Monday, July 21, 2014

A Walk Around Colemere

A view across Colemere
Today we headed for Colemere by car as we knew a walk in the woods surrounding Colemere would be cooler than a towpath walk. I acquired one horse fly bite.....they just love me, but I'd already taken antihistamines for hay fever it shouldn't swell up.
Colemere is one of Shropshire's  meres or lakes formed by rain water accumulating in deep  hollows caused by glaciers in the Ice Age. It's a peaceful place to walk the dog and we didn't meet many dogs either. It's a long walk as far as Ben's concerned and he did well with no problems, just enjoying the difference places to smell and water as dog's do.
Eric & Ben at Colemere

The ride back to the marina was with all the windows open so it was lovely and cool. Back on the boat we had all the windows, side hatch and doors open to try and keep the temperature down. I've had enough of this heat now...I'm ok at 70  but over 80 degrees F I melt!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Walking In The Rain

Connie & Ben playing

Looking through some photos I came across this one when Ben was quite happy to play with he's just not interested. At present Connie is recovering from an operation on her knee and wouldn't be up for a rough and tumble anyway.

Since we been back  at the marina it's been unbelievably hot on the boat so we've been sat underneath the  big oak tree  in the marina grounds to cool off. Ben and I have had some short walks and yesterday we had a walk in Ellesmere while Eric took the shopping list to do the shopping......he did well too.

Last night we had  the forecast rain with some thunder and lightening and of course Ben came to sleep under the pullout part of the bed.  He spent most of the night there until the torrential rain eased. 

This morning we ended up walking in the rain but it was so much cooler I didn't really mind. Ben had a rub down with a towel so he was happy too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Back Home To Whixall

Whixall Marina

Today we left our mooring at Grindley Brook and cruised for about two and a half hours  with five lift bridges to do before stopping on visitor moorings just before the Prees Branch. We stopped so Eric could finish polishing the side of the boat. Now both sides are shiny and we have a nice painted front deck but there's  still have an endless unwritten list of jobs to do.

Once the polishing was done we did the final run down the Prees Branch to the marina.....two more lift bridges too. We stopped to fill up with diesel and get the mail.....a package of tablets for Ben the dog from the animal hospital. Now we are moored up and  back on shore power. We enjoyed our three week cruise but it's nice to be home.  I entered the photograph above in the BWML photo competition.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Marbury To Grindley Brook

Ben tied up waiting for me 

Today we worked through the three locks before the six at  Grindley Brook. At Quoisely Lock we bought some lovely duck eggs from the man who always helps us through the lock. He now sells bottled water as well as fresh veg, bacon, eggs and bread. At Willy Moor Lock the pub was shut as it wasn't yet midday. 

As we approached the bottom lock  of Grindley Brook a moored hireboat pulled out in front of us, not that it mattered as most of  the boats were climbing the locks anyway and we had to turn some of the locks. Two locks up we met a boat coming down and then we were amongst the next three boats going up the staircase once I checked with the lockkeeper.

Above the locks we did the filling, emptying and getting rid of rubbish before mooringnup just past the waterpoints. Then it was just a short walk to the '@29 Cafe' for a coffee and a scone with cream and jam.......very nice too. There's some very cheeky sparrows in the cafe garden that  sample your cake before you do, if you don't keep your eye on it. They are very tame and take crumbs from your  hand.

It's certainly blowy up here but it's not raining yet so maybe Eric will get a bit more polishing done on his very own 'Forth Bridge'. (because it's endless).

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Just A Little Further

We left a very busy Wrenbury behind after Ben and I went to the village shop for a paper. In the shop something went bang and everything went off including the electronic till so it was back to basics with paper and pen recording the items sold and the cost.

No plans to go very far after we worked through Marbury Lock as the towpath had changed sides and Eric wanted to wash that side of the boat before polishing it. He did the final coat of paint on the deck before lunch as I am a messy painter......I always end up with it on my hands although this time he did too!

Ben enjoyed running back and for between us on the towpath alongside the boat before he jumped back on the boat, luckily a shouted "No" stopped him front jumping onto the wet paint. It's a bit cooler today but still plenty of sun on the solar panels.

Eric's setting up the satellite dish for the cup final, thank goodness for i player then I can watch something else.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Onwards To Wrenbury

Yesterday evening we got a coat of undercoat on the front deck, and today it had a topcoat once we were moored up at Wrenbury. We've wanted to paint the deck as it had lots of rusty patches but we couldn't do it easily in the marina as we always moor up bow in as it's easier to get Ben off the front. If he jumps too far onto the stern deck he ends up in the canal.

Today's cruising included five locks and one lift bridge with no queues today so we arrived at Wrenbury at lunch time and found a boat sized space.Once again plenty of boats on the move and we usually met them at bridge holes, but it made locking easier as no gates to close on exiting a lock. It's always good when the lock gates are open ready to go in too.

We took a walk with Ben to the village shop for essentials- bread, milk and ice cream! It's been so hot! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Back On The Llangollen Canal

The entrance to the Llangollen Canal (dirty mark on camera lens)
Today we set off about eleven as I didn't wake up until 9.30, I went back to sleep after a wake up call at six when an early rising boater went past. It shouldn't have taken us six hours to get to Bridge 5 on the Llangollen but we hit queues firstly at Minshull  Lock with five boats ahead of us. I went up to help at the lock and by the time it was our turn there was still eight boats below the lock.

At Cholmondeston Lock we had just two boats ahead so not bad but there was a queue waiting to come down. Most waiting boaters came to help but of course when it was our turn to go up  the next boat down just sat on their hire boat and watched until the gates were open ready for them. Eric was tempted to shut the gates behind us and then one bloke came to sit on the open lock gate.......he must have heard Eric's remarks!

But our luck changed at Hurleston with a  very slow boat in front of us didn't turn right for Llangollen and a boat was descending the bottom lock just as we got there. In fact  all four locks had descending boats so there's a stroke of us luck, just passing in the pounds. I couldn't believe there wasn't a lock keeper on a Friday afternoon, as the two centre pounds were  low making it difficult to get out of the locks.  Stopping for water it was so slow Eric said he could pee faster!