Saturday, December 21, 2013

End of the navigation

We got off a bit earlier than usual today, we’d got a lot to do this afternoon when we arrived at Llangollen.

Away before 10!

As this last 4 miles was built primarily as a feeder to supply water from the Dee, when the going got tough the channel go narrower! Where the slope above the valley is steep and there’s not a lot of room for the channel, it turns into a single-track canal.SAM_7609
There are two of these narrow sections, and the recommendation, as shown on the sign, is for someone to walk ahead to check for oncoming boats. It was blowy and showery this morning, so, rather than drag Mags out into the weather, I took a chance which paid off, not meeting another boat in either section.

In the first narrowsSAM_7610

Looking down onto the Dee.

The river and canal are at the same level at Horseshoe Falls, just 3½ miles upstream.

There’s a bit of a breathing space for 20 minutes while the canal returns to normal width after Bridge 42, then the final 550 yards to the moorings above the town have to be negotiated. Narrow and very shallow, with vertical rock on the right, it’s hard going, too much power and you’re bumping on the bottom, too little and you get nowhere against the flow which is over 1 mph in the narrow sections.

In the final narrow sectionSAM_7614

It’s so slow going that it took us 15 minutes to cover the 550 yards. The on-line moorings  on the left finally came into sight, though.

We topped up with water, emptied a loo and rubbish at the wharf, then pushed on up to the limit of navigation and the mooring basin.

Looking down on the town

SAM_7618Bridge End Hotel and the River Dee beyond

There was room on the moorings above the town, several boats are on winter moorings here but there’s still room for visitors. But we decided to moor in the basin. It’s a bit further to the shops and a bit more exposed, but there’s less passing foot traffic, and there are open areas for Meg to play ball and chase the rabbit population.

Billy no-mates in the basinSAM_7620
Last time we were here the water and electricity supply were both off, this time they’re on, and mooring here in the winter is free. Result! Water on tap and free electricity!
The batteries will be fully charged and all the laundry done before we leave...

I made a couple of trips down to the town for shopping before the wild and windy weather came in this evening. We’ve visitors for lunch tomorrow so I’m doing roast beef with all the trimmings. Looking forward to it.

The river from Dee Bridge.DSC_0130
The plume of smoke left of centre is from the engine of one of the Santa Specials running on the Llangollen Railway.

It's the Winter Solstice today, shortest day of the year. So from tomorrow the days will get longer, though it'll be a while before we notice!

Locks 0, miles 2


Jacquie said...

Wow, what a great place to spend your xmas, I have so many happy memories and times there. It looks so empty too, and I just love it at the riverside. Wishing you both a lovely xmas, and a very healthy 2014. Jacquie

Carol said...

Gosh water and electricity what a Christmas present! Hope you both have a lovely Christmas, we’ll be thinking of you both. See you soon. Lots of love, Carol and George. xx