Thursday, April 07, 2016

To Wheelock for a haircut…

On Tuesday evening Bob and Anita caught up with us in Middlewich. They’d had a good trip up from Bartington without too many dramas and the old boat behaved, apart from a considerable leak from the stern gland. That was sorted by pumping a load of grease into it, something that probably hasn’t happened for a while…
It’s not fit to sleep on, though, having no bed, so they toddled off home. Bob turned up in the morning yesterday and helped us move Seyella up the Middlewich Locks, under instruction from yours truly. Then after a bite to eat we went back down to fetch Tamiley up.
We swapped about, Bob getting practice on the tiller in the locks and on the windlass. Tamiley is surprisingly nimble; at only around 40 feet and with a good 3-pot Perkins under the bonnet she responds well to the throttle and tiller. Bob did well too. Some people have the knack straight away, others have to work at acquiring it. He is one of the lucky ones!

Heading for the bottom of the Middlewich Locks yesterday.IMG_9092
The only picture I took all day! 

He was solo, Anita having something to attend to, and I was surprised when he said he’d like to head on. They’ve got a mooring organised near Chester, and he wants to get there as soon as possible. So I sent him up Wardle Lock and we parted company at the top as he set off across the Middlewich Branch.
We got a text later; amazingly he was sitting with a pint in the Barbridge Inn, having gone all the way to the Shroppie main line. A good trip for an inexperienced boater travelling single handed!

This morning dawned grey and damp, much as forecast. We couldn’t get away early anyway, I was waiting to collect something from Kings Lock Chandlery which didn’t arrive till 11:30.

So we set off at around 11:45, down the wide, swan encrusted pound to Rumps Lock.

Looking back towards Middlewich

Luck was with us, a boat was leaving Rumps as we arrived and they’d left the gates open for us. Another arrived at the top as we rose, so we could return the favour!

Rumps Lock

There were several boats heading north, which meant that each of the four locks encountered today was empty, or very nearly so.

The widened bridge carrying Booth Lane catches a few folk out. The new section is square in profile, but the original span, at the far end, is still arched.IMG_9095

We had a couple of showers, but nothing particularly heavy. In between there were glimpses of the sun.

Booth Lane Locks

Alongside Lock 68 there’s a new Taylor-Wimpey housing development being built. They’ve called it Albion Lock, although none of the locks bears that name. A little bit of artistic licence, I think. Booth Lane Middle Lock doesn’t have the same ring to it…

Last one today, Booth Lane Top, or Rookery Lock

Why do people buy a boat then abandon it to sink on the lock landings?IMG_9100

Looking for lunch

A brave show of daffs near Moston

Arriving at Wheelock wharf we topped up the water tank then moved around the corner onto the 48 hour moorings.

Ahead is the start of the Cheshire Locks, 26 locks over 6½ miles taking the canal up to the summit at Kidsgrove.

We needed to be here; Meg had an appointment with the dog groomer, appropriately named Hair of the Dog. Lynn has done her before, but today wasn’t available so she was left in the capable hands of Jo. I left them making friends and went next door to the large animal and pet food store in the old warehouse alongside the canal. Now Meg has a nice new squeaky toy for when she gets back to take her mind off the loss of hair…



Hi Alf. I guess we'd need a lot of speed and a large prop to bump-start a boat!
Thanks Sue, today it worked fine. I tried before reinstalling OLW and up it went. Odd, init.

Locks 8, miles 7 ½ (2 days)

1 comment:

KevinTOO said...

Never mind a squeaky toy... a blanket would have
been more appreciated by the look on Meg's face :)