Monday, 11 August 2014

We have Wind!

After our sojourn in Christleton, it was time to move on.  I am going to stop looking at weather forecasts.  Today they said heavy showers in the afternoon, so as we were up early, we decided to get off at 0800, thereby giving us time to cover some ground, then stop if the heavens opened.

Well we had no rain, at all.  So we cruised until 1700!

We headed first for the winding hole, winded (turned around) and back tracked.  It was quiet, boat wise and we were soon through the leafy commuter village of Waverton and into the open countryside.  Not for long though!  A few miles on and we were approaching once again the equivalent of a linear boat park that is the Golden Nook moorings.  Literally miles of  linear moorings.  It is just so boring passing these at just over tick over, so we didn't!   That is not quite true, as by this time the wind had got up and we were crabbing down the canal. I had to put on more power to avoid being blown into the moored boats. Only fast enough to avoid this though, and not enough to create a wash.  No complaints as I am told is common here, but the locals seem not to slow for moored boats!

but ...  a lovely hanging basket display

By the time we were passing Tattenhall Marina, the wind had certainly increased, we had waves!  O.K, they were only an inch high, but waves anyway.  The moorings by the Shady Oak P.H. were empty and we arrived at the first lock of the day in a virtual gale force wind.  It is quite open here apart from Beeston Castle on it's rocky knoll.  We ascended with ease and then began the series which culminates with the Bunbury staircase.  Quite an easy and uneventful ascent of all these locks, apart from the wind buffeting us.

Once up the staircase, a mile or so until we reached the services.  After hardly seeing a boat moving, there were three at the services, so I had to hover waiting for a place. Not easy in the wind!  Soon in though and was told that one of the boats had been in situ for a good time, whilst they used the showers and had lunch!

Anyway, job done and off once again.  The sun still shone, as no rain cloud was able to release it's load due to the wind speed...  It was really pleasant in the sunshine, but chilly in the shade. We were glad to loose the company of the Nantwich road and arrived at Barbridge junction were we did a left and were once again on the Middlewich arm.

Peckforton Castle in the distance

The boats were now coming thick and fast, but all in the opposite direction to us!  Arriving at Cholmondeston lock, we went straight in as one exited. There were several waiting to ascend below, with more arriving by the minute.  People said they had waited at every lock on this branch for some considerable time.  So glad we were going the opposite way to the convoys.  Exiting the lock we stopped at Venetian Marine and topped up with fuel, then off to the final lock of the day , Minshull lock.  Arriving here was somewhat perplexing.  Boats moored right up to the lock, including on the landing!  And I mean moored.  I was sorely tempted to Brest up to them, but Ali managed to get off the boat and we were soon in.  Yet again a queue below the lock and yes more coming on the horizon!  I guess we are on the four counties ring circuit.

So, time marching on, it was time to moor, preferably in a sheltered spot.  Luckily, the "Shroppie" moorings just before bridge 14 at Church Minshull, had space, so we were in.  I think our longest day for some time and the new knee behaved itself.

Twas Windy though.

(must be a deer park)

Magpie nest?  But we did see kestrels around it? any thoughts?

Miles 18
Locks 7 ( including a staircase)

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