Thursday, 10 May 2018

Rufford Arm to Tarleton...

After a long night moored next to the not working swing bridge, hearing it "thump thump" every few mins are cars drover over it, we weren't in the best of spirits...  By 10.30 when there was STILL no sign of any repairs taking place, I got on the phone to CRT.

They (as in the collective) didn't have any information on it other than "a stop notice was issued last night at 8pm"...  WE KNEW THAT!!!    - Anyway, I was transferred to the Wigan office where what has to be the "best person for the job" tried to placate me.  She really was good.  I can be a bit obstinate  passionate about trying to get a problem resolved.  She promised to phone me back as soon as she had any information but all the "system" showed was contractors were due back on site at some point later in the day.

11.45 (anyone would think I'm time obsessed) came and one of the previous night's chaps returned... NOT the rude one .  I went over to offer him a cup of tea and explain we'd only wanted to go through, turn round and then come back as we were trying to get up to Tarleton in time for a mini break we've been requested to do this coming Saturday.  THIS chap explained to me what they'd done and if we gave him 10 mins to get another chap to come along from the next swing bridge - you remember, the one running (or not as the case is) on batteries, he'd operate it manually to let everyone through.

When his colleague (now the grumpy one from last night) arrived, I thiknk he'd either gotten the message OR someone from the office had  had a word with him - he came over to explain what was happening and that we sshould get through.    By about 12,the bridge was open, the back log of boats passed through as us turning a few hundred yards the other side.

We had to stop and operate the now repaired *read  - REBOOTED* bridge, ourselves on return and the chap (still bank side) shouted they'd operate the next bridge (which was still broken) when we arrived....

Did they? - well, if 6 chaps in orange hi vis vests having tea/coffee in their vans counts as operating it then yes...  the reality was another 2 hours sitting there with  5 other boats "waiting"... 

Eventually the bridge began to open and UNLIKE last night when we'd waited for official permission to go through, ALL of us made a dash for it - us leading the way in a "come on chaps, tally ho" kind of way...whatever the etiquette for deciding who goes through first is, I'd decided that as I could untie and leap aboard fastest, we WOULD be through and on our way!

It was a pleasant enough journey back to Burscough where we topped up the water tank again but the rain had set in for the day so when we made the turn on to the Rufford arm (very well done even if I do say so myself) we were soaked to the skin.   On arrival at the lock landing, we had to breast along side another boat who was preparing go down the lock.

IT transpired, his girlfriend was totally new to boating and a little nervous.... as such, he'd originally planned to single hand with assistance if you follow.  Us turning up, had just made his afternoon a lot easier.

We agreed it might be best to tie our boats up and whilst he and Andy worked the locks, I'd bring both boats through.  Having never done it before, I was a little nervous but was MUCH happier than I would have been had HE have been doing the skippering.   It took a little more thought given they were 60' to our 57' but it was easy enough and a side from the noise his engine was making, it worked well...

I'd have reached over and turned it off but I wasn't sure if he was running something like a washer/dryer etc.

We did a few locks like this tied up everything went smoothly - we had to untie when a couple of bottom gates wouldn't fully open and after that we took it in turns to arrive first and set the locks etc.

It's actually quite a nice arm - on a dry day it'd have been even nicer.  Rufford Hall looked quite welcoming too but in the rain, we just carried on by.

On Reaching Tarleton, we spotted our friends on their boat moored and tied up 1 boat behind...  

OF course now the debate about having a pram and cratch cover has been re-opened... hmmf!

Trying to dodge more discussion on the subject, we went to say hello,  then a quick shower and walk up to the village/town for tea in the pub - they stopped serving at 8 so we had to get a wiggle on.  

On return to the boats, Rummikub came out (again)  - (I'm sure Andy's on commission) - (or should be) and AS usual, he massacred us all!

Luckily, we managed to numb the pain with a drink or 8!

In other news, after 8 days in Icu following his op, my dad's now been moved to a private room on a different ward.  That's a good sign and mum is keeping me updated as much as she can remember.  

It's going to be a long and slow recovery but (can't remember if I've said this already) she's arranging for "help" to come in at the house in some form or other.  I'v mooted the idea that if they wanted to, they might sell up, cash in and both go into a wardened scheme like one of their friends has done.  From the sounds of things, she's not ready for that yet so they'll try the "help" thing first.

Meanwhile, we're spending a few more days here in Tarleton whilst we wait for our next guests to join on Saturday  - a 2 night taster for a local couple .

Until next time...


************** Brian and Diana on NB Harnser******** Maps by said...

Do you wind before or after the swing bridge in Tarlton? I did it after at 57 foot with room to spare

Quaysider said...

After - JUST before the boat yard where it's marked on the NEW nicholsons as a winding hole.

It's plenty deep enough there and there was enough space I'd say to do a 60 foot boat.

BLOOMING windy though on our way back up.