The canal was very busy early this morning with boats moving from 6.30 onwards. We didn’t set off until around 11.00 when it had calmed down a bit and we had a really easy run down the 15 locks to Audlum. Everyone was happy and friendly and I gave an old guy a rest at one of the locks. He was single handing and was about ¾ of the way up the flight and flagging a bit, so he stayed on his boat and I worked the lock for him while he had a cuppa. He told me he’d been doing this canal for the past 28 years, the last 19 of them alone since his wife had died. He’d had 2 knee replacements and while the left one worked fine his right knee was a bit stiff and he was finding it a bit tricky climbing up the ladder out of the locks. Most people would have given up a long time ago but he loves the life.
I liked this boat that we moored near last night. It’s quite an old boat but obviously well loved and the owner has my sense of humour. There are 2 brass ducks welded onto the stern counter and they’ve painted a shark face on the bow. Cool!
As long as I remember there has always been a produce stall at one of the locks on the flight. This year there were 4. I bought raspberries and sweet-peas from one stall. They’re really beautiful and the perfume is filling the boat. I picked up a kohlrabi from another stall, although I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. It just looked so exotic I had to try it, no doubt Google will come up with some ideas as to how to cook it.
At the bottom lock there’s now an allotment stall George’s Pork and Poultry. They grow the veg beside the lock and claim to sell 30 flavours of sausages although they were a bit limited on stock today. I bought some pork with ginger and spring onion for the freezer. Their fruit and veg looked good quality and they also sell double yolk eggs.
We’re now moored below the bottom lock with one of our previous customers, boat no.20 "Parisien Star"
Dave brought his boat from Tattenhall Marina to meet us and travel with us for a few days and tomorrow we’re also meeting an old friend from Macclesfield so the 4 of us are going to the Lord Combermere for Sunday lunch.