Monday 11 September

We knew we wouldn’t be going anywhere today.  The wind and rain we’d experienced yesterday evening and overnight had taken their toll on the Brook with the water at least a foot above normal and navigable levels.

The swollen beck

Boiling water in the beck

Steve from CRT arrived for a chat and to discuss options for the rest of the week.   There is a slim possibility that the weather may improve tomorrow.   The CRT website suggests that if we don’t leave Preston tomorrow then we’d have to wait two weeks until the tides on the Ribble are high enough and we’d been considering leaving the boat for ten days and catching the train back to Chester.     However, Steve had another suggestion.   The weather forecast for the coming weekend looks more settled.  If by Saturday, the forecast for Sunday looks good, then we would move down the brook to Lock 8, overnight on the pontoon there and Steve would let us out of the sea lock early on Sunday when the tide is right.

This is now a waiting game and rather than sit around, we headed out to Preston Dock.    Mick had done his homework and knew which bus we needed to go straight to the docks.  We caught the bus on Blackpool Road and after a short ride we arrived on the quayside opposite Morrisons – there is a lighthouse in its carpark!  Modern flats overlooked the dock on the opposite side.  If there had been any warehouses, these were long gone.

The dock had only a few boats close to the lock gates where there were rows of pontoons for yachts, cruisers, and the occasional narrowboat; the rest of the dock just a huge expanse of water.   The huge mooring bollards all around the edge were the only indication that Preston must have welcomed some very large boats at one time.

It was breezy but dry as we got off the bus, allowing me to take this photo.

Ten minutes later, this was our view ….

Once the shower had passed, we left the dock behind and followed the quay wall towards the river.    We were glad we weren’t on the river today as it was quite swollen.

We crossed the lock and walked along the north bank of the river a little way to see if we could see any of the rolling stock being restored by the Furness Railway Trust.  The views were limited so we headed back to the dock and called in at at the Dock cafe for refreshments.

By the now the wind had whipped up the waves in the dock.

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