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Sunday, 12 August 2012

Little cruising and hosting guests

Monday 6th August and we spend some time in Manchester before heading off to Sale for overnight mooring. Little that was exciting except that whilst winding at Castlefields something got stuck in the bow thrusters and would not come out with the usual left then right blowing. In fact the motor sounds horribly jammed and I’ll have a look and poke about at Sale.

Tuesday and we cruised the half mile from the town centre to tie up just before the rowing club, and it pours! Carol’s sister, Annette, and husband Mike, arrived around 11.30 with it still raining & whilst they get sorted down below I cruised Lily to Dunham Massey. It had cleared by the time we arrived and we had a pleasant visit, when they saw it they realised they had paid it a short visit previously when they stopped to have lunch in the restaurant as they drove north. We stopped overnight.
Annette and Mike, happy faces at prospect
of delicious ice creams at Dunham Massey

A lovely sunset by Dunham Massey

Wednesday and a lovely day. I winded Lily whilst they got ready for breakfast and then we headed into Sale first to visit Nero for coffee and then to Castlefields, topping up with water as we entered. After lunch we took the tram to Media City and all enjoyed our visit to the Lowry Centre, for us it was a re-visit but there was still plenty to see that was new. We took a pleasant amble over the Ship Canal and between the BBC buildings.
This incredible building is probably over 15 years old, it looks brand new and
the lift bridge is reflected in its glass. Much of it it occupied by a council whilst
their offices are repaired.

This is the lift bridge that wouldn't
and spoilt our Ship Canal cruise

As with the night before, Carol fed us royally and I tweaked their mattress so that it was a bit softer, they had not slept too well the night before. Very odd as previous visitors have found it very comfy, Jenny wanted to take it home with her!!

Thursday the weather is great & we headed into Manchester on the free bus, stopping to view the City Art Gallery, St Anne’s  church and the Royal Exchange. They treated us to a “light lunch” at Patisserie Valerie, so light we only had a sandwich at night! We then split, the girls looked at a shop or two whilst Mike & I spent a shortish time in MOSI.
At MOSI the engines were in live steam
cosy on a winter's day, hot when we visited.

Around 4 we reassembled refilled and dashed to Sale to send them on their way. They enjoyed their stop in Manchester, Annette had never been, Mike had only done stopovers as an airline pilot. They vowed to return.

Friday and Saturday  and more great weather. I tried to get my hand into the bow thruster tube but the gap between bars welded across it to stop logs getting in did not give enough space for my arm. I had intended to get into the water, by the bank it was about 4 feet deep, on the far side of the boat it was around 6 feet. I had a fish around with a pruning saw plus tried a mooring spike to turn the prop, but it was no good so we set off to the nearest winding hole, shown as being just the other side of Altrincham bridge but if it was there we couldn’t see anything we could use. Another half mile or so there was a small mooring basin where Lily managed to turn. Back at the rowing club I tried to clear the bow thrusters from the port side but without success, we need to get the tube out of the water to see what is wrong.
Having failed we moved on to the centre of Sale and stayed until Sunday afternoon. Sadly we heard that Carol’s sole surviving aunt had died after a slight fall. Now we have to organise where to leave Lily whilst we go up to near Arbroath, but not until we have had our oldest grandchildren stay. Olympic action kept us happy, plus I walked along to Sale Cruising Club to see if there is a possibility of us getting a visitor mooring there.

Sale Cruising Club seems to be a thriving place and on Saturday night they held a social evening, hosting visitors from just along the cut at Lymm Cruising Club. Their club house on the off-side was a very cosy place and it was good to see many members joining in. I managed to get the phone number for the moorings officer and am trying to get through. Good club it may be but don’t bother looking at their web site as it doesn’t appear to have been up-dated since 2002!!

Sunday and the weather breaks, a heavy shower by 13.30, still waiting for the kids but Sam had been out clubbing til 4 am this morning. When they arrive we are taking them to see the Trafford Centre plus the swing aqueduct.
Gelert moors at Burscough and has been out for her summer cruise, all the
way to Preston Brook. It takes up a lot of canal and they keep their stove
burning all year round, even on days when we have all windows wide!!
Contact from the kids and they set off about 2.15, when they arrive we'll head off to the Trafford Centre to show them it tomorrow. 

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