Saturday, March 07, 2009

Stocked up, and a short cruise to Hurleston.

I made several trips up into Nantwich over the last couple of days. So the cupboards are now well filled and I managed to get a replacement axe from Focus.
I also had some good walks around the area, but the footpath signs are a bit patchy in places. That’s when the old GPS comes in handy!

Acton is a pleasant little village on a crossroads just to the NW of Nantwich. It has an impressive church, which dates back to the 13c. Unfortunately The Star next door has succumbed to the downturn in trade, and is boarded up.

St Mary’s, Acton.

There’s a “Sculpture Trail” along Nantwich embankment, anchored at one end by this horse.
Convergence of boat names at Nantwich Basin.

We got away around 13:00 today. We would have been a bit sooner, but I got chatting with the bloke on the boat behind, and then we had a short shower to wait out. No point in getting wet if you don’t have to.

A stop at the services next to the basin ensured that the water tank was full and the bin and loo tanks empty, then we had a slow cruise to Hurleston.

Nantwich Basin
This is the original terminus of the Chester Canal, built to carry freight (mainly salt) from Nantwich to the River Dee at Chester.

There are stop gates either end of the embankment to be used in the event of a breach. I hope they’re in better condition than they look.
The southern one is even worse!

We haven’t seen any more rain this afternoon, but the wind has increased in strength, to the point where navigation would be tricky. In a crosswind the boat becomes a 30m² sail. After we moored a hire boat from Anderton had trouble lining up for the bridge at the junction. They had to fend off with the long pole, then drifted sideways into the 2 boats moored ahead of us. They’d got their act together by the time they got to us, so we were spared any intimacy.

Moored just south of Hurleston Junction
The Llangollen canal heads off from the main line just 100 yards up the canal. Or it would do if Hurleston Locks were not closed for maintenance till the 13th. This is part of the BW winter stoppage programme.

No Entry to Hurleston Locks.
There’s just the bottom lock to finish, now. It’s dewatered for repairs to the top cill.

Hurleston Lock 4

It’s unusual to be able to see the cill at the bottom, and the paddle below the winding gear that is lifted to fill the chamber.

Hurleston Locks from the top. The 4 locks lift the canal just over 34’
We’ll be here tomorrow, it’s supposed to stay windy and showery.

Remember Paul Miles, who we met on the Staffs and Worcester in February? He'd hired a narrowboat for 7 weeks, as a taster for living aboard, and was writing an article about his experience. Well, it was published today in the House and Home supplement of FT. Have a look, it's interesting.

Locks 0, miles 2¼

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