I set off with nb Four Goldens just after eight am to get to Bridge 9, where CRT guys held up the traffic on this busy road for us and opened the bridge. Just a short way on and the boat ahead of me came to a halt and ran into the reeds; it appeared that his engine had stopped and would not restart, so I offered him a tow, which he accepted. The next few swing bridges were also opened by the CRT guys and we continued on for about three miles until we reached the service area at Litherland, where he wanted to stop. I was then able to pick up more speed and hopefully catch up the other boats, as the towing severely slowed me down, as well as Four Goldens behind me.
I very nearly passed by the turning into Stanley Locks, as I couldn’t see the other boats until I was upon them. The Pride of Sefton trip boat was there waiting along with another narrow boat at the top lock. We were helped through the four locks by CRT volunteers this time and it was obvious that they were new to the job. At the bottom I passed the enormous Tobacco Warehouse on the left before entering Stanley Dock, Collingwood Dock and Salisbury Dock, before turning left into Trafalgar Dock and so it went on until we reached the new Princes Dock Lock, manned again for us. We progressed through the 200 yd St Nicholas Tunnel and the Cunard Tunnel, passing the “Three Graces”, the Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building and on through Mann Island Lock into Canning Dock, Canning Half Tide Dock, Albert Dock and finally, Salthouse Dock were the mooring pontoons were. It was a good job I was following another boat, who knew the way, otherwise I would have been circling some of those docks looking for a way out. After three attempts, I finally reversed onto my allocated pontoon, much to the amusement of the boaters watching of course. Well, there was a wind, although it was only light at the time, but enough to blow me off course. What a mooring – right in the centre of the old docks and within walking distance of most of the star attractions. The total time had been seven hours to get here today.
To get my bearings, I took a walk around the Waterfront as far as the Pier Head, taking a load of pics, ending up in The Pumphouse for a well deserved pint. What a day it has been and well worth the waiting.