Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Quick Update From Shropshire

Up this morning to frost on the grass and  a misty start but it soon cleared. Just a few photographs of the marina. The nine swans are still here at Whixall Marina and providing us with entertainment as we watch the parents giving the youngsters flying lessons and not always landing where they intended.

On Wednesday we had a lovely day we went for a drive in the Snowdonia National Park stopping to view Snowdon itself from a roadside viewpoint. It was amazing to see but soon the peak was covered by cloud. I love being back in Wales with all the mountain views and we stopped in Llangollen one of our favourite places  on the way back to Whixall. We had many happy Winters there on the winter moorings alongside the wharf with the other boaters and miss it sometimes and the continuous cruising for seven months of the year.

Snowdon in the clouds

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Riverside And Lakeside Walks

We've been walking once again with Ben the dog  around the lake at Colemere, it makes a lovely walk through the woods with parking nearby. We often pass by this lake when we cruise to Ellesmere. The leaves on the tree haven't changed much so we'll have to wait for the Autumn colours. 

The man from C&RT  has visited Whixall Marina checking licences on his tablet. We don't have mooring permits visible here but perhaps that will change when BWML finally sells the marina. Many times we were clocked  while we were cruising so at least they have a record of where we've been this Summer. 

One day Eric took us to Shrewsbury to the Quarry a recreational area alongside the River Severn used by people since times gone by the take the air. We thought it would be a place with paths  rather than mud to walk on after the heavy rain. We walked alongside the river watching the passenger trip boat taking people for a cruise and then come back within our two hour limit from the parking machine. We had a coffee at a little kiosk near the children's playground while Ben sampled the water in the bowl. Ben had a grumble as he jumped in the boot of the car, perhaps he was tired.

Back on the boat I made a curry using a jar of Patak's Jalfrezi and while it simmered we had a lazy afternoon with afternoon TV and my Kindle I was quite happy. It's quiet here at Whixall as the end of British Summertime approaches.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

All's Well On NB Bendigedig

The bridge on the Prees Arm  awaiting repair

Back in the marina Eric's first thoughts were of his car parked up for five weeks unloved and unattended. He'd been thinking about his car while we were out cruising too. Well it started first time and took us dog walking and shopping in Ellesmere on Wednesday. He dropped me off by Ellesmere Tunnel and Ben and I had a walk and finally met him in Tesco's car park. While we walked he had a much needed haircut in Mr Mod's. So the cupboards and fridge have been restocked and Eric has lost his curls.

The Mere at Ellesmere

One day  we went for a short drive to Colemere for a walk in the woods around the lake. Ben had plenty of smells to sniff and lots of places to water. Very quiet there in the week with just a few dogs and their owners. We did meet a some mums with their prams and toddlers in wellies enjoying being outside. We popped into Homebase at Whitchurch and bought some Brita filters which were cheaper than anywhere else about £14 for six. We're back to exploring the country lanes around Whixall and walking the canal towpaths.

Today we went to Ellesmere for a walk with Ben the dog. There were loads of conkers underneath the chestnut trees so we collected some to keep the spiders away. Lots of puddles too which Ben avoided. We had a coffee and a sausage roll in the Boat House Café before getting some papers in the Coop and some ready made Yorkshire puddings. I'm no good at making them so I don't bother anymore. A lazy afternoon followed while a roast cooked in the oven for a late lunch.

We're stocked up with coal and logs so we're warm and cosy.  All's well onboard NB Bendigedig. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Cruising Back To Whixall

Early this morning it was misty above the locks at Grindley Brook. The sun rose through the mist and soon it was gone leaving a sunny day. Leaving the moorings we knew we had just six lift bridges to get through before we were back in Whixall once again. It wasn't particularly warm but it was pleasant enough for the last cruise of the year. Ben the dog and I had a lovely walk too. At least it wasn't windy which makes getting into our berth easier.

Not very many boats on the move but we did see one familiar boat on the way back NB Barney with Mac and Sue. Nice to have a chat with you....we'll see you in Llangollen. 

