As we approached the entrance channel for the River Mersey, the sea got more, and more unpleasant, and hard work on the steering. The crew had to endure the confused sea until we got to New Brighton, where the expanses of sand finish, and the south bank of the Mersey starts. Fairly strong tides were expected, but in the event nothing over about 2.5 knots materialised. We passed large areas of docklands, some derelict, some definately in use, and the iconic skyline of the city was getting closer. Just as we passed by the waterfront area, the sun came out and forced me to break off from getting fenders and warps out of the locker, and get the camera.
We had made a point of going to Liverpool, as it was easy for us to get home by train. We had been without the autopilot from just before the Isles of Scilly, and had ordered a new drive motor, which was now ready to be delivered. After a short trip home to sort post and take delivery of said motor, we drove back with an assortment of tools to give the pilot a heart and brain transplant ! When everything was installed, and as configured as possible, we used the car to have a trip up the coast to Southport, and on the way back, we went through the tunnel to have a look at New Brighton from the landside. This gave us some good views of the city from the south bank, including the Port of Liverpool building ( below ).
Our son, James, came out from Sheffield to visit, and see the boat in the flesh for the first time, then, after a pleasant meal in the city centre we drove back to Leeds to get rid of the car, and returned to Liverpool on the train. We had bookmarked the 28th or 29th July as potential good days to leave ( tides a big issue ). In the end we chose the 28th, and left our berth at 07-20 to start the rather painfull 15NM slog to the fairway buoy.
As we passed the waterfront, we got a final good view, complete with cruise liner.
Once out of the Mersey we turned northwards past Formby, and Blackpool, and had an enjoyable sail in winds gusting to force 6, surfing down waves at up to 8.4kts. We were making for Fleetwood marina, which has limited access of HW +-1.5Hrs. In the end we had made such good time that we were one and a half hours early for the lock, but picked up a substantial vacant mooring and had our supper while we waited.