Wednesday, 26 October 2016

October half term trip and New mooring (Weds 26 Oct 2016)

Engine start 13:30
Engine off 18:00 241.2 end

Left Colwyn Bay just after 09:00. Checked to see if Stermat open. It was, despite Google saying they opened at 10:00. Picked up a bag of Globrite and some logs.

First task today was to check out a potential new mooring at the Nantwich Canal Centre. I (Andrew) spotted a board advertising availability on previous visit to boat during the long trek into Nantwich from Swanley Bridge Marina. The novelty of the 45 minute walk along a fairly busy country road has definitely worn off, especially as winter approaches again.

Both of us had spoken to the Nantwich Canal Centre by phone during the week. The price seems OK, there are more facilities and, key point, only 10 minutes walk to Nantwich Town Centre.

Arrived at the Nantwich Canal Centre around 10:40 and had a look at the mooring. Looks fine. We will probably need a longer hose to reach the tap but the electric is much closer. Will probably need a shorter lead as current one would be massive overkill!

After reading through all the pages of T&Cs, handed over the fee which covers us till end August 2017.

Next stop Aldi to pick up some groceries then off to Swanley Bridge to unload the car and have lunch. Perused the Nicholson guide over lunch and decide to take a trip up the Middlewich branch to find the nice mooring near Church Minshull spotted back in June on the way to the FAB Festival.

Had a bit of a disaster when preparing for the trip. Water filling cap was very difficult to remove and the inlet pipe actually rotated. Eventually got the top off but the tank seemed to take ages to fill... Eventually turned off the tap and investigated.

Basically the other end of the inlet pipe had come unscrewed from the tank itself so a significant amount of water had gone into the bilges under the floor. I suspect that something similar had happened previously and that is why the bilges had lots of clear water in them when we bought the boat!

So now got to remove all that water again... At least I now know that the bilge front to back and left to right is all joined. Water was first visible through the bottom of the bathroom cupboard but soon became visible under the step. May try enlarging the hole under the step to see if it is possible to use the manual bilge pump to pump the water from the cabin bilge into the engine compartment where the electric pump can then remove it...

Left Swanley Bridge around 13:30 and got to the foot of the Hurleston flight around 15:00. There was a volunteer lockkeeper on duty which made the locks a little easier.

Unfortunately there was quite a long queue (5 boats) for the Cholmondeston Lock which put the mockers on the planned 17:00 stop time.

Eventually reached the target mooring between bridges 12 and 13 about 18:00. Moored to rings (though one actual ring missing). Guiness and pig snacks! Emailed pictures of the new berth in Nantwich to Alison. Plan to check out the Badger in Church Minshull tomorrow.

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