Back in the marina there's quite a few spaces filled while we've been away, so some new faces.  Soon we were back on shoreline and Eric had set up the satellite TV.   I took a big bag of washing over to the laundry which was soon washed and dried using laundry tokens included in our residential mooring.

Anyway time to chill and enjoy the peace and quiet of Whixall Marina.  I've lit the fire and we'll be keeping it alight overnight as it was cold last night.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ten Locks And Above Grindley Brook

During our stop in Wrenbury we did the usual Autumn job...........using this pack of heavy duty film and double sided we'ky tape to double glaze some of the wondow and portholes. We don't do them all as obviously we needed some opening windows.

Monday morning  we were up showered and breakfasted and on our way. We shared the locks today giving Eric a chance to use those arm muscles and me steering into locks without crashing which wasn't easy with the fierce by washes.   

Arriving at the bottom of Grindley Brook to a boat coming out but the next boat turned the lock ignoring us completely! Obviously in a rush!  So one lock up and the same thing happened again as they didn't see us, basically nobody bothered to look. They then complained we were in the way in the short pound when they exited the lock. Eric told them they wouldn't have had a problem if they let us use the lock set for us rather than shutting the gates and refilling it. 

Nobody come the staircase as I checked with the lock keeper who helped us up the lock flight. We stopped to get rid of rubbish etc and then filled the water tank at one of the empty water points. We decided to moor up on the visitor moorings which was quite empty but filled up later.

We popped down the lockside cafe '@29' and sampled their carrot cake and coffees watching the boats come up the staircase, we were the gongoozlers for a change.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Back On The Llangollen Canal

Welcome to the Llangollen Canal

Below the bottom lock at Hurleston Junction

Looking up the lock flight

On Friday we  crossed the aqueduct and left Nantwich behind after using the services. A pleasant cruise to Hurleston Junction on a  very quiet section of canal with no other boats  on the move and then a left turn at Hurleston junction and up the flight of locks. Help today with a lock keeper and a volunteer who helped us up the flight. Just our boat going up today but a queue to descend the flight of locks. Ben the dog and  I walked until we reached our chosen mooring spot after Bridge five.

On Saturday we  made our way to Wrenbury working through two locks at Swanley and three locks at Baddiley. Ben and I walked as far as Swanley Locks.  For a change I stayed on the boat for Baddiley Locks while Eric used the windlass. With the by washes a bit fierce you have to allow for being pushed off course but no major crashes today. We then had two lift bridges including the electric one at Wrenbury where I held up the traffic even though there wasn't a car in sight when I started the sequence to open and close the bridge. We're currently moored up in the sunshine and Eric has been watching the qualifying for the Grand Prix tomorrow.

Tomorrow dog walking followed by Sunday lunch is planned at The Cotton Arms and Eric wants to watch the Grand Prix so it's not a cruising day.  We're making our way back to Whixall Marina after our four weeks out cruising.

Hello to the crew of NB ZOE who passed us by in Wrenbury and told us they're blog readers.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

A Little Further To Nantwich

Gosh it was cold this morning outside the boat and not that warm inside but a flick of a switch and the boat warmed up. The sun came out and warmed up outside too.

Just two hours cruising to Nantwich including working through  Hack Green Locks. Ben and I walked as far as the locks before getting back onboard.  We moored  on the south side of the aqueduct thinking the other side would be full, but we found out it empty when we looked as we crossed the aqueduct to visit the  town. Ben the dog made sure he wasn't being left behind by pushing past me to leave the boat first. Eric had a haircut in a posh barber's where it was washed, cut and blow dried.....that's a first ....he's never  had it blow dried in his life.

Nantwich Aqueduct......recently refurbished

Well Ben enjoyed his walk into Nantwich but we were feeling a bit tired and glad of a cuppa. Eric had the check the propellor down the weed hatch as the tiller was vibrating and he found plastic bags and a bit of rope wrapped around it which needed cutting off.