We kept our eye on the weather very carefully last week because we were going down to Glasson Basin and, according to everyone we’ve talked to, you really don’t want to do that if there’s a strong wind. As it turned out we were incredibly lucky. High winds over the weekend moderated and on Tuesday there was barely a breeze.
There are six heavy locks to negotiate, the only ones on the whole canal.
At the first lock I met a very cheerful Howard, who had arrived on his folding bike to set the lock for his own boat Compass Rose and for Y Knot. We came over the Ribble Link with both these boats and had received some invaluable tips from Howard and his wife Janet.
Gordon and I slogged our way down the locks (with the help of a fair few gongoozlers)…..
….and were rewarded with our first sight of Glasson Basin.
On the left, as you enter the basin, there’s a large marina which is full of yachts. Glasson harbour was built as a sea port for Lancaster and ahead of you there’s a lock that gives access to the Dock area. We moored against the basin wall on the right. There are also moorings on the other side of the basin, to the left of the lock which are advisable to use in poor weather. Apparently, where we moored, boats are likely to get pinned to the quay in high winds! As you can see from the photo, last Tuesday, it was flat calm.
Gordon was keen to see Glasson Dock, having heard so much about it from his mate Anthony, who met his wife Kate there more years ago than either of them would care to admit. We wandered down to take a look around.
There was a yacht leaving the basin through the lock and into the dock, so we had to stop and watch.
Our next visit was to the Port of Lancaster Smokehouse where I got to peruse their wonderful range of smoked foods of all kinds. We left with a couple of bags of goodies including Morecambe Bay potted shrimps and smoked haggis.
In the evening the weather improved even more and the view of the marina from the side hatch was spectacular.
The morning view wasn’t too shabby either!
Before we left Glasson we went for a walk around the back of the village to have a look across the salt marshes and out over the Lune Estuary…..
….and back towards Glasson, the marina and the hills beyond.
Back in the basin we got talking to Cyril and Jackie from nb Predator 3. It didn’t take Gordon and Cyril long to find out that they had fishing in common, with Cyril having worked out of Fleetwood. They’re also off to Liverpool – the hard way. They’re going out of Glasson and heading forty miles or so down the coast past Fleetwood and Blackpool and into the mouth of the Mersey! That’s a bit more adventure than we would ever be up for in a narrowboat. Cyril’s spent his whole life fishing in these waters and knows them like the back of his hand but even so…..
They’re due to be in Liverpool at the same time as us so hopefully we can get together and hear how it all went.
When we left the basin I put some of our purchases from the smokehouse to good use. The peppered smoked mackerel made a delicious lunch.
As we headed off towards Preston, we were lucky enough to spot this little fellow sunning himself on a log.
The whole of the Lancaster Canal has an ‘otherworldly’ feel to it but this becomes even more emphasised when you go down the Glasson Branch and into the basin. It more than repays the effort of working through six locks there and six locks back.