Monday, 12 June 2017

Looking forward to an Indian tonight!

Monday 12th June
On Saturday we stayed in Stone, and went for a few bits of shopping but mainly a lazy day. There had been a gala week going on in Stone and on Saturday afternoon some of the roads were closed as there was a procession of floats etc. At least the rain held off for them but when we went out in the evening for a few drinks it rained!
Sunday morning the first boat came up the lock at the Star Pub just before 7am! Then there was several more and we thought we were early to leave around 8am!
Heading towards Aston bridge and Aston lock is just around the corner from it.
When we got to Aston Lock there were a couple of boats ahead of us, but it wasn't long before we were down and out of the lock and on our way.
 Yet another swan with her cygnets
Even more geese with their goslings!
We weren't going far today, only to Burston. In fact we moored a little way passed bridge 85 where it was quite open and we had a good reception on the TV, wifi, and mobile phone signal! We had a late cooked breakfast and when we had washed up etc we had a good walk with Jaz over bridge 85 into Burston village and walked up the road over the railway bridge and then came to The Greyhound pub where we stopped and had a drink. We sat outside with Jaz and didn't realise that dogs were allowed inside! 
Our mooring.
 Looking from the stern last night!
This morning once we were ready we set off and Kev walked with Jaz until he got to Sandon lock while I came along on R&R, Kev filled the lock and once we were down through the lock both Kev & Jaz got back on board.
Nearly ready to leave this morning.
First lock of the day.
Through the next 2 locks, Weston Lock & then Hoo Mill Lock and then on to the water point at Gt Haywood, there was a boat already moored there but there was enough space for us to pull onto the water point in front of the other boat. I made a cuppa while Kev waited for the water to fill, which didn't take long as it filled quite fast.
Moored on one of the water points at Anglo Welsh.
A bit busy at the junction for the Staffs & Worcester canal!
Once the water tank was full Kev let go of the ropes for me and while I headed for Haywood lock on the boat while Kev walked over the bridge and walked to the lock. When we got there , 3 boats were already waiting to go down the lock so we were there a while.
One boat was in the lock, the green one was next and the blue one ended up at the other side!
Colwich lock and a queue again! Mind you the ground paddle was out of action so there was only the gate paddle working, which made it slow to fill but not too bad once in the lock going down!
Once we were out of the lock Kev stayed on the towpath once again with Jaz and they walked as far as Wolseley bridge where there were 3 boats moored before the bridge but enough room for us to get moored too! So here we will stay and will make another visit to Shimla Palace for an Indian meal tonight! Lovely!

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Back onto the Trent & Mersey Canal

Saturday 10th June.
After getting a good soaking last Monday, and the fact that the weather forecast for Tuesday was wind & rain we stayed put at Middlewich.
On Wednesday morning the weather wasn't that good but we wanted to move so we left about 8.45am.
Our mooring in Middlewich.
Looking back from our mooring just before we left.
We had a long day and we stopped at Wheelock to fill up with water, empty 2 cassettes & get rid of rubbish, we then pulled forward from the water point to have a bite to eat before we started the Wheelock flight of locks! The weather actually didn't turn out too bad after all and at least we stayed dry!
A clever use of old jeans!
Looking back at Wheelock services.
Approaching lock 58 after the M6 motorway bridge. 
We finally moored at Church Lawton after doing 26 locks and 11.5 miles. On Thursday morning we were away fairly early and headed for the Harecastle tunnel.
In lock 41
The pub next to lock 41
Here we go!

The start of the 40 minute journey through the tunnel!
After we were through the tunnel we stopped at the moorings at Westport lake to let Jaz have a run, there was no way that we wanted to stay on these moorings as there wasn't a space anywhere that didn't have goose droppings on it! So once Jaz had been for a run about we carried on through Stoke On Trent and headed for Barleston where we moored after Oldroad bridge 104.
Yesterday morning we left Barleston early in fact it was just after 7am! We wanted to get moored in Stone for the weekend.
Lovely canal side cottages.
The Boat yard, Kev's favourite property on the system!
This mother was very protective as a man walked passed after I took this, he had 2 dogs and the swan ran to them and gave one of them a peck!
Meaford top lock
Jaz keeping her eye on where Kev is!
Haven't seen one of these since we were on the Thames!
Love these old cars.
After we dropped down lock 29 at Stone, we stopped briefly so Kev could empty the cassette & I got rid of the rubbish we then carried on and dropped down what turned out to be our last lock of the day, (Yard lock) and what do you know an available mooring after the lock landing! We had a couple of boats glance off the side of us as they went onto the lock landing, Kev had spoken to the man moored ahead of us who said he was moving shorty as he had stayed 48 hours, he agreed to let us know when he was going so we could move onto his mooring, which is what we did a couple of hours later.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Moored at Middlewich

