Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Weaver Navigation & Chester (Tuesday 15/8/2017) - Barbridge to Nantwich Basin

Engine hours start: 332.7 end: 333.9= 1 hour

Miles:3.5 Locks:0  Lock miles 3.5

Beautiful sunny and breezy morning - easy cruise back to base.

Unpacked the boat and shifted some gear back from the car.

Headed home after a great holiday marred only by both having colds and Andrew getting a touch of conjunctivitis! 

Had some interesting discussions during the trip about features we want or don't want when we eventually buy a bigger boat for when we retire and can spend more time cruising. Will add to the list as we start looking at boats on offer at local brokerages...

Monday, 14 August 2017

Weaver Navigation & Chester (Monday 14/8/2017) - Chester (near Bridge 123c) to Barbridge

Engine hours start: 323.5 end: 332.7= 9 hours

Miles:15.5 Locks:10  Lock miles 25.5

Weather forecast to be very wet all day so we girded our loins with Goretex and got going: the rain stopped pretty much as soon as we popped onto the deck and stayed away all day!

The first few locks were set in our favour - we were the first boat moving since the restaurant boat the previous evening we think.

Approaching Wharton's Lock, we met our second boat of the holiday who were nervously contemplating their very first ever lock. As the lock on this stretch are all doubles, we teamed up with Dinky (Gordon and Mia) to give some help and tips. They were very grateful and feeling more confident by the time we got to Calveley where we paused to use the services. They were carrying on to Barbridge Inn.

Having weighed up whether we would push on all the way back to Nantwich, we opted to spend the final evening with a meal at the Barbridge. We moored behind Dinky right outside the pub. Top mooring!
American Board just about defeated Andrew!

Terrific meal and a nice chat with Gordon and Mia. Will no doubt see them again at some point on the cut!

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Weaver Navigation & Chester (Sunday 13/8/2017) - Chester (near Bridge 123c)

Engine hours start: 322.5 end: 323.5 = 1 hours

Miles:0 Locks:0  Lock miles 0

No travel today but ran the engine for a while for some hot water.

Andrew went to Waitrose when it opened to get pastries for breakfast.

Later spent some time scraping old paint and rust and applying Fertan.

Alison went to evensong at Chester Cathedral - most enjoyable.

Evening meal was a chinese takeaway from the Slowboat. Not bad...

Fairly early night ready for a full day's locks and cruising tomorrow as we head back towards Nantwich.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Weaver Navigation & Chester (Saturday 12/8/2017) - Cheshire Cat, Christleton to Chester

Engine hours start: 320.5 end: 322.5= 2 hours

Miles:2.25 Locks:5  Lock miles 7.25

Moved from Cheshire Cat down to the upper part of the city by Bridge 123c - good spot we hope, not too close to tipping-out pub.
Nice mooring near Old Harkers Arms

Very pleasant lunchtime pint or two at the Old Harkers Arms. Excellent range of ales available. Part of the same group as the Badger at Church Minshull, the Dysart Arms in Bunbury and even the Pen Y Bryn near us above Colwyn Bay!

A colleague of Alison's dropped by in the evening to see the boat and take us to his favourite pub (Oddfellows Arms on Frodsham Street). Not a great hit with us unfortunately with no ales on offer and the worst pint of Guiness Andrew had ever tasted... Soon slipped away and returned to the Old Harkers Arms for another pint to take the taste away...

Friday, 11 August 2017

Weaver Navigation & Chester (Friday 11/8/2017) - Cheshire Cat, Christleton and trip to Chester & Winsford

Engine hours start: 320.5 end: 320.5 = 0 hours

Miles:0 Locks:0  Lock miles 0

Stayed at Cheshire Cat moorings. Lazy start including egg & bacon sarnies again! Walked into town via Chester rail station to collect our pre-booked tickets for the trip to Winsford.

Had a little mooch in town before returning to the station to get the train. The train from Chester to Crewe was fine but the connection was showed as "Delayed" and seemed to be getting later every time we looked at the board. With little spare time in the itinerary, we started considering alternatives. Andrew was reminded of the Michael Palin round-the-world programmes where they had to change their plans to cope with various crises!

