Sunday, 19 February 2012

Roger’s been away for a couple of days, over at Macclesfield Marina helping a friend sort out the electrics on his boat. While he was away I did all the boring cleaning jobs and a couple of loads of washing which I even managed to dry outside on the whirly-gig. We need to be in Chirk by Monday night so today we had to make up time and cruise for 6 hours.  The day didn’t get off to a good start as no sooner had I cast off and started off towards Wrenbury lift bridge than it started hail stoning so hard I couldn’t see more than 10 feet in front of the boat. The wind whipped up at the same time making it very difficult getting the boat through the bridge hole.  The wind and hail stopped as suddenly as they’d begun and thankfully that was the worst of the weather over with.  It’s been quite spring-like this afternoon and we even needed to wear sunglasses as it was so sunny.  We saw a field full of lambs and there are snowdrops all over the place. We’ve even seen a couple of cherry trees starting to blossom.

We last came up the Llangollen Canal in September 2010 to go to the Ellesmere Boat Festival. Back then the canal was extremely busy and  it took us over 5 hours to get up the 6 locks at Grindley Brook, queuing all the way.  Today we didn’t see any moving boats at all and it only took us an hour and a quarter to go up.

Half way up the staircase locks

When we were here last time, we met 2 hire boats coming down the locks as we were going up. They were full of Swedish holidaymakers who hadn’t had any training on lock use at all. Because there was a lock-keeper on duty at the staircase who did all the work for them they assumed that ALL locks were done for them, so they just sat on their boats at the next lock down waiting for someone else to do the work!  With so many boats queuing to get past them you can imagine some of the comments they got.  2 of the other ladies and I had to explain that it was “self-service” and show them how to work a lock. They soon got the hang of it and actually said they’d thought it was all a bit boring just sitting there while someone else did the work so were very grateful.

So now, 10 locks and 5 lift bridges later, we’re moored in the middle of nowhere, opposite a large farm. The weather’s changed again and it’s pouring down and the winds howling.  There’s no phone signal (Orange) and no internet either, so I’ll up-load this as soon as I get a signal again.

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