Wednesday 29th June 2016 Hello everybody….. Welcome Monsieur Rain. We had hoped the forecast might be wrong. Unfortunately it is right. Not right for us though. Not an enticing day for a cruise. BUT. We have a booking to fill. Pontoon Berth S8. Not even sure exactly where it is but hope it can be found quickly when we arrive. It might be grey & threatening up there but at least the rain has stopped. For now. Still quite blow-ee-y out ‘ere though.
Tis 1.00pm. CRT crew have arrived. The experience begins. Our course is set. West we shall cruise. nbs:Black Bart & Kimberley Jo join together in Stanley Dock Top Lock ready for a speedy 44′ (many toes) free-fall. Almost. Four locks efficiently handled by CRT & narrowboat crews together.
The other narrowboats & one cruiser are following behind.
We’s gunna ‘ave sum FUN !!!
Exiting Bottom Lock, Kimberley Jo takes the lead & Bart follows through the short tunnel, feeding us into wide waters of Stanley Dock. Impressively flanked by brick monsters.
The rather LARGE Warehouse to the South is Most Impressive dating back to 1900.
The (currently non-rocking) water counter-weighted bascule bridge is already sufficiently high for Bart & others to creep under, allowing passage through Collingwood Dock & into Salisbury dock where the hexagonal Victoria clock tower slowly grows in front of us. Shame the clocks is-a-not working guv. Wonder if they might work again one day. Lister helps Bart (& old-prop) (& rud too) turn South as we move into the rough waters of Clarence Dock. Quite a strong side wind here coming off the tittle known estuary tuther side of the ‘walls’ to the right (West for those in the know).
Keeping the ‘power’ on along this very narrow stretch of Clarence Dock or we may be travelling sideways just a tittle too much. Still dry though.
Sids Ditch has been improved from quite literally a ‘ditch’ between docks to a (slightly strange sloping east bank) navigation for narrowboats & even wide beams too. Just keep to the original left/West dock wall to avoid that slop-ee-y bank. This is all that be ‘left’ of now infilled Trafalgar Dock.
The ‘fast’ ‘S’ bend swishes Bart & crew to
West Waterloo Dock Where there be new buildings starting to mix with the old. Princes Half Tide Dock soon becomes
Princes Dock where a fine modern pedestrian bridge (permanently raised a few foot) (& a few moor toes) to provide sufficient headroom for the likes of Black Bart to creep through, appears to glide across in front of us. A very famous ‘istorical Architectural splendour appears on the horizon.
The new Princes Dock Lock lowers Bart & co to the level of a new tunnel running under St. Nicholas Place, heading towards the ‘Pier Head’. Bit bendy this tunnel. A fair few marks in the tunnel indicate some have been caught out.
As we exit the first tunnel the “Three Graces” (I don’t know) appear in all their splendour to our left/West. The second tunnel soon follows, spitting us out back into the light, where the new Museum of Liverpool elegantly ‘sweeps’ towards us.
Our Convoy of two pass under the museum through the third & final (bendy again) tunnel to Mann Island. Tight turn into our final lock for today’s cruise.
A small descent & departure into Canning Dock is successfully played out before the CRT chappies turn up to help. Too late !! Beat you.. Te He !!!
We pass two large ‘graving’ (Dry) Docks to our right, then swinging right/West ourselves, past the splendid Pump House into
the watery Canning Half Tide Dock.
The famous Albert Dock greets us in all it’s splendour as we pass through the open tidal barrier, under the bridge, passing the Westerly ‘Tate’, nearing ‘our prize’.
Salthouse Dock opens out in front of Black Bart & Crew as we swim out from the shadow of old Albert’s surrounding (saved) warehouses. S8 is spotted with an eagle eye & Lister guides us through the Berth canal beautifully into a fine looking Birthday ‘oliday Fun position. Lines secured. Lister & associated friends rested. ‘Shore line’ connected & we have power. Proper fizzing 240v stuff. Yippee ! ! ! & Relax…….
!!! !! ! What an absolutely FANTASTIC Experience ! !! !!!
Cap’ns EJ-JJ from SS Dolby have beaten Bart & crew to Liverpool. Darn it. We welcome our ‘guests’ to enjoy celebration drinks on board then out for some Grub. Lovely !!! What a Day Black Bart & Crew have had. We is all Very Ty-red now.
