Thursday, 2 July 2015

A long weekend and heading onwards

As usual I haven't kept up to date with what we have been doing. 

Last Tuesday we made a relatively early start and headed for Audlem. By the time we had watered up and emptied the loo Keri and Dan had almost caught up with us, just one boat between us. However we got a far better road than they did and reached Market Drayton long before they did. It took us four and a half hours from the bottom of Audlem locks to Market Drayton, it took them that long just to do Audlem. we had a bit of help on Adderley locks as my friend Sharron was following us up and her son helped close up the locks behind us. Pausing only to buy a couple of pork pies and some scones at the top lock we headed into Market Drayton.

We spent a full week in Market Drayton, trading at the weekend, chatting to friends and generally relaxing. The only fly in the ointment was the ATM eating Ray's bank card, according to his bank there was no reason for it, but they can only post a replacement card to his home address, so everything has to go through my account for now.

On Tuesday we made our way to Knighton, then onwards to the Anchor on Wednesday where we caught up with Golden Boyz and The Penmaker's Boat. tomorrow we will head for Norbury for the weekend.

Since my last post we have travelled 17 miles and 25 locks

This year we have travelled  281.9 miles, 272 locks, 3 swing bridges and 8 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 3233 miles, 2801 locks, 121 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 133 tunnels

Monday, 22 June 2015

A late start

Ray woke up this morning with a headache so we had a bit of a late start. Keri and Dan left early but they had shopping to do so we expected to catch up with them. When we did get moving we had a fairly easy journey but the canal was busy.

It was a rather windy day which always makes life interesting but apart from a close encounter at Barbridge Junction all went well, even that wasn't a panic situation.

We spotted Keri and Dan's boat moored at Nantwich and as we were crossing the aqueduct we saw them walking back from town. They spotted us too and there was much waving and calling!

We had decided we wanted to reach Coole Pilate which gives us a longish but manageable day to reach Market Drayton tomorrow. We were beginning to think that Keri and Dan had decided to stop at Nantwich but they arrived eventually. They had been delayed because George, their Gordon Setter had to go to the vet. He has an abscess under a tooth, poor thing.

Earlyish start tomorrow with lots of locks.


Today's journey 15.3 miles and 4 locks

This year we have travelled  264.9 miles, 247 locks, 3 swing bridges and 8 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 3216 miles, 2776 locks, 121 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 133 tunnels

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Onward to the next venue

We had a good time meeting old friends and making new ones at Middlewich. Although we didn't really get away from the boat much during the festival we could listen to the music from the outdoor stages at the two pubs either side of us. We also went to the boaters supper on Friday night and had a tasty but rather expensive curry, long on taste but short on quantity.

As far as trading was concerned we had a good weekend but not as good as I hoped with the number of people about. I suppose most had come to listen to the music rather than spend money. I did sell my huge rainbow blanket which boosted the coffers and I have a possible commission to do some cabin lace for a boat.

We decided we didn't want to get caught in the inevitable long queues for the locks tomorrow so left once we had packed up. We got through the first five locks on our way to Market Drayton and moored at about 9.30 just as it was starting to rain. Keri and Dan did the same as us and got caught by the rain mooring up about twenty minutes later. Supper was a hasty burger and beans.

Today's journey 2.1 miles and 5 locks

This year we have travelled  249.6 miles, 243 locks, 3 swing bridges and 8 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 3200.7 miles, 2772 locks, 121 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 133 tunnels

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Middlewich

We had a relatively easy journey to Middlewich today. Not too many boats on the move so we didn't encounter any lock queues until Wardle Lock at the junction with the Trent and Mersey where we were the fourth boat going down with about six waiting to come up.

We had to go past our mooring spot and down through Big Lock to wind so we were facing the right way for our trading set up and for our getaway after the festival. We found we were moored next to Dave and Gillie who we hadn't seen for nearly a year so that was good.

Our other neighbour hadn't arrived so that made it easy to breast Merlin up and get ourselves settled into our mooring spot and had a good natter and a cuppa.

There wasn't the same friendly greeting from organisers as we usually get at RCTA markets but one of the organisers had to drop out because of problems with his boat so that probably affected things.

Looking forward to a good weekend trading.

Today's journey 9.7 miles and 9 locks

This year we have travelled  247.5 miles, 238 locks, 3 swing bridges and 8 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 3198.6 miles, 2767 locks, 121 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 133 tunnels

Monday, 15 June 2015

Almost there

The weather has been really kind today, nice and warm without being too hot, very little wind and no rain.

