Well after the rain last night it turned a bit chilly dropping to just 7° C but this morning was much brighter. As I was getting ready to set off the woman powered boat came by and I pulled their rope round Harnser for them. They had been right up to Llangollen but didn't try towing it to Horseshoe Falls.
We set off just before 0930Hrs and met our first boat just as we cleared Ellesmere Tunnel, I hadn't bothered fitting the headlight and gave a good blast on the horn as we entered, Diana positioned her self at the bows with a torch. It wasn't many seconds after blasting the horn that a face appeared peeping round the far portal and there was a hire boat well tied to the bollards waiting for us to exit.
We were almost at Hampton Bank when we caught up with the little yacht being towed by the lady and he waved me by. Not an easy manoeuvre as once I was level with him I throttled back to chat with him and his little boat just kept beside me effectively surfing on the small depression we made in the water, the tow rope going slack and catching the piling pulling his engine backwards.
They are an American couple and they launched the boat at Tattenhall have done the 4 Counties ring plus the Llangollen Canal. He said they have a small electric outboard motor powered from a solar panel but Kath is much faster. Strange way to spend a holiday.
Just before Whixall Moss Junction there was a large group of people on the towpath, as I got closer I could see it was actually a junior fishing match and they were all slowly working their way down the line weighing each catch.
At Morris's Lift bridge there was a boat coming the other way who was much closer than us but then we could see he was single handed, so a quick pip on the horn as Diana set off to operate the bridge as well as waiting for the one behind us to come through. The returned the complement at Tilstock Park Bridge.
The boat following pulled over for lunch so I worked the next three lift bridges letting a hire boat through that was coming the other way. I met 2 ladies between Hassells lift bridges asking me where they would come to if they continued walking, I don't think Wales was the answer they were looking for as the actually had left Whitchurch to get to Grindley Brook. They said they would go home and try another day.
We arrived at the top of Grindley Brook locks with no boats waiting, just one coming up, so not too long to wait. CRT now run a trip boat from here, a converted working flat and it was crewed by the lock keeper who was at Franklin locks when we came through.
We were soon down through the staircase and round to the locks, the first was against us but as a boat was coming up in the next lock Diana set it ready for them, they in turn left the gates open for us. This didn't please the boater following them who claimed they should have closed up behind them ready for him.
We moored up at 1500Hrs on the 48Hr moorings just below the locks ready to try The Horse and Jockey for dinner tonight.