Saturday 15 February

Hurrah – on the move again.

Following Friday’s activity of preparing the lock for temporary re-opening,  the CRT guy arrived early on site to set the lock ready for us to leave.   We were on our way by 9.30am.  He let the boat above come down first as he said he needed to let some water through, and then it was our turn.   Looking at the pound above, it was obvious that there wasn’t enough water in the lock to get us over the cill so he went up to the next lock to let more water through and asked me to go to the top lock to do the same.   Once the pounds were full we passed through quickly and having seen us safely through the first three locks of the day, he waved us off after we’d thanked him profusely for opening the lock early for us.

Photo: Removing the  temporary damn.  I feel sorry for the guy up to his armpits in the water.

We headed out of Middlewich back along the Arm.   The engine sounded much sweeter after its annual service.

It was a grey cloudy overcast morning and it wasn’t long before it started to pour down and the wind picked up.   After ten days of no motoring we decided to carry on to the junction and take advantage of the food at Ye Olde Barbridge Inn.  Ten miles and four locks.  We arrived about 3pm thoroughly soaked and bedraggled and a guy on a permanently moored boat took one look at us and said we were mad!  Once indoors we peeled off our waterproofs and thermal layers and battened down the hatches to thaw  and dry out.  We’d only been stopped about half an hour when the rain and wind stopped and the sun came out!

We headed out to the pub about five intending only to book a table and return to the boat but the lure of the real ale and smell of food was too tempting so we had a drink and an early meal instead and retired early to bed as all that fresh air, food and beer had made us sleepy.