Wednesday 13 July

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Sunday morning we headed up through the locks back to the Cheshire Cat.  We shared the locks with fellow Yorkshire people on NB Pastorale.  Storm worked the locks for team Blackbird and once we’d cleared the last one, he headed back on foot to collect the car, whilst I continued on and moored up outside the pub and prepared lunch ready for his return.  The afternoon was spent quietly reading the papers.

Our new shiny singing propeller

Our new shiny singing propeller

Monday morning saw Storm at the helm whilst I drove the car back to the mooring.  Our new propellor ‘sings’ – a problem that was brought to our attention before we left the boat yard and one that will resolve itself in time apparently.   We have bought a prop with thicker blades this time as we hope this means it will be harder to bend.  However, if the singing annoys us too much it is  possible to shave a bit off the leading edge of one of the blades which should stop the ‘singing’, but this would mean another trip to the dry dock.  When we first started out, the noise from the prop was quite alarming but as we continued, I thought the sound grew less.  Storm wanted to judge for himself whether it was diminishing.  He thinks it is now only present when cruising at 1000 rpm.  We will just have to avoid cruising at that speed for a little while!

On Tuesday morning I shot out of bed as one glance at the clock showed I was already fifteen minutes late for an appointment with Laura.   I had offered to drive her to her friend’s house in Liverpool.   I dropped her a quick text to let her know I was on my way as I hopped into my clothes.

As neither of us knew where we were going we allowed her Sat Nav to guide us and we selected the softer tones of Irish ‘Sean’ to guide us.   I don’t usually rely on Sat Nav, preferring a map instead, and I found it a little disconcerting when it stayed completely silent for miles and then made me jump when it suddenly pipes up and tells me to ‘turn left’ when what  it really meant was that ‘the road ahead veers to the left’.   Laura kindly provided some additional soundtrack of encouragement telling me I was ‘doing grand to be sure, to be sure!’.

This morning after a lazy start, Storm and I went off to explore the southern shores of the Wirral peninsula.   We have driven along the peninsula many times and have never before been aware of the extent of posh houses to be found there.  Today we kept turning left off the A540 and down towards the shore where we came across some beautiful historic villages such as Parkgate and Neston and stunning views across the estuary, most of which is an RSPB marshland.  We parked up and enjoyed a pleasant walk with Max beside the Dee looking towards the Welsh hills.   After some reviving chilled medication we headed back to the car to continue our exploration and as we headed further west the views from on high across the Dee towards the sea were truly stunning in the sunshine, with house prices reflecting the value of the view.

This evening Laura and I went swimming at Christleton High School  which has an amazing olympic sized pool that is shared with the public once school’s out!  There were just four of us lane swimming, with lanes to spare, and we managed thirty lengths each – not bad considering we thought we were unfit and out of practice.

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