Out of Manchester

From Astley Bridge No 58 to Dutton Wharf Bridge No 212, a distance of 30 miles, 7¼ flg and 1 lock.

Easter Saturday, and you think that you’d see some boats on the move wouldn’t you? Well we didn’t. We pretty much had the canal to ourselves again. All the way through Worsley and over Barton Swing Aqueduct and right through Trafford Park we saw just about no-one.

Kathy and I ended up phoning the RSPCA because by the Kellogg’s factory there was a Canada Goose with a crossbow bolt through its neck. It seemed to be swimming and breathing OK and not in pain but what sort of sick person shoots at birds like that. OK they’re a bit a of pest but you wouldn’t do that to your dog or your brother so why do it to a bird? We gave them the details and they said they had another report of another goose in a similar situation, so I guess there are just some very very sick people in Manchester.

When we got to Sale there were still a surprising number of boats on the Sale Cruising Club moorings which probably tells you a lot about just how big the club is. The rowers were out in force with at least three of the bigger boats being sculled up and down the canal, along with countless single sculled ones, populated almost entirely by people who didn’t seem to know what they were doing, maybe it was an open day or something?

We got a pumpout done at Oughtringham Bridge No 24 which has some pretty good opening times that are not just 9-5, and then we called in at Thorne Marine at Stockton Quay Bridge No 15 where we picked up a new fuel filter, some diesel bug killer and a hand held pump so we could pump the gloop from the bottom of the tank.

The canal was now actually quite busy but not so busy that we were in a queue and felt that we were either being held up by the boat in front or being pushed by the boat behind.

The Post Office atMoore Bridge No 7 sells some provisions and the towpath is in good condition so you can easily pull in and send some crew off over the road to the shop.

Actually we seemed to spend quite a bit of time popping in out of places buying things, we stopped at Midland Chandlers to see if they had any additives we could put in the tank to soak up any water. They had some stuff but it was a seriously silly amount of money so it stayed on the shelf.

When we were waiting at Preston Brook Tunnel (North end) for the transit window we pumped some more of the bottom of the tank and it was pretty unpleasant, and between that, and some pumping we’d done earier we probably took half a gallon of sludge and gloop out of the bottom of the tank.

We followed a couple of boats through the tunnel and we cruised on for a bit looking for a good mooring. The Trent and Mersey along here has some really bad edges and finding places where you can put Mintball in to the side is hard but eventually we found a good spot in a cutting by Dutton Wharf Bridge No 212

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