Sunday 24th July 2016
Big day today. As mentioned in previous blogs we had registered for our passage into Liverpool docks today. We needed an early start of 7.30 am as we were required to be at a swing bridge that was manned by CART staff. The same CART staff will be guiding us all the way into the docks. The swing bridge goes over a very major road which they need to shut off to traffic. All the boats going into Liverpool each day are marshalled at this bridge and between the hours of 9.30 to 10.30 am you are guided through. There are then another two swing bridges that are manned. Along the way we got to go over some rather elaborate wrought iron bridges. Our flotilla of boats consisted for five – everything ranging from 60 foot to about 24 foot and all ages to spanking brand new to very old ladies of the sea.
This stretch of the trip took up 3 ½ hours of which ½ and hour of it was parked up outside of Tesco’s stocking up with essentials and emptying out the rubbish. Then off to the top of the Stanley Flight of locks which consist of four locks.
At the top of the lock you see this enormous brick building which is the largest in the world. It used to be owned by British Tobacco which was used as their warehouse for all tobacco being brought in from overseas. Here is a bit of trivia for you. Di use to work for British Tobacco back in Australia where it was called WD & HO Wills. Now here is the kicker. She use to be an Occupational Health and Safety Nurse – bit of an oxymoron going on there. She only lasted 18 months at that job.
The warehouse is now in the stage of being transformed into luxury apartments. As each floor only has a roof height of 7 foot they are removing every second floor – should be very interesting to come back and see the finished product. On the other side of the warehouse is this hotel – hmmm. Apparently the SS Titanic even though built in Belfast was actually registered in Liverpool.
Right on transport so to speak.
Descending our last set of locks for seven days.
The picture below gives you an idea of our passage from the top of the locks into Salthouse Dock which is where are mooring is for the next seven days.
In the top left hand corner you can see the pink mark which shows the top lock. The pages do not quite meet in the middle but if you follow the black dots it will show our route. There were originally many docks here but a large number of them have now been filled in. At present they are vacant land but no doubt they will be gentrified with apartments.
On the other side of the warehouse is this hotel – hmmm. Apparently the SS Titanic even though built in Belfast was actually registered in Liverpool.
Once at the bottom of the locks we were officially in the docks area. As we came out of the locks our arrival was heralded by the squawking of many seagulls.
This is the hexagonal Victoria Tower with a clock on all six sides offering stevedores no alibis in the old days for tardiness (plagiarism here from Pearson’s guide) – at least we are honest about it.
You make a sharp left into the narrow canal called Sid’s Ditch. For many years there was no access to the docks area for canal boats due to the fact the many of the docks had been filled in but they built this small ditch during the massive refurbishment of the Liverpool docks. The idea to get the canal boats back into the docks area is to promote tourism and the revitalisation of the redevelopment. Even though it was raining when we arrived it was very busy.
What is truly amazing about this whole thing re-opening of this area from the boaters point of view is that it costs us absolutely nothing. We had two CART staff assigned to us all day plus fabulous mooring facilities with free power and water and rubbish disposal services. Cannot ask for better than that.
Just over the embankment we were doing time with the really big boys on the Mersey River.
This is an Argentinian training ship. Kinda dwarfs us.
We are now getting very close to our dock area. This is the famous Royal Liver Building topped by the two Liver birds which are mythical creatures. Original this building was owned by an insurance company but has now been converted by the local Liverpool council into administration buildings.
We have gone under a number of shortish tunnels; past large ventilation shafts for the Kingsway road tunnel under the Mersey; swanky office buildings and expensive residential towers.
Spooky but very clean tunnel.
Swanky offices and getting ready for our almost last lock.
Magnificent old stone buildings.
Port of Liverpool Building
Eye candy for a seaman.
More eye candy – nb Lucy has some serious competition.
Rather modernistic buildings along the foreshore.
So we finally moored up at 4.00pm. Apart from the ½ stop at Tesco we cruised 8 ½ hours which is our longest day yet. The time just flew by as we had so much to take in and experience. Originally we were not going to cruise into Liverpool but thought of just catching a train in for the day. We are really pleased that we changed our minds. Tonight is being spent relaxing and catching up on blogs and housework as we have our very good friend Nick from Australia joining us for the next week. We are certainly looking forward to him coming as he comes from a naval family so we are about to show him something completely out of his comfort zone. He is also just great fun to have around.
We might be out of contact for a few days whilst we explore the workings of Liverpool but be assured we will be back on-line again.