Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Captains Log Canal Date 3rd July 2010 Travels Miles 9 Locks 8 Narrow Lift Bridge 2 Current Location Burland 2 miles West of Nantwich OS Ref SJ 614 541 Fully recovered from the previous hangover and ready to move on. We had planed to go as far as the Top Secret Nuclear Bunker at Hack Green today, well within easy reach for a day on the canal. As we set off the skies went from white cloud to grey. Bang on cue, just as we reached the first set of locks it started to rain. The rain continued in various forms throughout the day, one minute very fine drizzle then rain & then onto proper rain. I think the locals call it summer! I am not quite sure how it happened but a boat that had been following us passed us as we operated a swing bridge, thus every lock we came to we were following him and were therefore always set against us. Nothing more than a slight inconvenience. As we approached the final set of 4 locks at Hurleston the sky took on an even more threatening look, the wind picked up and I gave up. (No point arguing with the weather, you can never win that argument). We moored up to wait the inevitable onslaught. It just did not happen. How can the sky go as dark as that and not leak all over you? Well we are here now, where ever here is, and we shall stay overnight and continue our journey tomorrow – perhaps. Captains Log Canal Date 3rd July 2010 Travels Miles 15 Locks 4 Narrow Staircase 1 Lift Bridge 5 Current Location Willemore Inn Again (At last a Pub!) OS Ref SJ 538 459 After a few days on our paradise moorings it was time to move on, not truly from a desire to keep moving, more because the batteries have taken a hammering. We have used the Washing machine, and run the TV for some time and spent most of the day time reformatting the laptop and reloading all the data software, and used 240v power tools to polish the boat. Not a five minute job! I have noticed that I am being attacked by horse files – nasty spiteful creatures. You do not feel them land on you; you only feel them when it’s too late. I have large lumps on my arms, legs and face. They are irritating to the extreme. It is almost impossible not to scratch at them. I wonder what they eat when Boaters are not here? That said, it is a small price to pay for this life style. We set off on a warm but overcast day and had a peaceful and leisurely, if not a little long cruise, re-tracing our route of a few weeks ago. All was fine until we arrived at Grindley Flight. Here there is a staircase flight and followed by 3 locks. There were 3 boats waiting to go down the staircase in front of us, all of them hire boats, none had any idea, so yet again Pam took charge and saw them through. The couple immediately in front of us had an almost identical dog to Millie, all apart from the dangly bits! They had never seen a staircase flight before and were more than a bit apprehensive. They managed to navigate the locks and we followed them all the way to our current location. Now I know that it unusual for us but we stopped next to a pub. Not just any old pub, but one we used on the way up and they made us so welcome last time that it would be rude in the extreme if we did not pop in. The food was just as good, the gust beers were very moorish, fully recommended to anyone. When in the pub we found we were sitting next to our new found friends with the dog. He is from Belgium and she is from Dublin, as she taught him most of his English, he now speaks perfect English with a touch of Irish. We soon joined tables and had a really good night. We were of course the last out of the pub and as I write this I am still wishing that I had not had that last pint! Captains Log Canal Date 3rd July 2010 Travels Miles 9 Locks 2 Narrow Staircase 1 Current Location Blake Mere (Near Ellesmere) (What- Still no Pub!) OS Ref SJ 414449 We set off on the hunt for food, one of my major motivating forces, so it was back to good old Ellesmere again. The arm into the town centre was very busy and we did think that we would not find a mooring. As it turned out we slipped into a mooring right at the end. Pam, dutifully went shopping whilst I took the mandatory afternoon nap. I awoke just in time to see Pam returning complete with an escort from Tesco’s. He was pushing the trolley. We passed the shopping through the hatch and then he returned to the store pushing our trolley. Only Pam could arrange a home delivery service to the boat. After a bit to eat we decided that we did not really want to stay in the town arm so we set off looking for quieter moorings. On the way out we had a bit of a coming together with two other boats. We were passing a continuous line of moored boats when another boat came towards us. It was going to be tight but plenty of room for us all, that is until he panicked and slammed his boat into reverse causing it to go sideways just in front of me. I had no chance of stopping; the brakes on a narrowboat are not too good! There was a good old bang but no damage on any of the boats. It’s a good job they are not made out of the same materials as modern cars. We continued our quest to find a quieter spot. Not far from Ellesmere we found it, perfect. A magnificent view over the mere with all manor of wading birds. What’s more there were no other boats in view. This will do for a few nights. Of course, within minutes there were boats either side of us. This is the sort of mooring that if Carlsberg Lager made moorings ---- A true slice of heaven. Even the sun is shining. Yes this will do for us.

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