Wednesday 21 January

We’ve been trying to save our battery power for essential use only as being moored for long periods without running the engine means we drain the batteries quite quickly, hence the irregular blog postings. On Monday morning I met up with Laura in Chester and we went to look at posh frocks, leaving Storm on board working on his bike. In the afternoon Storm and I took Max for a walk and Storm showed me his new route over the River Dee. This route must be quite a well kept secret as even the locals didn’t know it existed when we told them about it and it cuts about 15 minutes off our walk to Laura’s.   The view of Chester and the race course from the bridge …

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We’ve been trying to arrange to meet a good friend on Thursday who is visiting family in Liverpool this week and we’d planned to meet her in Ellesmere Port. The freezing temperatures over the last couple of days has meant that we’ve seen patches of thin ice on the canal in sheltered places. However, the temperature stayed above freezing and the patches of ice had disappeared so we set off for Ellesmere Port this morning. For the first two miles all was well but as we approached Backford Bridge, (No 133), we suddenly ground to a halt and our bow lurched towards the bank. We’d hit a patch of thick ice. The bow will break ice of up to about 1cm thick but the broken edge of ice here was nearer 2 – 4 cm. We’d not noticed the ice ahead of us as it was masked by a thin covering of melted water. Fortunately for us there was a winding hole just the other side of the bridge and so we tried again to break through the ice ahead of us, turned the boat and headed back to Chester.   We treated ourselves to a luxurious hot shower at the Tower Wharf facilities, filled our tanks with water, before mooring up exactly where we were five hours earlier.

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