Monday, 23 April 2012

21st April

There was a shower over night but we set off in bright weather and motored through the 5 Swing Bridges of Maghull to moor up at Bridge 9 ready for BW to pick us up in the morning and open the two main road swing bridges into Liverpool.
* Swing Bridge

 At 12.30 we had a call to say would we like to go half way this afternoon and make an early start on Sunday morning so that we could be in Liverpool to see the Odyssey.
We had to wait for 3 other boats to arrive (Cygnet, Nesta, Old Codger) and the convoy set off just after 2.00pm.
* The Convoy

Just after the first swing bridge we passed the Canal Turn,
Melling Road
, and Beecher’s Brook parts of Aintree Race Course.
The rest of the journey I nicknamed Coot Alley as every few yards there was a coots nest with chicks of a day old to a few days old. They are not as pretty as the Mallard chicks. Although the surface was full of floating rubbish the water was crystal clear so it must be fairly good quality for the ducks and fish to be so abundant.
We reached the BW service area at Litherland at 3.30pm and moored up for the night. Tesco was just the other side of the fence so we were able to do some more shopping and even managed to get some coal from their garage.

22nd April
Left the mooring at 7.00am in sharp shower which soon stopped and it brightened up into a nice day. We reached the 4 Locks leading into Stanley Dock at 8.00am and were met by the BW boys who helped us through, as a special windless is required for the top gate paddles.
* Locks into Stanley Dock

We then entered the docks area with it high derelict Tobacco Warehouses and passed the Victoria Tower.
* Tobacco Warehouse

* Victoria Tower

We motored on through a series of canals, docks, and tunnels until we came to the Liver Building where we went through the last tunnel under the Liverpool Museum and lock into Canning Dock where we were greeted by thousands of people lining the dock wall.
* Tunnel under Liverpool Museum

* Canning Dock Reception

We had to wait while some of the preparations for the departure of the Odyssey group took place and then we could enter Albert Dock and finally Salthouse Dock where we moored up at 10.00am.
No sooner had we moored up than we went up onto the Dock road and watched the Odyssey pass by. What an incredible sight with 30ft high Models of a Girl and her dog as well as her uncle the Diver. They were made and operated by a French theatre company and the operators must have been athletes as they were swinging on ropes to operate the legs and arms of the models. Truly a moving experience.
* The Girl

* The Dog

* The Dog 2

* The Diver

* Diver Workings

* The Boat

There was also a boat battling its way through the waves and the letters written by local children were being fired into the crowd from a cannon.
*Cannon firing Letters

At the end of the procession the Odyssey came back to the quay where we were moored and so we had a grandstand view from the boat roof of them being lowered into the boat which would take them out to sea.
Over the weekend there had been over a million visitors and I must say the crowds were very friendly and so enthusiastic about the event.
* Grandstand view

* Lowered into Boat

* Abseilers releasing the Diver

Back on the boat we had the Mersey Fire Service Hover craft buzzing us and demonstrating how they used it.
* Hover Craft

23rd April

A lazy day, after the last few hectic weeks and chance to recharge our batteries, and catch up with some washing.
In the afternoon we all went to the cinema to see Fishing for Salmon in Yemen, which despite my misgivings turned out to be a good film.
Our evening was spent playing cards and enjoying the sights of Albert Dock, it must be the fashion up here for girls to go around with Rollers in their hair.

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