Saturday, July 25, 2015

Back Home Again- Whixall Marina

Locking up Grindley Brook was speedy this morning with a procession of boats coming towards us. We didn't have to wait at the staircase either with two lock keepers helping us through. The volunteer lockie said I'd asked the organ grinder not the monkey if we could come up the locks after the boat coming down. He was a chatty fellow while the actual lockie doesn't usually have much to say.

Soon we came to the three lift bridges, Ben and I walked and opened them up for the boat to come through. The fourth lift bridge further on was permanently open until it can be repaired, damaged by a vehicle not a boat!  

Before the bridge where the salvage yard was the boat was sounded a bit rough only wanted to go on tick over, finally it didn't want to go at all......we'd run out of fuel! Eric walked down the Prees Branch and bought a can of fuel to get it started so we could get back to the marina. He had to bleed the fuel system to get the air out and then it started first time. There was fuel in the tank but it must have been below the fuel pipe.  I thought we had enough fuel to get back....but we didn't.

Back on our berth, all plugged in catching up with the washing. Tea was duck eggs and chips and you could certainly see by the yolks how fresh they were.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Boating In The Rain!

When we set off this morning it wasn't raining, but we decided to keep going when it did. In luck today as lots of boats were heading towards Hurleston, which meant empty locks with gates open ready for us. Nine locks and two lift bridges before we were moored below Grindley Brook. With a boat ahead at the lift bridges, I ended up doing just the electric one at Wrenbury.  As usual lots of cars were kept waiting, I suspect I wasn't  popular. 

At Quoisely Lock the bearded gentlemen was there despite the rain selling logs, sticks, firelighters, potatoes, onions, carrots with the green still attached and eggs. We bought some of his lovely duck eggs.He always help the boaters through the lock. The pub at Willeymoor was's rarely open when we pass by in the afternoon.

Ben and I did some walking in the rain, we didn't mind it's only water. Shepherd's Pie for tea it's cooking now and smells lovely.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Up Hurleston Locks Onto the Llangollen Canal

Eric happy he's on the Llangollen Canal

Old boats breasted up at Hurleston Junction

Waiting below  Hurleston Locks

Today went up the flight of Locks at Hurleston ......what a palaver! The middle pound was low, the boat going up in front of us got stuck on the side and I asked the lock keeper to let down some water but he didn't and Eric couldn't get over the cill of the lock to leave it. So I walked up and let some down telling him we were stuck on the cill. Eric then managed to get out of the lock.

At the top we used the services before stopping at Bridge 5 on the Llangollen  Canal. Eric's's his favourite canal.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Moored In Nantwich

This morning we were the last boat to leave Coole Pilate but we've never been early birds. Too many years of having to get up for work means we don't use an alarm clock. Sometimes I get caught in my pj's in the cratch with Ben outside on a long lead  having a wee!

The weather caught us out before we reached Hack Green Locks as light rain became very heavy and I  didn't have waterproof trousers on. Eric said something about  the rain coming down like stair rods, I haven't heard any mention of stair rods for years, they were used to keep the long runner of carpet in place on the the old days! After the locks Ben and I got back on the boat, he had a rub down with his towel while I had to change my trousers.

We decided to moor at Nantwich so we pulled into a space before the aqueduct knowing it's always full on the other side. NB Poppy was there so we had a welcome party, we hadn't seen them for ages. The dog Lola  had a good bark too.

We walked into Nantwich to get some fresh food at Morrison's and Ben came for the walk, he really didn't want to be left home alone. Now back on the boat I am feeling  lazy while Eric started to continue polishing the one side of the boat until rain stopped him. Perhaps it'll stop and he can do a bit more. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Locking Down The Audlem Flight

Today we timed it wrong, when we left our mooring at Cox Bank and continued down the 13 
locks left of the Audlem Flight. Every lock was against us except two, which meant filling the lock before we could go through. We made it but we're tired! My sixty five year old knees hurt!  It's so much easier when other boats are moving. 

Audlem itself was chaotic with moorings taken up for the Historic Boat Gathering this weekend. The only place left to moor was after Lock 15, but we'd decided to carry on to Coole Pilate Visitor Moorings.I didn't take any photos but I should have done, Saturn was moored outside The Shroppie Fly. 

We  walked down into Audlem yesterday hoping that the fish and chip shop was open but it was closed on Mondays. The Shroppie Fly  allows dogs in the flagstoned area so we had lunch there instead with some liquid refreshment, before we walked back up the locks to the boat with our food shopping from the local Coop.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Just Boating- Locking Norbury To Cox Bank

On Sunday morning we left a very quiet Norbury Junction behind after a water top up at the services. I walked a bit until we got to the much photographed high bridge with the telegraph pole. Shortly after that you need wellies!  Back on the boat, bacon sandwiches for lunch .......not your usual Sunday Roast but we did have the Sunday papers.

Tyrley locks were busy which always makes it easier with boats passing in the pounds and lock gates open ready for you, except the last one of the flight. I was steering for a change so I had to stay in the middle while Eric filled up the lock for us. At this lock there's no way to get into the side as they are very shallow. The boat handles differently with the new engine. We can even talk to each other when I'm walking the dog as it's quieter too.

Next stop Market Drayton but no room to moor, spaces in between but too small for us. We continue on and did the Adderly flight of 5 locks and found a space to moor below the locks.A long day for us so Monday was going to be a quiet one.

Today  we left Adderly, as usual Ben and I walking with just two locks to get to Cox Bank if there was room for us. The heavens opened at the first lock and Ben got back onboard. Here's a photo of him on the boat. Plenty of room on the moorings so we're moored up, we'll go down to Audlem when the rain stops.

Sleepy's a hard life!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Shroppie- Brewood to Norbury Junction

On Friday morning we left our mooring at Bridge 8, most of the boats had left hours ago. We also end up going about 10.30am. Ben and I walked the forty minutes to Brewood, the locals say it like the word brewed and  Eric came to by boat mooring up on the busy visitor moorings. Leaving Ben on the boat it was a quick walk to the Coop for a few bits and pieces before we continued on our way.

Just one lock yesterday at Wheaton Aston before we topped up the water tank at the services. The fuel at Turners was 57p cheap but we wanted to use what we had in the tank so we'll fill up when we get back to Whixall Marina. We found a space to moor not under trees as we didn't want to end with a bird poo covered boat, nobody has moored in that space. Eric checked the engine for leaks, water and oil levels and belts......all ok! 'Happy new engine' a blog reader shouted to us at Autherley Junction, hello to you.

This morning a dull start in the cutting but once we on our way the sun came out as I walked along the long straight embankment typical of the Shroppie. The cuttings were fairly muddy but I was back on the boat by then. Three hours cruising and we moored up at Norbury Visitor Moorings where the rings are well spaced for boats.

A lazy afternoon followed but Eric has plans to wash one side of the boat when it cools down a bit. The other side of the boat is polished for half it's length but it's the watery side so the next place he can finish it is at Cox Bank Moorings above Audlem.You can certainly see where he's been that Craft Canuba Polish is good stuff.