Thursday, 4 February 2016

Croxton (just pottering)

Unusually for the Trent & Mersey there was a ledge running under the water level where we moored on Wednesday evening.  This means that the fenders don’t work properly – they’re not designed to go under water – and we end up with loud bangs and grinding noises every time the boat moves.  This really seems to distress Buddy who is quite a timid dog really.  My usual solution is to float a gangplank between the boat and the banking.  People who live on canals like the Shropshire Union that have continuous underwater ledges use car tyres on wheels as fenders to keep themselves off the ledge.  Anyway, the wind got up again during the night and by the early hours our lines had slackened off enough for the gangplank to come lose and the banging and grinding started again.  I resisted the urge to go out in the dark and rain to sort it out and we slept through it.

Our main objective for Thursday was to get the boat somewhere safe whilst we go away for a while.  This meant we had to turn round (or wind as it is called on canals – where wind rhymes with sinned).  I knew we would have to reverse back to get to a winding hole about 100 yards behind us but also knew it would be tricky as it was exposed and very windy.  The local forecast predicted the wind would die down by three and true to its word it did.  We set off in reverse.

You can see how calm it is on the water now the wind had died down.  The winding hole was just wide enough for us and Karen videoed the last half of the manoeuvre.

We stopped at the local recycling and refuse site and met up with a couple on their boat who seem to be doing the same journeys as us.  We then set off over Croxton aqueduct which crosses the river Dane…

…and then through Croxton Flash.  

 It really was a rather mild day now the wind had dropped; quite pleasant for cruising.  It was even still enough for an upside down picture once we moored - see top of page.  I had been trying to get a picture of a heron and its reflection as it was right outside the boat but all were blurred.

We have now (almost definitely) decided that when we get back from holiday we will head for Chester and then on to Ellesmere Port where the Shropshire Union joins the Manchester Ship canal.  This will entail winding again and heading back to Middlewich then taking the Middlewich branch to Barbridge.  When we hit the Shropshire Union at the end of the branch we will turn right and head north onto a section of canal that will be new to us.  Apparently the canal runs right through the middle of Chester and includes staircase locks hewn out of the solid rock.

The journey is 36 ½ miles with 22 locks.  We then have no idea where we will be going after Ellesmere Port.

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