Found that there was a direct bus from Crewe to Winford which actually stopped right outside the venue (rather than having to yomp across town) so that worked out well in the end. Arrived at Winsford Shopping Centre with about 10 minutes to spare. Just time to find the venue and a glass of wine before the show started!

The show itself was great - quite surreal / arty and well performed. Fascinating to see such well-known actors putting so much effort into a performance for about 40 people! Show was only about an hour then out to walk back to station.

Train back to Crewe was also delayed so we missed the first available connection back to Chester. Still managed to get an earlier connection than originally planned to go back to Chester about 23:45. No chippies open to tempt us but a pleasant canalside walk back to the boat - not as dark as feared.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Weaver Navigation & Chester (Thursday 10/8/2017) - Church Minshull to Cheshire Cat, Christleton

Engine hours start: 312.2 end: 320.5 = 8.3 hours

Miles:16 Locks:4  Lock miles 20

Fitful sun and cool breeze to start, hoping to have some fair weather at last. Have run out of socks for one thing!

Straight up Cholmondeston Lock - first time ever no queue - 6 boats waiting in the other direction though! Bought two extra mooring pins at Venetian Marina chandlery while passing.

Easy through Barbridge Junction and used services at Calveley. Increasingly sunny come lunchtime. Teamed up with Grumpy Git (who wasn't really) at Bunbury until Beeston Iron Lock.

Managed a text-book Bunbury Shuffle with Alison driving the boat and accomplishing a flawless wiggle! Andrew was in charge of the operation as neither of the other two boats involved had done it before so just asked to be told what to do!

Did some laundry on the move. Didn't dry very quickly as still a fairly cool breeze. But weather improved to become a nice afternoon as we went past Shady Oak and then onwards to moor outside the Cheshire Cat at Christleton about 16:30.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Weaver Navigation & Chester (Wednesday 9/8/2017) - Trent and Mersey Canel (Between Bridges 181 - 180a) to Church Minshull

Engine hours start: 306.8 end: 312.2 = 5.4 hours

Miles:10 Locks:5  Lock miles 15

Lovely quiet mooring - the adjacent railway line barely used. Heavy rain overnight clearing to sunny periods and warmer temperatures.

No major delay at Middlewich Locks: paused to see if Kings Lock Chandlery had some mooring pins with rings - no luck (will try Venetian later).

Encountered a boater who was was trying their first lock ever - at Big Lock of all places - despite having their boat for 3 years. Gave them some help and tuition; guess we all have to start somewhere!

Paused near Bridge 28 on the Middlewich Arm for shopping run to Tesco. Lunch back at boat then on our way again.

Another overheat and 2 litres of water added. Need to find out where it is going! There is a small dribble round the jubilee clips but they seem pretty tight....

Arrived 16:00 at our favourite moorings overlooking Church Minshull.

Alison finally got to visit the Badger in Church Minshull - Andrew had been once but a later joint visit got rained off... Fine pints of Badgers Best and Off the Rails (switching to Titanic when Off the Rails ran out...).

While enjoying our pints we noticed a lady at a nearby table addressing large envelopes and wondered what she was up to. Looked similar to when Alison sends out sheet music for various choral events.

Anyway, she is then approached by a gentleman asking her, in a Scottish accent, whether she wanted a drink. Turned out to be Sylvester McCoy (who we had narrowly missed seeing at the Red Lion, Winsford)!

Then a few minutes later, another chap arrived and we realised that it was Robert Picardo (Star Trek Voyager & Stargate Atlantis among others!). Andrew remembered reading on Twitter that he was doing some sort of show with Sylvester McCoy but had not realised that it was here and now.

They then sat down with the third person in the show (Richard Oliver) to run through a script!

Some quick Googling revealed that they were taking a show to Edinburgh Festival and about to do two preview nights at the weekend in a small community theatre venue in Winsford of all places!

So as we sat listening we researched public transport to see if we could get from Chester where we plan to be at the weekend to Winsford. Booked train tickets Chester to Winsford via Crewe and two tickets for the show. Got to love the internet and Paypal!

After their run through Andrew was brave enough to ask for a photo of the Two Doctors!

Totally random and surreal experience!!!!