Thursday, 29 March 2018

Easter trip on Llangollen Canal (Thursday 29/3/2018) - Nantwich to Burland

Engine hours start: 357.8 end: 359.4 = 1.6 hours

Miles:4 Locks:4 Lock miles: 8

Set off around 09:55.

Two lockkeepers and a trainee volunteer on duty at Hurleston so flew through the flight, reaching the junction by 10:30!

Arrived back at Nantwich Basin around 11:00. There was a fair breeze blowing down the basin and I used it to execute a very smooth spin into our slot. Of course, there were no witnesses to this unlike whenever you muck something up!

Paid Jan and Feb electric bills. Have now taken the heater off the boat (subject to last-minute weather forecast check before heading home on Tuesday) so, after paying the March acount, electricity usage should be minimal until next winter.  

Then wandered into town to buy and post a birthday card for Dad. Then round a few charity shops and to Morrisons for some groceries. Picked up our wristbands for the Jazz and Blues Festival this weekend.

Back to boat for a bit of a tidy up.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Easter trip on Llangollen Canal (Wednesday 28/3/2018) - Grindley Brook to Burland

Engine hours start: 351.0 end: 357.8= 6.8 hours

Miles:11 Locks:9 & 3 lift bridges  Lock miles: 23 inc lift bridges!

Quite a long day today. Set off around 09:30.

Weather cold and windy all day. Some glimpses of the sun but never enough to get warm...

Trouble-free journey through the first 4 locks. The landlady of the Willeymoor Lock Tavern offered to shut the gates for me. Will definitely have to call in there one day!

For the first time ever in my experience, the Wrenbury Frith Lift Bridge was down! Difficult to operate as well as no bollards on the offside. Luckily a chap from the nursery took pity and lowered the bridge behind me. The main Wrenbury lift bridge was no problem. Got in a bit of a tangle at Wrenbury Church Lift Bridge trying to hold bridge open for following boat and nearly lost the chimney cap in the undergrowth...

Then slowly worked through Baddiley Locks and Swanley Locks. Had to turn most of them as I was following several boats. Following boat closed the gates on Swanley Locks for me.

Moored up in almost exactly the same place as last Friday but, obviously, facing the other way! Moored up and stove lit by about 16:30.

Realised that, after breakfast and mid-morning hot-cross bun, I forgot to have lunch again. Just shows how much eating is just habit...

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Easter trip on Llangollen Canal (Tuesday 27/3/2018) - Whitchurch to Grindley Brook

Engine hours start: 348.5 end: 351.0 = 2.5 hour

Miles:1.5 Locks:6  Lock miles: 7.5

Set off around 09:15. First task was to move forward to the lift bridge. Then lifted the bridge and winded in the junction. Dog walker lowered the bridge which saved me having to re-moor. Someone had left a windlass on the bridge so didn't even need to wait to retrieve mine.

Soon after setting off it started to rain so paused to put on waterproof trousers. Was already in waterproof jacket for warmth as not warm at all...

Soon arrived at Grindley Brook. Topped up with water and emptied the bin.

Lockkeeper on duty but only doing one side so I had to help. Pulled the boat through the staircase to avoid ladders in the wet.

Pretty wet and mucky passage through the remaining locks. Rope got very muddy which transferred to gloves and waterproofs...

Moored up just beyond bridge 27 on 48 hour moorings. Will probably stay overnight here and have dinner at the Horse and Jockey. (I did - huge plate of fish & chips).

Very little traffic so far. I was the first traffic through the locks according to the keeper. First boat passed my mooring around 12:25.

Very sparse selection of books in the little shop by the bottom lock. Luckily already have plenty on board...

Monday, 26 March 2018

Easter trip on Llangollen Canal (Monday 26/3/2018) - Whitchurch

No cruising today. Spent the day in Whitchurch.

Monday is obviously a day when quite a few shops close but more open than last time when we visited on a Sunday...

Got a good haul of books and DVDs from the charity shops and had a poke around in the antiques centre but did not buy anything.

Found a very good hardware store reminiscent of Stermat in Colwyn Bay. Much bigger inside than it appears from the street. Got several hose tap connectors to avoid yesterday's problem.

