Friday, 31 May 2013

Park Bridge 8 to Wightwick

Late start while we talked with IK about database stuff. Beautiful sunny day. Water at Autherley Junction, and tied up for homemade vegetable soup (definite improvement on the nettle variety!) just round the corner. Wightwick Mill lock had a gusher which made the floor under the open side hatch very wet. Moored below Wightwick lock, above the bridge.

6.8 miles, 4 locks, 6 hours engine time

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Wheaton Aston to Park Bridge 8

Ran the engine early for a shower and electric. New gas bottle from Turner's. Audlem George's lamb and sundried tomato sausages for lunch. But the doubled yolked eggs bought to go with them turned out to have only a single yolk.

Weather clearing. Park Bridge moorings seem to have a good Three signal.

5 miles, 1 lock, 4 hours engine time.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Norbury Junction to Wheaton Aston

Sunny morning. Ran the engine early for Margaret to make bread. She also made stinging nettle soup – very healthy but opinion not quite unanimous. Tied up at the visitor moorings opposite Taylor's for lunch, but when the rain started decided to stay put.

7.5 miles, 0 locks, 5 hours engine time.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Market Drayton to Norbury Junction

Nasty, soggy day, but without yesterday's wind. Fun and games with the by-wash at Tyrley bottom lock. Good time, really, though it seemed we'd never get to Norbury Junction with all the boats moored along the route.

Self pump-out at Market Drayton (16 days). Also tried to fill up with water, but the tap was really slow. Winded once to get the left side to the tow-path for the pump-out, and again afterwards. Made the mistake the second time of taking the stern into the winding hole – it's very shallow and escaping involved Margaret holding the bows onto a moored boat while I brought the stern round.

183 litres of diesel at Norbury Junction (76.9p for the domestic part), 2 bags of Taybrite, 1 second-hand anchor, 4 metres of chain, 10 metre line of Hempex. Moored up near the end of Norbury Junction visitor moorings, and ran the central heating for an hour while the fire got going.

11 miles, 5 locks, 7 hours engine time.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Audlem to Market Drayton

Set out early to beat the anticipated queues up the Audlem flight and the rain that was expected later. Nice travelling in the sun, though a bit chilly at times. Tank light still not on – that's over a fortnight now since the last pump-out.

Ran a wash, and kept the engine running to finish it off. By then the rain had started – not heavy, just unpleasant – so we lit the fire, hunkered down and listened to Test Match Special on the DAB.

6 miles, 17 locks, 5 hours engine time.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Stayed put at Audlem

Some good festival acts, a sunny day, a great mooring and probably enough diesel in the tank to be going on with persuaded us to stay put. The Bridge stage is just across the canal, and the water separates us from the crowds.

2.5 hours engine.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Nantwich to Audlem

Beautiful day. Ran the engine to re-charge following an hour's TV the previous evening. Coffee, market and shopping in Nantwich. Lousy internet connection in the bookshop when I tried to download the demo version of Finale 2012. Had to do it on the boat.

Finally decided to go south, so set out mid/late afternoon. Queues at Hack Green locks. Sausages and double-yolked eggs at Audlem lock 15. Audlem festival meant it was very crowded but we got a mooring on the 5-day section opposite the Bridge Inn just before lock 12. Venison, bacon and wild mushroom pie from Nantwich market for tea.

7 miles, 5 locks, 5.8 hours engine time.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Wrenbury (Bridge 22) to Nantwich

Same windy, wet conditions as yesterday. Lunch break at Burland – useful convenience store. Said good-bye to the Llangollen. Tied up on the 48 hour moorings south of the aqueduct.

9.6 miles, 7 locks, 3 lift bridges, 5.5 hours engine.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Whitchurch to Wrenbury (Bridge 22)

Very windy, with strong, squally showers. Can't turn right out of the Whitchurch arm, so winded at Bridge 31A. Very shallow, and the wind made it very difficult until I used it to bring the bows round while holding the stern on the tow path.

Down the Grindley Brook staircase without drama.

6.5 miles, 10 locks, 1 lift bridge, 7 hours engine time.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Whixall Moss to Whitchurch

Caught up another boat so we could follow them through a couple of lift bridges, to share the work. Got 50 litres of diesel at the Whitchurch Viking base – 1.04 for domestic, same as Ellesmere. Tied up at the end of the Whitchurch arm, after winding and reversing with difficulty because of the gale that was blowing. Homemade soup and bread, and a walk into Whitchurch.

Leaving the TV off and running the engine enough seems to be getting the batteries to a slightly better state.

4.5 miles, 0 locks, 3 lift bridges, 4 hours engine time.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Ellesmere to Whixall Moss

Ran the engine for 2.5 hours in the morning because (a) battery was very low, and (b) I wanted my shower. Set out after shopping in Ellesmere. Reversed out of the arm. Cold, windy journey, sunny at times.

