Tuesday, 30 May 2017

A short trip on the Montgomery Canal!

Tuesday 30th May
Yesterday morning we left our mooring at bridge 7(llangollen canal) just after 10 am and it was quite a miserable start with fine rain, we didn't have far to go until we turned right onto the moorings for the locks at the start of the Montgomery Canal, where there were a few boats waiting, and then another boat came but had to moor across from us as there wasn't enough room, that boat was NB Harnser. When the lockie arrived just before noon Kev went to see him, we had booked to go onto the Montgomery as they only allow a small amount onto it at a time. There was a boat moored at the front ahead of us and they hadn't booked and so the lockie said they would have to ring up and book their passage as he wasn't allowed to let them go down. The man wasn't very happy but agreed to ring and book his place for today. When the lockie had set the locks we told Harnser to go first as they were closer to the lock and we weren't in any particular hurry.
Looking back at our mooring near bridge 7.
Passing these 3 lovely bays.
Waiting for the lockie at the start of the Montgomery canal, nb Harnser moored across from us.

There were about 8 boats waiting to come up the locks, the lockie let a couple start coming up and then started letting the us & the other 2 boats down, Harnser being the first and then the second one was a hire boat and lastly it was us. After we were down through the 4 locks we didn't have to go very far before we came to the small junction at Lockgate bridge 71 where there is the disused Weston Branch. This is where the water point is and a little brick building for emptying the cassettes, Kev said it was immaculately clean. The rain had stopped by the time we stared down the locks and stayed dry for the rest of the day!
Moored at the water point.
We had a bite to eat before we left the water point as there wasn't anybody waiting to use it and there was another one ahead of us, but we could easily have moved back if someone had needed the water point. We were then on our way and I walked the short distance to the next lock, which was Graham Palmer Lock

Next it was the small Perry Aqueduct.
Passing the unnavigable Rednal basin.
Approaching the railway bridge & ahead is a restored warehouse.
Very shallow here.

The canal was a bit shallow in places but not as bad as we were expecting, and we finally moored before bridge 79 Maersbury Marsh, where we stayed overnight. We had planned to leave the Montgomery canal on  Thursday as we didn't know what it was like as this was our first time on it, but as the navigation is only open for a 7 mile stretch we decided to ring up and book the locks to go back up for tomorrow instead.
This morning after breakfast etc we were ready to leave about 9.30 am. We needed to turn around and the winding hole was about half a mile ahead of us and also there was a lift bridge to open, so Kev said he would take Jaz for a walk and open the lift bridge for me while I went and turned the boat around and then once I was turned and back through the lift bridge Kev got on board the boat with Jaz.
Looking back at Crofts Lift Bridge.
There is a small horse drawn  trip boat at bridge 80.
Approaching the services at Maersbury Wharf
They look quite new, no rubbish emptying that we could see.
This is The Navigation Inn & Wharehouse  restaurant( Closed so we didn't get to try it)

We had a nice slow journey along the Montgomery and when we were through bridge 71 where the water points are there are a few 48 hour moorings so we tied up there. We were going to move later today and moor at the bottom of the Frankton locks ready for tomorrow, Kev spoke to a man on a hire boat who had just come down the locks and he tole Kev there were only another 2 or 3 boats coming down. We then decided to go and moor at the lock landing and see maybe if we could possibly get up today instead, but if not we would be able to stay on the lock landing overnight. We wouldnt usually moor on a lock landing but as the locks are locked once the lockie has got all the booked boats up & down the locks, we knew we would be the first boat up tomorrow. As we moored at the bottom lock a boat was just leaving and Kev went up to help them with the lock gates and spoke to a volunteer lockie who told Kev to come up the locks and he would tell the Lockie he had said it was ok. We were lucky as it was nearly 2pm and the Lockie was at the top lock setting & locking it until tomorrow!
At the bottom of the Frankton flight.
In the top lock.
All done nearly ready to leave the top lock.
As we left the Montgomery Canal I was back on board and went to the bow to see if it was clear for us to turn right back onto the Llangollen canal, there were several boats going both ways mainly hire boats but we were soon on our way but we didn't go too far and found a lovely mooring between Bridges 66 & 65.
Lovely view & sun too!!

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