Monday, 30 March 2015

Middlewich

We took a day off on Saturday because the weather was awful so we stayed moored at Coole Pilate. We did move yesterday but a slightly dodgy internet signal meant you have two days journey in one. Yesterday (Sunday) we started off fairly early in order to catch the best of the weather. We made our way past the Secret Nuclear Bunker at Hack Green, down through the two locks on onward to Nantwich. After a brief pause to clear the weed filter and warm up a little we carried on to the junction with the Middlewich Branch and as the wind was beginning to rise we only travelled a little distance along there before we decided to moor up. 

We were glad we did because before we had finished mooring the heavens opened and the rain came down in torrents.

This morning our friend Sue on the Herb Boat came past before we were even dressed, she was heading for Middlewich too. We had a couple of cups of coffee before getting on our way and compared to the past few days it was quite pleasant, still windy but not as strong and the sun was shining. We had considered stopping again before reaching the market moorings but based on the weather forecast decided the best thing to do was to get here today.

Internet chatter told me that Kit and Mike on Here Be Dragons would probably beat us here, though not by much. TG and Smiffy on the Vapes Boat arrived a couple of days ago and of course we knew Sue had passed us. It looks as if the rest of the traders will have some nasty weather to contend with. At least the weather forecast for the weekend is improving.

We are here in Middlewich until at least next Wednesday morning, possibly a bit longer although we will only be trading over the long weekend.

Yesterday's journey 8.8 miles and 2 locks

Today's journey 9 miles and 7 locks

This year we have travelled  65.1 miles, 68 locks and 3 tunnels

In 2014 we travelled 425 miles, 334 locks, 2 swing bridges,17 lift bridges and 23 tunnels

In 2013 we travelled 459.1 miles, 434 locks, 7 swing bridges, 15 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2012 we travelled 876.9 miles, 675 locks,  55 swing bridges, 22 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2011 we travelled 461.4 miles, 444 locks, 3 swing bridges, 34 lift bridges and 15 tunnels

During 2010 we travelled 740.3 miles, 642 locks, 53 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 25 tunnels

Since Ray retired we have travelled 3027.2 miles, 2597 locks, 120 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 128 tunnels

Friday, 27 March 2015

Coole Pilate

Yesterday we took a day off in Market Drayton, we had intended to shop in the morning and move in the afternoon but it was so windy we decided to stay moored.

I had a 'kick myself' moment, I saw a very nice wicker laundry basket in one of the charity shops and thought I might buy it but didn't want to carry round the supermarket. By the time I got back it had been sold, I should have paid for it and asked them to keep in until I came back. I did buy some nice bread flour in the deli so we can have some interesting homemade bread.

Today we took advantage of the nicer weather and moved on through the Adderley and Audlem locks and have moored for the night at Coole Pilate moorings. Tomorrow we will be heading for Nantwich, where we might stay on Sunday too, then it is only a shortish run to Middlewich.

Today's journey 8.1 miles and 20 locks

This year we have travelled  47.3 miles, 59 locks and 3 tunnels

In 2014 we travelled 425 miles, 334 locks, 2 swing bridges,17 lift bridges and 23 tunnels

In 2013 we travelled 459.1 miles, 434 locks, 7 swing bridges, 15 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2012 we travelled 876.9 miles, 675 locks,  55 swing bridges, 22 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2011 we travelled 461.4 miles, 444 locks, 3 swing bridges, 34 lift bridges and 15 tunnels

During 2010 we travelled 740.3 miles, 642 locks, 53 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 25 tunnels

Since Ray retired we have travelled 3009.4 miles, 2588 locks, 120 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 128 tunnels

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

All the way to Market Drayton

We woke up to a very heavy mist, almost a fog this morning and the temperature didn't encourage us to get out of bed. When the mist cleared and the sun broke through is was relatively warm and we had a pleasant cruise through to the top of Tyrley Locks. As usual CRT were no respecter of their own rules and had a couple of work boats moored on the water point. If we had been desperate for water we would have breasted up to them and run the hose across but there are plenty of water points along this stretch and our tank is about half full.

