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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: 50. Panic! Trying Not To Sink Our Narrowboat on the Ribble Link!

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It's about 9 o'clock Sunday morning and Silver Fox is behind us. There she is over there.

We are just before lock 8, the Tarleton lock. It's a lovely little village.

Beautiful. We just had a walk up the lane this morning. As you come off

the mooring, just walk up the little lane to the left-hand side near the

swing bridge and it's just a nice little village and this weekend there's been a

scarecrow festival. Ah, that was fab! Frightened me to death walking up this

little lane and Batman jumping out at me. So there's all these like scarecrows

all around the village. They're all-over aren't they? It's ace! Which were your favourite?

Mine was Speedy Gonzales. Mine was Homer Simpson but it was at this

like what is it? Homeopathic. Homeopathic. So he was called Homer-Pathic Simpson.

Ha! It was ace. Love it! Cruella de Vil as well. Yeah, she was there. And all the

little Dalmatians. Yeah, Brilliant! But it is a good little village if you're here

for a day or two there's loads of amenities isn't there? Yeah, there's pubs

There's a Co-op, there's a fresh butchers, fruit and veg.

There's a lovely little like chocolate shop-cum-cafe thing - That's beautiful.

We were thinking about coming up a couple of days before and we're actually

glad we didn't because there's not that many moorings here. There's probably enough for

about six boats - yes that's right - and that's I think how many go down onto the

Ribble Link each day, so it is alright but there's already two kinda longer-term

boats moored up which means there's only room for four or five boats at most.

So if you're coming up to do the Ribble Link there is some brilliant moorings

literally like 40 minutes before this point - yeah, there is - So depending what

time you need to get here, you can just come up that morning because there's

some lovely moorings back towards bridge 10 where the services are.

So today, like we just said, we're going to drop down onto the River Douglas, that's for about

three and a half miles, then we join the River Ribble and then we turn left

into the brook and then through some locks and onto the Lancaster.

I'm frightened, aren't you frightened? No no no. Oh my God. No, this is going to be a fab day!

One of the other YouTubers posted a photograph yesterday

of him on the Ribble, and it's HUGE! Massive! It's like our little tiny... well our big 57-foot

narrowboat is just gonna look like that. It's like absolutely huge!

So we've got to have... What've we got to have? We've got to have our life jackets on, which we've

got ready. Dillon's got to have his life jacket. We've got to have our anchor and thirty metres

of chain and rope, yeah. It says you're supposed to have a flare. CRT recommends

it but you don't actually need it. Make sure your mobile phone is switched

on and charged up, or your VHF radio, and make sure you've got

the number for the people that you might need to ring in an emergency, yes, alright.

There is a guide from the CRT for the Ribble. I'm going to put the link to that down below.

Right, shall we do it? I need another cup of coffee first.

Come on then, let's have a coffee before we go.

I've just had another coffee, I've come down to the river to see how it's getting on.

You can see it's really low. It's like two or three metres lower than it needs to be before

we can drop into it from the river lock. Now the time that we're due to get on it

is just after midday today. That's when the tide's going to be just right for us

to get on, get through onto the Ribble, and off into the brook before we get

into the Lancaster.

I'm scared. Are you? (Shaun laughing) Dillon's scared. Dillon's not scared, are you?

Should we be scared?

The fact that we've gotta wear lifejackets means that we should be scared.

But we're still on the canal! I'm still scared!

We're literally just going in to Tarleton Lock. We've been told to get there for

11 o'clock and it is... 11 o'clock.

Pray for us! (Shaun laughing)

Talton lock has got two sets of tailgates. The gates with the lower beams

are the normal canal lock gates that you use for lowering down onto the river and

the other higher gates are there to keep back unusually high tides. Now the depth

of the Douglas can vary. It can be as low as thirty centimetres at low tide and

today it's one of the highest tides of the year at seven meters, so that current

coming towards us when these lock gates open is going to be pretty challenging.