Monday 5th June.
We had a change of plan when we were moored below Willeymoor lock, we were going to stay a few days and go to the pub for a meal but we changed our minds. We did pop to the pub on Friday evening for a couple of drinks. On Saturday morning we left our mooring in lovely sunshine and Kev walked with Jaz to Quoisley Lock while I followed on R&R.
Looking back at Willeymoor lock
Up Quoisley Lock.
When we getting close to Marbury Lock we moored and we were going to stay put for the day and have a walk into the lovely village of Marbury and go to the Swan pub, we sat in the sun for a while and then thought we would go for a walk to the pub, but as we were leaving the boat with Jaz there was a man walking on the towpath who told us that the Swan was under renovations and he didn't think it was open yet. As it was a bit of a walk we decided to leave this mooring and head off to Wrenbury. Once back on board I took the windlass and walked to Marbury Lock to set it for Kev, and we were soon down the lock and on our way to Wrenbury.
Not sure what I think of the colour of the canvass on this boat!
This female only had one chick, and quite a young one too.
We managed to get moored at Wrenbury ok on the 48hour moorings, and didn't go through the lift bridge as it is a bit brighter this side of the bridge and stayed here overnight. We took Jaz for a walk shortly after we moored and we sat with her in the beer garden at the Cotton Arms. We went back in the evening for a few drinks, firstly we went into The Dusty Miller pub for one and then went to the Cotton Arms and I had a few games of pool, managing to win a couple of games!
New homes being built in Wrenbury.
On Sunday morning we were away before 9am and I walked to work the lift bridge, fortunately not a lot of traffic on the road so we didn't hold people up! Only one car had to stop & wait for Kev to go through the lift bridge and then I walked ahead to go and get the next lift bridge ready, but as I got there a man was already working the lift bridge and a boat was going through with a woman on the tiller, he was with the lady on the boat that was going through but had his own boat that was tied at the bridge landing, so when she got through she moored her boat on the other landing. Meanwhile another boat was coming towards Wrenbury and so the man working the bridge let them go through and then let Kev come through! So he was there a while as the woman he was travelling with walked back to get on his boat to take it through the bridge, we were quite happy as at least we would be ahead of them at the locks!
We wanted to stop at the services at the flight of locks at Hurleston to empty the cassette, fill with water & get rid of our rubbish and while we were filling the water tank Kev went to get rid of the rubbish and he took the cassette but he was unable to empty it as the facilities were out of order. When the water tank was full we headed to go down the flight of locks and when we were at the 3rd one the heavens opened up and it poured with rain! When we at the last lock a couple of boats were waiting to come up, the rain continued and I managed to get back on board after Kev had turned left at Hurleston junction. I went down into the boat while Kev stayed on the tiller and when he got to Barbridge junction he turned right onto the Middlewich section of the Shropshire Union canal and he moored after the winding hole before Cholmondeston Lock.
This morning it started to rain before we left our mooring about 8.15 am, I walked to the lock and filled it ready for Kev to bring R&R in. Once we had dropped down the lock Kev moored outside Venetion Marina and we waited for the shop to open at 8.30am. 
We needed a bottle of gas & diesel, the gas was £26.50 and the diesel was 69pence per litre, once we were sorted we set off heading for Middlewich, the rain stayed with us all the way and was quite heavy at times! We moored after bridge 29 and that was us for the day! 

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Staying put for a couple of days.

Thursday 1st June
Yesterday was another lovely day, just before we were about to leave our mooring a man & woman came around the bend towards us towing a small boat behind them! Kev spoke to them and the man told Kev they had been to Chester, the Leicester ring & the 4 counties! Why? Well just to say they did it, they sounded like Americans although they may well have been Canadian.
Here they come.
The woman got on board and brought the boat passed us.
She then got the rope and passed it back to her husband.
He pulled the boat in and she got off and they carried on towing the boat behind them!
We were then on our way to Ellesmere for some shopping and we turned the boat around and managed to get moored at the basin close to Tesco.  Once we had done our shopping and got it all packed away, we had a cuppa and a bite to eat and then I took Jaz with me and went around the other side of the basin where there is a field that I walked her through and it then comes out onto the bowling green. I crossed the green and went onto a small footpath which led me to the canal again at bridge 58 (Red Bridge) where I waited to be picked up. Kev left the basin just after I had set off with Jaz and he picked us both up at the bridge and we were on our way again. Not far was Ellesmere tunnel and as we approached it a boat was coming through so we had to wait a few minutes for him to exit the short tunnel (87yards) and then we were able to go through.
Waiting for the other boat to exit the tunnel.
In we go.
We had a pleasant cruise and finally we moored on the 48 hour moorings at Whitchurch that are before the lift bridge.
Our mooring at Whitchurch.
Having a moment together😀
This morning was yet another lovely start so we had a leisurely breakfast, showers & I did a wash before we left just after 10.15 am. Kev walked Jaz to the lift bridge and it was in the up position as a boat had gone through and another boat was waiting to come through from the other way. He asked if we could come through too and the young lad said yes and went off to get on his boat and left the bride open but Kev was unable to get across! Fortunately there was a woman with her dog at the bridge and so Kev asked if she could drop the bridge for us and he threw our windlass over to her. I took the boat through the bridge, the woman apparently wasn't with any boat she just happened to be walking her dog! The people on the hire boat that was waiting to come through the other way then went through so I had to wait in the middle of the canal for Kev to get the windlass back and catch me up! He wasn't going to get back on board as he was going to walk with Jaz to the water points at Grindley Brook which wasn't very far. When we got to the water points the first water point had nobody on it so we were able to tie up and fill with water, while the tank was filling Kev took the cassette to empty and when he got back and the tank was full I got the windlass and walked to see the lockie at the staircase flight. There was a boat already in the top lock and the lockie told me I could fill it again once the boat was in the next lock down and so Kev brought the boat in and we were soon down all 3 of the staircase locks and onto the next lock after the staircase.
In Grindley lock No.5
By the time we had got through Willeymoor lock we thought that we would moor below the lock and will stay here a couple of days,  it is forecast to rain tomorrow so thats a cleaning day for me! We will probably go in the pub on Saturday night and may have a bite to eat there 😋