Thursday 31 March 2011

A long but lovely run into Chester

The 4 boats set off for Chester in very poor visibility at 9.00am, past the new, rather empty looking, Tattenhall Marina - it was perishing; glad I was walking and not stood still driving.
NB Enchantress in the mist
MR passing the dredger who moved over to let her through; he seemed quite good natured about the fact that there were another 3 to come (and 2 the otherway).
Probably the most magnificent bank of daffs I've ever seen.
The pretty Tarvin Lock
Victorian water tower
David (for once) not being silly
The approach to Hoole Lane lock

The first chicks I've seen this year; novelty never wears off.

Slipping in below the city walls

Then down the steep Northgate locks with MR and Critical Point before mooring in Telford basin.
We left NB Enchantress at lunchtime who, sensibly, decided to split the day in two

So I nipped back up to help Lesley lock Caxton down, encountering a rather unusual pair of gongoozlers as I re-set the locks on my way up.
A fair old day's walking and working, but my wussy dogs didn't make the whole day; they had to nip back on board for a bit of a rest - there was a point when I felt like joining them!

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Beeston and Peckforton Castles

Couldn't resist a good explore around Beeston and Peckforton Castles with the day brightening as it went

 The 're-constructed' keep at the entrance to the grounds of Beeston Castle.
A one and a half hour walk over rolling countryside (avoiding the worst of the squidged together contours) brought us to a very pretty and upmarket pub with stunning views, The Pheasant at Higher Burwardsley.

Floyd  decided to launch himself into a muddy pond just before we reached  a 3 foot style with no route under or around it (bear in mind that this is 5+ stone of labrador who jumped across the lock the otherday) and declared that there was no way he could jump over it. Lesley pushed from behind - her dog, so I insisted she had the wettest and mudiest end - and I pulled from the front and eventually we hauled him over.

There are a lot of toilet jokes floating (or not floating) around at the moment.
When we returned to the boats, NB Enchantress turned up, so the eight of us sat outside and gassed until a combination of hypothermia and malnutrition set in. Lesley has been cutting down on her drinking.

So that'll be a convoy of 4 of us heading down into Chester on Monday morning.

Sunday 27 March 2011

So what happened to my camera?

It's so bizarre that it's almost unbelievable-basically it's drowned; but not in the cut!
I carry both my phone and my camera in seperate cases on my trouser belt which, for three and a half years has worked well. Unfortunately, on this occasion, I hopped back onto the boat for a pee (even The Queen does it, I'm told), undid my belt as I went to sit, just as G hit a shoal whilst trying to pass some workboats. The boat lurched and tilted alarmingly and, as I reached out to stop myself going flying, the camera and case shot down the loo. Despite immediate attempts at resus with a hairdryer, it was a lost cause. Upset? Me? You bet. I suppose the only bright side is that I didn't have it long enough to form a deep and meaningful relationship.
Praying that my Euro (or should that be Eurine) Marine Insurance will cover me for a new one.
 The 4 'boys' look on as Linda re-paints the side of Critical Point; I'd hoped to walk back to Audlem to explore, but the towpath closure made that impossible.
 We did a quick reccy into the stunning Nantwich with a quick top up for provisions at Morrison
 Definitely need to spend a day here on the way back
 All of these pics on the SLR camera, but now reliant on my phone again when walking. We stayed the night at Barbridge and set off again yesterday in the murk.
The towpath is in reasonable condition and we made pretty good time through the double locks, although they were all against us AGAIN.    
 Lovely old staircase locks and stables at Bunbury

 I can't remember when we last had a lock in our favour.
Moored up behind Caxton around 1.00, by Wharton lock at Beeston Castle on Saturday. Staying put for Sunday.

Friday 25 March 2011

Audlem flight - boating as it should be

Set off at 9.00 with Critical Point on Wednesday - Linda walking with me, as she did on Tuesday (we'll have to get her a dog) and dropped down through the first 2 locks.
 Mighty big 'wabbits' round here!
 Everyone enjoys a bit of sun, but this guy is priceless...
 Great PR, I wonder what they pay him ...and on the other side
 When we reached the main body of the locks there was a bit of a jam - at the front of the queue was a single hander who had only been boating for 7 days, so I was despatched to lockwheel him down, in my absence everyone helped up and down the flight - this is as it should be, fabulous. It's nice to lockwheel for someone who 's grateful!, but all good things come to an end and I, eventually, had to come back and see MR down.
 Stopped between locks 11 and 12 for lunch, and a pint at the Shroppie Fly and for Linda to nip up for a bit of shopping before moving on to Coole Pilate
Shroppie Fly landlady taking a moment in the sun - we had an interesting conversation about the terrible treatment she experienced from her bank during last year's breach.
I hope you've enjoyed the photos from my new camera because you will see no more - it's now an ex camera

Thursday 24 March 2011

Off down the Adderley

Couldn't blog again as no signal, but we set off with Critical Point through the Adderley locks on Tuesday; rather belatedly due to extensive towpath nattering in the sunshine. One way or another I've done these a few times now, but it's the first time (in 3 years) that I've locked MR down.

 Itwassuch a gorgeous day that we unpacked the summer chairs and just lounged about (even more nattering) until suppertime.
 Did a bit of log splitting with idiot dogs trying to help
 and then just being generally silly - Muttley has no Floyd to play with so he's savaging his Dad instead
 Linda clearly has a strong opinion whilst David's heard it all before!
 A great day in great company