Now today we're clear to go, but because of the strength of the tide we've been

warned to give the engine some serious revs once those gates open, otherwise we

might get caught by the current and get into trouble, and as you'll see that's

exactly what Pat did. He was off!

Oh my God, look at the waves! I wasn't expecting this!

This is mental! (Shaun laughing)

You should see the waves coming over the bow! Like that!

The drains from the locker at the front, the gas locker, it's just flooded in there.

All the coal's wet! All the coal and logs are now wet through.

And we're bombing at about 2,000 revs, are we? Yeah, 2,000 revs and we're moving at about what?

One mile an hour? Yeah! (Laughing) About a mile an hour!

So I'm panicking because it sounds like... It smells like the engines burning

and the coolant's like that far from the top of the expansion tank.

But i'm running the hot water because that's supposed to like introduce cooler water in

and, I don't know! But I'm doing it anyway and it doesn't smell like burning anymore.

So hopefully that's a winner. Fingers crossed.

It's really settled down. I think the tides in now, and it's got wide, hasn't it?

This is like nowhere near as wide as it's gonna get.

On that side is Hesketh Bank, and we're just about halfway between

the Tarleton Lock and the entrance to the Ribble.

And how long has it taken us? Four days?

Thirty-eight minutes. It's not too bad, right?

I'm gonna put the kettle on.

So we're nearly at the Astland Lamp. This is where the river comes and it kinda

goes round the Astland Lamp onto the Ribble. We're probably about 15 minutes away from it.

Over that way is... You can just see in the distance the Pennines, and Preston is

few miles that way. If we do turn left we'll end up going past Lytham and then

out towards the Isle of Man and Ireland. Blackpool! Blackpool! (Laughing)

This is really wide. I'm finding it scary, Shaun's fine. Yeah, but then Shaun used to

be in the Navy, so he's going to be fine with it. (Whispers 'I'm not!')

This is like really hugely wide. Very wide! So this is where we join the

Ribble, so Astlan's Lamp they call it is just ahead of us and we have to go left of

the lamp and then do a right turn round on to the Ribble.

If we cut short the lamp we could get grounded. There's an old

wall that comes out and you literally would get grounded.

You'd hit the wall underneath the water, so we have to kind of go left and then round.

Or just left on to Ireland...!

We're watching out for a sign for Savick Brook. That's where we turn left

off the Ribble and there's a sea lock there and we go up some locks onto the Lancaster.

So what we've got to do is as soon as we see this sign there's something called

the 2-mile perch which I think is just over there... Ah, no. It's a pigeon (laughing)

Perch is a fish, isn't it? A Perch is a fish you plank!

And then we've got to ring the CRT team... I don't know why,

but we'll find out when we ring them I guess. Yes we will.

It's definitely a pigeon.

When we get to a certain point we've got to watch out for a green light

over there, we can see the green light! So that means that we can go on to

Savick Brook which is where the sea lock is. Now the instructions are if you don't see a

green light, you don't enter. You've got to carry on up to Preston.

Yeah, you have to go all the way in to Preston and moor up at Preston Dock.

The thing is, even if it's not your fault or the CRTs fault and you can't get into

Savick Brook and you end up going down into Preston, you still have to pay

for the mooring there! (laughing) Cheeky! Cheeky!

So we're about 500 yards away from the green light. We can see the green light, so we're just

going to go up. The tide is just starting to turn a little bit I think, isn't it?

Because we were slowing down a little bit. So we've got to go slightly past the

turn and then kinda come back around and then like that. Like a handbrake turn.

Like a handbrake turn. (whispers) It's not like a handbrake turn.

I feel a little bit less scared now. It's not so wide. We've come off the River Ribble

That's it just back there. We're now on the Savick Brook

which it just looks like a really flooded brook. You imagine a brook as

being like six foot wide, don't you? And it probably is to be honest. When we looked

at it on Google Earth it's just like this little brook.

But it just looks like flooded at the moment. So we've got to keep away from

the edges because it is very sandy. There's banks and things at the edges.