We made our way down through the locks, actually meeting three boats on the way up which was positively busy compared to most of our journey. We are now moored at Market Drayton ready for the usual shopping trip tomorrow and will probably move on tomorrow afternoon.

I'm feeling frustrated with my insurance company, even though I have received emails from them when I try and log on to renew my insurance I get a message that my email address is not in their database! Oh well I'll phone them tomorrow.

Today's journey 6.4 miles and 5 locks

This year we have travelled  39.2 miles, 39 locks and 3 tunnels

In 2014 we travelled 425 miles, 334 locks, 2 swing bridges,17 lift bridges and 23 tunnels

In 2013 we travelled 459.1 miles, 434 locks, 7 swing bridges, 15 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2012 we travelled 876.9 miles, 675 locks,  55 swing bridges, 22 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2011 we travelled 461.4 miles, 444 locks, 3 swing bridges, 34 lift bridges and 15 tunnels

During 2010 we travelled 740.3 miles, 642 locks, 53 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 25 tunnels

Since Ray retired we have travelled 3001.3 miles, 2568 locks, 120 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 128 tunnels

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Old Cadbury Wharf plus a bit

I had put my aches down to the exertions of the first couple of days of our journey but it looks as if I've got a bit of a cold. I've been coughing today and could quite happily not bothered to move. Ray wanted to make some progress so we set off at about eleven. I was on coffee making duty but managed to get some crocheting done too. 

This stretch of the Shroppie is always slow going as there are quite a few moored boats both at Gnosall and Norbury. The weather was unkind to Ray and threw hailstones and even a bit of snow at him, after about three hours he had had enough and we moored up a little way beyond the Old Cadbury Wharf at Knighton.  The forecast for tonight is cold but tomorrow should be dry so we may make some more progress.


Today's journey 7.3 miles

This year we have travelled  32.8 miles, 34 locks and 3 tunnels

In 2014 we travelled 425 miles, 334 locks, 2 swing bridges,17 lift bridges and 23 tunnels

In 2013 we travelled 459.1 miles, 434 locks, 7 swing bridges, 15 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2012 we travelled 876.9 miles, 675 locks,  55 swing bridges, 22 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2011 we travelled 461.4 miles, 444 locks, 3 swing bridges, 34 lift bridges and 15 tunnels

During 2010 we travelled 740.3 miles, 642 locks, 53 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 25 tunnels

Since Ray retired we have travelled 2995.9 miles, 2563 locks, 120 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 128 tunnels

Monday, 23 March 2015

Gnosall

We made a later start today and didn't set off until about ten. After yesterday I was aching a lot. too much hard work after a lazy winter. We are trying to make as much progress as is reasonable as the weather forecast for later in the week and early next week isn't good. If we can leave ourselves with as little travelling as possible in case the weather does turn nasty that would be good.

It was overcast and chilly today and there is a chance of frost tonight. We made our way to Wheaton Aston where we topped up the diesel and got another gas cylinder then it was onward to Gnosall in light drizzle.

I've wrapped my plants in fleece for tonight, just in case. if the weather holds tomorrow we might make it as far as Tyrley Wharf, we will see what the morning brings.

Today's journey 9.4 miles, 1 lock and 1 tunnel

This year we have travelled  25.5 miles, 34 locks and 3 tunnels

In 2014 we travelled 425 miles, 334 locks, 2 swing bridges,17 lift bridges and 23 tunnels

In 2013 we travelled 459.1 miles, 434 locks, 7 swing bridges, 15 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2012 we travelled 876.9 miles, 675 locks,  55 swing bridges, 22 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2011 we travelled 461.4 miles, 444 locks, 3 swing bridges, 34 lift bridges and 15 tunnels

During 2010 we travelled 740.3 miles, 642 locks, 53 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 25 tunnels

