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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Chester to Wrenbury Cruise - March 2015

After a quiet first night in Tower Wharf we moved over to the water point next to the dry dock, not a quick fill, then one of the  moorings on that side became vacant so we grabbed it quickly. I had a walk down the Dee Branch, never having looked when we last passed through. It all looks neat and tidy, however the lower lock to the river is out of use.
Dee Branch Lift Bridge.

Dee Branch lower locks.
Dee Branch-Disused River Lock.
Tower Wharf - Unusual Style Boat.
We then spent the day in Chester, a walk around the city walls, a look at the cathedral, followed by lunch then retail therapy for the girls.
Tower Wharf from the City Walls.
Shropshire Union canal from the City Walls.
We then had another quiet night before setting of back to Wrenbury, the weather was much improved on the return journey, we had all the locks against us as we climbed out of Chester, making progress slower, we reached Christleton and pulled over for a spot of lunch around 1 pm then carried on past Egg Bridge, Waverton, and past the Golden Nook Moorings.
Last lock out of Chester.
Horse to water near Christleton.
Lovely day for cruising.
Golden Nook Moorings.
We called it a day and moored shortly after near Tattenhall Marina.
On the Thursday, after a latish start on a grey day we finished off the rest of the Shropshire Union wide locks, no other boats on the move again today although we suspected something in front as again all the locks where against us. We again had a few paddles out of action, and Bunbury lock seems to have many leaks from the gates and also a fair bit of water drains out of the lock walls. Would not be surprised to see some major work required there sometime soon.
We ended up back at the Barbridge Inn moorings, useful for wi fi from the pub, seemed rude not to pop in for a pint and the password for wi fi.
Waiting for Wharton Lock.
Near Beeston.
Tilstone Lock with one of the round lengths mans huts.
Leaking gates and walls at Bunbury Staircase Locks.
Barbridge moorings.
On the Friday we woke to sunny weather, not too cold either. Last of the boaty fry ups today which is always a shame, back to cereal next week. We took the short trip to Hurleston junction then turned back on to the Llangollen Canal, lock duty for me now, Gill and Toni taking turns on the tiller now we are free of the wider locks which they refuse to control the boat in.
Gill entering Hurleston Bottom Lock.
After Hurleston it was on to Swanley locks.
Entering Swanley Locks

Toni's turn at the Tiller.
Swanley Top Lock.
Home straight to Wrenbury.
Then it was on to Baddiley locks and the home straight to Wrenbury and the end of another good week on the boat, mixed weather, but we all enjoyed it.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Wrenbury to Chester Cruise - March 2015

We recently had another week on our shared ownership boat NB Centurion. Based at Wrenbury we arrived on a Friday evening after a long and slow drive from Norfolk. On the Saturday we left Wrenbury around 11am with some white clouds, some blue sky and an ever present strong wind and headed down the Llangollen Canal towards Hurleston Junction. We firstly negotiated the Wrenbury Church liftbridge and then the 3 narrow locks at Baddiley, 2 at Swanley, and the 4 at Hurleston. Turning on to the Shropshire Union Canal we moored for the evening opposite the Barbridge Inn where we called in later for a drink.
Wrenbury Church Lift bridge.
Fellow blogger NB Seyella near Swanley.
Unusual Windowless boat near Hurleston - can't imagine how dark it is inside?
On the Sunday we had our normal narrow boat fry up before leaving along the Shropshire Union Canal towards Bunbury Locks, stopping at Calveley for water and rubbish disposal. A much windier and overcast day making hanging about for locks more difficult without tying up.
There was a boat just entering Bunbury locks who shut the gate on us, upon challenging them they said they had read that it was not recommended in their Pearson's to share the locks!! we pointed out that it was only Beeston Iron lock that it was not recommended to share due to the distortion of the steel chamber but they would not have it, idiots, fair to say we did not help them at any of the locks as we frequently caught up with them due to their insistence on roping up the boat bow and stern when locking down.
Waiting at Bunbury Staircase Locks.
Near Tilstone Lock.
Blue sky appearing near Beeston.
 After a lunch of Big Soup and sarnies we carried on through Beeston Iron and Stone locks, then through Whartons lock, looking ahead heavy dark sky's signalled a storm approaching so we called it a day and moored near the Shady Oak pub. Unfortunately it was shut for refurbishment so drinks on board tonight.
View behind Beeston Iron lock.
Leaving Beeston Iron lock.
Monday morning, after another fry up we left in a strong and biting wind, rain was forecast for later so I was well wrapped up at the tiller, we crawled with difficulty past the 200+ on line moorings at Golden Nook near Hargrave, with the heavy wind and within the space of an hour we had horizontal rain, sleet, snow, hailstones, then finally sunshine as we moored for a welcome hot lunch and a warm up at Christleton.
After lunch in decreasing wind and sunshine we set off down the locks into Chester. It was heavy going with a few paddles out of action making filling locks slow.
Tarvin Lock Cottage.
Chester Landmark - Water Tower.
Cottages at Hoole Lane Lock.
We did not fancy the dark, dull, moorings before the city walls so chose to drop down Northgate Staircase Locks, a 3 rise staircase lock, notoriously slow to fill and empty.
Canal cut between the City walls.
In the top lock of Northgate Staircase Locks.
We finally turned into Tower Wharf to find a mooring, all the visitor moorings on the dry dock side where given over to winter moorer's, we managed to squeeze into a space on the Telford's Warehouse side, a tight squeeze but I managed to get her in.
Not the prettiest mooring.
The mooring was reasonably quiet overnight, we would spend the next 2 nights in Chester, having a good look round the City Walls followed by some retail therapy for Gill and Toni.