Saturday 28 December

We woke to perfect calm and a lovely sunny morning and so we cast off and headed towards Ellesmere Port, which marks the northern limit of the Shropshire Union Canal.  Ahead lies the Manchester Ship Canal for which boaters need a Certificate of Seaworthiness and permission from Peel Holdings  to travel along it.   We have neither so we’ll be returning to Chester tomorrow.

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Ellesmere Port Dock may be picturesque, with views of the Manchester Ship Canal,  the Mersey and Liverpool in the distance and the Waterways Museum there may be  worth a visit but the museum was closed when we arrived and the water tap was visible behind a locked gate and the Elsan point invisible without local knowledge.   With a pair of binoculars we spotted a four inch sign disclosing its location hiding behind a couple of moored working boats – this was only after we asked of its whereabouts.   We decided we would attempt to gain access tomorrow morning when we turn the boat around.  We didn’t feel Ellesmere Port was a welcoming port of call, despite the sign suggesting otherwise.  Perhaps it should have said “Ellesmere Port, you’re welcome to it!”

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