Friday, September 23, 2011

Home Turf

First off, thanks to everyone who sponsored me for the Great North Run. Total raised is around £400, so not bad at all.
I’m back in training again, a 10k in Sheffield on the 9th October is the next one. And, as I was a little disappointed with my time last weekend, I’ve entered another ½ marathon at the end of October. I’ve been through my race strategy and I think I know where I went wrong. You’d think I’d know better by now, but I got caught up in the “buzz” at the start and set off too fast. By mile 9 I’d started to run out of steam, so my pace dropped dramatically.

We’re now on the road south, intending to be on the Soar early in November. We’re having a family bean-feast on November 5th. Having missed Dad’s birthday celebrations while we were up on the Lancaster, we’ve no intention of missing this one!

We’d been hanging around Anderton this week, waiting for a repaired alternator to come back. I’ve not been idle though. I’ve knocked up a couple of rolling under-bed storage boxes. The alternator arrived yesterday afternoon (Thanks, Dave at Uplands) so this morning we pulled back onto the services to do the necessary, then set off around 09:45.

 Leaving Anderton services.

This is very familiar territory to us. Just over 5 years ago, on August 9th our “shakedown cruise” took us to Preston Brook and back. Seyella looked a little different back then, mainly due to the lack of stuff on the roof!

Moored in Marbury Wood, August 9th 2006.

The canal swings wide around Northwich, not approaching closer than a mile of the centre. At Wincham Wharf there was the usual crowd of boats. With Colliery Narrowboats, Olympus Narrowboats, M&I Marine and Harrel Brokerage all sited here, it’s hardly surprising.

Wincham Wharf

The boat hoist at Harrel’s had just dropped a boat in as we passed.

Getting the new blacking wet for the first time.

A little further on we passed Orchard Marina, Seyella’s spiritual if not actual home.

Orchard Marina.

Changes have taken place here since 2006. It’s now owned by Liverpool Boats.

The southerly of the two large flashes near Watcroft was surprisingly empty of boats. The only one was NB Wild Horses.

NB Wild Horses in splendid isolation.

It’s a lovely, quiet spot, this. There is a goods line running nearby, but it’s infrequently used. And depending on the wind direction aircraft heading for Manchester Airport may pass overhead. But for all that it’s a favourite spot.

Nothing like a good stretch….

Pushing on we passed the fine Watcroft Lodges at Bridge 179, then swung south easterly, following the Dane valley.

There are some delightful wooded sections along here, above the river.

Above the River Dane.

Still life death

We pulled in between Croxton Flash and Croxton Aqueduct, about a mile from Middlewich. It’s been a fine day, cool at first but warm and sunny later. There’s been quite a bit of traffic out on the water as well. Tomorrow we’ll push through Middlewich, hopefully avoiding the hire boats on change-over day, and moor on the other side.
From this point on we’ve 58 locks in 51 miles to take us to Fradley, where we want to be for the Sheffield weekend. But keep it quiet; I’ve not told Mags yet!

Locks 0, miles 8¼

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