Wednesday, 16 July 2014

No Ice Cream for you

Saturday 12th July to Tuesday 15th July 2014

We completed the usual chores as we headed off - water, elsan and rubbish - and through the locks to complete the Audlem flight.
Outside the Shroppie Fly getting water.

our first lock for the day

Once through we only had a short cruise and we pulled into Overwater Marina to talk to them about mooring for 3 months whilst we head home.

As they say, you only have one chance to make a first impression and I have to say we well pleased with what we saw.

We managed to talk to Simon in the workshop about the work we want to get done - again we were well pleased with what he had to say.
It is always other things that go on around and things that you overhear which help to fill in gaps in the overall picture, and it was those that made the decision a bit easier.

The upshot is that we have booked for the 3 months that we will be away; paid the deposit and now we don't have to go on looking at that.

A coffee and something to eat in the cafe completed a bit more of the scene - the fact that it was a lovely sunny morning was sheer bliss.

After all of that we headed off again - this time just a further mile up the way to the mooring length between bridges 82 and 83 where the Shropshire Union Canal Society has very kindly provided seats and stands for BBQs.

The weather had been predicted to turn a bit windier, less sunny and a stronger chance of rain in the late afternoon/ early evening - that didn't deter "she" from the desire for a BBQ - as she would say - "it would be rude not to make use of what had been provided".

So the  BBQ came out, fuel and firelighting equipment - presto, it was alight - even in the wind - then it wasn't and finally it was again.
We are getting better at this.
a study in concentration

Without too much charring of the food we did settle down for dinner - the clouds were getting a wee bit darker but fortunately the rain held off until we had finished and everything was back inside.
It was fortuitous really with the rain - it managed to kill off the hot embers, thereby eliminating the need for us to do anymore about it until morning.

As expected, the play-off for 3rd and 4th in the World Cup went the way of Holland with Brazil giving another insipid performance.

On Sunday, after some moderate rain (it was neither light nor heavy), we set off under grey clouds, but with optimism about it getting better.
We only wanted to go as far as Nantwich for a couple of days.

Approaching Hack Green locks we saw the sign for the secret Nuclear Bunker, but decided that since we would be coming back this way soon it could wait until then, but more importantly there was a boat exiting from the lock.

It what can only be described as the perfect way to do 2 locks, we entered the lock where the gates had been left open; descended; gates opened; another boat coming up and out of the next lock; passed in the pound; entered the lock; dscended; gates opened with the help of the person on the boat ready to come up - through in just 10 minutes - why can't they all be like that.

Onward to Nantwich - just 3 miles away.

Our first experience of Nantwich was when we were on a hire boat; came across the embankment in a bad cross wind - a boat approaching wanted to hold in the middle of the canal, we reduced our speed as much as possible with the wind - still they wouldn't move over - result we hit a moored boat - not hard, but we hit it.
We were still too inexperienced to yell obscenities at the offending person.

Since that time, Diane has not held fond memories of cruising Nantwich and now as we approached with the cross wind there were revived memories.

Fortunately we avoided any repeat of our first time - we have learnt to take the line that we needed and the boats coming towards us were more polite in their course as well.
Nantwich aqueduct - from above...

... and from below (that woman is in the photo again)

We moored up at the top of the walkway ramp and made our way into town for a look around and ultimately lunch - it being Sunday.

It was a very lovely lunch at Wilbraham Bar & Grill - the service; the food; and the price.
Sunday lunch - very very nice indeed

It is amazing how the fresh air; the humm of the engine and the general feeling of the freedom you have on the canals, all conspire to make one feel really sleepy - that is what happened again in the afternoon as we sat to watch Stage 9 of le Tour - Diane was only kept awake by the race and my snoring.

Feeling a refreshed after that brief interlude we saw the end of the race, read for a while and then readied ourselves for the WC Final.
Diane found a pattern and created this

Diane suggested that we go out for a walk up to the chandlery to see about a couple of things - all the time promising that we could get an ice-cream when we got there.
The weather had turned again since the morning and it was a glorious sunny day - perfect ice-cream weather, and I was looking forward to one.
obligatory photo with the horse

Somewhere down there is a shop with an ice-cream with my
name it - pity it was closed

I now understand how she strung the kids along all these years with promises - wegot there - the chandlery was closed and so was the bl___y cafe.
No ice cream - I had been dudded!

No chance of falling asleep watching this game - it held your attention as the expectation of a goal at any time remained a probability.
Eventually the goal came and Germany won it's 4th final - well done!
As Australians, we do not have the prevailing view of Germany or Argentina in sporting terms or any other way you may want to look at it - it was a good match -perhaps not a great match - we simply enjoyed the contest!
Sunset on a near perfect day

Back to work for Monday and after getting a lot of that done we headed off.

We were starting to see a lot more boat movement - after all this is a busy canal with so many people doing the ring; the weather was good and it wasn't school holidays just yet (at least I think not yet!)

We neared Hurleston Junction and there were boats in both directions waiting -apparently a boat had got stuck in one of the locks causing a queue of boats down below - I  guess there would have been a queue above the locks as well.

We stopped at Barbridge to take on water - after a short wait for the boat that was just about done we moved across.
spotted this just up from Hurleston junction

Well just as we were ready to leave a couple of boats were coming up so we decided to allow them to go through.
The first wanted to wind at the junction, the second held back; then there were two more boats coming along; the first had winded and moved back to allow the second to turn the corner - the delay in this meant that by now a boat was coming under the bridge from the Middlewich branch and wanted to turn left to head south.
There were 6 boats there all trying to squeeze through the narrowed space by the water point - where we just wanted to get away from.

Eventually, and with no problems at all the first three boats - virtually all in the junction cleared away - we weren't waiting for any other boats to come through and truth be known it was better that we moved next anyway. Around the turn we went and all was fine.

So some slow cruising past all of the boats - no need to go quickly as we all knew that come Cholmondeston Lock would be slow with boats in numbers all heading that way.
Correct we were indeedly.

There were three boats ahead to go down and boats down below wanting to come up - so a bit of a wait; sunny day by now - who really cares - and all good spirits.

We moored up just past the marina on the straight just there - far enough away from the railway line.

It was a lovely spot and allowed us to empty out the decks below in the engine bay - the time had come to start preparing the area for painting - also a chance to sort out what was still wanted and what would be leaving us for good.

The area has been treated with Fertan and places found to store everything - all is right with the world.

Oh and I did eventually get my ice-cream
Sums it all up in our boat

12 Miles, 7 Locks

Totals: 2656 Miles, 2030 Locks, 91 Tunnels, 32 Lift Bridges, 151 Swing Bridges

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