wednesday morning, and the sun was shining out of a clear blue sky. We walked back up the locks to visit the chandlery for a new water pump, and had a brief chat with NB Swamp Frog who we had met last year on the Stafs. & worc. Canal. Walking back through the town we visited a charity shop, and found a lovely ships decanter, something we have been seeking for a while. The curious shape of the base is to make them stable on board a rolling ship, something we shouldn't have to worry about on board Oakapple.
By early afternoon we were ready to move on to Billinge Green Flash. One of the wide, lake like parts of the canal, locally known as flashes. These are caused by subsidence from the effects of the salt mining industry in the region.
There we found NB Festina Lente moored in this beautiful spot. We had two evenings of great entertaining, swoping visits between our two boats with nachos, mexican style on board Oakapple, and yesterday, goulash, superbly cooked by Sue on board FL. We also found time to sit in the unseasonal sunshine getting pink, while the captain polished some of the outside brass, a job long overdue.
This morning we said farewell and headed off towards the Anderton lift. Built in 1875, this incredible piece of engineering takes boats down the 50ft from the Trent and Mersey Canal onto the River Weaver. We arrived there around 12.30 and booked the passage down. By 1.30 we were entering the short aqueduct onto the iron caisson which, full of water, takes the boat down to the river while another one comes up the other side of the lift, on this occasion containing another boat on its way up. The whole process is incredibly smooth and in about 15 mins. we were heading out onto the river towards Northwich. Through two of the huge locks and we are secured for the night at Vale Royal Moorings, next to NB Large Marge, who we met back at Bugsworth Basin.