Tuesday, December 22, 2009

That’s it then.

No more cruising for us till after Christmas. We’re here moored up in Uplands Basin Marina, after an interesting couple of days.

The very low overnight temperatures leaves the canal frozen each morning, and as the days are not getting much above zero, the ice thickness steadily increases unless broken up by passing boats. This then leaves it’s own problems. The plates of ice displaced by the boats freeze into the surface overnight, leaving very thick patches.

Moored near Marbury
Budworth MereIn Marbury Country Park

We’ve had a few showers of snow, but nothing like as much as has hit the north west. It looks like pure misery on the roads up there.

We moved back up to Anderton yesterday, and I had a walk down to Uplands Marina today to have a word with the manager, Dave. He’d got us a berth all arranged, but recommended that we come in this afternoon rather than tomorrow morning. Today has been a bit warmer, and the ice in the basin looked to have thawed a little.

So we cruised the ½ mile this afternoon, but it took 1½ hours to get there!

Going in straight lines was fine, but the sharp right hand turn into the marina took some time, steadily chopping the ice up to make the turn. Then once in the basin we had a 270° ¾ circle to describe to line up with the berth we’d been allocated. Not exactly a 3 point turn, more like 33!

Our slot is at the end of number 1 pontoon, which involved negotiating the narrow gap between 2 rows of boats, then smashing up the ice at the end to get close to the pontoon. It was well over an inch thick in places, and took 3 of us 20 minutes to clear it out of the way. Thanks Dave and our neighbour, Richard.

Finally moored....But this is some of the ice we had to move to get there!

So we’re here now for the next week. I hope we have a thaw by the middle of next week. It was hard enough getting in here going forward, it’ll be nigh on impossible pushing through the ice in reverse.
Enterprise are delivering a car for me tomorrow, and we’ll be heading off to see family over the next few days, weather permitting.
Unless there’s anything particular to say, I’ll probably not bother posting till we get on the move again. I don’t know where we’ll be heading though. We had a tentative plan to go south to Shardlow, to visit Carol and Sonja before heading north again towards Liverpool for March. But BW are closing the farm bridge for repair near Stenson from January 4th for 10 weeks. This is the bridge that was badly damaged by a tractor and trailer in October last year. So that puts paid to that. We’ll think of something, though.

Locks 0, miles 8

Oh, and a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all our readers......

Seasons Greetings2010 Hat

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