We've gotta keep right in the middle and we're now heading to sea lock which is lock number 9.

Because the tide is still quite high... That's a song, wasn't it?

(Singing) The tide is high but I'm holding on...

Because the tide is still quite high the water level's too high for the bridges just

around the corner, so the boats won't get under the bridges till the water

levels dropped so we've tied up to this jetty and we're just waiting for the water levels to go down.

Off we go again then, and we're just... the tides come down just enough

and the man from CRT has told us to get going. The reason we have

to wait is because of these bridges. So if the water level's too high... Scratches all

down the side of the boat, we don't want that! So we're keeping an eye on our Wi-Fi aerial,

you can just see it right down at the bottom of the boat. Just keeping an eye on that.

Oh, we've got miles enough room under this bridge. So this Brook seems to

be getting shallower and narrower as we get through it. We're on our way to lock

eight and the level just seems to be dropping like an inch every minute or

two, it's getting lower and lower and lower and Shaun's not going very fast

because he's trying to get around these tight bends but the slower he goes the

faster the water goes down

So got a little bit of a wide bit now. A minute ago we just had this tree trunk

completely stuck across the brook. I had to run along the roof with the pole to

try and come forward to break it up and it got really narrow. I thought we were

going to get stuck for a minute and then all of a sudden it just opens up again like this.

So we're coming along to another jetty and hopefully, hopefully

please the next locks!

Don't turn left!

So we've just come out of lock eight and it just seems to be narrowing again.

We're not dragging the bottom or anything. It is alright. It is just like super narrow.

So just after lock seven coming up to bridge eight, this wooden bridge, and its

a golf course surrounding it, and we've actually been warned to beep our horn as

we approach this golf course just in case anybody's hitting a ball and we're

about. Whack! That would be great, wouldn't it? Two hundred and fifty quid on

You've Been Framed!

Well, excluding lock nine, the sea lock, we've got three locks down.

This is bridge six and then we have got a lock five, one more like after that, and

then we've got the staircase. Shaun's not looking forward to the staircase because

apparently we have to reverse into it, so I think I'm going to take over the

driving and Shaun is gonna video. Really the driving should get better and the

video should get worse. He's gonna kill me!

The thing I like about this lock, this is lock five, it just looks so neat and tidy

and CRT volunteers have been great today. They've escorted us all the way up.

We're having a great time.

So we're coming up to bridge five. The navigation really narrows down again here and there's

a big log in the middle of it. (laughing) That was a bit low. Nearly got myself a grade 2 then!

So we're on the Ribble Navigation then. We're between locks five and four.

This is a lot better than Savick Brooke was. I tell you, that was pretty scary!

Not as scary is coming onto that like full on tide as we come out at Tarleton Lock.

That was pretty nail-biting! Shaun's doing well with the driving, as you can see,

and we are behind Pat and Eileen on narrowboat Dun'Workin' and we're heading

towards lock four now.

So this is the last single lock before we do the final three

staircase up towards the junction with the Lancaster Canal. This is lock four on the

Ribble Navigation. It's also the deepest lock that we've done so far on the

navigation. We've got CRT volunteers helping us out again, and Pat and Eileen have beaten us

to the lock.

As you pass under bridge two you'll come into a pound that looks like it's a dead end

and this is where your helmsman skills are going to get tested.

The final three locks that go up onto the Lancaster junction are a staircase flight.

Now helpfully, they're manned by the CRT volunteers so all I need to do is

line the boat up and carefully reverse it into that bottom lock. Now I drew the

short straw because Shaun refused to do it, Pat and Eileen got in there first, so

I had the, well, unenviable task of reversing us from an awkward angle into

the lock with about a dozen Gongooglers stood watching me, taking photos,

Shaun filming me, the CRT volunteers watching ,and Pat and Eileen already in there.

No pressure then!

As you come out of that top lock you'll reverse into the basin. Now a little tip here...

Try not to get stuck in the corner like another boat did. He got grounded!

