Tuesday, 12 September 2017

North West Passage: Day 18

Another early start this morning as we had an 8am appointment at Pomona Lock. So it was engine on at 7.30 and we reversed out of the basin and turned at the bottom of the Rochdale Canal. Around fifteen minutes later we arrived at Pomona Lock, where the guys from the Bridgewater Canal Company's engineering department were already there. They filled the lock and we went in and then down.

The lock is deep, at about 14 feet. Once the gates were open we went out into Pomona Dock, and then atbthe end of that arm turned right, heading for the upper reaches of the River Irwell. The views towards Manchester were great.

There were still showers about, and there was a complete rainbow over some of the old warehouses.

The official limit of navigation on the River Irwell is right up near Manchester Cathedral, but we'd been warned not to go that far because of shallowness, and there are also major works going on to one of the rail bridges. So we went up to the point where the river was virtually blocked by the work boats and turned around. The flow on the river seemed quite strong, and there were big islands of debris that we had to avoid.

Having turned, we retraced our steps and then continued to Salford Quays. At some point the Irwell becomes the Manchester Ship Canal. The expanse of water looks huge, and the buildings are impressive.

By contrast, some sort of concrete pillar has been colonised by gnomes.

We headed for our mooring, which is next to the Holiday Inn Express, and across from the watersports centre and the Lowry Outlet Mall.

The next excitement was a Tesco delivery, booked to the postcode of the hotel next door. The driver found us without a problem, loaded all the stuff on a trolley, and we took it in through the side hatch.

We went for a walk around the area, and then went to see some of my BBC 6Music colleagues who are based up here and who I've never met. We ended up seeing the start of the Radcliffe and Maconie show going out. I even made a guest appearance.

After some lunch we walked across the Media City footbridge from where we could see some of the locks on the Manchester Ship Canal. The larger of the two is 600ft long.

From the far side of the Lowry Footbridge we could see Briar Rose moored in the distance. You need to look hard.

We went to The Lowry Centre and went up to the art gallery to see the exhibition of Lowry paintings and drawings. It's free and well worth a visit.

Really bad weather with strong winds is predicted for tonight. We're already bobbing up and down more than we're used to, so goodness knows what it's going to be like later!

4 miles, 1 lock. (214 miles, 131 locks)


Jennifer said...

Crumbs, you were brave! We winded at the 'colourful' Pamona Lock, Manchester Ship Canal did look a long way down, and intimidating.

Great to read your experience, maybe next time we'll be braver now :) thanks to you x

Nev Wells said...

That's a lot of water and not bad going from last week at the Black Lion - stay safe tonight