Tuesday, March 23, 2010

There and (almost) back again

Time for a move today. Essential supplies (bread, milk, whisky) getting low, as was the water tank. The loo tanks were going in the opposite direction.

Ducks visiting for breakfastWe’ve had some changeable weather the last few days, some heavy rain and some fine spells. With it being unsettled I’ve not been able to make much progress on the door liners, but here’s the design I’m aiming for….

Door liners design
We had a boat draw up behind us for one day, Dave and Carole on NB Freedom. A pleasant couple, they’ve been afloat for around 2½ years. Library and phone numbers were swapped.

They moved on, up towards Manchester, yesterday.

Carole and Dave
Today dawned a bit grey and blowey but dry. We got away at 10:15, timed to arrive at Preston Brook Tunnel to catch the 11:00 entry window.

Through Dutton Stop Lock
Preston Brook Tunnel and NB Empire

A stop before Preston Brook Bridge for an hour for Meg and I to toddle off up to the Spar shop sorted out the food supplies, then a left turn took us to the services on the Runcorn Arm to deal with the domestic situation.

Under the M56 bridge.

We didn’t time it quite as well on the way back to the tunnel, and had a 30 minute wait before we could go in. I took the opportunity to have my daily dose of “Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training” on Mags’ DS Lite. I’ve got a “brain age” of 36, according to the good doctor….. I just wish the rest of me matched!

Another boat had arrived while we were waiting, and they went in first, taking it very gently through the tunnel. We caught them up at the stop lock, and I went for a chat. Turns out that they bought the boat new, on the Bridgewater, last October, but this is the first foray onto BW waters. And Dutton Stop Lock was the first lock. With a rise of just 3” at least they had an easy start. To be fair they had hired before, so knew what they were about.

It started to rain while we were in the lock, so we pulled over not much further on, at the edge of Longacre Wood.

There’s been a couple of interesting local stories in the papers this week. The Shropshire Star has a short article on the proposed extension of the Whitchurch Arm off the Llangollen Canal. If this scheme came to fruition to town would benefit from the increase in (boaty) trade, much as Ellesmere does at present.

And an enterprising manufacturer in the Black Country has commissioned the build of a “freight narrow boat” to transport goods to the Olympic Games site. Based alongside the Staffs and Worcester, Hoppe (UK) will have to use the Staffs and Worcester, BCN, Worcester and Birmingham, Birmingham and Fazeley and Grand Union canals to get to Limehouse. Around 170 miles and 200 locks. Not wanting to pour cold water on the enterprise, but I hope the customers won’t be in any hurry for the goods…

Locks 2 (same one twice), miles 6

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