There's a bench on the towpath. Head straight for that bench and you'll be

able to turn around a lot easier. Once you're pointing the right way

decide which way you want to go, right for Preston, or left like we did up the Lancaster.

And here we are, we did it! We got here in one piece. It was touch and go

at one bit wasn't it? Well... well thanks for that because I was saying

that and you're like no it's alright. Just when we came out of the lock.

When those lock gates open at Tarleton onto the Douglas the river is like, the

tide is full on coming in and it kind of funnels and channels through this

narrow stretch of the Douglas, so the lock gates open, and Pat on the boat next

to us kind of rams it forward and off he goes at like half a mile an hour.

The wash that his boat is creating is like... No it's not! It was like a foot high at

least, and I'm panicking running up and down the centre of the boat

"Shaun, we're sinking!" He was as well (laughing)

So tip number one is if you're in Tarleton Lock, be the first one out!

Yes, because you get the smoother ride. Yeah, you do. Once it opens out it's not too bad.

You still use a lot of revs, don't you? We were on like 2,000 revs all the

way up to the Ribble which is about three and a half miles, and the CRT

skippers guide is good because it gives you ... There's like, as you're coming up to

Astland Lamp it tells you what to focus on. There's like buildings to head for.

Not literally into! The Ribble is alright isn't it? Yeah, it's just wide, yeah it's just massive.

The estuary is massive but there's markers that you just keep between and

then Savick Brook, I never want to do Savick Brook again, and I think we were

lucky because there was only two of us. I know they only allow six, but the day

before I think there was seven or the day before that there was seven boats.

You can literally see the water level falling, just dropping as the tide goes out.

And some of the bends are quite tight. We've got a 57 foot boat and I

thought some of the bends were quite tight. If you've got a 60 - 62 foot

boat I wouldn't like to do that. I wish Dun'Workin' would have gone first.

They were behind us, weren't they. They did it perfect because they saw all my mistakes.

(Laughing) Apart from like the staircase... As soon as we knew the staircase locks

were coming, that you have to reverse in to, Shaun was like "COLIN!" There were no way I

were doing all that with all those people watching. There were loads.

I didn't realise how many people were stood up watching until I was editing this

and then once you come out the top you reverse out of the top lock and then

you have to turn around and just head off, and you come out on to the junction.

You can either turn left up the Lancaster, north, or you can turn right

and go into Preston. So we've heard a lot of great things and we can't wait to

explore but that's all for future vlogs. If you've enjoyed the vlog give it a

thumbs up for us. Subscribe if you're not already subscribed and hit notifications

and YouTube will let you know every time we release a new video. Drop any comments

or feedback down below, and we will see you next time. See you later, bye!

Have I? Yeah. Where?

See! Bogey check works! (Laughing)

You've been criticising me for years, and the theory has finally

proved itself. Your brain's leaking...!

What? Have you got bogeys on your hand now? No.

Shaun can't come down here because there's a big hill

there and he don't want to run down and hurt his foot. (Shaun laughing)

I am proper scared! I'm not.

See, I said pray for me, didn't I! (Laughing)

He's done nothing but tell me off this morning. Because he's panicking!

Call at Blackpool Pier.

We'll miss that one out. I'm still scared!

It is scary as (Beeped out)

it really is!

I can see Dublin!

We're watching out for a sign for... (Birds singing sound effect)

(Shaun laughing) A sign for...?

Let's just check my book.

We're watching out for a sign for Savick Brook.

How do you work this thing? Ey?

(Laughing) There once was a man from Nantucket.

All the jetty's wobbling because Dillon's walking about.

Are you making it all wobble, Dillon?

Don't you dare jump in. Don't you go in, again.

Oh, we've got guests.


I can hear the ice cream van. Wooo hooo!

Hola! Hola? Hola! (laughing)

That'll do, won't it? Course it will, yeah.

I'm holding you!

The Description of 50. Panic! Trying Not To Sink Our Narrowboat on the Ribble Link!