after a quick visit into Northwich for some last minute supplies we left the town moorings and made our way down river as far as Barnton cut, passing on our way, the Anderton boat lift. By far the best view of the structure is from the river, showing the true scale of this marvel of Victorian ingenuity.
After a quiet night on the mooring we set off for the first of the two locks left to negotiate. With the keepers doing all the work and phoning ahead so that the next one is ready, they are really easy, despite the huge scale of them.
We moored up at a very lovely spot known as 'Devils Garden', a few miles short of Runcorn.
This morning the weather looked a bit kinder, with less of the cold wind and some good sunshine. Setting off, we were soon through the last of the huge swing bridges at Sutton, where the rural character of the river abruptly dissapeared. From here on one bank is lined with a vast chemical works. The pipe work, the tanks, and the supporting steel work look like some mad scientists nightmare! What does it all do? I'm sure someone knows, at least I hope so.
After a couple of hours cruising we arrived at Weston Marsh Lock, which connects the river to the Manchester Ship Canal. We moored on the floating pontoon close by and ventured ashore. From the lock there are fine views of the ship canal, and in the distance, the River Mersey and Liverpool. Despite the proximity to the chemical works, it is a very tranquil spot. Only disturbed by the birds on the estuary and the occasional popping of a pressure valve in the works, oh and the planes flying out of liverpool airport in the far distance.