We’ll not be doing much while this lockdown is in place. We moved down to Ellesmere last Saturday (the 9th).
Amber and I enjoyed some fabulous early walks while we had that spell of fine weather.
We were planning to go on Friday, but the wintry showers were a bit offputting so we postponed the short trip for a day. A good move as it turned out, it was a beautiful day. Chilly but it is January…
One of the best buzzard pictures I’ve taken…
Richard and Ruth delivered solid fuel and diesel on the Sunday, they do a sterling job keeping us supplied with fortnightly runs to Fron and back. Mountbatten draws too much water for the shallow stretch from Trevor to Llangollen, so boats upstream of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct are serviced by road.
Shopping done and water tank filled we left the town on Tuesday, still heading downstream.
Into Ellesmere Tunnel
The weather was a bit mixed, gloomy at first but brighter later.
Passing Cole Mere
It was quiet, we only passed one boat all day.
We pulled in on the mooring rings near Hampton Bank but only stayed the one night, moving around the corner onto the embankment yesterday. The towpath is drier here, although there’s not a lot to choose between them.
Hampton Bank official moorings
I rate towpaths on a scale of 1 to 4. Category 1 is trainer towpath, clean and dry.
Cat 2 is boot towpath, fairly good with muddy patches, Cat 3 brings us to welly towpath, generally muddy, and Cat 4 is almost bog snorkling, standing or running water sitting on deep squishy mud.
Cat 3 towpath near Ellesmere
When we’re not cruising much I get bored and start looking around for things to do. Of course there’s the day to day maintenance, but when that’s done it’s time for a project or two.
Before Christmas I removed the small, homemade bathroom cabinet and replaced it with almost a full bulkhead sized glazed unit. With LED spotlights in the corners the bathroom is much lighter and appears bigger. And there’s a lot more shelf space!
Another idea we’ve been toying with a while is moving the TV from on the front bulkhead alongside the door to a spot under the gunwale, completing the change by putting both chairs on the opposite side with a small table in between.
There was a possibility of replacing the chairs with a small sofa, but with a centre passage in the adjacent galley the width would be a problem without extensive changes to bookshelves and a radiator. So I think we’ll just replace the knackered chairs with new ones.
So that’s it for the time being, in a couple of days we’ll head on to Whitchurch but it’s unlikely that we’ll drop down Grindley Brook Locks. Instead we’ll turn around and head back upstream.
Locks 0, miles 8¾