Monday, April 06, 2009

A walk around Chester, and a quick trip up the locks.

We stayed on the bank yesterday, a few chores to do including washing of the left side of the boat, cleaning the windows, and getting a haircut and beard trim courtesy of my versatile wife.

So it was in a bright sunny morning that we set off back towards Chester. By 11:30 we were moored near Tower Wharf, above the branch that takes the canal down to the Dee.

Dee Branch
The locks here, after being derelict for some time, have been replaced, and access to the Dee re-instated. But arrangements have to be made through British waterways, and 48 hours notice is required.
Once on the river, it is tidal upstream for 1¼ miles to the weir, which can be passed at certain tide levels. Then it’s navigable for a further 10 miles. Downstream takes you out onto the Dee estuary past Connah’s Quay, and into Liverpool Bay. Turn left for Ireland. Certainly not narrowboat country!

We had an enjoyable walk around the city centre, and spent half an hour watching the antics of a street conjuror while waiting for Meg’s new identity tag to be engraved. Well, it was a “while you wait” service, so we had to wait!

Chester Cathedral
Ad Hoc entertainment.

We joined Nick on NB Gloriana on the trip up Northgate Locks, assisted in gate pushing by a gaggle of young gongoozlers, and did a shuffle with a hire boat coming down in the middle lock. Another wanting to come down decided it was a little too complicated, and elected to wait until we were out of the top lock.

In Northgate Staircase Locks
We pressed on to Hoole Lane Lock getting in and waiting for Nick to catch up after a flying visit to Tesco. Got chatting to a couple of lads on the lockside, who then helped us up the lock. We left them there to help the next boat down. See, they’re not all up to mischief…

Me, Chris and Josh at Hoole Lane Lock.
We shared the rest of the locks to Christleton with Gloriana, and moored on the same stretch of towpath when we arrived. We were lucky with the locks. All were with us and at all but one there were boats waiting to come down. Some hireboats, but most heading for Ellesmere Port and the boat gathering over the Easter weekend.

Busy at Tarvin Road Lock

We pulled up at Christleton at around 17:00, having had a good run from Chester. The day started fine and bright, but ended wet. So did I, come to think of it!

Moored at Christleton

Locks 8, miles 6½


BigJohn said...

So sorry not to have seen you. We were in, but were probably relaxing. There were too many boats passing to jump up and see who was going by each time.
For some reason your feed was wrong on my computer, so we hadn't twigged where you were.
Better luck next time....

Now we'll have to try to be original when we write in our blog about Chester to Ellesmere port ;-)

Geoff and Mags said...

My fault as well. I usually keep a close eye on the bloggers that are local to us, but missed you. Sorry! There're just so many of us out there, aren't there.

I'm sure you'll have plenty to write about, judging by the amount and variety of boats heading your way!