Sunday, March 15, 2009

Retracing our steps

The canal north of Chester proved to be shallow in places and we found some of the visitor moorings were difficult to get into but it was quiet and peaceful.  We had managed to place an order with Tesco to be delivered at Waverton.  

An ideal mooring with a car park was just by the bridge. 
After the delivery we moved on to Beeston.  Next day we had the 6 locks up to Bunbury to negotiate.  All wide enough for two narrow boats but remember that iron lock built in soft sand with the warning – ‘One at a time please’.  
Anglo Welsh have a lot of boats just below the staircase locks at Bunbury.  Wide beam boats just would not get past.  We got our diesel here for 66p a litre, this time needing over half a tank full. No boats were coming down so it was a matter getting up through the two joined locks so long as our paddle operators followed the rules.  Boats go in the bottom lock with the top lock full.  Then with the gates and paddles shut behind the top lock is emptied into the bottom one bringing the boats half way up.  Move the boats forward and shut the huge middle gates behind.  Then open the paddles to raise the boats to the top.  Simple !  You just have to see it to fully understand what is going on. 
Got on past Barbridge Junction where the canal branches off to Middlewich.  It was of course the Romans who discovered salt between Northwich and Middlewich.  We stopped near the Llangollen Junction to meet Geof and Mags on Seyella.  Thanks for the tea Mag. 

Then we were off past the other salt town of Nantwich and up the locks at Hack Green stopping at Moss Hall below Audlem.  The Audlem flight has 15 locks in 3 miles and with No Problem going up in front it was all done in 3 hours while the sun shone.  Some help was appreciated when the lock in front was emptied on our way up. 
With the current financial situation British Waterways are creating a back log of essential maintenance.  One day we may have to make a choice.  Which side of Braunston tunnel do you want to be?  The two year old land slip can only get worse by filling in and blocking the navigation.  NABO are asking for reports of missing facilities.  Canalside development tends to forget boaters needs.

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