On Monday we went into Swanley Bridge Marina, just for three nights so we could head up to Yorkshire. Mags was due a blood test to check that everything was still ok following her bile duct procedure last year, and Meg was visiting the vet at Skipton for an ultrasound scan to make sure there are no issues with her liver or bladder. It was also an opportunity to pick up the mail and see Mags’ son, Howard.
It was a fine but blowy morning as we headed towards the marina. These CRT workboats could have been moored in a more considerate spot…
The fine house with the curly-whirly chimney near Wrexham Road Bridge.
It was a bit interesting try to slot Seyella into our allotted berth, with a cross-wind pushing us all over, but we got in there without touching the adjacent boats.
We went north on Tuesday, an uneventful trip up there and back, apart from the sat-nav having a nervous breakdown on the way. As we passed Preston on the M6 it blinked then shifted our location 16 miles to the west, into Blackpool. Then, as the motorway turned gently to the left, our position crossed the coast and we spent the next half hour in the Irish Sea before landing again in Fleetwood. It lost the plot so much that by the time we’d reached our destination at Bentham it thought we were in Cleveleys… It’s a good job we know the way! It had recovered it’s aplomb by the time we headed home.
We won’t know the results of Mags’ blood test until next week. Meg’s scan showed no abnormalities but there was a trace of blood in her wee again, so that bladder infection she suffered from last year might have returned. Waiting on test results there too. But they’re both in good form, so I don’t think there’s much wrong.
We left the marina on Thursday, turning right and heading towards Wrenbury.
Swanley Bridge Marina, home of the Shiney Boat!
There is a higher proportion of posh boats in here than in any other marina we’ve visited. Not sure how many venture out though…
It’s suddenly got busy out on the water, when we got to Swanley Bottom Lock there was a boat in front of us, and by the time we were in the lock there were another four waiting below!
Chatting to the crews I realised why. With Hurleston Bottom Lock in a somewhat precarious condition, CRT aren’t opening the flight until eight o’clock, and are shepherding boats up. So this was the queue of boats waiting at the bottom first thing this morning.
The convoy broke up somewhat as each boat took a turn up the two Swanley Locks, then reconvened below Baddiley Locks. The bottom lock here has only one top paddle working and is consequently slow to fill, hence the queue.
Once up the bottom lock it was plain sailing, with boats dropping down out of Wrenbury we had empty locks to work with.
Into Wrenbury we thought about stopping before Church Lift Bridge, but it was still early so we pushed on, through this, the first of the Llangollen lift bridges, then past the mechanised one at Wrenbury Mill, and the other manual one at Wrenbury Frith.
Church Lift Bridge, the first of many…
Meg keeps an eye on me as Mags goes through Wrenbury Lift Bridge.
We tied up just past the last.
After a quiet night we headed on again, just a short run to a sunny rural spot between Marbury and Quoisley Locks.
One Man Went to Mow… with his mates!
Good timing at Marbury, our only lock on Friday
Good moorings near Steer Bridge…
…but it’s sunnier around the corner.
That’ll do us till after the weekend.
There’s been quite a few boats buzzing about, a mix of hirers and private, taking advantage of the fine weather. We’ll not be moving till Tuesday, though, to the bottom of Grindley Brook Locks ready to go up on Wednesday.
Locks 6, miles 7¼ since last post.