Thursday 31 August

It was raining quite heavily when we woke and it was forecast to continue all morning.  However by 10.30 am the sky brightened and we got ready to move off.

We crossed the canal to the water point first and then led the way to the Glasson Branch; a 2.5 mile branch off the Lancaster Canal that drops down through six locks towards the mouth of the River Lune and out to sea.

The first of the six double locks was just set back from the mouth of the junction.  To operate these locks you just need a CRT waterways key as the windlasses are already welded to the paddle gear.  The locks all have to be left empty of water, so our first job was to fill the lock.  The first set of paddles opened quite easily and once the lock was full, we put our backs to the heavy gates and they opened slowly.   Once fully open Blackbird and Oleanna nudged their way in.  We closed the gates behind them.

The front paddles were another matter.  The large windlasses took some turning and Pip and I both struggled.   The front paddle gear is similar to that on the Leeds Liverpool Canal at Bingley.   We managed eventually and without doing ourselves any harm.   I know we haven’t done any locks for three weeks, and might be out of practice, but nevertheless these were heavy!

Pip and I walked with Max from one lock to another.  At the second lock there was a kingfisher sitting on the lock tail.   Sadly I didn’t have my camera with me and by the time I’d alerted Pip to come with hers, it had flown off.

The water was so clear you could see the bottom and Mick reported that he’d seen lots of fish in the canal.

By now there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  The countryside looked glorious in the sunshine.  Between locks 4 and 5 there was an abundance of ripe brambles.  I intend walking back to pick these before we leave.

After lock six there is another mile of weed filled canal before the basin.

We moored up on the visitor moorings where there is electricity available if you have a CRT pre-payment card.   This is the view from our kitchen window.

After a bite of lunch we had a walk around the small port of Glasson, locating the shop, the pub and the smoke house.   I think we’ll be visiting all three before we leave.

Leaving the village behind, we walked along the side of the River Lune towards Conder Green.  The footpath runs along the disused railway line that is now part of the The Bay Cycleway which runs all round Morecambe Bay, from the Southern Lakes terminating in Glasson.

It was a perfect Summer’s afternoon for a walk; sunny with a pleasant, warm breeze.

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