Saturday, 6 September 2014

The pursuit continued, but a sort of easy day!

We had a bit of a sleep in this morning.  Me until 0730, Ali just a little later......

So showered and ready for the off by 0945.  Today was tunnel day.  Two to tackle and whilst neither are long, they are both far from straight and are narrow.  Before we reached the first of the day, we passed Acton Bridge hire base.  Ali remembered that there was a farm shop here, so by dropping her off at the bridge prior to and then travelling VERY slowly to the next bridge, she was able to shop without me stopping! 
This peacock was on the opposite bank this morning, very well disguised despite its lovely colours

But.... This allowed our erstwhile pursuer from yesterday to catch up with us!  He never slows passing moored boats and ..... there are quite a few in this area, so for the rest of the day he remained on our tail, bless....

We are certainly now back on the shallow canals, so more rev's does not mean more speed.  After passing Acton, we were soon approaching Saltesford tunnel. Passage south is on the half hour and we timed to perfection, or so we thought!  We spotted a day boat ahead of us, the crew really enjoying themselves, but really slowly...  Luckily they waved us past and we were into this rather twisting tunnel, navigated this time at over tick over.  Exiting this, into the somewhat gloomy but dry day, we then approached Barnton tunnel.  The exited sounds alerted us to another day boat about to exit, so by hovering a short while and exchanging greetings to them as they exited, we were in and soon through this, yet another twisting tunnel.  By this time our pursuer was well behind us, but not for long!

By Anderton, we stopped for the services just passed the boat lift.  That familiar bow appeared behind us and stopped as we were completing.  Although we set off well before they completed, within a mile or so they were once again on our tails.

Northwich was soon passed.  Chemical works not our favourite scenery.  But we were soon back into the countryside on this twisting contour canal. The flashes are lovely, particularly Croxton, which heralds the approach to Middlewich.  Over the aqueduct we were into the pleasant town suburbs.  The first lock of the day hove into view, Middlewich Big lock.  This is a wide lock allowing two boats to enter.  As we approached a boat was entering the lock and so we slipped in beside it.

Once we ascended, we only then appreciated that the chap was single handed, allowing others to work the lock for him.  We assumed the lady assisting Ali was his partner, but no, she was from a boat waiting to descend.  So up one, we moored up and walked into town.  I had a much needed haircut and we did a short shop, then back to the boat.

We decided that by late afternoon the Middlewich locks would be quiet.  Well the three narrow ones were, but Wardle lock was very busy.  There had been a share boat promotion at Kingslock and there were five boats waiting to ascend Wardle lock onto the Middlewich arm upon our arrival.  We took our place and Ali assisted others up.  Our turn came and we were up and moored for the day.  We had lost our pursuer....

A walk back down to the Kings lock for a drink or two and a bite to eat completed the day.  We are both tired.  I think the first autumn chill and lack of sun makes one so, aided by a few drinks...

As we walked back to the boat the sun peeped out before descending over the horizon.  Better late than never, at least the forecast rain missed us!

Nice pad for sale with its own mooring

Miles 15
Locks 4
Tunnels 998 yds

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