day was looking short. Put in a bit of boat work, a trip to the local shops and a some more boat waxing. Sirens sounded at 12.45, the bridge test run was a success. Microwaves, buggies, fire extinguishers, scooters, bikes, sacking, clothes all bobbed menacingly, frequently grabbing hold of the prop throughout the day, aaaargh.
By the time the bridge conundrum was resolved there was a strong possibility of a night at Litherland, but arriving we were waved on through – still enough time in the day to position the all important gate in Albert Dock for our passage. The next couple of miles cranked the wind machine…by the time we arrived at Stanley Locks the Canal and River Trust crew were whooping and hollering about the rough ride that lay ahead. Joined by our buddy boat, chat petered out to deathly silence as we peered down at the choppy water. As soon as the bow entered Stanley Dock it was pretty clear there was no time for dithering, just full power and the nose pointing about 45 deg off where the boated needed to go. Shite. Looking back was no comfort as our boating buddy was barely visible under spray, waves etc.
Through Salisbury Dock where the ominous six faced clock tower stood tall,cpowered on heading straight for the Irish Sea before a sharpsih, boat keeling left hand sweep into a relatively calm channel. Canal and River Trust eagerly awaited out arrival, greeted by shouts ‘Choppy one eh?? We looked at the Mersey and it was touch and go to be honest…” And they said go, hmmm.
Under the link we bobbed up in front of the Liver Building before locking into Canning Dock, round into Albert Dock and finally onto our pontoon in Salthouse. With very wobbly legs, faces full of sea spray and a salt crusted boat it was luxury to tie up, hook up to shoreline and fill with water. With gusts banging in at seven on the Beaufort Scale we experienced a moderate gale (whole trees in motion, resistance felt when walking) Liverpool Link. Memorably hectic.