Sunday, 3 March 2019

Sunday 3 March 2019 home moorings

Day : Sunday
Date : 3 March 2017
Start : 0900
Finish : 1000 home moorings
When I looked at the weather forecast yesterday it said rain for after lunch today, it lied it was raining at 8 o'clock this morning so a wet trip back to the marina, on the plus side there was no wind which meant the reverse down to our berth went well, but no one was watching. So that's it for a bit. We had three wet tips and the rest was lovely weather, a lot better than expected. We did 100 locks, I think 16 were in our favour and 102 miles.

Today's Journey
2¼ miles in 1 hour.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Saturday 2 March 2019 Wincham bend

Day :Saturday
Date :2 March 2019
Start :1015
Finish :1300 Wincham Bend.
Started a little later as I had a couple of jobs to sort out first. Just as we pushed off in the sunshine two boats came towards us so Big Lock would be ready, No, the bottom gates leak so much it was already half empty and we had done about a quarter of a mile.
Its good to see that CRT are making a proper job of raising the concrete edge at Croxton Flash, this has slowly been subsiding and last year CRT screwed a piece of wood along the top to stop the water lapping the towpath, ( see my Blog) now they have raised the concrete several inches above the water.

We have been out for 15 days and until today had not seen a single Kingfisher, then we saw two close together, so I suspect they were a pair, one flew off but the other dived and caught a fish, by the time I got the camera it had just swallowed it. Then a short while latter we saw a third.

The sun stayed with us until just before we were going to turn round at to the north of Wincham Wharf, then it started to spit with rain, we winded and then moored just by Wincham Bend, we had only just tied up when it started raining properly.
Today's Journey

7¼ Miles, 1 Lock in 2¾ hours

Friday, 1 March 2019

Friday 1 March 2019 Middlewich

Day :Friday

Date :1 March 2019

Start :1000

Finish :1430 Middlewich

Last night we ate at Barchetta the Italian restaurant, It was a toss up between there and Shampaan and as it was still raining Barchetta won. Its probably our favourite Italian restaurant. It was still raining when we went to bed.

We set off at 10 o'clock this morning to much better weather, we had to go up through Wheelock Bottom Lock to wind and then come down again. By the time we returned the Black Smith had his workshop open and his wares on display We lingered for a short time to fill with water and make use of the recycling facilities.

We were soon on our way an as normal now all locks were against us. We did meet one boat, but he had only come from the long term mooring above Booth Lane top lock.

As the day progressed the weather improved, a bit of care is required coming down Rumps Lock as the water jetting out from under the cill could easily end up inside the back of the boat if you drift back too much. I think Kings Lock would have been with us but a lady came up and drew the bottom paddles so I had to sit above the lock and wait for them, still I suppose it was in our favour even if Diana did help them through. We then dropped through the Middlewich 3, again against us to moor for the night a short way above Middlewich Big Lock.

You may recall at the beginning of the trip I voiced my concerns about the safety of people crossing Big Lock now that the footbridge has been condemned, I have just had an email from CRT telling me they plan to put a scaffold bridge across the canal while the existing bridge is refurbished and until that is erected there will be signs to the nearest safe canal crossing point.

Today's Journey 7 miles, 10 locks in 4½ hours.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Thursday 28 February 2019 Wheelock

Day :Thursday
Date :28 February 2019
Start :0945
Finish :1300 Wheelock
We made an early start today for some reason. The weather has made quite a change from the last few days, when we set off it was very dull and overcast, but not in the slightest damp. That all changed at Kings Lock, as we locked up in the dry we were watching the rain fall in the pound above to within 10 feet of the top gate and as there was no breeze at all the boundary didn't move, but we did into it and it rained for the rest of the journey.
As we approached the end of the Middlewich Arm I spotted this duck climbing the steps, its probably a female Mandarin we didn't spot her partner anywhere.
CRT have been cutting back the offside vegetation along here, this was very evident at Rumps Lock where the conifer has had a good seeing to.
Looking at the salt works a little further along it looks as if at one time a railway line ran right through the building so that wagons could be filled undercover, today lorries use it.
A short time back CRT replaced the lock moorings at Booth Lane bottom lock, it was quite a big job, it now looks as if they need to do the ones below the middle lock as well. They have put some white posts in to give temporary mooring.
We carried on in the now heavier rain to moor for the night at Wheelock, tucking in behind the floating Blacksmith on his boat Emily towing his forge on the butty Bronte.
Today's Journey
6½ miles, 6 locks in 3¼ hours.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Wednesday 27 February 2019 Middlewich Arm

