Sunday, 12 June 2016

Moving to Middlewich for the Folk & Boat Festival (Sunday 12/6/2016)

No movement today.

As hoped, mooring is nice and quiet. Up at usual time. Breakfast of muesli. While boiling kettle for breakfast, the gas ran out. Luckily water had already got hot enough. Will change it on Friday when we come back for the Festival.

Tried to investigate washer on kitchen sink tap but couldn't budge it! Would be reasonably easy to replace the whole tap fitting as quite accessible. Subsequently wondered if the washer fitting is actually left-handed thread?

Will go home via Go Outdoors as trainers have split sole.

Straightforward walk to find car. Footpath from Bridge 28 leads to cul-de-sac and then onwards towards Kings Lock in one direction and towards town centre and market field in the other. Great placement!

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Moving to Middlewich for the Folk & Boat Festival (Saturday 11/6/2016)

Aqueduct Marina to Midlewich

Engine hours reading 195.2 start (08:55) 200.3 end. Miles:7 Locks:5

Awake around 07:00 as usual. Bright but overcast start. Breakfast, cleaned shower tray and had a wash.

Set off 08:55. Cloud thickened gradually and there were a few spots of rain.

About 10:10 heavy rain started. Since boots still sodden from yesterday and did not want another drenching, moored up at first stretch of piling between bridges 21 & 22.

Navigation note: There are some very nice 48 hour moorings between bridges 12 & 13. Rings and a lovely view.

Trouble-free cruise to Stanthorne lock. Short queue for the lock but manned by masses of SUMBA volunteers so little effort required.

Trickled through to Middlewich. Moorings seem unrestricted up to Bridge 28 then 48 hours.

Wardle Lock also manned and being painted by SUMBA ready for next weekend. They reckon that the moorings above Kings Lock are actually 48 hours despite there being no signage... No good for leaving boat for next weekend...

Went up through Kings Lock, winded and moored opposite the convenience store. Bacon and mushroom roll for lunch accomplished without setting off the smoke alarm! 

Then walked back up the Wardle Arm to check situation above Bridge 28. Seems like a nice quiet location to returned to boat and came back down Kings Lock and up Wardle Lock (still manned by SUMBA).

Did a very neat reverse park into a spot about 1 boat up from Bridge 28.

After mooring, walked back to Kings Lock for a pint. Accidentally bought cider... Got some FAB Festival programmes which look very nice. I got usual acknowledgement at the back which, this year, actually mentions the website. 

Then wandered along to the Narrowboat for another pint (Wadworth Optimism) which turned into several when it started raining heavily again.

Eventually stopped enough to walk back to boat via Kings Lock Chippy! Quiet evening reading.          

Friday, 10 June 2016

Moving to Middlewich for the Folk & Boat Festival (Friday 10/6/2016)

Swanley Bridge Marina -> Aqueduct Marina

Engine hours reading 191.5 start (12:30) 195.2 end (16:10). Miles:6 Locks:6

Traveled to Swanley bridge on Thursday night. Up early on Friday to get shower as the main showers were being retiled so only two disabled ones available.

Breakfasted and off to Middlewich by car around 08:00.

Stopped at Morrisons for a few bits and pieces (muesli, bacon & saucisson) then parked car on St Anne's Avenue. Checked out state of moorings near Kings Lock. A few available. Waited for bus at Long Lane South which arrived on time at 09:08.

Straightforward journey to Crewe Bus Station which is not in a great state of repair... Short wait before bus to Nantwich so quick stroll round Crewe town centre (which we had never been able to find before!). Got a coffee from Costa.

Got 84 bus which I thought would go all the way to St Mary's church in Acton but actually terminated at Nantwich. Decided to walk back to marina rather than waiting for the next bus. The bus did not overtake me until I go to the showground near Acton so little time lost and go some exercise! Weather very muggy with rain expected later.

Back to marina about 12:00. Had lunch then filled water tank and got ready to set off. Chatted with neighbour about the festival.

Away at 12:30. Made usual random exit from berth. Never seem to manage to do it the same way twice!

Straightforward journey to Hurleston locks. Emptied toilet there as more convenient than marina. 

As I started down the flight, there were rumblings of thunder which turned into torrential downpour by 2nd lock down! Boat ahead obviously crewed by fair-weather boaters as they stopped in the pound betwen 2 & 3.

I, being made of sterner stuff, overtook and reached the bottom of the flight by about 14:00. Absolutely drenched... Coat is clearly not waterproof anymore. Even Gortex boots failed due to wearing shorts. Rain simply ran down my legs and filled the boots! Once you realise that you are not going to stay dry and just relax it's not so bad...

Pottered through Barbridge. Could have had a choice of moorings outside of Barbridge Inn but bravely carried on. Right turn onto Middlewich Arm and ticked over past the moored boats.

Through Cholmondeston lock with some help from oncoming boat then carried on to Minshull lock which I worked alone. Decided to pull the boat out of the lock to avoid climbing 11ft down the ladder.  Managed to cunningly flip the centre line under the foot bridge and up the other side!

Carried on just past Aqueduct Marina and moored around 16:10 at picnic area. Very peaceful with a nice rustic view.

Was going to write this sat at a picnic table with a beer and pig snacks (pork scratchings) but rain started again so sat inside enjoying the sound of rain on the roof. Pizza & Matrix DVD planned for the evening and then onwards to Middlewich in the morning.