Sunday, 12 August 2018

IWA Lock Wind - (Friday 10 - Sunday 12/8/2018) - Hurleston Junction

No miles or locks in our own boat

But plenty of walking and lock working!

We worked the locks from 9-6ish on Friday and Saturday and 9-1 on Sunday.

Overall we helped about 100 boats through the locks and sold most of the stock of cake, jam etc. So a successful weekend!

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Summer trip on Shropshire Union (Thursday 9/8/2018) - Bunbury to Hurleston (via Nantwich)

Engine hours start: 414.9 end: ?? = ?? hour

Miles:7 Locks:0  Lock miles: 7

Carried out the revised plan. Returned to our home mooring in the Nantwich Basin. Emptied the bins and then took the car round to Morrisons to stock up for the weekend.

The weekend event is the Annual Lock Wind organised by our branch (Shrewsbury District and North Wales) of the Inland Waterways Association. We help boaters through the Hurleston lock flight and encourage donations. There is also a stall with cake, chutney, jam, second-hand books etc. for sale.

Needed BBQ food for the evening social plus supplies for the rest of the weekend since there are no shops nearby.

As we passed through Hurleston towards Nantwich, Alan Platt was already there with his boat Coriolan. 

The restocking trip went very smoothly and we arrived back at Hurleston in time to nab a good mooring midway along the rings.

Andrew was applying the third and final coat of gloss when our IWA Branch Secretary came to ask how long we were staying... The new beard was obviously an effective disguise!

We had a little rest in the boat before people gathered for the evening BBQ. A very enjoyable evening with plenty of nice food, drink and good company.

Off to bed ready for the exertions of the weekend.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Summer trip on Shropshire Union (Wednesday 8/8/2018) - Christleton to Bunbury

Engine hours start: 409.3 end: 414.9 = 5.6 hour

Miles:10 Locks:6  Lock miles: 16

Another fairly prompt start at 09:40. Heading for spot between Bunbury and Calveley that we had previously identified as a good spot for painting (which Andrew ended up not using for the main roof job...).

Trouble-free cruise with usual tickover past Golden Nook. Paired up with another boat through the various locks.

Moored up around 15:15 at the target spot. Applied second coat of gloss to handrails.

Walked into Bunbury to the Dysart Arms for a very nice dinner and beer.

After dinner, we started off towards the Coop in the village where we were planning to stock up with food etc for the IWA Lock Wind weekend at Hurleston Junction. However seeing how tricky it was likely to be to negotiate the narrow roads with no footpath with a load of shopping, we changed out plans. New plan is to return to our moorings at Nantwich Basin. There we can empty the rubbish and use the car for a supermarket trip before returning to Hurleston.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Summer trip on Shropshire Union (Tuesday 7/8/2018) - Stoak (Bridges 138-139) to Christleton

Engine hours start: 403.3 end: 409.3 = 6 hours

Miles:8 Locks:7  Lock miles: 15

Having been on pins above bridge 138, we notice that there is Armco below it - useful to note as the Bunbury Arms in Stoak is well worth a return visit.

Lots of gongoozlers at the Tower flight in Chester!

Masking visible on the starboard handrails

Moored in Chester at 12:30 for a quick hour of charity shops. Attempted scientific comparison of Greggs and Pound Bakery fell apart when exactly comparable products proved to be unavailable: but Pound Bakery is cheaper, it is noted.

By now the hot start to the day has faded with clouds and a cool breeze. Lifted slightly on reaching our top mooring at the Cheshire Cat for the first coat of red gloss: but by sunset the breeze was cooling again. We have become far too used to mid 20s Celsius!

Omelette and salad for supper, early night.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Summer trip on Shropshire Union (Monday 6/8/2018) - Stoak (Bridges 138-139)

Engine hours start: 402.3 end: 403.3 = 1 hour

Miles:0 Locks:0  Lock miles: 0

Ran engine for 1 hour to charge batteries.

Alison drafted in to clean off the Fertan. Then team work to apply the masking. A fair breeze up the canal so two pairs of hands definitely beneficial to avoid newspaper taking flight. Applied undercoat to handrails. Just 3 coats of gloss to go...

Waited out the heat of the day then went to the Bunbury Arms in Stoak. Excellent pub, beer and meal.

Glorious sunset.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Summer trip on Shropshire Union (Sunday 5/8/2018) - Ellesmere Port to Stoak (Bridges 138-139)

Engine hours start: 400.4 end: 402.3 = 1.9 hour

Miles:2.5 Locks:0  Lock miles: 2.5

Third and final coat of gloss on handrails first thing. Then went round the museum - still interesting despite rescue of old boats into storage before they rot away. Some sort of dispute involving the council and Peel Holdings means most of the lower basin is not accessible. Sort it out folks! 