Detoured down the Prees Branch to Whixall Marina to see the price of their diesel, but they were closed. Lunch on the cut at the entrince to the marina. In spite of Nicholson's, the second lift bridge on the branch was worse than the first.

Tied up on CaRT moorings on the straight after bridge 44. Internet connection weak – needed to connect direct to the computer

10.3 miles, 5 lift bridges, 6.5 hours engine time

Monday, 20 May 2013

Frankton to Ellesmere

Dry day, but mostly cloudy. Early start to be first in the queue up Frankton locks. Chatted with Amy the lock-keeper, and her predecessor of 37 years who wasn't keen on my landing on his "garden". After apology, we had a good natter.

Tied up in the Ellesmere branch. Launderette for all the bedding, and good internet in the Black Lion for some IT work.

4.5 miles, 0 locks, 3.5 hours

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Maesbury Marsh to Frankton

Left Maesbury mid-afternoon and came slowly up to Frankton. Moored up at the Weston arm services, below the four locks to exit the Monty.

6 miles, 4 locks, 3.5 hours engine time.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Moored at Maesbury Marsh

Stayed on the mooring under the Navigation Inn. Ran the engine in the morning.

0 miles, 0 locks, 2 hours engine time.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Aston Locks to Maesbury Marsh

After a late start,  a very nice, gentle amble to Maesbury, and the run was just long enough to do a wash. Winded beyond Crofts Mill Lift Bridge, at Gronwen wharf, and stopped at the CaRT service wharf for water on the way back. Tied up opposite the Navigation Inn, and set up the whirligig clothes-line on the tow path.

3.5 miles, 2 locks, 2 lift bridges (same one, both ways!), 3 hours engine time.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Ellesmere to Aston Locks

Booked a passage through Lower Frankton locks, and got to the junction about 12.30. One boat going down in front, but three to come up, so we had to wait. Roger and Mirjana helped us and the lock keeper with the locking, and then we tied up at the Weston Branch for lunch and a natter.

Rang CaRT about broken lock on the services building at the Weston Branch, and booked a passage up the flight for Monday.

Made it slowly down past Queen's Head and tied up after the first of the Aston locks. Mixture of sunshine and hail.

8 miles, 6 locks, 3 hours engine time.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Chirk to Ellesmere

Went north for half a mile to wind, and then ambled to Ellesmere. All the central moorings were taken, so winded at the junction and tied up 400 yards back towards Frankton. Tesco shop. Checked the diesel prices at Blackwater Meadow – they were appalling, with domestic at £1.04.

12 miles, 2 locks, 6 hours engine time.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Staying put at Chirk

Visit to Chirk castle meant we stayed put in the cutting. Ran the engine to charge the batteries and heat the water. Rainy evening.

0 miles, 0 locks, 2.5 hours engine time.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Moreton to Chirk

Lazy lie-in after the business of the weekend. Walked up to Rhoswiel to get Mgt's veggies for tea, and found we had to go right through Weston Rhyn to get to the local stores. No veggies. About a 3 mile round trip.

Late afternoon we left Lyon Quays to go to Chirk, to facilitate an early start tomorrow when we visit the castle. Tied up at the north end of Chirk tunnel. Walked into Chirk for the veggies, thinking the shops would be at the near end of the town. They were at the north end, so we did another two miles overall, but got some veggies from the Co-op. Ran the engine to charge batteries.

2 miles, 0 locks, 2.5 hours engine time.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Moreton to Froncysyllte and back

Accompanied by Steve, Una, Joel and Ruth. Not bad for travelling, and Joel and Ruth did well on the tiller. One very bad tree-trunk across the cut that ran us sideways, unexpectedly, into the concrete canal wall. Had to leave it as I could not see what we could do about it.  Winded just after the Froncysyllte lift bridge.

Good pump-out for £15 at Chirk marina.

8.5 miles, 0 locks, 1 lift bridge, 5 hours engine time.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Moreton to Trevor and back

In the company of David, Jo, Lewis and Charis. Wet in parts and still very windy. Lost the rain hat in the canal on Chirk aqueduct.

Winded above the Anglo-Welsh moorings at Trevor, which were very crowded. Had to wait an age for   convey to come across the Pontcysyllte before our return crossing.

10.5 miles, 0 locks, 1 lift bridge, 6 hours engine time.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Llangollen to Moreton

Much drier day than Thursday. Walked to Horseshoe Falls and back. Then Ivan walked the narrows to check the way was clear for us. Not quite the difference in speed coming back that I had expected – it must be the shallowness as much as the current which limits the speed.

