Saturday morning was an early start, into the top of the staircase locks at 7.45am. There were 5 boats assembled overnight with another 2 arriving in the morning.
We were backed into the first lock down, with nb The Moorhen and Michael and Jane who have recently bought their boat and are setting out to explore all the waterways, just as we have done.
It was great to chat with them about some of the places we have been and the wonderful time we have had, but we must admit to feeling a bit envious of them just starting out.
Once at the bottom of the staricase we could set off. forwards now, along the narrow Savick Brook, to the sea lock. Jane and I worked the locks and Ian and Michael negotiated the narrow and winding waterway, picking up some leafy decoration on the way!
Friday night’s tide had been very high, as we could tell by the muddy wet banks.
Seven narrowboats assembled at the sea lock awaiting for the tide to be just right for our release out onto the river.
Time for coffee and breakfast.
Just on mid-day we were waved through by our two friendly lock-keepers and the fleet of ships were on their way to the tidal waters of the Rivers Ribble and Douglas.
Having been the first down the locks, we were now number 6 in the convoy.
The flow pushed us back a bit as we took the turn, actually some more than others and Ian got it just right, moving us up the line of boats.
Looking back towards Preston marina further along the river.
The Important Point.
Asland Lamp, the sign not so easy to read from this direction. Now is it Asland or Astland? The signs read different on each side.
Basil III and The Moorhen making the turn behind us.
nb Lafayette, first at Tarleton, waiting to go through, we joined them alongside, and soon there was a queue behind us. The river was quite still, just at the turn of the tide and the lockies were there. The plan was to let us all through on the level.
The sun came out as we waited for the river to drop to canal level.
Then with both sets of gates open we all slipped through and back to calm waters again.
That completes the Lancaster Canal and Ribble Link journey, and what a good one it has been.
With the sun out and as it was just 2pm, we decided to carry on, all the way up the Rufford Branch to Burscough, leap-frogging at the swing bridges and locking with Lafayette, made the job easier, and we were moored up soon after 6pm.
18 miles, 16 locks