The day didn’t go to plan. We were away in good time abut quarter past nine, boats had been going by since 7 am. The two Audlem bottom locks were against us. The gardening is still ongoing by the bottom lock on the offside. As Diana walked to the lock she disturbed this chap but he only crossed the canal. Just past Overwater Marina for some reason the Canada Geese where coming in wholesale. I don’t know what it is but they love this stretch of canal. There was flight after flight of them.
All along the Shroppie the Shropshire Union Canal Society have installed 48 hr moorings, often in the middle of nowhere giving nice quiet rural stopping points, at some places like here they have even installed benches and stands for portable BBQ’s.
We passed a pair of boats that we use to see regularly when we first moored at Napton as they were based in Braunston, last time we saw them they were selling diesel up the Llangollen Canal but I understand that they lo longer trade.
Right by here is the hack Green Secret Bunker which is not secret any more.
We stopped to pick a few more Soles for the gin, or course these are on the off side so I position the boat while Diana stands on the front deck to pick them. Luckily it was a quiet spell with no boats coming, we had just met 6 at the last 2 locks. The fencing posts along the off side are not as you would expect wood, but stone so there is no chance they will rot off, mind you I wouldn’t want to hammer a staple into them.
Again we met a boater who reads the blog, unfortunately I didn’t get the boat name but I think it was an ex Ownerships. As we went through Hurleston Junction a boat was just dropping down the locks from the Llangollen Canal. We stopped just passed the junction for lunch, but were soon on our way when we had finished due to the base plate scraping the bottom.
From here it was not far to Barbridge Junction where we turned right. For almost half a mile there are long term moorings on both banks so it is quite slow going, we met a boat at the end of the moorings who told us with a smile that there were 8 boats queuing to go down the lock ahead of us. When we arrived there was only one. We stopped just below the lock at Venetian Marina. This was “the plan”. We were hoping to moor Harnser here for the next 12 months, when we called in the spring the chap said loads of spaces, cant see us being full, contact us when you are ready to come. Wrong! They are full, so now its plan B. We carried on down the Branch and were third in line at the next lock finally mooring at Church Minshull and going to The Badger Inn for dinner. We are getting short of food as we thought we would have the car tomorrow. So now we will continue to Middlewich and join the good old Trent and Mersey canal again, turn left towards Anderton and see if we can get a berth in one of those marinas. Watch this space.