Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Quiet Time At Whixall

The Canada Geese were at Colemere when we went for a walk with Ben the dog. A bit nippy so coat weather today. The clocks go back this weekend when British Summertime ends so the long dark nights get longer.  

The noise of fireworks has already started so we have one unhappy dog on our hands and it seems to go on for weeks. It's about time fireworks  were only sold to organised displays with special licences to do so. They are downright dangerous on our streets when it's not a penny banger being thrown.......showing my age!

Eric had our flu jabs on Monday at the Rowlands Pharmacy in Wem with no side effects, pleased about that. It was just a case of popping in to get it done with no waiting and it was still free as we were eligible for free NHS flu injections.

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.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Engine Service Done And A Short Cruise To Coole Pilate

A quiet night moored up on the 24 hour moorings and after breakfast Eric cleared the back of the boat  and dismantled the panels to get to the engine bay. Chris arrived and set to work. We had water in the diesel separator so Chris checked the tank and removed about five litres of water. It looks as though the seal on the filler can needed replacing. He's coming to see us to replace a cable which is a bit stiff and have another go at sucking up the water at the bottom of the diesel tank.

We had a visit from John and Judith (NB Serena) while we were at Audlem, they knew ww had curry for tea as they read my blog. Nice to meet you no doubt our paths will cross again.

Ben decided to howl when I went to the shop, but Eric told him to shut up and he did!
It wasn't as if he was on his own.

After reassembling the engine bay we were on our way to Coole Pilate moorings where we planned to stop if there wasn't the noise of clay pigeon shooting. No noise so we stopped. Ben hates bangs and won't get off the boat.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Ten More Locks To Audlem

Audlem locks with Ben the dog

This morning we came down the ten locks to stop at Audlem. We did have to fill lots of locks but further down some boats were coming up so it was easier passing in the pounds between the locks. Ben waited patiently at each lock continuing our walk down the flight.

Very quiet with plenty of room to moor by Audlem Mill  and then I popped in to get I.W.A  Christmas cards. A trip to the Coop too for some chicken so I could cook a curry for tea.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Cruising In Sunshine

Yesterday in sunshine, we left Tyrley Wharf and started down the five locks with a gentleman volunteer complete with oil can  who accompanied us oiling the gears and making life easier for boaters. As all the locks were set for us it was a quick descent and then we were on our way to Market Drayton. Room for us to moor up and a trip to Asda to do a shop. A lazy afternoon followed.

Today  it is another lovely sunny day and I walked on ahead with Ben the dog while Eric stopped to top up the water tank. He caught us up at Betton Cutting  where we got on board,  it's supposed to be haunted!  We continued on our way to  the top of Adderley Locks. Of course we had to buy lunch at the farm shop......a lovely pork pie to share and some eggs. 

Slow progress down the five locks as everyone was empty and had to be filled before we could go down the flight. We'd decided to work through the top two locks of the Audlem Locks to take us to moor ar Cox Bank. We'll need to go down ten locks to Audlem tomorrow as we have an appointment with Chris Jones, Beta engineer on Wednesday for our 750 hour service.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

A Rainy Cruise From Goldstone Wharf To Tyrley Wharf

Moored on Tyrley Visitor Moorings

A misty morning at Tyrley Wharf

When we woke yesterday we were at a slight angle as we seemed to be resting on the Shroppie shelf. After breakfast we decided to cruise through Woodseaves Cutting and moor above Tyrley Locks even though it was going to be a very wet day. Wet gear on and we were on our way.

Underfoot the towpath in the cutting was much improved.....CRT's been busy. Half an hour later we were moored up and floating as there wasn't a shelf. First job to light the fire to warm up the boat and Ben settled down with his head on the fireside mat. The rain finally stopped late afternoon as we settled down to eat a home cooked roast lamb dinner.

Today we woke to windows wet with condensation, it must have been a cold night but they were soon wiped with kitchen roll. I usually put plastic film as secondary glazing on most of the windows but haven't got round to doing it.  Outside it was a misty morning but at least a fine day was promised as locking in the rain is not much fun!