Sunday, 6 January 2019

Home Moorings Friday 4 January 2019

Well I must admit I found the moorings at Wincham Bend very enjoyable. As we had a busy day ahead of us we were away at 9AM. Although the temperature did drop below freezing sometime over night the only Ice we saw was on a pipe bridge just outside our marina.DSCF1002

It wasn't long before we were passing The Old Broken Cross pub, on the opposite side of the canal is a new building site, while we have been away they have installed the footings, but these are now under 6" of water.DSCF0998

Outside the pub there are a row of mooring rings but for some reason this security conscious boater had chained and locked his boat, but he has not used a ring but driven his stakes in. I would have thought it easier to pull a stake than get a padlock off a ring.DSCF0996

It only took us an hour to get back to our moorings but at least that put something back into the batteries.

So this trip in 18 nights we have done 148 miles and 84 lock, I have also lost count of the number of Kingfishers we have seen, probably 30.IMG_0259

Today's Journeymap 19 2.2 miles in 1 hour

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Wincham Bend Thursday 3 January 2019

Last night we decided to eat at The Leigh Arms which is on the banks of the River Weaver, we are on the Trent and Mersey Canal some 50 feet above the river level and about a third of a mile down the footpath, trouble is , its a third of a mile UP coming back.map pub

Our mooring is the blue blob and the pub the red ring

This morning I tried to time our departure to arrive at Saltersford Tunnel at 10-30 AM so we left at 9-45 AM. This would have been OK if I had managed to turn in the winding hole at the first attempt, but I didn't. Its not helped by a boat being moored on the towpath directly opposite the hole, well its an excuse anyway. We finally arrived at he tunnel mouth at 10-40 AM. which was OK as you can enter this way between half past and ten to the hour.
It felt quite mild when we set off, no frost about but the temperature did dip below zero last night, however by the time we reached the tunnel I was getting quite chilly so once clear of Barnton Tunnel I light the back cabin stove. I don't thing we saw any boats moving at all while we were travelling although one came by once we were moored up. As we are going home tomorrow I decided to moor at Wincham Bend which still gives us a couple of hours to get a bit of charge back in the batteries. Its the first time we have ever moored here, a couple of years back CRT re-piled the bank and while they were at it put some mooring rings in making it a handy wild mooring, just what we like.
Just one other thing, if you moor your boat like this please don't complain to me if your front pin comes out.DSCF0995

Today's Journeymap 18 7¼ miles in 3 hours.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Bartington Wednesday 2 January 2019

I looked out this morning and someone had been dusting the place with flour, well it did go down to -3 last night and was still freezing at 10AM.DSCF0980

It was 11 before we got away, when we came out 2 weeks ago I noticed a water leak on a hose running beside the field, I expect it feeds a drinker for the horses that live there, well this morning this was the result of that very fine water mist all night.DSCF0988

I can't remember the last time the pressure was this high and not a drop of wind. the canal is just like a mirror.DSCF0986

Yesterday it was starlings on the wire, well today its white doves all swinging together at Orchard Marina.DSCF0990 We stopped at Anderton Services to fill with water and dump the rubbish before continuing on past the Anderton Lift and through Barnton Tunnel, we had a 15 minute wait before we could enter Saltersford Tunnel at 3PM. We weren't expecting to be able to come up here as CRT had planned a stoppage for the 2 January, but that has been deferred for a couple of weeks. Progress this afternoon has been a bit troublesome. Picking up debris at every bridge hole and vibration on the rudder, so after we moored it was a quick nose down the weed hatch, it the clear water I could see the problem straight away, a B&M reflective jacket round the prop, They are quite strong and the blades of the prop had gone through an arm hole a couple of times, but I fiddled it off, no way could I tear it out.

Today's Journeymap 17 11½ miles in 4¾ hours.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

North Middlewich Tuesday 1 January 2019

My word they like their fireworks in these parts, they started at about 8 pm and we went to bed well after midnight and I was still woken up by some in the early hours.
We pushed off at 10-30 am, not the first on the move I must say. I wonder why the starlings all like to sit right next to the pylon? DSCF0956It reminded me off offshore, in the winter they would all sit on the handrail all bunched together until one fell off, after lunch they all bunched up again and waited for the next one to drop.

CRT have just spent 9 months and a small fortune repairing a breach on the Middlewich Branch, I wonder if this will be the site of the next one, or if they will do something about it before then?DSCF0960

We were third in line at Stanthorne Lock, the boat we were behind said the one in front had problems getting the bottom gates open but we both managed OK.

I thought I would take a photo of the spill weir below Stanthorne Lock, I bet its all nice and clear now, as well as being free running. It looks as if it should have a good capacity.DSCF0965

Several of the boats moored at the bottom of gardens along this stretch have now returned and things seem pretty much back to normal. One thing I don't understand about the work is the new tow path above Stanthorne Lock, there use to be a row of mooring rings before the lock bollards so if there was more than one boat waiting to go down you could tie up, with the new tow path surface they have gone, a backward step.

