Saturday, 26 May 2012

Bunbury to Tattenhall Marina

Yet another hot day. Early start to get through the difficult locks. The staircase locks were interesting but no especially. We went down with NB Esther, passing another 60 footer during the descent, who could just squeeze by on the crossover with Esther being only 40 foot or so. At the Iron lock, following the notice, I took a rope onto the side, only to find, once the lock had emptied that there was no ladder and Erin Mae's roof was far too low to get down. I was also on the off-side so pulling her through required the help of another boater to get the rope around and through. Otherwise, a good day' boating. Stopped at The Shady Oak for some refreshment at lunch-time, and had a good chat with a couple of non-boaters.

Tattenhall was very windy, so getting to the service wharf to book in and then to the visitor's mooring was bit tricky. Found one with £5 on the meter! Having backed in, had to connect the old hose to the new one to get the length from tap to filler. Lots of spray! Also had to wash down the jetty.

6 miles, 6 locks, 5 hours engine.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Nantwich to Bunbury

Pleasant morning exploring some of Nantwich. Too hot to travel until about 4 p.m. Filled up with water at Nantwich service wharf, then made reasonable time, considering the number of moored boats, past the junctions with the Llangollen Canal and the Middlewich branch. Tied up for the night one corner before Bunbury staircase locks.

6 miles, 0 locks, 3.5 hours engine time

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Audlem to Nantwich

Bought one or two things in the canal and craft shop in Audlem Mill and filled up with water before heading off mid-morning. George the sausage-man was looking for a way to get a 7-foot freezer down to his shop at the bottom lock, but it was too big for our stern. Bought some Stilton and asparagus sausages from him and 6 huge double-yolked eggs.

So hot that we tied up for three hours in the middle of the day. At 4 started out for Nantwich and moored before the aqueduct. Walked into town and eventually brought a few things back from Morrisons.

6 miles, 5 locks, 5 hours engine time

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Market Drayton to Audlem

Grey start which cleared into another sunburn day. Coffee just before the 5 locks at Adderley. Then pulled up for lunch just before the Audlem flight. Fresh bread and soup, with the remaining Scotch egg. Down twelve of the fifteen and moored at Audlem wharf. This was the day Mgt began to operate the lock gates.

Walked into Audlem village and sat in the church for a bit. Bought some treacle tart for pudding! Used the Shroppie Fly's free wi-fi to download the episodes of Silk and New Tricks that we'd missed.

6 miles, 17 locks, 5 hours engine

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Knighton to Market Drayton

Fairly prompt start so as not to get into a queue at the Tyrley locks. Beautiful morning through the cuttings. Stopped for water at the unexpected point just after Goldstone Bridge, so we could get a wash going. As we started to go down the Tyrley flight, we were caught up by Sharon and Dan from Florida, who had also followed us through the set at Penkridge.

Tied up to investigate pump-outs at Market Drayton, and found Mike and Diane in nb Epitome 2. Mike had a BW card two years old, which he sold to me, and it worked fine in the BW DIY pump-out. So that was a first. We were almost out of Blue, so have to buy some very soon.

Walked half a mile into Market Drayton to the Asda. It was now getting a bit late so we have stayed – opposite the green where they had the narrowboat festival when we were here five years ago, just looking.

6.5 miles, 5 locks, 5 hours engine time.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Cowley to Knighton

Beautiful day – sun at last. Idled slowly along for the most part. 44 litres of diesel at Norbury Junction, two bags of Taybrite and a check of the front fender which has slipped. Stopped to check the near the Anchor Bridge to check out a boat with a cruiser stern and a pram hood. Moored at 48 hour moorings just past Bridge 47

8.5 miles, 0 locks, 1 tunnel, 4.5 hours

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Brewood to Cowley

Lunch at The Bridge Inn, Brewood, and set out at 3 p.m. Moored up just south of Bridge 31. Water at Wheaton Ashton. Two tyres from a helpful farm at Little Onn.

7 miles, 1 lock, 4 hours

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Laches Bridge to Brewood

Dull, overcast, chilly. Down to Autherley junction and up the Shroppie. Even with this weather, you can see why people love this canal. Tied up between bridges 13 and 14 at Brewood. Chatted briefly with Sandra on nb Maranatha.

9 miles,  1 lock, 4.5 hours

Friday, 18 May 2012

Penkridge to Laches Bridge

Early rain dried up, but remained overcast and quite cold. Set out at 11.  Followed through the locks by a couple from Florida who boat over here three times a year. Lunch at Gailey Wharf, above the lock. Set a washing machine load going as we started again – still going when we arrived at Laches Bridge, but seemed to do the wash well. Raining again tonight. We're snug with a fire.

6.25 miles, 5 locks, 4 hours

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Through Penkridge

Rain early, but cleared by 10. Bought a second centre line and a litre of hull blacking paint from Midland Chandlers. Sauntered through Penkridge and filled up with water at the BW point. Moored just above Filance Lock.

Shopping in Penkridge – Jaspers the baker for tea-time goodies, butcher's for two pork steaks and Co-op for the rest.

New Roberts solar DAB radio bringing in the test match loud and clear.

1.5 miles, 3 locks, 1.5 hours

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Great Haywood to Penkridge

Filled up with diesel: 92 litres declared at 60/40. Set out at about 12.45. Stopped for lunch at Tixall Wide. Easy journey with hardly any traffic. S&W seemed not quite so shallow at crucial points. Around 3 mph or even more possible for the most part when not passing moored boats.

Temperature, oil and charge readings normal

10 miles, 4 locks, 5 hours

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Hailstones, work inside and a cruise booked

Huge hailstones bouncing on the roof, up into the ventilators and down into the cabin!

Finished adapting the supporting frame of the TV, and connected the optical audio and HDMI links. Neet cables' HDMI auto / manual switch worked well, first time. Disconnected the yellow video led to the TV as it would now seem redundant.

Mgt made a fresh batch of bread and soup – very good. Tonight it's turkey breast in the Morphy-Richards gadget.  Then we have to decide between watching Silk and going out to the session at the Spittal Brook. Which will set us up best for travelling tomorrow?

Today we booked our 40th anniversary cruise next February to see the northern lights in Arctic Norway.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Setting up for summer

16/04/12  Engine serviced. Paid 08/05/12

5th - 9th May on board. TV hung on the frame, but needs extra piece to bring it forward 15 mm. Locker covers treated with preservative.  Pump-out on 9th.

Returned home on 9th May for dental check on the 10th. Came back up on 12th. Today fitted the retaining struts under the two side covers. Rang Coverit to start the process of getting the pram cover made. Gary will ring me when they have a space when the weather is good enough for making the template.

Went into Stafford to try to get a charger for Mgt's phone. No joy.