Saturday, 13 July 2019

home mooring Saturday 13 July 2019

Day : Saturday
Date : 13 July 2019
Start : 0900
Finish : 0950 Marina

A very short day today, I like to moor a short way from the marina to put back a bit of power into the batteries, we don't use much as the fridge is off to defrost and wipe out before we leave. I don't think we saw a boat on the move in that short trip. As we turned into the marina there was a chap fishing for carp, we have some big ones in there, but he left after I came in and winded to reverse back to our spot right where he had been fishing.

This trip we have done 120 miles, 76 Lock in 63 hoursIMG_0265 (2)

Today's Journeymap 14

2.33 Miles 0 Locks in 51 minutes

Friday, 12 July 2019

Bostock Green Friday 12 July 2019

Day : Friday
Date : 12 July 2019
Start : 1115
Finish : 1530

We had a grand evening last night round John and Gillian's at their garden Concert. The weather could have been a lot kinder but we had some lovely music from Pilgrims Way. This morning when it stopped raining we went over to see if there was anything we could do to help and also wave goodbye to NB. Jannock, NB Why Worry had already left.

We finally set off down the locks at quarter past eleven with two boats ahead of us and a couple coming up the locks. There were three Volockies on the Middlewich locks, one on each lock so that speeded our passage a bit. We stopped for water between the bottom lock and Big Lock, there are a couple of green binbags attached to a post there, today is the first time I have seen this notice.DSCF1749

Down at Big Lock Diana had just turned the lock when a boat came round the bend below, then another left the water point, to compound things we had just started to drop in the lock when a single handed boater arrived at the top, we did look back before closing the gates but couldn't see anyone, still at least the lock would be ready for her to go in with two boats coming up.

If anyone is looking for a pub to run then the lease on Big Lock is up for sale again, the new owners lasting less than 2 years. Its a pub with a good reputation, local as well as passing trade.

We stopped for lunch on the long term moorings just prior to the aqueduct, before setting off again to moor for the night on a nice stretch of piling in the middle of nowhere. The piling was done about 3 years ago but the field behind the tow path is still waterlogged.

Today's Journeymap 13

3¾ Miles 5 Locks in 2½ hours

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Middlewich Thursday 11 July 2019

Day : Thursday
Date : 11 July 2019
Start : 1100
Finish : 1500

A late start today as we didn't have far to go. I waited for some time after a boat had passed before setting off but as soon as I untied another came along, so we followed them to Cholmondeston Lock. It turned out we had timed it such that the Volockies had gone to the cafe for their morning tea break.

CRT are still hard at it piling above Minshull lock with just enough room to get by.DSCF1746

Below the lock the ground is completely water logged probably due to problems with the underground bywash, I expect it will collapse or block before anything is done.DSCF1748

The warm humid morning turned to a heavy shower with the wind freshening dramatically but this had cleared up by the time we reached Stanthorne Lock. We carried on to moor between bridges 29 and 30 just short of Wardle lock and walked round to meet up with friends for the evening.

Today's Journeymap 12

8¾ Miles 3 Locks in 4 hours

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Cholmondeston Wednesday 10 July 2019

Day : Wednesday
Date : 10 July 2019
Start : 0930
Finish : 1630

Last night as planed we ate in The Horse and Jockey choosing from their Tapas menu, you can have 3 dishes + bread and dip for £13.50 so we had 6 dishes with 2 bread an Sweet Potato chips, O and beer of course. They change the menu every month and July was American themed, we skipped the American beer.

This morning most of the other boats had departed when we set off at 9-30, we had some good luck with the locks again, we turned the first but then met boats when we were leaving so made life relatively easy. Things didn't change until we got to Baddiley No.2 where we caught up with the boat ahead.

When we arrived at Hurleston the Volockie had the top gate open for me, we had to hand around for a bit as there was a boat in the second from the top waiting to exit, but a boat coming up in the third from top, so I had to wait until he was in the pound between the top and second before I could move. Diana went down and helped them up the third from top. There were two Volockies working and the second helped us down the second and third locks where we waited again for a boat to enter the flight from the Shropshire Union main Line. At the bottom lock there were two CRT Lock Keepers working boats up and down slowly and watching the clearances each side of the boat as they did so.

Yesterday we met 20 hire boats and passed two having lunch, today we met just 4.

Once down the Hurleston flight we turned left to Barbridge and at Barbridge Junction turned right onto the Middlewich Branch, still the SU, so we have in fact been on the SU since day two, but the main line and two branches. We carried on down the Middlewich Branch and moored on the visitor moorings just above Cholmondeston Lock, lets hope the trains are not too noisy.

Today's Journeymap 11

14 Miles 13 Locks in 7 hours

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Grindley Brook Tuesday 9 July 2019

Day : Tuesday
Date : 9 July 2019
Start : 0900
Finish : 1525

This morning we didn't hear any boats go passed while we were in bed, so we showered, dressed and set off at 9 AM. first boat out of the arm and no one in front of us. Just as we exited the arm we met our first hire boat of the day, by 10 o'clock we had met 10 or them, which made us wonder where they were all moored last night, there are no pubs on honey spots within 5 hours of Ellesmere. The other strange thing was over the next 5 hours we only met another 10. I must say they were all behaving excellently, non speeding and all seemed well capable of steering the boats, which is more than can be said of the boat we met who passed a moored boat quite wide and put me in the mud.