Mind Like Water top right

Walked a mile or so to find Aldi - then a quick lunch and away. Ran engine for half an hour before setting off so we could get the fridge back on.

However only got through the first bridge when it became obvious that we had to stop as little propulsion. Checked weed hatch and prop seemed clear but still problems when we set off again. Large burst of reverse seemed to dislodge a large chunk of wood that must have been underneath and rolling into the prop whenever we selected forward gear...

Moored down the cut a couple of miles where, once the first heat of the day had passed, Andrew started work (heroically...) on preparing the remaining third of the port-side handrail and all of the starboard side. Scraped and Fertanned.

Reward was BBQ and chocolate mousse!

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Summer trip on Shropshire Union (Saturday 4/8/2018) - Ellesmere Port (National Waterways Museum)

Engine hours start: 400.4 end: 400.4 = 0 hours

Miles:0 Locks:0  Lock miles: 0

Stayed moored at the National Boat Museum. 2nd coat of gloss on handrails. 

Mind Like Water 3rd boat down

Then walked to Cheshire Oaks for a very successful shopping trip. Alison needed a new waterproof coat and lighter weight fleece. Found a nice one in North Face. Would have been happy to pay the already reduced ticket price but it was then halved at the till. Result! 

Then got shoes for Andrew and sandals for Alison at Clarks - both on buy one get one half price. Had a nice lunch at Prezzo with discount because we had tickets to go to the cinema - Mamma Mia 2 - lovely film, laughed out loud at how they managed to work "Fernando" into the plot!.

Long walk back to boat in increasing sunshine. 

Friday, 3 August 2018

Summer trip on Shropshire Union (Friday 3/8/2018) - Cheshire Cat to Ellesmere Port (National Waterways Museum)

Engine hours start: 394.1 end: 400.4 = 6.3 hour

Miles:10 Locks:8  Lock miles: 18

Off fairly timely this morning. Noted desirable moorings by Wharf Tower as we passed after an uneventful passage into the city. - 2 locks full and waiting!

Were in time to pair up with NB Calluna, the skipper of which had been playing guitair and harmonica outside the Barbridge Inn on Tuesday, to descend the staircase.

They had said they were stopping in Telford Basin and would join us a day later at Ellesmere Port. But they continued in our wake. Not much space in the basin...

Slow last couple of miles as a bit weedy - will perhaps need to check the weed hatch. Will be moored for a couple of days so it may drop off the prop of its own accord.

Next coat of paint on the handrails. Had a pleasant meal the The Galley overlooking the Ship Canal. Saw a large ship being pulled along the ship canal.


Thursday, 2 August 2018

Summer trip on Shropshire Union (Thursday 2/8/2018) - Shady Oak to Christleton

Engine hours start: 391.5 end: 394.1 = 2.6 hour

Miles:6.5 Locks:0  Lock miles: 6.5

Beautiful sunny day. ADS applied undercoat to handrails (front two-thirds of port side) in the morning: had light lunch then set off for Christleton. We pulled over to let the boat following go by, only for him to receive orders from within to pull over to appreciate their lunch. Justly too - it smelt delicious!

We then passed 4 canoes, lashed together in pairs, moored on a bend with quite a lot of vegetation on the off-side. No-one in sight but cheerful shrieking from the brook down the embankment. Got past without incident.

Arrived at Christleton to find our 3rd top mooring in a row just outside the Cheshire Cat with a lovely tall brick wall for shade and sonic shelter. Andrew went one way to Waverton to check out the local shops, Alison the other way into central Chester to pick up a prescription. In England so had to pay - horror! Retail therapy produced a lovely cotton blouse and a Jasper Fforde book.

Had a drink in the Cheshire Cat before returning aboard for chicken fillet, salad and yoghurts.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Summer trip on Shropshire Union (Wednesday 1/8/2018) - Barbridge Inn to Shady Oak

Engine hours start: 387.7 end: 391.5 = 3.8 hour

Miles:5 Locks:6  Lock miles: 11

Sunny start today, breezy, clouded over as morning went on but mild.

Waited for NB Riverside to pass before unmooring. We both paused at Calveley services and agreed to work the next locks in tandem. Ferociously shiny boat. Skipper does not allow wife to take boat into locks in case of touching - much use of bow thruster likewise. Amazed they deigned to share with us! However, interesting to talk boat design as theirs is a bespoke by Aquabuild(?).

Beeston Castle

Separated at Beeston Iron Lock of course as it is single working but paused for lunch above the next as they caught up with us.

Another top mooring within sight of but no in deafening range of Shady Oak pub. Riverside also stopping here - right at the end of the rings to ensure peace and quiet. Meanwhile our opposite neighbours are a pair of swans.

And another splendid meal at the Shady Oak. Food less expensive but helpings a bit smaller - good news, room for pudding!