Sunday 8 March

We started the day with a cooked breakfast.   The BBC were forecasting rain from 10 – 1. They were right. We stayed indoors and listened to the Archers’ weekly omnibus of dramatic goings on in Ambridge.

By 1.15 the rain had stopped and we were underway, passing through three lift bridges in quick succession.

Today we wished we had a couple of forward facing torpedo tubes fitted!

We encountered a boat whose crew was oblivious to canal etiquette. They dropped a lift bridge just as we were approaching and then cruised at a speed just above tick-over.   They refused to let us pass, ignoring repeated requests to do so, and instead weaved from one side of the canal to the other. At the final lift bridge, an elderly lady with mobility problems got off the boat to operate the bridge, and we didn’t give them time to drop the bridge again as we were hot on their heels, but once through I stopped to allow their boat space to pull over to pick her up but instead it proceeded forward at an even slower speed until the lady caught him up and got back on board at a bridge portal where the canal becomes too narrow to overtake.

The only explanation we could come up with for this strange behaviour was that they were worried that there would be insufficient space in Ellesmere for them to pull in. As it turned out, there was about a mile and half of available mooring.

On a more positive note, we had time to appreciate the beautiful scenery of Whixall Moss and the meres either side of the canal. Apparently this is where the Ice Age ended! Ellesmere is also the birthplace of the guy who founded Save the Children.

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After so much excitement we thought we’d treat ourselves to a drink. Ellesmere is not well provided for with pubs and now that we have visited all three of them, (not all in one night) we won’t be rushing back.

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