After a quiet night with both limited phone signal and internet access we had a fairly early start this morning. The CRT boat from yesterday set off at the same time, but with a different crew on board. We shared Wharton’s Lock with them and we were asked whether we’d noticed any downturn in service since CRT took over the responsibility for the canals from British Waterways. We had to say that personally we’d always received good service from both and that we’d seen more evidence of ground level works in the last three years.
We stopped off at Chas Harden’s boat yard to fill up with diesel and to stock up with coal, leaving the CRT boat to continue on without us. Chas is a charming guy and is always keen to chat and his dog, Darcy, was equally friendly. After telling us about his detached retina and signing the praises of the Countess of Chester Hospital, and bemoaning the lack of a regular bus service past his boatyard (Tuesdays and Thursdays only), and the resulting cost of taxi fares, we moved off and were cheered to say that the CRT guys had raised the bottom paddles after they’d finished with the lock ahead, leaving it ready for us to move straight in. They’d moored above the lock to visit the village shop and so we overtook them and continued on the next lock and with no sign of them following us, we returned the favour and left the lock ready for them to follow. They caught us up at the Bunbury staircase locks and so after sharing these two locks we carried on to Nantwich while they turned off at Hurleston Junction onto the Llangollen Canal.
Nantwich is well provided for with ‘24 hour only’ moorings but we’ve never been fortunate enough to arrive in time to take advantage of these and we’ve noticed that the same boats seem to moor up for 24 hours day after day!
We pulled in at the sanitary station where we’d arranged to meet Mark (battery expert) and Max and I went off into the Nantwich to look for groceries, leaving Storm to chat with Mark.
Storm and Mark were still chatting when we got back. It was obvious that the science of batteries is not clear cut and that there isn’t one solution. Storm discovered that there are some easy changes he can make to our 12 volt system to assist future battery management.
Eventually Mark left, promising to provide us with a list of costed options with the next few days, after which we will make a decision. The new batteries are to be fitted within the next two weeks. The good news is that we only need to replace our five leisure batteries as our two starter batteries still have some life left in them.
Feeling that another worthwhile meeting had been held, we treated ourselves to a visit to the Oddfellows Pub, a real ale pub, just south of the Nantwich Aqueduct; a hostelry we can recommend with a good selection of beers and worthy of its ‘casque mark’.
(9 miles and 6 locks)