Thursday 16 October

The sun shone on the two boats leaving Salthouse Dock this morning and each boat was serenaded by a pair of swans who formed a flotilla as we entered Sid’s Ditch, with one in front and one behind each boat.

The CaRT guys were really jolly and saw us safely through all the locks and swing bridges as far as Bridge 9, after which we were responsible for operating the swing bridges ourselves.

By lunch-time we were basking in temperatures reminiscent of August – shame I’ve put the shorts away for the Winter!

Today we’ve travelled 23 miles and climbed through six locks and passed through seven swing bridges and moored at Heatons Bridge, about 3 miles west of Burscough in Lancashire.

We visited the Heatons Bridge Inn – a friendly, unspoilt canal-side pub which serves real ales, just as the Nicholson’s guide promised.

The Baltic Fleet visited last night, and the Heaton’s Bridge Inn tonight, are two of the best hostelries we’ve visited in a while.

We got chatting to a guy in the pub tonight who is keen to sell Storm an electric milkfloat …!

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