Thursday 30th June Ciao Bambinos. Those (lovely) troublemakers from t’old’Dolby have returned after crew have enjoyed extra recovery from yesterday’s experience.
We enjoy further relaxation before our first walking of some of the docks.
Friday 1st July The Wonderful City of Liverpool is getting busy out there. There be a k-nocking on Bart’s roof. A persistant delivery man has found Bart
& Beautiful Birthday Flowers have arrived. Thanks Ed !! They smell almost as wonderful as they look. Fantastic !!! Crew go for a walk int’town checking out possible eateries. Trying to keep away from those big chainies. Cedar Gin & Fire on Duke street has been highly recommended. We’ll see. Can’t seem to find it, so end up by Cathedral Gate which strangely leads to
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. A Most Imposing Architectural masterpiece. Started in 1904. Finally completed in 1978. We enjoy a wander inside & admire the light shining through the Fantastic stain glass windows. First part opened, The Lady Chapel, is Most Splendid. A must if any of you pay a visit on day.
Liverpool can proudly boast the oldest Chinese community in the country. There be interesting sights. If only you could whiff those aromas floating aroand int’air. We crew of two descend the hill, finally finding our possible foody place. Looks good. Booked. & indeed, when we return later, the food is Delicious. & there be an amazing assortment of gin drinks to choose from. Much enjoyment is had. & BIG Thankyou to you-know-who ! !! !!!
Saturday 2nd July A slow (boaters you know) begin for today.
Soo Much boaty-ness to this wonderful docklands & dockwaters.
Breakfast (brunch I suppose if the truth be known) is enjoyed at Billy’s. A Fine establishment. Full English. Eggs & tings. Teas. Coffees. The list goes on. Afternoon visit to the expansiveness of shopping facilities is most fortuitous. New delights of attire to wear later. For tonight’s event. After sum grub we walk to the Cavern Club. We had been Warned “It be hot down there”. That certainly was not a lie. That statement does not prepare you for the wall of heat that envelopes you after descending those famous steps taking you down below the city. The noise. The bodies. The sweat. Lovely !!! After staying to enjoy the band playing with such energy, we then move onto the ‘Lounge’ for the main event. After the warm-up act. A fine guitarist & singer. FAB FOUR ! !! !!! They certainly are that. The Cavern Beatles appear on stage to much applause & excited anticipation. They go down a Storm. Playing many a FAB Famous song. Tonight they have a very noisy (maybe slightly out of tune) backing group. WHAT A NIGHT !!! !! ! Absolutely Fantastic ! !! !!!
Sunday 3rd July A pleasantly slow wake up this morn. Last night was quite literally FAB !!! All were to bed very late this morning. Yes you read right. After late breakfast, brunch really, we take a walk along the docks to find a famous ferry. Tickets are acquired with the usual Bart-ering techniques. After a rest for some refreshment our time has come.
We take full advantage to sing (with real Gusto…) Ferry across the Mersey. Yes. For real. There really is a Big river called the Mersey & there also be a Ferry too. Well, at least one anyway.
Wouldn’t bring Bart out here. Be moor than Scary. The tidal currents are incredibly powerful. Glad we’re not in charge on this cruise.
The Mersey boasts two tunnels. Queensway (Birkenhead) Tunnel opened in 1934 & Kingsway Tunnel open in 1971. I know which air ventilation tower I prefer. You can now choose yours.
One Very Special Birthday Girl.
A cocktail of fine historical & modern architecture.
I want to go on that boat. It looks even moor FUN !!! After a few sad goodbyes, chilling time back on Bart. Out for a most scrumptiousness of Thai curry later. Quite spicy that were. A bit of bite in every slurp & crunch. Delish !!
Monday 4th July
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A MOST WONDERFUL DARLING.
With Love from Skip, Roxy, Bart & friends. chink ! Chink !! CHINK !!!
Birthday Breakfast at Billy’s. Treat from Roxy. She is Such A Good Girl. Roxy that is. & the Birthday Girl too of course. After our fill a Birthday Girl’s jaunt to the shops is required for some treats to behold.