We set off about nine o'clock with the intention of getting at least as far as Hack Green, in fact we got much further than that.

The locks at Audlem were relatively quite, virtually every one was against us but we still made good progress. We paused briefly by the Shroppie Fly for a quick dash to the Co-Op and then it was onward ever onward. At the bottom of Audlem flight we saw NB Dutiful Duck who is also on their way to Middlewich. When we got to Hack Green we decided the weather was so nice we would carry on until about five o'clock. There was still very little traffic and we managed to cruise past Nantwich and onto the Middlewich Branch, then it was just one more lock and moor for the night.

We are in a peaceful spot, a couple of other boats in sight, the very occaisional train and lots of hedgerow for the cats to investigate. All being well we should be moored up in Middlewich tomorrow night.


Today's journey 13.6 miles and 18 locks

This year we have travelled  237.8 miles, 229 locks, 3 swing bridges and 8 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 3188.9 miles, 2758 locks, 121 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 133 tunnels

Sunday, 14 June 2015

One of those days!

An early start this morning after a day off yesterday because of the weather. By the time we got to Woodeaves Cutting we were in a queue of three boats so I was expecting to be delayed going down Tyrley Locks however it started to rain and they both decided to take a break, the one boat already there was filling their water tank and there was a boat already heading down, so we were next. 

I gave an impromptu lesson in locking to the crew of a hire boat, and we were on our way. I shouldn't have been so pleased. At lock 2 we had the lock turned against us because the boat coming up had said they would reset it for a solo boater behind them. At the next lock the exiting boat closed the gate in our face because they didn't see us coming and at the next the crew thought the lock was filling slowly, they had left a paddle on the tail up slightly! Apart from that we had a good road, treated ourselves to ginger cake from the farm shop at the top of Adderley Locks and moored up in time to watch the football.

Today's  journey 11.4 miles and 10 locks

This year we have travelled  224.2 miles, 211 locks, 3 swing bridges and 8 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 3175.3 miles, 2740 locks, 121 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 133 tunnels

Friday, 12 June 2015

What a day!!!

Today has been a very long day, not without incident and some measure of frustration.

We intended to start early this morning but our cooling system had different ideas. Ray checked the filter  and cleaned it and we were on our way. In less than an hour the temperature was climbing so we pulled over and Ray had the delight of clearing the weed filter and the inlet pipe, we then had to
wait for the engine to cool before setting off again.

As we prepared to leave the boater moored behind us was also readying his boat so we told him to go first as we are slower that average because of towing Merlin. We soon realised we had met the alter ego of the Chaos Fairy (see 10th April). Let me introduce the Calamity Elf. Firstly one of his cats decided the bank was better than the boat, pause to catch the cat, then he tried to pull away without untying his rear rope, whilst untying it his dog decided to try and join him and fell in. Pause to retrieve dog!  By this time his boat was diagonally across the canal with the prow nearly touching the far bank. In the course of some hasty manoeuvres he contrived to nearly hit Morgana and run aground on the near side. Ray went to help him away from the bank. By this time I was wishing we had gone first.

We followed him to Wheaton Aston Lock, watching his progress from side to side of the canal, every time he turned his head to look at anything he turned the tiller also. We were far enough behind that we didn't see the full manoeuvre of his arrival at the lock but when we arrived the prow of his boat was virtually touching the lock gate, a little awkward as there was a boat in the lock wanting to exit it! A quick reverse run him aground on the far bank. His dog was running loose on the nearside bank. I decided that the most useful thing I could do was the make sure the dog didn't end up in the canal for a second time by trying to get back to his boat. 

The boater called to the boat exiting the lock to ask if he would try and pull him off the bank. The usual way of doing this is to throw a rope to the other boat and then tow the stuck boat off. for some bizarre reason he decide to try and jump from his boat across to the other boat. He ended up in the canal! The other boater had to cut his engine to make sure he caught neither the submerged boater or the rope with his prop. A very wet boater clambered out of the canal, threw the rope and his boat was freed from the bank. 

Ray and I assisted him down the lock before descending ourselves and passing him whilst he filled his water tank. We fuelled up at Turners and cruised for the rest of the day without incident, mooring at Shebdon aqueduct for the night.


Today's journey 19 miles, 1 lock and 1 tunnel

This year we have travelled  212.8 miles, 201 locks, 3 swing bridges and 8 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 3164.9 miles, 2730 locks, 121 swing bridges, 92 lift bridges and 133 tunnels