Since Ray retired we have travelled 2988.2 miles, 2563 locks, 120 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 128 tunnels

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Down the Locks

Today didn't start well but ended better. We set off down the  '21' to find the pound between locks 2 & 3 virtually dry so we had to let water down to refill it which takes a lots of water and quite a long time. For the first half of the flight the locks were all against us which makes a slower journey and by the time we had worked through the first 15 locks my joints were letting me know it has been over four months since we did any cruising. Things speeded up somewhat when we met a boat coming up the flight as it meant I wasn't having to set the locks before we could go down. Ray realised I was tiring and took over lock duty for the last 5 locks.

We wanted to get out into the countryside so carried on about four miles down the Shroppie before we moored. I'm now sitting with the front doors open enjoying the sunshine before the evening chill descends.

Today's journey 6.4 miles and 22 locks.

This year we have travelled  16.1 miles, 33 locks and 2 tunnels

In 2014 we travelled 425 miles, 334 locks, 2 swing bridges,17 lift bridges and 23 tunnels

In 2013 we travelled 459.1 miles, 434 locks, 7 swing bridges, 15 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2012 we travelled 876.9 miles, 675 locks,  55 swing bridges, 22 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2011 we travelled 461.4 miles, 444 locks, 3 swing bridges, 34 lift bridges and 15 tunnels

During 2010 we travelled 740.3 miles, 642 locks, 53 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 25 tunnels

Since Ray retired we have travelled 2978.8 miles, 2562 locks, 120 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 127 tunnels

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Wolverhampton

We left our mooring as planned this morning, to begin with all went well. The day had dawned chilly but dry and when the sun broke through it was quite pleasant. We managed not to run aground on any shopping trollies, there were no sunken fridges and most the overhanging branches on the offside have been cut back. Our luck continued as not only were the locks with us but the gate on the first lock had been left open so we were straight in. 

At the second lock our luck ran out, the temperature gauge was rising and the water flow on our cooling system was non existent. Now I'm sorry to bore anyone that already knows this but we have what is called raw water cooling. This means that water from the canal is pumped through a heat exchanger and then back into the canal. In the circuit there is a water filter so that it is only water not rubbish, weed and tiny fishes that circulate. Unfortunately the filter becoming blocked is not a rare occurrence, fortunately it is normally quickly resolved. This time however it was the pipe not the filter that had blocked and it took longer to sort out.

We managed to get moving again after about 40 minutes and were pleased to see that the rotten lock beam at Lock 4 has been replaced. We completed the rest of the flight without any of the trials and tribulations of lock gates blocked with rubbish which frequently occur. A short trip along the Wednesbury Old Canal took us onto the BCN mainline and onwards to Factory Locks. Yet again the locks were in our favour and we were quickly up them. The mouth of  the top lock was blocked with rubbish and branches so we had a clearance job to complete before we could exit.

We had considered dividing the journey over two days but decided to continue through to Wolverhampton so we took a late lunch of homemade soup and made our way to the moorings at Wolverhampton. Urban moorings aren't my first choice at any time, even less so on a Saturday night but the moorings here are only accessible by boat. It is very noisy with traffic and We will be glad to get down the Wolverhampton 21 tomorrow and onto the Shroppie and into the country.

Today's journey was 9.7 miles, 11 locks and 2 tunnels

In 2014 we travelled 425 miles, 334 locks, 2 swing bridges,17 lift bridges and 23 tunnels

In 2013 we travelled 459.1 miles, 434 locks, 7 swing bridges, 15 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2012 we travelled 876.9 miles, 675 locks,  55 swing bridges, 22 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2011 we travelled 461.4 miles, 444 locks, 3 swing bridges, 34 lift bridges and 15 tunnels

During 2010 we travelled 740.3 miles, 642 locks, 53 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 25 tunnels

Since Ray retired we have travelled 2972.4 miles, 2540 locks, 120 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 127 tunnels