Tuesday, 30 September 2014


Here I am Rune
Distance 5.7 miles
Total 671 Locks 26 Tunnels
Running total mileage 1014.9 miles

And so here we are back at pretty much the same overnight mooring as we took when we came onto the Llangollen Canal three weeks ago. It is a fairly quiet mooring although you can just about hear the traffic on the main Wrexham to Nantwich road about a quarter of a mile away. First thing tomorrow will be Hurleston Locks which I hope will be easier going down than they were coming up, and then onto Nantwich, hopefully there for about lunchtime. I think I might take advantage of the pool in Nantwich to go for a swim, although the brine pool will probably be out of commission by now as it is an outdoor pool.
We have a couple of things we need to get done in Nantwich, crew needs to pick up her new glasses and get a new watch and we also need to refuel since we are probably down to about our last 25 litres. Need to see if we can find somewhere selling ‘Stoveglow’ coal to get stocked up for the start of winter. Once all of this has been done we will then start making our way towards Chester.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Thomason's Bridge

Here I am Rune
Distance 5.4 miles
Total 666 Locks 26 Tunnels
Running total mileage 1009.2 miles

Decided to stop short of Wrenbury at Tomason’s Bridge for the night. Not a bad day’s travel, 10 locks and 5.4 miles so 15.4 ‘lock miles’. The locks on this section of canal are a bit more challenging than  the average lock as they all have quite strong by-weir’s that tend to throw you off course either as your enter or as you emerge from a lock. The pound below Grindley Brook Staircase is a case in point, the mooring is on a sharp left hand corner but the by-weir is on the right hand side and with a considerable flow, tends to such the boat towards it. In the middle pound of the three locks below the staircase the problem is more for people going up as the very strong by-weir throws them out of line when trying to enter the lock, a Canaltime boat narrowly missed colliding with the side of the lock as he tried to enter it.
Think we have probably got one more full day on the Llangollen Canal before re-entering the Shropshire Union on Wednesday, which will be the 1st of October, where has the year gone?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Grindley Brook

Here I am Rune
Distance 3.8 miles
Total 656 Locks 26 Tunnels
Running total mileage 1003.8 miles

As is often the case, change of plan and decided to go all the way through to Grindley Brook before stopping for lunch. The confounding factor was that when we got there we found a major fishing competition under way with a lot of the fishermen using the mooring areas. Managed to find a mooring without upsetting them too much. As it happens it was the second fishing competition that we came across during the morning having passed another one between bridges 35 and 40.

It is a funny old game going through a fishing competition, the fishermen try to pretend that we are not there and we reciprocate by trying to pretend that we can’t see their rods! It is a bit of a Mexican standoff whereby they leave their rods across the canal until the last possible moment which, if it bothered me, I’d think I was about to hit their rod. I have the pragmatic approach though whereby if betting on either my 18 tons of canal boat or their ½ kilo of fishing tackle, I think my money would always be on my 18 tons winning the argument!

Since we finished early today took the opportunity to finish touching up the paintwork with primer on the rust spots. The next phase will be covering over the primer with colour. Also had to pop back to Whitchurch on the back since we were running out of bread and milk and don’t expect to get to Nantwich until about Wednesday and all there is between here and there is a village shop in Wrenbury.

Tilstock Park

Here I am Rune
Distance 8.4 miles
Total 656 Locks 26 Tunnels
Running total mileage 1000 miles

Made it beyond Whixall to Tilstock Park which has enabled us to break through the 1000 mile marker. Once again a day without any real dramas, engine sounds smoother with its recent oil change and, travelling with the current has enabled us to get further than anticipated. Might take lunch tomorrow at Whitchurch then it is back into the realms of Locks at Grindley Brook.

Interestingly, having copied out this blog I now find that, for the first time since we were at Trowbridge on the Kennet and Avon Canal, there is neither a phone signal here nor an internet signal so I will now have to post this tomorrow when we reach somewhere with a signal.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Blake Mere

Here I am Rune
Distance 1.2 miles
Total 656 Locks 26 Tunnels
Running total mileage 991.6miles

Stayed for the night on the Ellesmere Branch, caught up with some shopping and had a look around Ellesmere then, as intended, we have moved the short distance to Blake Mere which is a brilliant mooring overlooking the lake. It is almost like having your own lakeside cottage and I look forward to tomorrow morning (weather permitting) when the sun will rise over the far side of the mere.

Took the opportunity, since it was only a short day’s trip, to catch up on some painting on the boat and also to carry out the periodic oil and filter change which seems to have gone without a hitch (famous last words). One advantage of moving out of Ellesmere is firstly it frees up a space for a hire boat to moor up for the last night of their holiday without having to go back to the marina a day early, and secondly we are clear of Ellesmere in case there are a load more hirers coming out tomorrow although we are now at the tail end of the season so it should be quieter.

Still not sure how far we will press on tomorrow but Whixall still looks favourite.  

Ellesmere Branch end

View of Blakes Mere from the boat

Thursday, 25 September 2014


Here I am Rune
Distance 7.1 miles
Total 656 Locks 25 Tunnels
Running total mileage 990.4miles

Well we made it as far as Ellesmere but then decided to remain moored in the Ellesmere Branch virtually outside of Tesco’s. Not having properly visited Ellesmere before we may take an extra day here and remain until Saturday to have a look around, the mooring is a 72 hour mooring so we should be OK. Interesting arriving in the branch because prior to coming down here we stopped off at the Elsan point for a bit of housekeeping (empty the toilet cassette!). Whilst stopped three boats passed and went down the branch and I thought that we had missed the opportunity to moor here since the moorings are a bit limited. Luckily they overlooked the first rule of boating, when you see a mooring grab it! They had passed the available mooring to go to the end of the branch to turn around and by the time that they returned some b*gger (me) had nicked it. I’ll just turn around before we leave. I felt it was an important learning experience for them.

One of the important tasks achieved on arrival was a full restock of the beer cellar, Tesco's had Hobgoblin Beer on offer at £1.25 a bottle, too good to miss.
Not sure how far we’ll go when we move on from here, probably as far as Whixall I would think.