We left Christleton and began the 2.5 miles trip into Chester. We filled up with water just before the first of the seven double locks still to do today.
As I was packing away the hose, a boat overtook us and headed towards the lock and they agreed they’d wait for us. It was a new shared-ownership boat and we were mindful of their unblemished paintwork. The lock was set in our favour and so we followed them carefully into the lock.
Today the ladies worked the locks while the chaps did the steering. Lyn was an experienced boater and we were soon chatting away, exchanging stories of our various journeys, so much so that at one point we needed to be reminded to open the gates!
We continued our chat as we walked between locks and only got back on board our separate boats at Hoole Lane Lock as the towpath is closed to pedestrians where it passes below the City Walls where Chester Council are undertaking some underpinning work.
We arrived at the top of the Northgate staircase and Lyn and I went off to ensure the top lock was full and the middle and bottom locks were empty. There were two boats waiting to come up but they insisted we come down first.
The top lock empties into the middle lock and then you empty that into the bottom lock. When these locks are empty it reveals their true depth and when the boat enters the middle lock you feel quite vulnerable with so much brickwork above your head.
The guys were also busy chatting and we hoped they were keeping an eye on where they were in the lock relative to the cill. (When going down in a lock you have to stay clear of the large concrete cill behind the boat that can catch the stern if you’re not careful.) It is hard for the steerer to hear anyone shouting at them from the top of the lock because of the noise of the water.
Anyway, we passed safely through the locks and at Tower Wharf there were just two gaps left for us each to moor up. I thanked Lyn for her company as we’d both had good fun.
After lunch Storm and I went to Taylor’s Boatyard to make enquiries about getting the hull blacked and some other maintenance work done on the boat in their dry dock.
Our future plans are a little uncertain at the moment and we may get this work done sooner rather than later.