Swanley Bridge Marina -> Aqueduct MarinaEngine 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.