Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Easter trip to Chester (Wednesday 30/3/2016)

Engine reading at end of day: 176.0hr Miles:3 Locks:4

Trouble-free solo journey for Andrew from Barbridge to Swanley Bridge Marina.

Engine was quite reluctant to start. Glow plugs don't seem to be doing much. Will need to get them looked at...

Bit of a queue for Hurleston Locks. There were two boats each with 3 crew behind but Andrew still had to work most of the locks single-handed... 

Emptied the cassette at the services block then back to marina for lunch. 

Tidied up e.g. rubbish and ash-can then home via Nantwich Canal Centre to arrange work on glow plugs.

Gave two German hitch-hikers a lift from A41 / A55 junction to Prestatyn. They had started at London in the morning so made good progress. Aiming to hike the North Wales Coast Path.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Easter trip to Chester (Tuesday 29/3/2016)

Engine reading at end of day: 173.0hr Miles:16.5 Locks:1 x 3 lock staircase + 9 normal + 1 x 2 lock staircase.

Long day. Set off around 09:30.

Paired up with one boat for the Northgate Staircase. Some trouble with gates due to large amount of water coming down. Also one paddle left open a crack preventing a level. The other boat stopped at Waitrose as they had been "living on ship's stores". We carried on.

Paired up with an ex-Ownerships boat "Chisbury"(?) for the locks leading out of Chester. They pulled over somewhere near Beeston. We carried on...

Wind and rain got quite persistent during the afternoon to put it mildly. The long line (over a mile) of linear moorings at Golden Nook Farm particularly tedious in those conditions...

We had to rescue a boat who had got themselves a bit confused in Bunbury Staircase. Andrew knew there was a problem when the boat which had been rising up in the lower lock suddenly started going down again!

A few polite but firm suggestions from both of us soon sorted them out. In gratitude / embarrassment, they then pulled over to help us up the staircase and then go ahead of them to Barbridge.

Arrived at Barbridge tired, cold and wet! But were able to find a decent mooring opposite the pub. Great benefit of a shorter boat!

Took Alison's bag over to her car ready for her return journey. Then into pub for a well earned dinner. Both went for the burgers which were excellent.

Andrew returned to boat via the main road and bridge 101 to avoid the worst of the muddy towpath. Raining again... Discovered that, with the new magnetic aerial mount, it is possible to fix the wifi aerial to the side of the boat without going outside!

Monday, 28 March 2016

Easter trip to Chester (Easter Monday 28/3/2016)

Engine reading at end of day: 163.9hr Miles:0 Locks:0
Stayed put in Chester today. Wandered around the shops: very quiet first thing. Had a useful scout round the charity shops looking for missing books from the various series that Andrew is trying to read in order. Definitely a higher class of charity shop in Chester!

Had lunch at one of the two Wetherspoons pub - The Square Bottle.

Alison got a nice jacket and tote bag from Primark and Andrew a socket set from Argos. Each to their own!

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Easter trip to Chester (Easter day 27/3/2016)

Engine reading at end of day: 163.9hr Miles:9 Locks:5 + 1 3 lock staircase

Clocks went forward last night. On our way by 09:45. Warm sunshine breaking through shower clouds - one or two catching us. Andrew saw a jay on towpath.

Mixed weather: sunshine and squally showers. Plenty of traffic in the other direction meant all locks bar the first were set for us.

Top Mooring opposite Telford Warehouse pub!
Arrived at 14:30 at Tower Wharf and moored opposite the Telford Wharf pub. Top mooring!
Cruise notes: Aldi offside no mooring - Bridge Inn opposite has a couple of bollards. Beyond, no mooring until after Waitrose: rings outside a half mile of pubs and restaurants.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Easter trip to Chester (Saturday 26/3/2016)

Engine reading at end of day: 155.9hr Miles:5 Locks:5
Alison arrived 15:15, set off straight-away. Straightforward cruise despite foul weather and strong winds.

Had the canal pretty much to ourselves. Bunbury staircase locks set for us! All others not...

Arrived at Shady Oak around sunset 18:30. New management have spruced up the interior. Sizeable helpings of standard pub grub - not full menu, obviously keeping a tight grip on wastage!

Towpath very slippery after the day's rain. Skipper slipped and twisted ankle, crew very sorry about charging ahead...

Friday, 25 March 2016

Easter trip to Chester (Good Friday 25/3/2016)

With Easter long weekend approaching, we drew up a cunning plan to pop up to Chester. Alison had singing commitments till Saturday early afternoon while Andrew was free from Thursday evening after a staff development day.
So Andrew travelled to the boat on the Thursday and then on Good Friday moved round to Barbridge. Very easy trip due to plenty of boats coming up the Hurleston Locks. There was also a lock-keeper working so Andrew was able to stay on the boat down the whole flight.
Set out from Swanley Bridge Marina about 10:15 after emptying the toilet and ash-can and filling the water tank.
Moored up opposite the Olde Barbridge Inn around noon.
Went for a long walk in the afternoon. Set off around 13:45 and got back about 18:15 after checking out Bunbury Locks and then the village itself. Had a pint in the Dysart Arms near the church. Also found the Nags Head in the village. This confusingly has a sign outside saying Horse and Groom...
Staggered back to the Old Barbridge Inn feeling knackered but virtuous. Pint and some pork scratchings before retiring to boat for a quiet evening. Earned a lie-in tomorrow!