Sunday, May 31, 2009

Market Drayton to Gnosall

Miles 13.4 Locks 5
We spent yesterday in Market Drayton and went shopping, I was dissapointed that the market was not on so we were back quite early and spent the afternoon finishing the touch-up to the roof painting and chatting to other boaters.Shortly after setting off this morning we were at the Tyrley locks and to our good fortune two gentlemen were helping boats up and down the locks. Aparently they do it for pleasure and were on the Wolverhampton 21 yesterday.
The famous wharf at Knighton at the Northern end of the Shebdon Embankment

At the Southern end the line of moored boats on the off side streaches for almost two miles. A long way on "tickover"
High Bridge is a sign that Norbury is not far off
At Norbury junction we stopped for water and other essentials . Before Tea we went for a walk round what is properly known as Gnosall Heath. Tomorrow should see us on the Staffs and Worcester canal somewhere south of Wolverhampton.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hurleston to Market Drayton

Miles 14 Locks 20 days 2
A Two day report today, I was too lazy last night to get the computer out. The plan was to stay in Nantwich but we had done all we wanted by lunchtime so we decided to head for Audlum and stay there overnight above the first 4 locks.
Canalside sculpture outside Nantwich Basin

The road into Nantwich from the aqueduct.

Its not very often that you get to moor outside the Shroppie Fly!.

6.50 am this morning just before we set off.
We arrived in Market Drayton at 11.30 and we have had a "Make and Mend" afternoon. I have been toutching up the paintwork on the roof whilst the weather stays fine and M did some washing. We will go into the town tomorrow for the market and a visit to the supermarket. Thanks once again to the Bus Pass.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Church Minshull to Hurleston Junction

Miles 6.3 Locks 2
A short day today so I thought I would treat you to some pictures

Looking back from the top of Hurleston locks over the Cheshire plain, Mow Cop in the background.

One reason the day was so short on travel time, we visited a friend in the new Aqueduct Marina

Looking down Hurleston Locks

This little chap did not mind us watching him have his supper last night.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wheelock to Church Minshal

Miles 11 Locks 7
A very breezy day today. We left Wheelock with the wind on the bows which made the last 5 locks into Middlewich hard work especially the two alongside the salt works. The office blocks and other buildings on the approach to Rumps lock are being demolished. We stopped in Middlewich after a swift passage of the Wardle canal reputed to be the shortest canal in England, one bridge, one lock and about 50 yards of canal.
See for yourselves.

After Stanthorne lock on the Middlewich Branch of the S.U. the canal turns south and at last the wind was from behind. Moored up at 4.30 on the Church Minshal moorings by bridge 14.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Congleton to Wheelock

Miles 13.3 Locks 27 Congleton to Wheelock.

This is our mooring spot last night. We passed Louis D’Or at Ramsdel Hall on our way to Hall Green stop lock at the junction of the Macclesfield Canal and the Trent & Mersey Canal. We were then on our descent of Heartbreak Hill. The locks down to Maklin Bank were all with us but there our delays started .A Middlewich Narrowboats hire craft had unseated his rudder and was being towed back to base. The boat had to be bowhauled both in and out of the lock and his tug had to work through too. There was a queue of at least three boats at each lock for the last eight into Wheelock. To cap it all the lovely sunny day we set out in turned to be one with light rain – at least it was warm!.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

First Blog of the 2009 Cruise

Miles 18.8 Locks 12. Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May 2009

Two days in one as we only travelled four and a half miles to Whiteley Green on Saturday. All the locks and most of the miles have been done today in blazing sunshine. There was an informal gathering at Whitely Green over the weekend and we had decided to use it as the springboard for our trip to Gloucester and Sharpness. The evening BBQ was great as was the chat in the marquee later. We set off at about 9.30 this morning and made our way through Macclesfield to Bosley Locks, where we took on water and did a pump-out. Just before the Astra Zeneca site at Macclesfield we spotted a Vixen and her cub in a nearby field.

Spot the Cub!

After Macclesfield the repairs to the retaining wall are coming on - over a year after the original collapse

The trip down Bosley locks was one of the fastest we have done, after the first two which we did all by ourselves the remaining 10 locks were easy with an ascending boat coming out of each lock below as we got to it. I had intended to stop at the bottom of Bosley Locks this evening but our swift passage down the locks meant that we were there by 3.30 pm so we went on to the Aqueduct just before Congleton where there are some good deep moorings and some pleasant views too.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dongle Check

I have just reactivated the network 3 broadband dongle in advance of next Saturday's departure. I thought that I had better check it all out B4 we set off. Seems to be working fine, will make my next update when we get to Whiteley Green next week. Untill then there is the boat to load up with clothes, food and my cameras etc. Once it is all on the water levels better be normal or we will be scraping the bottom to Bosley top lock.

Monday, May 11, 2009

2009 Cruising Blog Starts

The Blog has been resurrected from its winter slumber and in a fortnights time we will be on our Summer Cruise. We have started to get the boat ready by taking all the bedding and towels etc that we will need for about 6 weeks to the boat yesterday.
We have been out on the boat since the last blog entry in August 2008 all with the NCCC on club organised cruises. The first under the new Commodore John Suggitt was to the Services and Social club at Marple, better known as "The Legion" on Boxing day 2008.The next outing was to Bridge 20 on the Macclesfield Canal on 22nd of March the day after our 46th wedding anniversary (yes I did remember it). This was the NCCC opening cruise of the season.
At Easter we cruised South on the Macc staying at Macclesfield on Good Friday night and had my first game ever of indoor bowls using full size bowls. Saturday saw is cruising to Fools Nook and taking a bus trip to Leek (aren't Senior bus passes wonderful) followed by an evening in the pub ( wanted to call it the Royal Oak but it seems that the sign outside is now calling it The Fools Nook). On Sunday a short trip to Gurnet Aqueduct for the Easter Bonnet,Hat,Tie and decorated egg competition.
My Hat won the men's hat section much to my surprise. I thought the guy with the chicken hat should have won. Anyway Marilyn enjoyed the Chocolate egg that was the prize. Unfortunately there were no Photographs of the winning hat (thank goodness).Easter Monday was the return to High Lane. Water levels were low throughout the weekend making mooring close to the bank difficult, partucularly in Macclesfield.
Mayday Bank holiday took us to Bugsworth Basin, the water levels on the Macc and Upper Peak Forest Canals was about 4 inches lower than normal and it took us about 10 minutes to get the boat afloat at our moorings and after that a slow trip to Bugsworth. I understand that it is BW policy to lower the canal levels before a bank holiday to avoid any call outs if there is any un-forcast heavy rain, this seems madness as it is the time when the levels should be maintained to let the increased traffic pass one another without going aground. I wonder if it is the same on all canals or is it just the Macc, which is a shallow canal anyway.

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