Saturday, 4 July 2015

Catch up

Friday 26 June, 7 miles, 5 locks,

First away from Queens Head and meander up to the Frankton locks. Stop for water on the way and are there waiting for the lock keeper to unlock so we can proceed. After we are up and back on the Llangollen we stop for lunch. I ring the Coal boat. This boat operates on the canal every other week providing coal, diesel, grease, oil and a number of other items for boaters. I guess they are just in front of us so we delay lunch and push on. I do some more calculations and think they may be behind us so reduce to our normal 2mph. Not long after I see them coming around a corner behind us so pull over, wave them down and take on 100 litres plus of diesel. That done they move on and we have lunch. Soon after we pass them again refueling another boat. Then it is into Ellesmere for a shop at Tesco's. Had a good mooring so stay the night.

Saturday 27 June, 7 miles.

Another meandering day passed the mere's and through tree lined and open farming countryside to moor up at the junction with the Prees Branch. The branch is 1 mile long and with 2 lift bridges we decide to walk it. After the first mile the canal is unnavigable so we continue on the towpath until the canal ends before returning the same way. This part of the canal is quite different with weed and tree encroachment.

Prees Branch Lift Bridge

Sunday 28 June, 8 miles, 8 locks, 5 lift bridges.

Wet morning so waited for a clearance around lunchtime. A pleasant run through the countryside arriving at the Grindley Brook locks around 1700. They include a staircase of 3 locks so are manned by lock keepers. They were still there so we went on down and continued through 2 more locks which brought us alongside a pub. Time to stop after a long day.

Monday 29 June, 9 miles, 7 locks, 3 lift bridges.

This was a lucky day. Every lock was set for us and every bridge was up. We were also lucky not to sink the boat. Here's what happened.
We arrive at Baddiley #3 lock, gates have been opened by a boat coming up so we sailed straight in. Both lock girls are struggling to lift the paddles even with two hands. I go forward to help and as I am about to start I notice the front of the boat is hung up on the lock. I ask the two girls to drop the paddles as quick as possible to stop the rear of the boat getting any lower. Now the problem is that these paddles have been modified so you can't throw the ratchet device off, you have to hold it up to turn the windlass. Remembering it takes two hands to move the paddle up 1 notch at a time it becomes very difficult to move it down again with one hand when the other is holding this modified devise. Meantime while the girls are struggling at the front of the boat I have gone to the back and have opened the paddles to let water in. It was our lucky day as there was more water coming in than going out and the back of the boat rose up again onto an even keel. Our luck continued with the remaining 2 locks of the day set for us.

Tuesday 30 June, 1 1/4 miles, 4 locks.

What a coincident that last night me moored by the bridge that leads to Snugbury Farm. Our 20 minute walk was rewarded with lovely Honey & Ginger ice cream. Around the corner we fill up with water then down the Hurleston flight and turn south on the Shropshire Union Canal. Stop for lunch. Heatwave day, fall asleep and that's it for today.

Wednesday 1 July, 2 miles.

Move on to Nantwich where there are a number of op/charity shops that Diana missed last visit. We have been having internet problems again so decide to take a bus to Crewe. We found the shop we hoped would be there and they sorted the problem and gave us some extra advice on who to better achieve what we are trying to do. By the time we got back to Nantwich the op shops were closed so a few grocery items were picked up before the walk back to the boat. Originally we had planned to move on today but that all changed when as we approached our boat a head pops up "Like you hat" I try to wear an NZ hat whenever off the boat. "Nice tee shirt I reply". She is wearing a "Tui" shirt. We drop the shopping on the boat and join them. They are a professional couple that have a house on the Thames and often come to Art Deco weekend in Napier. They have a daughter living on Waiheke Island (off Auckland). They also enjoy wine, make their own fruit wine which I can vouch for. A very pleasant evening. We are starting to establish a group of Narrow boaters who may get-together in Napier at Art Deco weekend. Impressive thunderstorm before bed.

Thursday 2 July, 4 miles, 2 locks.

Nice morning so Diana does the op shops while I do an oil change. As Diana starts her walk back to the boat there is another thunderstorm so a coffee is in order. Early afternoon the weather is looking OK so off we go. We do a couple of locks then a bit of drizzle starts. Thats OK as I would like to get to the bottom of the Audlem flight to be ready to go up the 15 tomorrow. Soon after the heavens open, thats OK for a short time then with moorings available we moor up. The weather cleared after an hour or so but we are here now so we will stay.

Friday 3 July, 4 1/2 miles, 15 locks.

Into Audlem, up the first 2 locks and there is a mooring just before the water point so lets stop and check Audlem out again. 5 years since our last visit. Still a lovely village with a few additional shops. Last time we were here there was bunting all over the streets. They have gone and almost every building has a large Union Jack flying. Quite different and better. Lunch at the tea shop. fill with water and off up the remaining 13 locks, stopping shortly after for the day. Nice enough to have tea on the tow path. Early evening a calf fell in the canal opposite the mooring. It was getting quite distressed so I went in search of a local but by the time they came the calf had managed to find a low bank and climb out.


Saturday 4 July, 3 1/2 miles, 5 locks.

The flight of 5 Adderley locks weren't so bad after the 15 yesterday. Diana had some interesting conversation with others lockside. One boat had just been bought by OAP's, had there daughter and grandchild on board. The Kid was having and had been having a tantrum all morning. Things were a bit stressed. She was warned by one boater about the boats behind. They were moored up with them the previous night. 19 girls on 2 hire boats. Only one had been boating before. One fell overboard last night. This was a good warning as we got to the top lock they were going to close it on me but a good honk on the horn brought them into line. When I enter the lock there are about 14 girls/woman hanging around with windlass's in hand. I'm watching like a hawk to see who's going to do what next. All's well we got through then stopped for lunch before trundling into Market Drayton for the night. A walk into town reminded us of why we only spent one night here last time. Tonight we have had an outdoor music concert not far away which ended with a spectacular fireworks display.

1 comment:

  1. Great catch up thanks John. We like looking at the distance you travel each day and how many locks along the way.