Tuesday 5th July Just us is left ‘ere in olde’ Liverpool Town. Black Bart & Crew of three. Far too much frolicking has been had. A tittle recovery time may be required. Some responsible ‘driving’ will be required tomorrow.
Crew is a chillin’ while our girl Roxy is enjoying the old ball chasing lark.
Wednesday 6th July We is up early today readying Bart for some manoeuvres. A SAD day today. Liverpool is waving goodbye to Bart
as we is moving on. Oh !! Skippet is being left behind……
Thank Goodness. She’s just managed to snick back on before Bart reverses out too far.
Bart reverses some moor. & Then moor. Bart Likes Reversing. Finally we is starting to wind. It is a fine calm warm bright morn.
Bart cruises out of Salthouse Dock into
Albert Dock. We are third in a convoy of five boats. Four narrowboats & one, a cruiser.
There be a short delay in Albert Dock as the lead boat is eyeing a red light. Soon we is off again swimming into
Canning Tidal Dock where HMS Pembroke is moored. She cruised into the dock last Saturday when the weather was most unpleasant. Took a couple of attempts to come through the tidal dock’s gates. A Fine job Skip. Better him/her than me.
Bart passes the naval beast, into Canning Dock, swinging roand in preparation for Mann Island Lock. There is a delay as our soon to be lock companions seem a tittle unsure aboat proceedings. Bart would have gone straight in, if in the lead, but we is not, so have to remain patient & calm. Chill Man…. Chill Woman….
Poor old nb:Kimberley Jo is being left behind. Sorry !! Our docks & locks travel companions had already said they didn’t want to be first, and would follow BB & KJ out. Got that wrong then. Not to worry. Bart will help.
Bart moves on, through the lock, turning & chugging through the Museum of Liverpool Tunnel to see the Three Graces for one last time. We is now at The Pier Head.
The statue of Edward VII on his horse stands above the second tunnel ahead.
Bart dips down below the king sitting proudly on his steed
& quickly ‘leaps’ up our next lock to paddle into Princes dock
past the flying swan & hunkering down toe swish under the sweeping low bridge ahead.
Princes Half Tide Dock is soon washing Bart quickly into the very watery West Waterloo Dock where our trusty steed stays right ready to enter
Sids Ditch which is the new excavated channel,
running along the East wall of the (sadly) infilled Trafalgar Dock shooting
Bart directly into Clarence Dock, soon followed by Salisbury Dock.
where Bart tacks from a northerly to an easterly course
cruising into Collingwood Dock which ends perfectly with the bascule bridge
guiding Bart into the (final) Stanley Dock & it’s impressive warehouse buildings.
A last twist to peek behind before we enter the dock’s entree/exit tunnel
& Bart finally swims into Stanley dock bottom lock to join our companions again.
With assistance from both crews & CRT chappies, Bart & nb:friend gracefully ascend over 40 feet, floating up the four locks. Cruising side-by-side as we negotiate the pounds between the locks. All assisted with the pleasant chit-chat of like-minded peoples.
Stanley Dock top Lock is the fourth & final ascent of our Liverpool Canal Link adventure. Beautifully rounding off our Fantastic week of FUN in Salthouse Dock & the Wonderful City of Liverpool. A Most Fabulously Fantastic way to spend a few days. Highly Recommended.
In 1846, 30 years after the canal’s completion the Leeds & Liverpool canal was directly linked to Liverpool docks via the Stanley Dock Branch, by construction of the four locks. Georges Dock was filled in at the beginning of the 20th Century to allow the building of the Liver Building, Cunard Building and the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board Building, now known as “the Three Graces”. This meant the North and South Docks were no longer directly linked. Boats wishing to travel from the North Docks to the South Docks had to go via the River Mersey.
After several years of discussion & route planning adjustments construction of the Liverpool Canal Link finally commenced in 2007 in conjunction with redevelopment of St. Nicholas Place, the Pier Head & creation of the new Museum of Liverpool.
The Liverpool Canal Link extends the
Leeds and Liverpool Canal by way of
Liverpool’s Central Docks and
Pier Head to the South Docks
It is a broad canal with 2 new locks
as well as the 4 locks on the
Stanley Dock Branch that
provides access to the Link.
The link was opened in April 2009.