Saturday, 10 September 2016

How long does it take to make a cup of coffee?

In case anyone has been wondering we are still alive, kicking and afloat - we have been in an internet desert since I last posted!!   I will catch up over a few days.

Saturday 3rd September 2016
Clive Green Moorings to Hurleston Junction

8.75 miles, 2 locks

Before we come to the matter of making coffee I must go through today which was wet beyond wet.  Fully togged in boots, gaiters, waterproof jackets and trousers, hats and hoods we were all ready to go.  Monty and I left about 10 minutes ahead of the boats.  There was a need for a walk as the first lock was a long way off.  We did not have that many miles to do and only two locks, but it seemed to take forever – probably because it was so wet.

On our walk we passed this block of old Canal Stables

Beautifully and very tastefully converted into a very attractive row of cottages – can they be called cottages when they are single storey buildings?

Beautifully and very tastefully converted into a very attractive row of cottages – can they be called cottages when they are single storey buildings?

The rain was incessant and not surprisingly the many picnic tables spotted en route were all abandoned for the day.

The Cleddau Captain had deployed the big brolly 

There were only the two locks today, but they were both very deep

We stopped at Barbridge Junction for the services and were able to watch interesting manoeuvres – the green boat came out of the junction with no sounding of the horn which meant the boat the other side of Cleddau had to ‘put the brakes on’ and wait until the turn had been made.

He was then left to follow the green boat

Across the cut from the services is the Jolly Tar Pub

However it is a little bleak and drafty

We moored up at Hurleston Junction with the rain still coming down.  It stopped, of course, shortly after we stopped, but there were further very heavy showers throughout the afternoon

Mooring was interesting due a cement ledge under the water that required some lateral thoughts and the need to ram two tires between the boat and the side to prevent us from banging into the ledge all night. I am glad to say it worked.

It really had been a miserable day and we saw more than one boat with its fire lit.

Monty had had to wear his coat all day much to his displeasure, however it kept him dry and a lot warmer than he would have been without it.

This was the view from our side hatch and we ended the day hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Sunday 4th September 2016
Hurleston Junction to Wrenbury
6 miles, 9 locks

Today dawned dry, but windy and not very warm and the first thing we had to do was negotiate the four locks at the start of the Llangollen Canal, however  we found we were back in Piccadilly Circus, Clapham, Spaghetti or Watford Junction again.  The first boats went past about 07:30.  Visitors were expected aboard the Cleddau craft, so we did not join the resulting queue until just after 10:00.  This is where the coffee comes in – just how long does it take to make a cup of coffee – well the kettle went on at 10am – watch this space for the answer to the question.

There were three boats ahead of us, two behind and more joined the queue whilst we waited.

That was just the northern side of the bridge – the queue was just as long for those travelling from the south.

There were boats coming down and many more going up. 

The three ahead of us were hire boats – two of whom only set out yesterday afternoon and were really struggling particularly with such a strong wind, hence the rope that took this boat all the way from bottom to top.

There were plenty of people on the locks, but progress was painfully slow, so I went on up to see if I could help ease everyone’s passage.

There were muddles a plenty – as this boat exited the lock he just sat in the jaws completely blocking the descending boat and in the meantime the next boat coming up had shut the top gate and emptied the lock leaving the boat on the left with nowhere to go.  Fortunately everyone was patient and it was all sorted out in due course.

We made it to the top eventually and that cup of much needed coffee some 2.25 hours after the kettle was boiled for the first time!

Things were no less chaotic at the top, but we were able to access the water point before heading off.  

Lunch was taken on the run, the weather was dry and got warmer necessitating three changes of coat, from thick, to a little thinner to lightweight and then down to T-shirt before the lightweight jacket went back on!

The Cleddau visitors were their daughter, son in law and granddaughter, known on the Cleddau blog (Boatwif) as the Cheshire Three.   

There was help with pushing gates  

And winding paddles – nothing like a bit of child labour.

It was definitely a case of many hands making light work of the locks

After the last lock of the day we pulled over and moored up for the third part of Sue’s birthday – more birthday cake complete with candles which had to be blown out after the traditional rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’.

Then it was time for the Cheshire Three to leave and start the four mile walk back to their car.  It was wonderful to see them all again.

We moved on another mile or so to moor up near Wrenbury where I am reliably informed there is a shop for papers and basic supplies tomorrow morning.

And finally tonight’s view from the side hatch.


Nev Wells said...

I remember the wind pinning us to the side of the lock landing at the Hurlestone lock going up..... took some effort to get free..... A nice bloggy update, safe travels Nev NB percy

Jennie said...

Yes it was very windy Nev which did not help at all! It made for interesting times!! Glad you enjoyed the update. Jennie