Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Crossing the border

Again a later start and again only one boat had passed before we left.  We approached the first lock in the company of one of the CRT Lengthsman who we were chatting to as he walked along checking the bank.  He caught us up at Gindley Brook hours later!  Passing under Quoisley bridge we approached the first lock of the day.  Fairly uneventful along the next few locks with a few boats coming down, until Povey’s lock, a boat had just come out and as I approached a lady was closing the gates, I shouted to her (as she must had seen both me and John on Triskaideka) to which she said ‘ yes I know but there are two of us coming down’.  By which time I was at the lock so I explained that the lock was in out favour so we should come in and then they could use the lock as we exited, therefore not using any more water than necessary.  No explanation could help, she didn’t get it, she was convinced that I was wasting water by us coming up an empty lock before she went down, even though she would have had to fill it and then empty it again!  She was adamant that she should have filled and empty lock as there were two boats coming down, I asked her how she knew that there wasn’t a boat behind us, or even three.  Oh well, we were in and up and out and she still didn’t get it, hope they aren’t going far! 

We were soon at Grindley Brook, up the first three into the pound below the staircase, where I went to find the Lock keeper.  Two boats were ascending the flight so we made three, three up, three down, so he told me to come up as soon as the bottom lock was empty.  We made swift passage up, aided by a lady who was waiting to come down the locks.  We made use of the services at the top and continued towards Whitchurch.  After passing through the lift bridge we had considered stopping in the arm but seeing it looked fairly full we decided to press on.  The arm was full but none of the moorings along the main canal had any boats on them.

Grindley Locks

Grindley Staircase locks

Whitchurch Lift Bridge
It remained cloudy most of the day with an occasional glimpse of the sun but wasn’t cold at all.  We soon passed Platt Lane again the moorings were empty, from this point for ages we didn’t see another boat.  We passed the Press Branch and then along the long straight that crosses Wixhall Moss and nature reserve, also passing the post that has England on one side and Wales on the other.  We have moored outside Bettisfield for the night, where we have been watching the swallows dive into the canal, the buzzards circling hoping for a rabbit from the field at the side of us, and being very careful where we tread due to lots of little frogs on the towpath, which we think are coming from the pond in the field below where we are moored.  Its a lovely quiet spot just before Lynea Moss.  Another lovely sky as the sun set.

The first of the Welsh hills coming into view

Crossing the border

Sunset through the porthole
Doesn't look it but tiny frogs

Rabbits being very careful 

12.5 miles 9 locks & 5 lift bridges

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