Day :Wednesday
Date :27 February 2019
Start :1000
Finish :1415 Middlewich breach site

A bit of a restless night last night, there seemed a lot of traffic noise so I don't know if something was happening on the Northwich Bypass, but it was a lot quieter this morning when it was time to get up.
Another grand sunny day and we were soon on our way to Barbridge Junction. On the way we met two canoes coming

towards us on the water and a CRT licence checker on the towpath. Diana was at the helm and she made a perfect turn into the arm, even with someone standing on the bridge watching.
The lock Fairy was back at work, well at least for this morning as both Cholmondeston and Church Minshull were with us, at the first a lady even opened the top gate for me which was nice of her. Just below Minshull lock at Nannies Bridge I saw a boat approaching the bridge towing a small cruiser, so I held well back but he still stopped and crossed the canal, while he was sorting himself out I was able to have a chat with Peter, we always give him a hoot as we pass, but today he saw us coming.
A long train of what looked like cement tankers was making its way along the nearby line, pulled by a diesel locomotive.
As we made our way towards Bridge a male Goosander kept diving and swimming ahead of us, eventually he took to the are and I was able to get this shot of him.
When we arrived at Stanthorne it was obvious the Fairy was only starting back part time and it was against us. We moored just below the lock in the new concrete channel that was put in to repair the breach, they have installed 8 mooring rings at the west end of it spaced at about 36 foot apart, so quite handy.
Today's Journey
10½ miles, 3 locks in 4¼ hours.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Tuesday 26 February 2019 Hurleston Junction

Day : Tuesday
Date : 26 February 2019
Start : 1030
Finish : Hurleston Junction 1430

We went to The Cotton Arms to eat last night and I must say we were not disappointed and I will definitely go there again when we are passing. They had three beers on the pumps plus the fizzy stuff. I had a very nice Chicken and leek pie with veg. where as Diana had Gammon, eggs, pineapple, peas and chips and it was all first class.
Last night was very clear and even colder but the temperature was well into double figures by 10 o'clock with bright sun and clear blue sky.

First job this morning was a walk into the village which is growing at an alarming rate, then back to the boat to set off at 1030. As we walked back the hire base were moving one of their boats back to the yard via the lift bridge, the chap from the yard was very considerate holding the barrier open to allow several cars to cross before lifting the bridge. By the time we got to the bridge there
weren't any cars coming so Diana had no problem but there were a few waiting by the time we had finished.
As expected all the locks were against us and we didn't see another boat on the move until we reached Hurleston, and that was just leaving the bottom of the flight, but at least it was full of water today.
Someone has erected a box on the towpath by Baddiley Lock 3, I suspect its CRT but I did wonder how they fixed it down without opening the door, as its still wrapped up.
We stopped for water at the top of the Hurleston locks before making our way back to the main line. Once there we reversed through bridge 97 to moor in the same stop we were at Sunday night.
Today's Journey
6½ Miles, 9 locks in 4 hours

Monday, 25 February 2019

Monday 25 February 2019 Wrenbury

This morning at 6-30 it was freezing outside, by 10 o'clock it was in double figures but there was still some frost on the grass in the shade.
The Lock Fairy is definitely on holiday, we arrived at Hurleston locks and the bottom pound is dry, so Diana went to the top to let
water down while I locked as high as I could in the first lock. Needles to say the other three locks were all full.
As we approached Swanley Locks a boater was just going out of the top, so that's them against us as well. In the course of the day we met 3 boats but not one of them in a position to give us any advantage.
I think this is probably the smartest "Slow" sign I have seen on the system.
We were unable to go very far due to ongoing stoppages so we had to wind just above Wrenbury before coming back down stream. We have moored for the night just before Wrenbury Lift Bridge with a view to eat at The Dusty Miller, but its closed on a Monday, I just hope the other pub is doing food.
Today's Journey
8¼ miles, 9 locks in 5 hours.