Thursday, 18 July 2019

Middlewich -> Nantwich Basin 18/7/2019

Engine hours start: 523.7 end: 530.4 = 6.7 hours

Miles:11.5 Locks:3  Lock miles: 14.5

Off at 09:30. Generally fine, though now always convinced it would remain so. Queues for locks the main feature of the day.

Paused for lunch and water pump window shopping at Aqueduct Marina. A wide variety of skippers encountered , included the Novice Snail for the couple of miles. Everyone starts somewhere, I guess. 

The following day, we used the launderette at the Basin - very impressed - in order to have some clean clothes for a family gathering in Gloucester at the weekend.

On the way to Gloucester, stopped at Midland Chandlers at Penkridge to get a new water pump and accumulator tank. Managed to accidently pick up two accumulator tanks (but only paid for one). The following week Andrew stopped off to return the surplus one and the chap was so impressed that he gave us a 10% discount voucher!

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Wheelock -> Middlewich 17/7/2019

Engine hours start: 519.2 end: 523.7 = 4.5 hours

Miles:6 Locks:6  Lock miles: 12

Light overcast, could easily burn off and scorch - or not. Wheelock services an absolute anthill of activity as we left. Alison's bee-sting still a little swollen, found some witch hazel cream which should help. Hot rather than painful, a little itchy as it heals.

An enjoayable day's cruising with little traffic the other way but plenty all going the same way which made for queues at locks - so Andrew did the equivalent of at least 10 locks helping  and being helped by overlapping crews. Barbara of Take Too was particularly helpful. Lock landings inadequate all the way so lots of fannying around mid-stream while waiting.

At the Kings Lock turn there was a Black Prince boat with no idea of how to turn into the Wardle canal so Alison grabbed their nose rope and got them round with a judicious push and pull. Andrew then tutored them through them and stayed back to work Barbara and Bob up the lock while Alison pottered along - stopped just beyond bridge 28 on the edge of town. Andrew then walked back for some water pump market research - came back with cake!

Rain then set in so setttled down for some good ol' home cooking, beer and DVD.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Rode Heath -> Wheelock 16/7/2019

Engine hours start: 514.8 end: 519.2 = 4.6 hours

Miles:4 Locks:14  Lock miles: 18

 Rain overnight swiftly cleared to give a lovely warm day. Alison's turn to do locks. Aboat pulled out as Alison walking down to the first lock and another closed up as we were queuing - then we closed up on a single-handler and before long we were in a convoy.

Approach Hassall's Green Alison dropped the long throw windlass in the lock - the following boat went by in the other lock while we went magnet-fishing. Success!

Then a couple of locks further on, a bee managed to get stuck in Alison's sandal and sting the side of her big toe. Soaked the place with vinegar and Andrew got the sting out with a multi-tool so very little damage done. However Andrew very kindly said we should swap so he worked the last three locks into Wheelock where we found a lovely shaded mooring, handy for the service blcok and pub. The boat ahead were brilliant too, lifting a paddle as they left each lock so they were all but set as we arrived - fab.

Filled our bottles and Andrew got some more from the shop. Then did some hand washing to set us straight in underwear. Nearly Nicoise salad for lunch. Andrew revelled in hot shower - praise be to the services - and we had dinner and a lovely chat with Bob and Barabara  nb Take Too at the Cheshire Cheese - new owners, good menu, good value.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Macclesfield -> Rode Heath 15/5/2019

Engine hours start: 507.4 end: 514.8 = 7.5 hours

Miles:12 Locks:13  Lock miles: 25

A glorious eveing at last yesterday and we woke to solid blue sky!

Final failure of waterpump yesterday so early start and cracking on to Red Bull for a shower and shopping. 7 lites of bottled water on board so basics OK. 

Passed Congleton at 09:00: only place to moor morr is a 2 day stretch between bridges 75 and 76. Also very handy for railway station if further travel required. Possibly not overnight though - better by aqueduct / bridge 73.

Paused for shopping and lunch at Red Bull aqueduct where the Macclesfield crosses the Trent and Mersey. First, a short walk to Tesco then lunch : then Alison walked down to Red Bull services for a proper shower while Andrew single-handed down to the locks. In the event Alison was in time to close the gates of the first lock.
It being beautifully warm, Andrew then suggested doing the locks onwards (the next 11 as it tuned out...).
Rewarded by a top mooring directly opposite the Broughton Arms.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Bollington Aqueduct -> The Cloud 14/7/2019

Engine hours start: 500.9 end: 507.4 = 6.5 hours

Miles:9.5 Locks:12 Swing bridges:2 Lock miles:23.5

Start: 08:35
End: 15:20

Overcast, cool and slight breeze. 30 mins to winding hold then back through Bollington Wharf for diesel and potty dump. Decided against shopping in Macclefield. Filled with water at Bosley Flight (such a fast tap!) and dumped rubbish before Andrew faced the hill.

No lockies helping and not much traffic so many locks against us. Stopped in the country side with the Cloud for company.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Moored at Bollington 12-13/7/2019

Miles:0 Locks:0 Lock miles: 0

Breakfast at Canalside Cafe : huge!

After a period of digestion, jobs around the boat - Andrew water pump reconstruction and Alison pumping the bilge, and Andrew adjusting the squeaky alternator belt. 

Siesta then eating out again - Italian restaurant  - then to Bollington Folk Club for a jolly night's entertainment.

Bollington Beer Festival. That is all....

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Bridge 40 Macclefield -> Bollington Aqueduct 11/7/2019

Engine hours start: 498.5 end: 500.9 = 2.4 hours

Miles:12 Locks:0  Lock miles: 15

Aiming for 11am start but waited for 2 boats to go by which appearded just as we were cating off. Paused for Loo green at chandlery, admired mooring pontoons - and back into the countryside (or at least a green corridor at the back of housing). Paused at Bollington Wharf: no public facilities appear available. 2 day mooring.

Alison walked on ahead to scope out further options and reported back one space on the Bollington Aqueduct: then stood looking possessive along with two mooring pins which had been abandoned on the bank. Both boats that Andrew had been worried would claim the spot sailed obligingly past.

Bacon and egg pitta for lunch : siesta : 4pm tip to Co-op for aupplies. Bollington very trendy and cute - admired the culvert for the river under the canal embankment (huge) - then explored up into the rest of town.

Spotted the White Nancy monument looking fairly close and Andrew decided we should climb up to it. Excellent path if steep. Essex girl Alison moaning the whole way but fab views from the top.

Impending thunderstorm so scurried off down through the woods - tempted by Bulls Head - but carried on and almost made it back before the deluge. Spot of Wainwright to restore the tissues and meal on board.