Well it wasn’t cattle we could hear last night it was The Boneyard Skatepark which is housed in one of the large industrial buildings across the canal, it must have been them landing we could hear going bump.
When I looked out before going to bed the fuel boat Halsall was moored behind us. Of course he was long gone when we were ready to leave at 10-30 ish.
Like so many mornings this trip there was not a breath of wind and the canal was like a sheet of glass.
As we passed the entrance to Tattenhall Marina we could see that the bridge was a favourite with the local sea gull population as they graced the handrails, this would account for the amount of bird poo on there.
We met quite a lot of boats today which helped us on our way, looking back as we left Wharton’s Lock I saw someone come up to turn it so we had a boat just one lock behind us. We arrived at Beeston Iron lock to find someone filling it, there were two boats at the top to come down and although the notices say that only one boat should pass through the lock at a time, these two came down together without a problem.
When they left we went in and locked up, by the time we were at the top another boat was waiting to come down and by the time we reached Beeston Stone lock that had been turned for two boats to come down. Once they had gone we sat in the bottom of Stone lock with the bottom gate open until the boat we saw earlier caught us up so that we could do the rest of the locks together. Talking to the other boater about the two going down together he told me how he got caught up going down in the summer so treats it with great respect.
As we approached the Bunbury Stair case locks we met a boat so expected to have to fill the top chamber, but when Diana arrived it was already full as there were two Volockies on duty. Diana arrived well before me because below the lock is Anglo Welch hire base and the had boats moored 3 abreast leaving just room for one boat to get through, it also left very little room at the bottom of the lock if 2 boats had been coming down.
With the help of the two Volockies we were soon on our way stopping at the calveley services for water. I think this use to be a cheese loading warehouse for Cheshire Cheese years ago with its cantilevered coved way to load in the dry. They still make and sell cheese next door with a shop right onto the tow path Once watered up we expected a swift passage to Barbridge Junction where we would turn left onto the Middlewich Branch, wrong, we came up behind a boat that was going so slow I had to jeep going into neutral, the boat ahead of him was going about the same pace but a good 150 mts ahead. When we reached the junction he stopped, he spotted a boat approaching the narrower bit where the water point use to be the other side of the junction, at this point I slid down beside him and turned into the Middlewich Branch, as he looked at me I greeted him by speaking but he was completely expressionless as he looked back, maybe all the cans had something to do with it.
We carried on along the Middlewich branch finally mooring up just before the winding hole about 3 bridges down. There is campshedding piling along this section but we are about 6” out on the mud.
9¼ miles, 6 locks, 1 junction, 2 canals in 5¼ hours