Had a latte (with an extra shot of course) in the White Bear (wifi) and then a pint in the Old Town Vaults. Another Joules pub. Good ale but not as nice as the Leopard in Nantwich.

Got a few things in Sainsburys then had another pint in the Cock and Greyhound on the way back to the boat (more wifi!).

Quiet afternoon/ evening on the boat with books and DVD.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Easter trip on Llangollen Canal (Sunday 25/3/2018) - Wrenbury to Whitchurch

Engine hours start: 343.1 end: 348.5= 5.4 hours

Miles:6 Locks:10 & 1 liftbridge  Lock miles: 17

Had originally planned to stay another night at Wrenbury but woke to clear blue skies and a good weather forecast so decided to make for Whitchurch today.

Underway around 09:30. Soloed through the lift bridge without incident; just held up a couple of cars and 2 cyclists.

Weather chilly but clear. Lovely day for cruising. Arrived at Marbury Lock around 10:10.

Not much other traffic but did pass a few boats.

Arrived at Willeymoor Lock just before 12:00 and the pub was actually open. First time I have actually seen this phenomenon! Considered popping in for a pint but decided to press on.

Single-handed through the first 3 of Grindley Brook locks closely followed by a hire boat crewed by Americans. They are from San Francisco and come here twice a year for the canals!

Had some trouble topping up the water as could not find the correct connector (now on shopping list for tomorrow). Emptied rubbish and got rid of old chimney.

Moored up at Whitchurch Visitor moorings (48 hour) at 15:00. Had a shower to take advantage of hot water from cruising. Realised that I had never had lunch so cracked open an Old Speckled Hen and some pretzels!

Quiet evening on the boat. Planning to go into Whitchurch tomorrow. 

Later in the evening fancied a walk so wandered back to Grindley Brook and had a couple of pints at the Horse & Jockey.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Easter trip on Llangollen Canal (Saturday 24/3/2018) - Burland to Wrenbury

Engine hours start: 339.1 end: 343.1= 4 hours

Miles:5 Locks:5 & 1 lift bridge  Lock miles: 11

Set off around 10:00 and arrived at Swanley locks in around 20-25 minutes.

Took it slowly through the locks as first solo ones of the year!

Weather dry but chilly. 

First two of the Baddiley locks had boats coming out which was nice. Had to work the last one though it was empty already so no problem.

Stopped just before Wrenbury Church Lift Bridge to recce the mooring nearer the village. There were plenty!

Worked though the Wrenbury Church Lift Bridge and even let another boat through.

Moored outside Cotton Arms campsite around 14:00.

Visited Wrenbury Mill chandlery and bought a new chimney and a bag of Excel briquettes to try instead of the current bag of coal which is very unsatisfactory leaving lots of clinker.

Then to Cotton Arms for a couple of pints of "Bitter and Twisted". Took a picture to tweet to Henry Priestman. He didn't reply but another fan got the reference and replied.

Quiet afternoon and evening on boat reading. Pizza and salad for dinner.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Easter trip on Llangollen Canal (Friday 23/3/2018) - Nantwich to Burland

Engine hours start: 337.4 end: 339.1 = 1.7 hour

Miles:3 Locks:4 Lock miles: 7

Andrew solo trip up the Llangollen to Whitchurch for first week of the Easter Break.

Was originally going to go via Middlewich Branch to Anderton but the breach near Middlewich put paid to that. Very glad that the breach did not happen two weeks later leaving me stranded on the Trent and Mersey!

Arrived Nantwich at 14:30. Unpacked car and emptied toilet. Got underway about 15:00. When removing the chimney, noticed that it is rotten so will need to look for a replacement. The double-skinned chimney does not seem to have worked very well as the gap between the skins is too large allowing fumes between the layers which has rotted the outer one. Also allowed tar to drip down the inside of the outer skin and onto the boat...

Trouble-free cruise to Hurleston Junction where I was very pleased to see lockkeepers working the locks. Apart from lowering the paddle on the first lock before going back to get the boat, I was able just to stay on board. Apparently the locks are being manned most days so fingers crossed for return journey next Friday!

Came through a couple of bridges then moored up between bridges 3 and 4. Nice quiet spot with a pleasant view.

Fired up the stove and unpacked. First Guiness and pork scratchings open by 17:20.