|On the Prees Branch|
|Going through the first lift bridge|
Today we headed off down the Prees Branch, me on foot with Ben the dog and Eric steering the boat. At the end of the branch is Whixall Marina and it meant lifting and closing two lift bridges to get there. Some good news in that the second lift bridge is now geared and I didn't have to dangle on a chain to open and shut it! On the way the signs advertise opening hours and the cost of fuel, much better than at Ellesmere BUT when we arrived the shop was shut and the diesel machine was broken!
Apparently it's now winter in Whixall and the shop is now open an hour in the morning, an hour in the afternoon and closed on Sunday and this Thursday. What a waste of time and energy, surely someone could have changed the signs and informed boaters there was no fuel! From what a boater said it's not likely there'll be fuel for a while as there's an ongoing dispute.
So our plans changed and we headed for Viking Afloat at Whitchurch Marina where the fuel was £0.99/£1.49 for domestic/propulsion compared to £1.10/£1.60 in Blackwater. It would have been cheaper at Whixall where the fuel was £0.89/ £1.39 but no good if the pump isn't working.
It did mean that I had to lift five more lift bridges but it was nice to be on the move. There was no room on the Whitchurch Arm so we carried on to moor above Grindley Brook knowing we could get a satellite signal and and the dongle worked there too. A Virgin hot air balloon came over so Ben is on the bed out of the way........fast asleep!