Rain at night, blue skies and sunshine during the day. That’s what I call a well organised weather system.
Looking down the canal from Austin’s Bridge
We were going to move on yesterday, but it was pretty windy in the morning, so we thought we’d stay put another day. It’s not busy; on Saturday night we were on our own here at Coole Pilate, last night there were two boats besides us on the long stretch of moorings.
I’ve not been idle, I’ve cleared out the well deck and scrubbed the mats that live there. Then I cleared out the stern bilge under the shaft gland. I keep a tray there to catch the drips but I’ve been a little negligent and it had overflowed, so there was ½ an inch of water in the bilge to be removed. While under the deck I refilled the stern tube greaser. Then yesterday it was a case of putting the mats from inside through the washer, and sweeping and cleaning the floors right through.
Late yesterday afternoon, after it had warmed up following the morning rain, there was a short-lived effect caused by the high humidity and cooling air. Mist appeared under the bridges at either end of the straight, and started rolling along the canal.
Unfortunately I missed the best time, it was just starting to dissipate when I took the above picture. Just 5 minutes later it was completely clear.
This morning was bright and breezy as we left to head towards Nantwich.
Leaving Coole Pilate
Just 15 minutes saw us arriving at the top of the two Hack Green Locks, just as a boat was leaving.
Near the locks is the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, not so secret any more.
One of a network of secure locations, it was built during WWII to provide early warning of enemy aircraft. After the war it was upgraded to also look for nuclear missiles aimed at the UK. It’s a museum now.
We were lucky too on the second lock at Hack Green, another boat was on the way up.
Hack Green Lock 2
These are the last narrow locks on the main line of the Shropshire Union. Built as the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal, it joins the earlier Chester Canal at Nantwich, just 3 miles further on. The older navigation was built to accommodate barges off the River Dee, consequently the locks and bridge holes between Nantwich and Ellesmere Port are broad.
We stopped just short of the aqueduct over the A534 Wrexham Road, just on the edge of Nantwich. These 48 hour moorings are signed “Designated Winter Mooring, Payment Required”. They were completely empty when we arrived…
Only here the one night to top up the stores, then off to Hurleston and up onto the Welsh Canal. For basics there’s a small Spar shop in the estate alongside the canal north of Marsh Lane. I visited there today, but I‘ll trail up into town tomorrow morning for a better selection.
Locks 2, miles 3½