Once through Wardle Lock we turned left and down the Middlewich 3 which are due to close tomorrow for 6 week to fit new gates and do masonry repairs.

We continued down through big lock where the Pussy Willow is already starting to burst outDSCF0972and moored on the top path mooring rings just before Bramble

Cutting, we were going to moor there but there were already 2 boats there so no point in crowding up.

Today's Journeymap 16 7½ miles, 6 locks in 4 hours.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Church Minshull Monday 31 December 2018

Just as we were about to leave a boat came down the flight past us backwards. So we followed him down. Passing Overwater Marina there is still a fine collections of submersible pumps and equipment.DSCF0939

A little further along the offside bank has been trampled down by cattle, its not long ago that CRT spent money reinforcing the bank with soft edging, as you can see there is now a fence along to keep the cattle back.DSCF0940

We arrived at Hack Green locks to join a queue of 4. The bottom lock had dropped a paddle so was taking for ever and a day to fill. I didn't expect that on the last day of the year.DSCF0946

As you approach Nantwich the towpath has been resurfaced, the path is open but there are still hundreds of yard of plastic mesh.DSCF0948

Nantwich was not as full as I expected it to be and we had a steady but slow run through. Once through Nantwich we passed this boat piled high with all sorts, the boat has been moored here for several years now.DSCF0949

At Barbridge Junction it was hard right down the Middlewich Branch, we didn't meet anything turning in, in fact we didn't meet anything until we were leaving Cholmondeston lock which was in our favour with the top gate ajar, We were to meet even more boats at Minshull lock, one before the lock, one in the lock and a third approached as we were leaving. We continued on to moor at the visitor moorings at Church Minshull.

As this is the last day of 2018 I thought I would post some statistics for us this year. We have spent 166 nights on board,, done some 745 locks and covered 1360 miles.

Today's Journeymap 15 13½ Miles, 5 locks in 5½ hours.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Audlem Sunday 30 December 2018

I had a Little job to do this morning before we left. The solar Panel control unit had a red light showing yesterday as well as the green to indicate the sun was almost shining, overnight in the dark, no lights, this morning in the day light just the panels green and the other red. Turned out that I had dislodged the fuse in the charging line when I changed the batteries last week. Only problem is my back is now complaining after lifting the tool box awkwardly, so it was 10 30 again before we were away.

Just as passed under the bridge before the locks a boat came up which was good new as the flight of 5 Adderley locks would all be with us, however the bad news was they had met a boat going down just before they entered the bottom lock, so it didn't sound to good for the 15 down into Audlem. CRT have a work boat moored part way down the Adderley Locks as they are cutting recesses to refit the safety ladders in the lock walls, now there will be room to get your toes through the ladder when standing on the rungs, there was about a 30mm gap before.DSCF0932

This area really is a high capacity dairy cattle keeping part of the world with lots of the cows living in large open sided sheds, these ones were outside and probably going in for milking.DSCF0928

We arrived at the top of the Audlem flight and the first two locks were full. The cottage by the top lock has been greatly extended lately which has lead to a lot of discussion on the internet as not being in keeping with what was there.DSCF0935

There is bit of a gap between the top two locks and the third, but as we arrived we were very pleased to see a boat emerging, the Lock Gods were looking down on us. All the locks down to lock 11 would be in our favour, we even met another boat so were able to leave gates open for them. I was going to tuck in for water in front of the Shroppie Fly but a boat was already pulling in backwards so we dropper through lock 13 and used that tap. The Shroppie Fly is closed again for another change of management, they don't seem to last long here. Once filled wit water we did one more lock before mooring for the night.

Todays Journeymap 14 4½ Miles, 19 Locks in 4¼ Hours.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Market Drayton Saturday 29 December 2018

Well we went for a pint in the Anchor, not been in a pub like that since I was at school and saw in the Live and Let Live in Fleggburgh, a nice coal fire and just one other couple in there when we arrived, unfortunately it was empty when the four of us left.

We were a bit late getting away this morning, 10 30am. I blame it on our late night after watching Quartet on BBC2 last night.

I had to post this photo of yet another Kingfisher we passed today, the total has now exceeded 20 this trip but we were right beside this one before it took off.DSCF0913

This is not my favourite canal, there are lots of long featureless stretches interspersed with lots of long term offside moorings. On of the features that does stand out on this length of canal is Woodseaves cutting which was cut through solid rock in places,DSCF0917in other parts the banks are battered back, but in these areas there is often land slips on both the towpath side and the offside. As youDSCF0920 can see it runs dead straight.

We stopped for a bit to eat above Tyrley Locks which turned out to be a good move, as when we set off we met a boat coming up after the first lock. At the bottom of the flight a couple of tree roots have lost the fight to hang on in to the side of the bank above the tow path.DSCF0922

We pushed on to Market Drayton where we moored and made a trip to Lidl for a few odds and ends that we had run out of. By the time we returned it was getting on for half four and getting dark but we still decided to move on mooring up a little before 5 PM. just short of bridge 66.

Today's Journeymap 13 10¾ miles, 5 locks in 4½ hours.