10 miles, 0 locks, 1 lift bridge, 5 hours engine time.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Moreton to Llangollen

Ran the engine to support the bread maker. Ivan and Irene joined us at coffee time. Appalling weather with high winds and rain, but the two aqueducts negotiated safely. Tunnels not scary after experiencing the Harecastle. Parts of the stretch from Trevor to Llangollen very shallow, but manageable. Virtually no other traffic.

Dry when we arrived at Llangollen. Marina in the basin is quite good, but the pontoons are very short, so we winded and tied up at the visitor moorings up from the wharf. £6 a night, but that includes an electric hookup and your own water tap. Evening meal at the Bridge End Hotel.

10 miles, 0 locks, 1 lift bridge (and 1 which is left up), 7 hours engine time.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Hindford to Moreton

Ran the engine early to allow kitchen activity. By the time we started, out after lunch, the weather was getting chilly and windy, and eventually a bit wet. Tied up at the Lyon Quays Spa / Hotel, where we've arranged to meet Ivan and Irene tomorrow. Friendly place, happy for boaters to moor up.

3.3 miles, 0 locks, 4 hours engine time.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Bettisfield to Hindford

Another hot, sunny day. The meres around Ellesmere were looking stunning as we passed. Stopped in Ellesmere for a Tesco shop and to fill the water tank. No locks today – the canal follows the contours and does considerable meandering, presumably as a result.

Tied up, as intended at the Jack Mytton pub in Hindford, only to find that they are closed today. Ah well, that means they can't really criticise us for using their moorings which are strictly for "today's" customers. A good spot, and very nice gardens to the pub. Seems a reasonable Three signal. Haven't tested the TV yet.

Ran the third wash in three days, this time doing towels. The Candy is generally working pretty well, though we haven't quite got the detergent level right.

9.2 miles, 0 locks, 5.5 hours engine time.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Bradeley Green to Bettisfield

Late start up through Grindley Brook locks. Difficulty in getting into the middle lock of the staircase because we hadn't let enough water in. After that, no locks, but 4 lift bridges which are harder work.

The canal shallow in places. Tied up between bridges 49 and 50 looking across the valley towards Welshampton on a lovely sunny evening.

10.3 miles,  6 locks (including the 3-lock Grindley Brook staircase),  4 lift bridges, 5.5 hours engine.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Hurleston to Bradeley Green

Some parts quite shallow, making it difficult in the wind. Other parts fine. Cloudy, windy, chilly morning, but no rain. Stop for lunch just short of Church Bridge at Marbury. Sunny afternoon. Not much traffic. Tied up just above Povey's lock. Good TV and Three OK.

10 miles, 9 locks, 2 lift bridges (+1 left permanently open, it seemed), 5.75 hours engine.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Audlem to Hurleston

Down through the remainder of the Audlem flight. George the butcher was rather understocked – no double-yolked eggs and no Stilton sausages. Very good speed from Audlem to Nantwich. Did a wash as we travelled, and filled up with water at Nantwich basin. Wind very difficult at the junction with the Llangollen, and crunched the rudder a couple of time on underwater concrete. Waited alongside a boat that would go up the Hurleston flight first. Tied up at the first rings along the pound. Very quiet and a great view across the fields. Good Three signal.

A day ahead of schedule.

9.2 miles,  9 locks,  6.5  hours

Friday, 3 May 2013

Market Drayton to Audlem

Morning in Market Drayton, sorting out bank payments. Lunch on the move to the Adderley flight. Very annoying side wind most of the time, blowing us onto the towpath side between locks, preventing slick transfers, and making getting into the locks more hazardous than usual. Tied up at first above lock 12 in Audlem, but the shelf was problematic, so we moved down and tied up for the night below lock 12, on the wharf.

7.5 miles, 17 locks, 5 hours engine time

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Gnosall to Market Drayton

Good progress in the sun, so we were able to have a very nice peaceful break for lunch. Filled up with water at Norbury Junction – saw Bruce and Richard. Now probably two hours ahead of CanalPlanAC's schedule.

14.7 miles, 5 locks, 6 hours engine time.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

S&W Bridge 67 to Gnosall

Started at 9.15 and picked up the stove door from Oxley Marine (just a fiver!). Reversed back up to Autherley junction and headed up the Shroppie. Stopped at Brewood for lunch. Bought new batteries for the NW card reader, but seems it is the reader itself which is faulty.

Held up at Wheaton Aston lock, because the boat in front was stuck on a large log someone had tossed into the entrance. But then we picked up diesel from Turner's garage – 20% declaration because of all the central heating we'd used in the Autumn and Spring. 73.9p / litre, with 49.2p surcharge for propulsion. Made very good time under generally sunny skies, with very little traffic. Tied up on the visitor moorings at Gnosall, just before the Boat Inn bridge. We're about an hour ahead of CanalPlanAC's 10 day, 5 hours per day schedule, in spite of yesterday's alternator trouble.

15.8 miles, 2 locks, 6 hours engine.