Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Service With A Smile

Today we had the 500 hour service at Whixall Marina on our new engine, so we're ready to go out again for a little trip to Middlewich and back.Service with a smile from Chris Jones, an experienced Beta engineer. He checked our 12 volt electrics while he was in the engine hole and found nothing wrong so it must be a dead freezer. When we get to  Middlewich the dead Mikuni is being replaced with a Webasco, we hope we get service with a smile there too.

At the moment the rain is pouring down, but Ben and I had a walk before it started. A trip to Sainsbury's in Whitchurch by car ready for our trip. Ben the dog came too for the ride. We're currently being thoroughly lazy watching TV while the tea cooks itself in the oven......a chinese take away from Sainsbury's.

On Thursday we're meeting Liz and Nick in Wrenbury for a meal at the Cotton Arms, it'll be nice to catch up. Politics will be off the menu!  Desserts are on the menu!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Swan Family

Just a photograph of the swan family with their nine cygnets........all doing well!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ellesmere In The Sunshine

Ellesmere- at the junction

A view across 'The Mere'

Eric and Ben by 'The Mere'

We've been  out for a few days and managed to find a space on the Ellesmere Arm for an overnight stop. It was extremely busy and a few boats made contact with us while we were moored. This morning we went for a walk through the wooded area called 'The Plantation' and across Castlefields to 'The Mere'. We had a coffee at 'The Boathouse' and sampled their delicious sausage rolls for an early lunch. A walk back through the town, a quick shop in Tesco and we were ready to make a move back to Whixall Marina.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Few Days Cruising

This morning we woke to sunshine so decided to unplug the shoreline, top up with fuel and leave Whixall Marina for a few days.Our fuel 60/40 split at 94p a litre from the diesel pump operated by a card but better than Blackwater where it was £1.29 for the same split.Just one lift bridge on the Prees Arm to get through as Stark's Bridge is currently open for boating but closed to walkers and then just cruising. Ben and I walked for a bit with the boat, hopping back onboard at a bridge hole.

Cruising in the sunshine was lovely with a breeze from the movement of the boat, so much nicer than going out in the car when it's hot although it has got air-con. Lots of boats on the move, quite chaotic around Ellesmere and nowhere to moor so we continued to the visitor moorings past the turning circle past Ellesmere. Soon these moorings filled up too.  It's nice to be attached to a canal bank with green grass and hedgerows rather than a pontoon.

nice and cool in Ellesmere Tunnel

Monday, June 20, 2016

More Drips Inside And Outside

Since we came back to Whixall its done nothing but rain and we've had more drips inside the boat coming from the chimney seal. Eric's managed to seal it again once the rain stopped for a short time, balancing precariously on the gunnel.  The  big black umbrella has been getting plenty of use taking Ben for walks too. The swan family in the marina have increased from two adults plus eggs to two adults and nine large cygnets in the six weeks we've been out cruising. I've not seen that many cygnets before and they don't mind the rain.

The freezer under the bed is still showing a red flash  from the LED saying it's a low voltage fault so we'll have to get the battery isolator checked because that's what it was last time it happened. The isolator switch was faulty and wasn't allowing all the power through.

Nothing particularly interesting going on other than a few trips out in the car. It feels so fast after the steady slow pace of canal boat travel. We've been to Ellesmere walking by the lake where it managed to stay dry for an hour and to Llangollen which was very busy at the weekend. Ben didn't cope well with the noises in Llangollen, the steam train blowing it's whistle and some noisy motorbikes but we went for a walk alongside the River Dee  before popping into Wrexham for a few bits and pieces in Wilko including fly killer for a persistent fly. Eric improvised with Mr Sheen spray which  stops them flying away but  I'll have to give him a cloth to finish the polishing.

NB Lacewing has been found tied up further along the Llangollen Canal, it had come loose from it's mooring and perhaps it travelled with the flow? The owners must be delighted it's ok.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Have You Seen NB Lacewing?

Currently sitting in Whixall Marina, Eric's had to reseal the mushroom vents and the chimney as the heavy rain found a way in........and dripped on him!

Just heard that NB Lacewing has been stolen from Lion Quays on the Llangollen Canal, it's green, red and cream. I hope it's spotted soon.

We left Wrenbury on Monday but didn't get far as we stopped near Marbury as it was hammering down with rain. The next day we worked through ten locks to take us to the top of Grindley Brook before the rain came down again.

Yesterday we had just lift bridges to work through and  then we were back, reconnected to shoreline. First stop the laundry to get the accumulated washing done. Eric took the car for a ride to Whitchurch as it hadn't been anywhere for six weeks.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Back On The Llangollen Canal

Yesterday we  left our mooring above Cholmondeston  Lock and made our way back towards Hurleston Junction. Ben and I had a lovely walk too. Then it was a right turn to take us up  the Hurleston flight of locks back onto the Llangollen Canal. Mooring up before the rain started, tomorrow we'll go a little further. 

Our under the bed freezer seems to have died after in timeine and a half years, so I've had to cook what I can making shepherd's pies and spaghetti bolonese with the mince. Luckily there wasn't a lot in there, mostly sad about the melted magnums! Looking for a replacement but not under the bed as the noise always annoyed me.

Today the question was would we get to Wrenbury in time for Sunday Lunch at 'The Cotton Arms'?? Yes we got through the five locks and arrived by two in the afternoon. Not to worry they serve lunch into the evening, Ben enjoyed his beef doggy bag when we got back, although he wasn't happy when we left him on the boat. Chilling now feeling full after a lovely meal.

