Friday 3 January

Travelled 11 miles & five locks from Middlewich to the Anderton Boat Lift.

We set off in brilliant sunshine but as we reached the outskirts of Northwich the heavens opened.    With nowhere exciting to moor up we decided to motor on as we were dressed for the weather.

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Thursday 2 January

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Travelled 12 miles along the Middlewich Branch of the ‘Shroppie’ passing through three narrow locks before mooring up on the outskirts of Middlewich.

 

Kingfishers teased our photography talents as we travelled and I’ve deleted another five photos of dull undergrowth as the kingfisher takes flight just as the camera shutter clicks.  This photo has been cropped so my apologies for the slight haziness.

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Wednesday 1 January 2014

Happy New Year!   We woke to wind and rain rocking the boat and eventually were persuaded to get up by Max who was keen to stretch his legs.  By lunch-time the rain had stopped and the wind had dropped a little so we decided to motor on.  I walked along the tow path with Max slithering and sliding through the mud.   A couple of miles and four locks later we stopped at Calverley where we both enjoyed a hot shower, whilst filling up with water.  The weather deteriorated mid afternoon so we decided to stay put and moored up for the night.

 

Our plans for January involve headings towards Manchester where we hope to spend some time in Castlefield Basin.

Tuesday 31 January

James & Ali popped in before they headed home, to wish the birthday boy ‘happy birthday’ and to bring him a candle to blow out!

 

Having waved them off we cast off and Storm steered the boat while I walked along the towpath with Max to Waverton.   We called in at the post office to post off our boat licence application and then jumped back on board and we motored on to Tiverton where we spent the night just above ‘Iron Lock’.

 

We tried to contact friends and family but gave up as we couldn’t get a signal for phones or internet.

 

New Year’s Eve was spent watching our boxed set of ‘Breaking Bad’ whilst taking the neck of Storm’s bottle of whisky.

Sunday 29 December

Another sunny morning.   I was delighted when our view of the Mersey was suddenly obscured by a huge ship on the Manchester Ship Canal – something I’ve wanted to see ever since I first saw this huge waterway, which for most of the time looks disused and abandoned.

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Casting off later, I steered and crossed the basin towards the Elsan point, nudging our bow against the bow of the working boat where Storm managed to fix a rope  and  with the agility of a goat climb off our boat and onto the working boat and then along its gunwhale onto the jetty beyond the wooden fence, at the same time carrying the Elsan cartridge in both hands.

 

Mission accomplished, Storm returned to the boat and cast us adrift.  After some ‘chuntering’ I think we may be sending a letter of complaint to the Canal River Trust about ‘access’; and a letter to the National Waterways Museum asking why they were closed when Chester Council advertise that the museum is open every day except Christmas Day & New Year’s Day.

 

We reversed away from the working boat and then once clear of it, put the boat into forward and with the rudder hard over we turned the boat around in one smooth action.

 

We travelled back to Chester in about three hours and then up through the Northgate locks (staircase of 3), and after four further locks and about two more miles we moored back up at the rear of the Cheshire Cat pub in Christleton.  We’ll be staying here for two nights as we’ve arranged a family gathering to celebrate Marc and Storm’s birthdays and James & Ali’s engagement.