The weather has been changeable, a spit or two of rain and a bit of sunshine, as I write this its peeing down.

I mentioned the disabled moorings yesterday, well this is what they look like with no boat moored there.DSCF1728

There is a small boat hire company on the Llangollen Canal, I really should call it the Shropshire Union Canal that just hires out a couple of boats, I am not sure if this is a day boat or just for short breaks.DSCF1726

We continued on to Grindley Brook where we stopped for water, two boats went down the Staircase locks while we were filling up, but due to a complete lull in passing traffic we were able to follow the second down, but it did mean the other 3 locks were against us. We moored just beyond the former railway bridge on the 48 hr visitor moorings, the bridge is quite a fine structure. DSCF1732

As you can see from the hours and mileage below, going down stream makes quite a difference to the journey time

Today's Journeymap 10

14 Miles 6 Locks in 6½ hours

Monday, 8 July 2019

Ellesmere Monday 8 July 2019

Day : Monday
Date : 8 July 2019
Start : 1000
Finish : 1800

Not quite so warm today but good enough to have breakfast on the front deck listening to Fountains mowing the grass. We were away at 1000 hrs and helped a day boat through the first lift bridge but it wasn't long before they pulled over and moored up. We met loads of boats coming towards us again and caught up with the boat head at Tilstock Park lift bridge, they had just gone through and were in the process of lowering until the steerer saw us and they wound it up again, Diana hopped off at the bridge to lower it but waited until a boat coming the other way had passed through. We caught the boat ahead up again before Roundthorn Bridge and this time I was set to overtake them when they pulled in to clear the prop. CRT are busy repiling a section between Roundthorn Bridge and Morris's Lift Bridge on the offside. The canal is well above ground level all the way along here.DSCF1711

There use to be a large scrap yard just before Whixall Moss junction, last tie we came here it had closed down but still had hundreds of tyres, today its just a couple of acres of concrete.DSCF1712

Its very sad to see that after BW of CRT went to the expense of making a 70 foot mooring with bollards and hard surface for disable use someone, probably a boater, sees fit to remove the disable signs.

DSCF1717   DSCF1716

We stopped at Hampton Bank for a couple of hours to visit old boating friends and then took her and her grandson on a cruise to Ellesmere. As we passed under one of the bridges a gongoozler watched us pass from one of the bridges.DSCF1720

We went to the end of the Ellesmere Arm expecting it to be full but passed a couple of spots, so winded at the end and headed back to one of them for the night.

Today's Journeymap 09

13 Miles 0 Locks in 6 hours

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Whitchurch Sunday 7 July 2019

Day : Sunday
Date : 7 July 2019
Start : 1030
Finish : 1815

Its been a strange sort of day to say the least. I decided to wash the left hand side of the boat this morning before it got to hot, a couple of boats had been by so we knew the next lock was against us, just as we finished washing and went in for breakfast a hire boat came by with 3 ladies onboard. About half an hour later, we had finished breakfast a boat came the other way, so we set off hoping that as no one else had been by at least the first lock would be with us, but no, the ladies were only just about to go in. After that we met about three boats, but who was at the next lock, the ladies. We carried on meeting more boat until we got to Baddiley No.3 and again the ladies. Looking up the canal as they left the lock I could see someone at lock No.2 so we decided to wait for them to arrive and lock up after they had gone down, they turned out to be even slower than the ladies were. Our next bit of amusement came at Church Lift bridge, Wrenbury. I dropped Diana off at the bridge on the off side and se is about to start lifting when young lad with a windlass and small dog arrived from the other direction and wanted to cross, turned out he was from a boat coming the other way. As Diana wound the bridge up the dog decided it would rather be back on the boat and shot up the bridge launching its self onto the tow path. I should add there were also a couple of canoes milling around, not real ones, blow up and sit on. I cleared the bridge but the lady coming the other way got in a right muddle, sorted her out , got her straight and she was heading for the bridge where her son hopped on and it all went sideways again. She was being followed by a lady on another boat, Flower boxes all over the roof and one plant at least 2 foot tall on the top. As she passed me I suggested that she stopped, "Why should I" was her reply so I pointed out the boat 50 foot ahead that she couldn't see had stopped. At that point it was hand on the horn, arm waving and shouting, "Get going, get out of the way" The only down side to this entertainment was that Diana was still stuck operating the bridge, but the sun was shining and we are in no hurry to get anywhere.

This house always reminds my of my dad, he had a reputation for building spiralling chimneys, Not sure he would approve of this one as it would be to pronounced for him, he would probably had half that amount of twists in that height.DSCF1698

We have seen several Giant Hogweed plants about, these are right on the edge of the towpath at Wrenbury so a real risk of someone touching them. DSCF1700

We passed the site of the recent breach, the towpath is still closed, breach siteunfortunately they put the closed barrier up between the lock and the lock landings at Marbury Lock. It was OK when they put them up as the canal was also closed, but now the lock crew has to squeeze round the barrier to get up to the lock.

We had just cleared the bridge at Grindley Brook when we met a boat so the first lock was with us, we then met boats at every lock so had a good run up. A boat waiting at the top of the four had just gone up the staircase and we were able to follow him up, Diana working one side and the lock keeper the other, so we did the flight in very good time. We are now moored for the night just before the Whitchurch Arm.

Today's Journeymap 08

12 Miles 15 Locks in 7¾ hours