Friday, 10 April 2015

Rode Heath

Yesterday didn't go entirely to plan. This was partly due to poor maintenance by CRT, partly by the Chaos Fairy and partly by me stepping on solid ground which wasn't.

We intended to move up to Wheelock, empty the loo, have a shower at the shower block, give the water a top up after having done some washing then head for Rode Heath. When we got there the Chaos Fairy (who we didn't know was the Chaos Fairy) was moored on the only working waterpoint having her breakfast! She assured us she would soon be moving, it was nearly midday. Here be Dragons managed to get close enough to the tap to water up but we decided to wait and wait and wait. Eventually when she saw us joining hoses together to reach the tap she apologised and moved. During this time we could all of had a shower except that the shower was closed for refurbishment.

All this meant we were following the Chaos Fairy up through the locks. At the first lock she trapped her rope in the lock gates, leaving it behind as she ascended. She asked a young man to try and rescue it for her using her boat hook but these are deep locks and there was no way her boat hook was long enough to reach it. If I had opened the lock gates it would have freed the rope which would have promptly sunk and probably ended up tangled round our prop. So I climbed on the prow of Morgana with a boat hook, hooked the rope then Ray nudged the gates open with Morgana so I could rescue the rope and return it to her. She had carried on through the next lock but lacking her rope to control the boat in the lock, as a result the inrush of water caused the boat to surge forward, hit the head gates and snap two of the four chains on her front fender.

As most of these are paired locks Kit thought the quickest thing to do was to assist her through the locks and set the locks for our two boats with Ray, Mike and I following behind. This went well until the Chaos Fairy went ahead into a lock Kit had walked up and set for her before walking back to reset for Mike. As Kit then walked to assist her she heard a scream, it was a 'fear for a life scream'! Kit rushed u to find that one of the Chaos Fairy's dogs had fallen in the lock from the boat. Luckily they wear life jackets with grab handles so Kit lying on the lockside reaching down to grab a rope to stop the boat from moving forward in the lock while the Chaos Fairy climbed onto the front of the boat to hoist the dog out with the boat hook.

The Chaos Fairy decided she was having a bad day and decided to stop for a cup of tea.

After that thing went much better but we were far later than we planned so decided to moor below the locks at Rode Heath and move on this morning.

The sun was shining, it was a lovely late afternoon so we sat outside the boats and I decided to open a bottle of last year's elderflower champagne. I poured four glasses, picked up two and stepped on a nice green patch of grass about eighteen inches from the edge of the canal. I dropped straight down a hole as deep as my knee, Kit had visions of me fracturing my ankle which thankfully I didn't. She was very impressed that I didn't drop the glasses and barely spilt any wine. I was a little bruised, had a couple of grazes and was somewhat shaken up. With Kit here I had my personal healer on call so she administered first aid and I'm OK.

Today was just a short hop up through two locks to Rode Heath where we intend to spend the weekend and maybe do a bit of trading.


Yesterday's journey 5.2 miles and 12 locks

Today's journey 0.5 miles and 2 locks

This year we have travelled  75.7 miles, 90 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 3037.8 miles, 2619 locks, 120 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 128 tunnels





Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Moving on

After a fairly successful weekend trading at Middlewich with the added bonus of catching up with friends we haven't seen since last year today it was time to start the next leg of our journey.
We are heading south on the Trent and Mersey, our next market is at Stone on the last weekend of the month. So we have a fairly easy couple of weeks ahead of us. We are going to be travelling with Kit and Mike on Here Be Dragons, at least four other boats are making the same journey but everyone has their own travel plans.
After four days of getting up and setting up ready for business we didn't want to make an early start so after a leisurely leave taking of friends who were heading in other directions we topped up our watertank and made our way southwards.
The locks were fairly busy, not surprising as it is the school Easter holidays but the sun was shining and that made everything so much nicer. After a week in Middlewich we wanted a night in the country so we carried on past the salt works and Elton Moss then moored before we reached Wheelock.
Tomorrow we plan to reach Rode Heath where we may spend the weekend before going further south next week.

Today's journey 4.9 miles and 8 locks

This year we have travelled  70 miles, 76 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 3032.1 miles, 2605 locks, 120 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 128 tunnels

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