Sunday, February 19, 2012

The North Wind doth blow….

...And we shall have snow.

Snowy Ellesmere.SAM_0003 Snowy EllesmereIt's our first dollop of snow for sometime, in fact we have not seen any since November. It wasn't much, maybe an inch or so.

Meg always enjoys herself in the snow.

Snow dog.SAM_0007 Snowy Ellesmere

She also gets quite ambitious about the size of stick she can manage....
Big stick.SAM_0010 Snowy Ellesmere

It's been a fine day today, blue sunny skies this morning, but a bit more cloud and a cold wind this afternoon.

It was about 11 o'clock by the time we got away from the services. The gulls had breakfast while we filled with water.

Hungry birds.Feeding Gulls

Leaving Ellesmere services.
SAM_0021 Leaving Ellesmere

After leaving the moorings behind we had the 87 yard long Ellesmere tunnel to negotiate before running alongside the meres.

Out into daylight from Ellesmere Tunnel.SAM_0023 Ellesmere TunnelBlake Mere appears on the left first…

Blake MereSAM_0025 Blake Mere…..Followed by the larger Cole Mere. Sitting around 300 feet above sea level, these were left over from the last Ice Age. 

NBs Shropshire Lass II and Shropshire Lad will be leaving their home moorings in May, to make the trip down to London. Part crewed by disabled service personnel, the Lass will be taking part in the Queen’s Jubilee Flotilla on the Thames in June.

The ”Shopshires” at Lyneal WharfSAM_0027 Lyneal WharfI do like the paragraph from the Shropshire Star articleMore than 1,000 boats are expected to take to the water, led by the Royal Barge baring [sic] the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and other senior royals. “
Should be an interesting spectacle. I hope it’s not too cold…..Winking smile
The canal crosses a valley on the sweeping Hampton Bank, giving long views towards Chester and The Wirral.

Looking north from Hampton Bank.SAM_0029 Hampton Bank
Fine views indeed, but cold too! That’s where that fresh wind was coming from!

Shortly after we crossed Whixall Moss on the straight embankment that keeps the canal above the nature reserve. Looks like good wood foraging there, too.

Over Whixall MossSAM_0031 Whixall Moss

At the end of the straight we turned right onto the Prees Branch, under Allman’s Lift Bridge and moored behind Moore2Life.

Moored on the Prees Branch.SAM_0038 Moored on Prees Branch

All the snow has gone, now. The last bit melted off our roof as we passed Bettisfield.

Tomorrow we’ll head down to Whixall Marina, at the end of the navigable section of the branch, to fill up with fuel.

Locks 0, miles 7

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