Sunday, 31 August 2014

Tattenhall marina to Wharton's lock and back

David and Jo, Lewis and Charis came for a sunny Sunday afternoon's boating, with food. Great time. Tried three times to moor up on the towpath on the way back to cook the evening meal, but couldn't get near enough without grounding.

6.3 miles, 2 locks, 4 hours engine

Friday, 22 August 2014

Sykes Hollow to Tattenhall Marina

Mostly cloudy, occasional shower, a little sun. Started at 8.30. Even so we were pushing it a bit to get to Tattenhall in time to complete the rest of the journey home.

Some of the gates / paddles on the wide locks on the Shroppie were appallingly difficult.

10 miles, 7 locks, 5 hours engine

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Middlewich to Sykes Hollow

Early phone calls to Tattenhall and Leightons indicated (a) we could stay at Tattenhall marina, no problem; (b) it was not imperative to get the eye tests done immediately, but my lenses probably needed to be replaced – one of them is four years old. We decided to go home to have all that done, which probably means leaving Erin Mae at Tattenhall for about a week. So instead of calling with Kings Lock Chandlery today, we came straight on up the Middlewich Branch.

Grey day with occasional spots of rain. Most of the traffic against us except for one very slow learner / hirer in front for the last hour before a late lunch opposite the Aqueduct marina. Only one other boat tied up at Sykes Hollow when we arrived.

7.5 miles, 2 locks, 3 hours engine

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Wheelock Lock 61 to Middlewich

Up early to prepare for getting through the problem pound and lock, but first rumours were that it wasn't going to happen. So ran the engine from 8 as a battery charging measure. However, CaRT going us all moving reasonably quickly, even though the pound was still low.

Rain at lunch-time, but a sunny afternoon, so came on to Middlewich. All that meant the engine did a good stint today. Wanted to moor before Kings Lock, but there wasn't a lot of room, so came round on to the Middlewich branch of the Shroppie. Nice 48 hour mooring just before the second bridge.

7.5 miles, 12 locks, 8 hours engine

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Rode Heath to Lock 61

Horrible morning forecast (and realised), so got up late. Set out at 11 as the showers were beginning to die away. Usual mixture of straightforward and horrible lock gear. Nice sunny afternoon.

Encountered a stoppage due to failure of lock 63, so ended up in a long queue above lock 61, to wait overnight. Went down to see CaRT working on the lock, and we're promised we'll be on the move in the morning.

3 miles, 8 locks, 3.5 hours engine

Monday, 18 August 2014

Westport Lake to Rode Heath

Sunshine and showers as we came through Harecastle tunnel and down the Cheshire locks to Rode Heath. Some of the paddles were really stiff. Wind was a problem when trying to navigate some of the short pounds. An oncoming boater emerging from lock 52 was very slow. At the same time the bywash suddenly increasing from the pound above took Erin Mae's stern, and drove the bows right across the pound and almost into the oncoming boat.

Moored up just short of the winding hole at Rode Heath. Nice spot with a good view across the valley.

6.5 miles, 12 locks, 6 hours engine

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Barlaston to Westport Lake

Windy, sunshine and showers, some very heavy. Late lunch at the top of the Stoke locks before the final hour to the Westport Lake moorings. Wind made some manouevering very tricky.

8 miles, 6 locks, 5.5 hours engine

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Weston to Barlaston

Woke up to find the gas had run out – the spare, to my surprise, was also empty. That meant a quick start to get up to Stone for replacements.

2 gas cylinders from chandlery in Stone. Late lunch above the 4th lock. Then decided to push on through the Meaford flight, and tied up just after bridge 103 in Barlaston.

10 miles, 10 locks, 7 hours engine

Friday, 15 August 2014

GH Marina to Weston

Bought a new mooring line from GH Marina.

Phoned Ribble link office, who advised that the earliest date for north passage would be 23rd September, so change of plan needed. Will probably try to traverse the Pennines via the Leeds and Liverpool, since Nicholson's says the locks are 60 feet.

Setting out, went via Anglo-Welsh and bought a spare throttle / gear cable. Keith gave me a plastic cover he had for the Morse control lever hub.

Having set out late, only made it just north of Weston lock before tying up for the night.

3 miles, 2 locks, 3 hours engine.

Thursday, 14 August 2014


Ribble link website advised certain items were mandatory, so bought lifejackets and extra length of anchor rope from MC in Penkridge. Also bought stainless steel chimney and a galvanised liner. Discussed paint for the chimney collar and concluded hull blacking paint would do.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014


Clear up after children. Pump out at the marina.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Wolseley Bridge to GH Marina

Home on a very rainy morning.

3 miles, 2 locks, 3 hours engine

Friday, 1 August 2014

Wolseley Bridge to Wolseley Bridge

Went up to Rugeley for ice-cream. Winded and came back to Bridge 70. Another visit to the wildlife centre.

6 miles, 0 locks, 3 hours engine