Sunday, 8 June 2014

Short trip to Wrenbury Day 3

Engine: 5h Locks:5 Miles:4

Reasonably early start in view of needing to tackle lift bridges before winding and heading back to base.

Bridge 19 was, as anticipated, a bit challenging. Getting ashore was OK but feeding the boat through the open bridge then holding her while closing it again was fiddly...

Luckily Wrenbury Mill Basin was fairly empty so was able to turn there before the road lift bridge.

Got behind another boat whose crew therefore worked Bridge 19 on the return passage. Also helped through Baddiley locks. I did some single handed operation. Not too bad on these narrow locks but must be more challenging on wide ones!

Paused between bridges 12 and 11 for coffee and to update log. Back to marina about 12.30. Stiff breeze made tying up to service point a little interesting. Successfully managed to empty the toilet cassette!

Back to mooring and tied up by 13:00. After lunch cut ventilation holes in the dinette lockers and screwed on brass louvre plates. Looks quite smart and should improve ventilation in these lockers.

Loaded car and away by about 16:30 just ahead of a torrential downpour. Home about 17:45.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Short trip to Wrenbury Day 2

Engines: 2h Locks:0 Miles:0

Very wet start to the day. Good job that no travelling planned for today; instead revising for Cisco CCNA Instructor training and possibly some inside jobs.

Some thunder and lightning along with heavy rain.

Revised all morning. Weather very dark outside and plenty of rain. After lunch, got on with some DIY jobs. New roller blinds in galley and bathroom and cut pieces of gutter pipe as supports for the roof box cover to try and limit the amount of water gathering there.

Ran the engine for a while to heat some water and charge the batteries.

Around 16:00 the sun came out so planning to walk the half-mile or so to Wrenbury to check out the pubs and lift bridges ready for turning round for the return journey tomorrow.

Recce went well. The lift bridges look challenging as both are operated from the non-towpath side. There's a very small area where I should be able to get the nose in while lifting the bridge.

Also located the shop in Wrenbury about 0.5km from Wrenbury Mill. Deceptively big inside; fairly pricey...

Then, purely in the spirit of research, checked out both pubs! Dusty Miller has the better location by the canal but feels a bit "corporate". Cotton Arms has a bit more atmosphere. This weekend they were hosting the Elvis-fest in their camping field. Both serve a decent pint!

Back to boat for dinner and a read; Lord of the Rings on tablet Kindle app. More heavy rain in the night.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Short trip to Wrenbury Day 1

Engines 3hrs 15m Locks:5 Miles:4

Andrew's first solo trip! Left work at 12:00 and travelled straight to Nantwich to check out Morrisons. Stocked up with lots of salad, grapes and a pizza.

Short journey from there to the marina and unloaded the car. Engine started and ready for off around 14:30. Little bit tricky reversing out of the mooring with a bit of a breeze to make it challenging. Didn't hit anything!

Turned right out of the marina heading for Wrenbury. Fairly busy. Followed a hire boat nearing the end of their week's holiday so doing OK.

Followed by another boat whose crew member came to help with the locks. Was initially quite grateful as had not single-handed through locks before. Thought he was a live-aboard but apparently not as become apparent when he tried to fill one lock with one of the downhill paddles open. Then later turned a lock in full view of an oncoming boat!

I tried to explain why this was a bad idea but was ignored. Apparently the oncoming boater explained things a little more clearly (!) as the crew member was looking rather sheepish when I met him later. Lesson learned I guess! They are on their way to an Elvis-fest at one of the pubs in Wrenbury this weekend.

Through the two Swanley locks and the Baddiley 3 locks by around 17:30.

Moored around 17:45 in a quiet spot between bridges 17 and 18 just round the corner after bridge 17. Couldn't get right into the bank but seems secure enough with 2 piling hooks and a pin.

Cleaned the gas burners on the stove and then got the oven lit for pizza which cooked while I tried out the shower. Fairly cramped but works fine including the waste water pumper.

Very nice pizza accompanied by can of Old Speckled Hen followed by coffee and small chocolate bar.

May have solved problem where the ice box in the fridge was getting very iced up. A sensor which should have been attached to the bottom of the ice box was hanging loose. Have reattached it and will see if it works...

Once phone is charged will try for a photo of this idyllic mooring.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Moved boat to her new mooring

Engines 5hrs 30m Locks:5 Miles:6

The great day of departure dawned bright and sunny soon becoming hot.

A few jobs to start then at 11:00 joined the queue for Cholmondeston Lock.

Fair number of moored boats on the Middlewich Arm meant a slow trip - no problem as in no great hurry.

At Barbridge Junction waited for two narrowboats each towing full length buttys - on their way to Chester Boat Festival next weekend.

In the narrows at Barbridge (site of over-canal trans-shipment) found a very shiny trad style waiting for something... Tight squeeze but got through without much bumping.

Moored up for light lunch - ham and salad sandwich, coffee and muffins. Then Alison's turn at the till as Andrew worked the Hurleston locks before walking back to Barbridge to collect the car to meet the boat at Swanley Bridge Marina. A truly cunning plan!

All worked out un-eventfully and our arrivals at the Marina were simultaneous!

The necessary paperwork was soon completed in the office. Andrew moved the car round to the moorer's area while Alison moved "Mind Like Water" to he new home: 15 Lily's Landing.

Our new neighbour was busy polishing his already immaculate boat so entry really needed to be reasonable: fortunately was fine if a little tentative. Neighbour pulled us forward the last couple of feet as we ran out of momentum.

Engines off at 17:00. Sausage and veg with passata and pasta for dinner. Cleared out the fridge and disembarked at around 20:00.