Tuesday 8 August

We left Rufford at 10am this morning to try and beat the showers forecast for the afternoon.

Storm walked Max to the second swing bridge while I motored behind, stopping to fill up with water and empty our waste at the sanitary station at Spark Bridge.  While I was moored there and inside the boat, another boat passed at high speed causing our boat to lurch from one side to the other so violently that all the cupboards and drawers opened.  Thankfully nothing fell on me.

Leaving the station clean and tidy, I moved off and caught up with Storm.  After closing the second swing bridge he came back on board and we carried on.  There was quite a lot of weed in the canal and we had to stop to clear it from the propellor as it was slowing our progress.  The sky started to darken at about 11.30 and by noon it was raining.  We still had about half a mile to go.    If we’d not stopped for water and to clear the weed hatch I think we’d have made it.

However, once moored up, it really did rain.   A text from NB Oleanna confirmed that they had stopped for lunch and would arrive a little later once the worst of the showers were over.

We donned coats and brollies and walked into the village of Tarleton which was bigger than I’d envisaged. There was quite an array of shops, but we just visited the local Co-Op and the fruit & veg shop before heading back to drop off the supplies before walking ahead to look at the sealock that we’ll be let out of tomorrow onto the tidal waters leading to the Lancaster Canal.   There is no-where to moor at the lock, so we were wondering whether anyone would come and tell us what time we’d need to be there.

By the time we got back from the lock NB Oleanna was just mooring up in front of us.   We had a brief chat and then left them so they could go and get dry.

The Tarleton lock-keeper, Harry, a chap with a thick Lancashire accent, called Storm’s mobile and left a message to confirm that we need to be down at the lock by 11.40 in the morning.   Now we know what we’re doing!  We just have to pray now for no wind and no rain.

Once it had stopped raining, we made final preparations for charging the VHF radio, storing bikes inside etc, before getting out the life jackets, anchor and chains – these only come out when they’re required on rivers.

I think we may share a bottle of wine or two together this evening  and this will ensure we get a good night’s sleep.

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