We decided to have a long cruise today from Grindley Brook to Ellesmere, it took about six hours but the weather was great although it did go off cold when it clouded over. At Whitchurch a boater lowered the lift bridge in front of us rather than wait a few minutes and let us through- I always wait if I see a boat coming!
We pulled in to Whitchurch Marina, home of Viking Afloat who were pleased to see us as we needed coal, gas and fuel. Very helpful- he even put the coal on roof for us. Ben and I walked for about four miles but it was my arms that were tired after the number of turns needed to raise and lower the five lift bridges on the way. The leaves are falling so Eric had to clear the propeller every so often. He was all wrapped up as it gets cold on the back of the boat but I was warm walking the dog.
Back on the boat it was great to be heading towards Ellesmere, passing the meres (lakes) of Cole Mere and Blake Mere which are alongside the canal. There are seven meres around Ellesmere, formed in the Ice Age as the glaciers retreated and melted waters collected in the cups of land according to the 'Pearson's Guide'. Ben thinks Blake Mere is a great place to paddle in the shallow edges. Through the Ellesmere Tunnel (without crashing) and we're nearly there- there's some new sculptures along the towpath too. We passed a line of moored boats, had a look down the Arm but it looked full and then carried on to moor up near the BW yard. I popped down to Tesco's and knocked on NB Derwent 6 and stopped to chat. I ended up walking back to the boat in the dark but I had a torch in my pocket as I didn't want to end up in the cut.
Ben and I have been out walking today while Eric serviced the engine and topped up the batteries. I took some photos of some of the Ellesmere Sculpture Trail while we walked familiar territory. It's busy here at Ellesmere with a few of the winter moorers already in position on the Ellesmere Arm. It's a popular site which sold out straight away. We are waiting to see when BW finish the work on the Pentrefelin Embankment as we like it in Llangollen.