We were delayed making the trip over here because of the wind and were not allowed out onto the river until Tuesday at 12:30. This is because both the Douglas and the Ribble are tidal rivers and you have to cross the Ribble estuary. However Tuesday was a beautiful day, no wind and sunny and the crossing was brilliant.
The famous Harry, who mans Tarleton Lock called the ten boats doing the crossing to the lock at 11:30. However it took an hour to get us all through so plenty of time waiting at the top to descend. We were the last pair of boats out of Tarleton Lock and the boat we came down with must have had a big engine as he powered on and was amongst the first to turn onto the Ribble Link.
We were advised that coming out of the lock we would need to give it some power or the river would push us sideways. Saw this as the boat that came out with us was just taken sideways. Amazing the power of water and the tide.
I really enjoyed the trip it seemed very different to the tidal Trent, which we did last year. It was a brilliant and exciting day. Normally they only allow boats one way, but as the two previous crossings from Tartleton were cancelled they let ten boats out and another six were coming across from the Lancaster.
|Approaching Tarleton Lock|
|In the lock and going down|
|Coming out of Tarleton Lock onto the River Douglas, the flow was fast|
|three of the ten boats let out of the lock!|
|narrow boat Motex, we later shared locks with them on the Link.|
|There were six boats coming the other way. They had an easier job as they weren't battling against the tide!|
|Catching up some of the other boats!|
|Turning onto the Ribble Link|
Once through the sea lock you have to moor up until the water level has dropped enough to let boats under the first bridge. Nine boats all hanging together was a sight to see.
|Graham reliving the trip with other boaters.|
|Nine of us all moored together!|
|It's a bit twisty and narrow here.|
There are nine locks including the sea lock on the link. All are operated by boaters apart from the staircase of three, which are the last locks. But there were CRT guys at most to lend a hand. The staircase of three locks is huge and is on a hairpin bend that narrow boats cannot negotiate so has to be reversed into. A daunting prospect!!
|Last bridge before the staircase.|
|The huge and amazing staircase lock that we had to reverse into.|
|Reversing into the lock|
|And onto the Lancaster Canal|