Time to get a move on, the temptation to sunbathe had gone along with the sun. When we arrived at Saltersford locks I could see a couple of boats were already on their way down. As I was untying to leave the mooring I saw them go past and thought we would be able to catch them up. I tried calling the lock on VHF 74 but got no answer, I should have used the mobile.
Never mind a few minutes wait on the pontoon and the lock keeper waved us in to the big electrically operated lock. Our little boat looked lost in the vastness of this lock, ropes for and aft were passed round bollards by the keeper and passed back down to us, but we felt no surge or pull as we steadily descended.
The lock keeper said that in the past, six lockkeepers used to man the locks 24/7 deciding which of the two locks would be used and which part of each lock, depending on the size of vessel, saving as much water as possible was important with the number of boats passing through as the Anderton Lift could not operate if the water level fell by more than eight inches.
Before Dutton Lock was the Acton Swing Bridge and lock, when it came into sight was the same layout as Saltersford, except for a sign saying “Buy the New Book” The lock keeper Fred was a bit of an author and we bought his first book ‘Fools and Villains’ saying that we would buy his latest if we enjoyed the first. An amazingly good read, rather a lot of characters, but good fun.
Soon after Dutton locks we passed the lovely wooden bridge under which the river returned from below the lock, we then passed under the impressive railway viaduct. All the time the water was slowly getting greener with algae until it now looked liked we were cruising through green oil, wouldn't want Duggie to fall in here.
Our mooring destination was the Devils Garden, a couple of miles further on, an unofficial mooring, but a very popular one with a footpath leading up to the village of Kingsley where the Red Bull satisfied our thirst. The Devils Garden, so called because the boaters of long ago, who were a God fearing bunch seriously thought the Devil lurked hear-a-bouts and would throw a penny into the water as they passed. We, not being so God fearing or Devil fearing enjoyed a peaceful night, except for he mooing of the cows who wandered along right beside the boat,