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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.

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