Sunday, 27 October 2013

Liverpools Albert Dock

Hi There

Well we are back on the main network now having crossed back across The Ribble Link to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

For our first year anniversary aboard we treated ourselves to a pub lunch on the Lancaster Canal before we left complete with wine and beer and a treat it certainly was as it was our first time since Christmas. Retiring early and living on a budget does mean some sacrifices, this being one of them, but would we change it, not a chance.

The trip back across The Ribble Link wasn’t as nice as it was going over and although it was dry, it was very windy so had to crab most of the way. Still managed the tidal part of the trip in two hours though and going north to south there is less of a likelihood of running out of water as we did on the initial trip to the Lancaster Canal. The two hours does of course exclude the trip down Savick Brook that links the Lancaster Canal with the tidal part of the link that in itself is another 2 – 3 hours so makes for quite a long day.

Just turning out of Savick Brook and onto the River Ribble. High tide is in about an hours time so pushing the tide for the first part of the trip.

With a strong wind from the north that makes going in a straight line a challenge.

 Our travelling companions for the day were the NB Tunnels End and
NB Reflections.
Our next port of call was Liverpool and we’d booked the Liverpool Canal Link for a weeks time so pretty much just travelled straight down there that gave us a couple of days rest before doing the link itself. We met up again with our friends Alan and Ann from Scotland who were on holiday in the Lake District and travelled down to see us. We hadn’t seen them for about four years then we meet up twice in the space of about two months. We then had ‘another’ pub lunch so after being baron of them for ten months we’d had two in about two weeks, ain’t life a bitch !

The Liverpool Canal Link consists of two swing bridges and six locks all of which were operated for us by the Canal and River Trust guys. So Nicky had a day off from hard labour and . . . actually I don’t know what she got up to as I didn’t see her for most of the trip as it’s a lonely life for me out back in bad weather. Actually tell a lie, she did look out and started to ask me if I wanted some waterproof trousers about ten minutes after it started pouring down and simply just shut the door when she saw my jeans wouldn’t actually get any wetter even if I jumped into the canal. The trip out was a much nicer day so there are some photo’s of the outbound journey a bit below.

One of the main reasons for heading towards Liverpool was for my annual pilgrimage to a footy match. Not Liverpool or Everton of course, but Man U and not so strange to moor in Liverpool when you’re watching a match in Manchester cos my mates Steve and Alan were flying into Liverpool airport from Jersey along with Alan’s wife and daughter who were going to be staying with Nicky on the boat whilst I was away. Turned out not to be the best result for us, 1-1 against Southampton, but the beer on the Friday and Saturday made up for it although not having drunk much over the past year plus trying to keep up with the adults left me feeling very jaded !

Tina and Nikita with The Boys and

then The Boys enjoying a snooze with Aunty Tina.

We then had more visitors, this time in the shape of Nicky’s uncle and aunt aka Paul and Cath who live just north of Liverpool. Cath happens to be a Liverpool supporter, but other than that she's really nice so I let her come aboard. They came down to see us for an afternoon and then we met up with them again a few days later and they took us for a walk around some woods, sand dunes and beach at a place called Freshfields. It was really nice to get away from the city, especially for the boys who’d now been a week without a decent off lead walk and considering they’re normally used to 2 – 3 hours a day out in the wilds it must have been a bit of a shock to their system.

Whilst in Liverpool we also had the luxury of electricity on our berth so plugged into it and didn't have to give a thought to our usage and whether we were going to be travelling or how bright it was going to be for the solar panels to charge up the batteries. Even so, we still only managed to spend £1.90's worth of electricity during the eight days we were there.
Anyway enough chat and back to some proper boat blogging and pictures of our trip out.

We were moored up in Salthouse Dock that’s within the Albert Dock development and you can see us here, the first boat from the left, actually we're the first boat from the right as well as we were alone for much of the time. We had the company of two narrowboats the first night, but they left the next morning (note to Nicky, change your deodorant) and then two others turned up for our last night. Our first proper experience of civilisation this year actually found us even more remote than our normal choice of rural moorings with not even a towpath outside the window with your usual throughput of walkers and cyclists.

As I said above, the trip out was far kinder for us you’ll see by the quick guide to the Liverpool Canal Link below.

Leaving Salthouse Dock then travelling through


Albert Dock

and towards the cut through to Canning Half Tide Lock

Now we’re in the Canning Half Tide Lock complete with Binks in his place of safety. If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know where to look for him, if you haven’t you might struggle to find him in the photo in which case you’ll have to go through my other blogs to find out where to look.

Now in Canning Dock with a Light Boat turned cafĂ© in the background.

And the first of six locks.

You’ve now got three tunnels, two smaller ones of 88m and 99m with the first taking you under the Museum of Liverpool and then a longer 190m one into the second lock. This stretch also takes you past The Royal Liver building.

From this lock it's now a straight run through Princes Dock

Central Docks

Central Docks Channel that the CaRT guy called 'The Ditch'

Passing the Victoria Clock Tower as you pass into

Salisbury Dock and Collingwood Dock

Stanley Dock

And into the first of the four Stanley Flight locks.


Looking back from the top lock


And back home on a canal once again

Just the number 10 swing bridge to go now so Nicky’s swung into action (sorry for the pun) and five hours is more than enough for us, so this’ll be home for the night.

If you’re thinking about going to the Albert Dock in Liverpool, then do it and if you haven’t thought about it then pencil it in as something to look into. I don’t think you could be better placed at Salthouse Dock that is adjacent to Liverpool One, with virtually everything within walking distance. We’ve missed out on more than we’ve managed to see during our stay there and if it wasn’t for one eye on forthcoming stoppages and loosely planning our next five to six months then we might have looked to extend our stay.
We’re now heading towards the daunting prospect of Wigan’s flight of 21 locks that doesn’t sound like they’ll be particularly enjoyable, but at least it saves on the cost of  gym membership for Nicky I suppose.

And so in signing off,

Day 371 in the Badger Sett Narrowboat - 738 miles and 299 locks further on from when we started.



  1. Great posting - lovely to hear what you’ve been up to since we saw you last. Enjoy the Wigan flight!

    Best wishes to you both.

    1. Hi Carol. Going to walk up the flight after breakfast to see how breezy it is although it's not as bad up here as it's meant to be down south. Been keeping a check on your blog and imagine it will be a voyage of mixed emotions between now and the spring visiting some of the 'narrow' places for the last time. I thought the photo of George in the cratch was quite sad and poor old Molly, was that her first time in the cratch whilst cruising too? Be sure to say nice things about us to Ann and Kev so they don't turn and cruise off into the distance when they see us coming.

      All the best to you both,

      Keith and Nicky

    2. Yes it was Molly’s first time too in the cratch! You’ll probably be aware now that we’re in Droitwich Marina waiting for the build to start and we’ve decided that the cruise down will probably be the last one we’ll do on Rock n Roll even though Still Rockin’ won’t be ready until end March/early April. Time for another posting on your blog Keith to let us know what you’re all up to! Stay well this winter. Kind regards.