Friday, June 10, 2016

On The Middlewich Branch And A Visit To Aqueduct Marina

We left the Nantwich Embankment behind after a quick  stop to top  up the water tank and get rid of the rubbish. We continued on our way enjoying the cool breeze as the boat moved along, We cruised past Hurleston Junction  where the Llangollen canal meets the Shroppie. It felt strange not turning back up there as we've been out cruising for the last six weeks and Eric is missing his car.

A little further to Barbridge Junction and we've taken the sharp right to take us along the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal.  Passing lines of moored boats we stopped this side of the winding hole above Cholmondeston Lock by Venetian Marina.

On Thursday morning we  worked through the first of the deep locks, Cholmondeston Lock and stopped at Venetian Marine for a bottle of gas. Ben the dog and I walked for a while and soon we were at Minshull Lock and  then we moored  just past Aqueduct Marina for an overnight stop.  Some queues today but it didn't take long as boaters were helping each other. One lady hire boater's moaned about the delay as they were on a mission, her words not mine.

Today we cruised as far as the next winding hole and turned around as we had an afternoon appointment at Aqueduct Marina to discuss our paint job and were going grey!  The boat that is! The roof and decks will be raddle red.  Not until next year but at least it's a date.

We had lunch at The Gallery at Aqueduct Marina while the rain we had a thunderstorm, it poured down but we escaped it.  Back on the boat  we headed back up the two locks to moor above Cholmondeston Lock.  No queues today but lots of very wet boaters going back to Middlewich at the end of their holidays!

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Audlem To Nantwich And A Little Retail Therapy

NB Bendigedig at Audlem

A speedy  trip down twelve  locks with boats changing places in every pound to Audlem, mooring on the 24 hour moorings, nice and close to the Coop to fill the empty fridge and cupboard. We didn't even have any bread left. We didn't get away from the Shroppie shelf in fact when the boats started moving in the morning the stern got stuck on the shelf. A helpful hireboater helped Eric push it off once he loosened the ropes so we could float.

We moved on to Nantwich  with three more locks of the Audlem flight and two more at Hack Green, where we had to queue. Ben wouldn't get off the boat at Hack Green with the noise of clay pigeon shooting. We moored up before the Nantwich Aqueduct where we found a space. Very busy with boats  at Nantwich and Eric took some photographs.

Looking towards the Nantwich aqueduct

The other way!

Today Eric managed to finish his undercoating as the towpath was on the other side. I  took Ben the dog for a walk before it got too hot and then walked into Nantwich. There's lots of hairdressers in Nantwich so I was able to get an appointment in Salon Vie Hairdressers in Beam Street in the afternoon.  I enjoyed my few hours retail therapy coming back with some new fitflops and a couple of pairs of cropped trousers  as well as my haircut. Walking back to the boat past some shops a pile of mud and moss came down on my head so I had to wash my hair again when I got back!

Monday, June 06, 2016

Shebdon Wharf To Audlem

Moored at Shebdon, the cratch cover is off for a wash

After some  roof sanding and painting days at Shebdon we moved on towards Market Drayton. I walked on ahead with Ben the dog just as far as Knighton where we got back onboard. It was too misty in the distance to see the Wrekin but it turned into a very hot day.

Lines and lines of moored boats so we were going slowly along the cut. We were really enjoying the greenery and coolness  of Woodseaves Cutting, at the end of which is Tyrley Locks and Tyrley Cutting ......another cool place. Going down the locks was quick as all the locks were ready for us with gates already open left by another boat.

Passing through Market Drayton we decided to work through Adderley Locks with a stop in the top lock to buy a few bits and pieces from the Adderley Farm Shop. Usually there's bread and milk but we were out of luck today. We luckily found a space for us below the locks as we were feeling rather hot and bothered. Cooling down now, even Ben is flaked out!

Going down to Audlem, blue undercoat on the roof!

A hot night last night but  we were away by 9.30am and down the first eleven Audlem locks by midday. Good today as boats coming up meant changing places in the pounds and fewer gates to close. Another hot day but I shouldn't complain as no doubt it won't last! We've finally got a  good signal today !

Later on we did one more lock to more by Audlem Mill to get away from the Shroppie shelf which makes it difficult to get Ben the dog off the boat across the gap, he can't jump that far and won't walk the plank.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Norbury Junction And Shebdon Wharf

The telegraph pole in the bridge (39)

Surrounded by anglers at Little Onn we decided to move on rather than disturb their peace and quiet running the engine and sanding the roof. We ended up at the far end of Norbury Visitor Moorings where Eric sanded another section ready to paint. Due to the Hawthorn petal snowstorm it wasn't a place you could paint.

This morning we topped up the water at Norbury Junction, I walked on with Ben the dog and Eric picked us up at the telegraph pole bridge (39) at the start of Grub Street Cutting which is usually pretty wet underfoot. A lovely day for cruising but we pulled in at Shebdon Wharf Visitor Moorings to get a bit of roof painting done. The pub called ' The Wharf Inn' which was  below the canal embankment is now a private house. 

I popped over to see Tony Saunders of Bethsaida Covers via the road under the canal. We'd like a new cover once the boat is repainted next April. The one we have was badly damaged  and repaired with lots of gorilla tape, when we were towed to Streethay last year with engine problems. He's happy to come to us at Whixall in the new year. 

We can't wait to see Sue and Vic's new widebeam boat pictures, being launched very soon.......they must be excited too!  Follow the Link to their website.