In the last 21 months we have cruised Gecko for one week only. Since last July she has reposed in Uplands Marina at Anderton which is just across the River Weaver from the Tata plant. This used to be Brunner Mond but despite the change in name, ownership and nationality, it still produces salt. And since July last year it has been depositing a proportion of its salt production onto Gecko. Today we have come to the rescue and are moving her further north to Lancashire. I feel we are also rescuing ourselves: despite the wonders of Preston, we would rather be out on the canals.
We topped up the water tank last week after flushing out the potable antifreeze. Fuel is sufficient for about 200 hours so once we have extracted her from the marina we can get on our way - just turn left onto the T&M and go.
First we have three tunnels starting with a short one and each subsequent getting longer. By the time we have cleared these we are in Preston Brook on the Bridgewater Canal with a lock-free run ahead.
After the wet but warm winter, the weather is beautiful: sun shining and barely a breeze.
It really feels like summer with May blossom so abundant.
And Flag Irises creating a golden border to the channel.
Occasionally we are treated to a bank of Rhodies
Not everything, however, is rosy in the garden as we find several clumps of Japanese Knotweed when we moor up near Lymm.
But a glorious summer evening keeps our spirits on a high as we settle down for the first night on Gecko for a very long time.