Wet and windy weather has dogged us for the last few days, as we head towards the Welsh border. We know that Wales has a reputation for being a little moist, there’s no need to prove it!
We left our mooring above Frankton Locks at around half-ten this morning. In normal circumstances we’d have stayed put, but we had the coalman to meet and St Martin’s, and we’d arranged to meet friends near Chirk.
Wet and windy as we leave Frankton
The wind was from the south-west, so there was no escaping it as we head west. The canal wriggles it’s way along 2½ miles to Hindford Bridge, where it swings north and west towards Chirk and the English/Welsh border on the aqueduct over the River Ceiriog.
The Boat Inn and moored hire boats at Maestermyn Bridge
Some years back we moored just short of Paddock No 2 Bridge, and had an excellent view of a bit of an encounter between two hirers. Coming from either direction, neither gave way, the boats finishing up thoroughly wedged in the bridge hole. It must have been close to an hour before they succeeded in getting them apart, by dint of unloading the crews and getting them on ropes or rocking the craft from side to side. Great fun.
Paddock No 2 Bridge
We had the last two locks on the canal to negotiate today, those at New Marton. They’re very exposed to westerly winds. Two guys from a boat moored above the bottom lock came for a chat as we came up, they were heading the same way as us yesterday but finished up being blown onto the offside as they left the lock. They had a terrible time getting the boat back over to the towpath against the strong wind, so when they did they gave up and stayed where they were. They had an uncomfortable night, being rocked and jolted by the powerful gusts.
They closed up after us so we could get going without having to pause at the exit of the lock. By this time, though, the wind had started to ease and the rain had stopped too, so it probably unnecessary.
New Marton Top Lock
We filled the water tank above the locks, then motored down to St Martin’s, pulling in just before the bridge to wait for the coalman. I couldn’t get right into the bank, so, when he arrived, we pulled under the bridge and loaded there.
The coalman cometh…
Lion Quays, hotel, restaurant and dedicated mooring near Moreton Bridge.
We’ll be staying here tomorrow, with visitors coming at lunchtime.
Locks 2, miles 6½