Saturday 27 September 2014

Are You the Guy with the Remote Controlled Boat?

Hello reader,
I gave up trying to post up to now as the signal was up and down for a few more days.  Turns out the local radio mast was not working though it seems it be now.

We're making the most of the mild weather and are out and about in AmyJo for the weekend so I'm having another go at posting whilst we have good internet here.

Beeston Castle is ever present all around these parts

We left Tattenhall last night and made the hour long cruise to the Shady Oak pub with Beeston castle never far away.  Despite rumours the pub is very much open and was quite busy when we went in.   We had a great nights sleep and was really lazy not surfacing until 9am.

I think cabin fever must have been setting in as both Chris and I are really enjoying being on the move again even if it is not as far as some of the regular bloggers.  

It was 10am and I was just preparing AmyJo ready to move off when a passing boater (who also moors in Tattenhall apparently) slowed down and asked "Are you the guy with the remote controlled boat?"  Now reader, as you can image I was quite surprised at this odd question and replied "No, nothing that fancy in this boat".  He seemed convinced I was the guy in question adding the boat he was referring to was the same colour as AmyJo and was "usually moored next door to Sheila" and he makes mooring up look so easy with that remote control.  "The guy is always tapping away at a remote control pad, thought you might be him.  Oh well" he said. "They must have been winding you up in the clubhouse I reckon" I quipped with a smile and he went on his way with a grin.
Now Sheila just happens to be the name of our mooring neighbour and, even though I say so myself, the few times we have ventured out I have, more by luck then judgement, always managed to pull onto our berth gently with little revs or fuss .

I though no more of it and so we upped pins and pulled off towards Bunbury.  Once under way I started to get my e canal map running on my iPad so as to see what lay ahead when the penny suddenly dropped! Could it be ..... no surely not, really?

Is this he infamous remote control pad maybe?
I had to smile to myself and a wicked plan started to formulate in my mind.  I don't think I'll be dispelling the myth for a little while just yet ... so no one let on please:-)

The weather today was a little cooler than of late and a jumper was required for the first time.  We made good time through the locks as all of them were in our favour or a few boats were coming down.  For the most part we were the only boat heading towards Bunbury.

Waiting for the boats to exit the lock

There they go an here I come

In Beeston Stone lock

Anglo Welsh hire boats make things very tight to get into Bunbury Locks
At Bunbury staircase locks the Anglo Welsh hire fleet were moored two abreast and that left no room for boats to pass.  Fortunately there was only one boat coming down in the bottom chamber so I had to take AmyJo into cit so the other boat could leave it and have clear passage past the hire fleet.

There were two jolly cheerful volunteer lockies on today and they helped us up the staircase chatting and laughing with us as we went.  We needed to wind at the turn just on from the locks but as they were hoping to get some lunch we offered to stop after winding to wait and have lunch ourselves.  As we winded another boat appeared and seemed impatient to get on, almost trying to pass us mid turn but as I backed out of the winding hole he was forced to stop.  Not wanting to be wasteful we decided to lock down with him.  The cheerful lockies were quite happy when we explained.  There was one boat coming up so we did the Bunbury shuffle and carried on.  I do hope the lockies managed to get their lunch afterwards.

Bunbury locks on our outward run

We carried on a little further and stopped at one of our favourite spots opposite Chas Harden boats on some Armco for the night.  It was then we realised we had left our mooring chain back at the Shady Oak were we stayed last night so had to use a nappy pin type mooring hook. :-(

Chas Harden boat yard
 Regular readers may recall we stopped here on our way up to Tattenhall from Crick and had our encounter with Mr Angry (Click)  I'm glad to report there is no sign of him this trip.  Whilst enjoying dinner in the cratch we noticed this large mound (we never noticed it last time funnily enough) and at first we thought it might be an ancient burial mound but it seems far to big and besides there is a concrete structure atop of it to the right.
unusual mound
A bit of research revealed it is in fact a group of WW2 fuel bunkers.  Wonder if they are used today?

On a change of subject, having lived on AmyJo for 6 weeks now one problem Chris has been faced with is where to hang washing to dry and in particular my work shirts.  Whilst hanging dry ones in my wardrobe one day a rare event occurred, my brain actually engaged and an idea came to mind.  Two lengths of wardrobe hanging rail later I came up with this

Wardrobe hanging rail washing line
The poles are spaced far enough away from the cratch board so a coat hanger can be hooked on them and they have proved pretty effective.  When crusing the air flow dries them nicely.  The poles are held in place by the usual U shaped cups so can be lifted off and stowed when not in use.  Only problem now is of course, on wash day entering and exiting AmyJo's cabin is now a bit like walking though that famous wardrobe into Narnia.  Bloody good job Aslan ain't around! 

Tuesday 16 September 2014

An Attempt to Catch Up

We seem to have slightly more stable Internet tonight so I a going to attempt to catch up with events.

You may recall we had travelled up into Chester for the weekend over the last bank holiday.  On that Saturday night the wind got up and AmyJo rocked just like being on the Thames in the Leisure 23 sailing yacht my brother-in-law sailed extensively in that area.

Sunday morning was wet and drizzly but as the day wore on the weather improved so we took ourselves for a stroll and found ourselves overlooking the River Dee not far from where we sail regularly in our Enterprise.

Our dinghy sailing area on the River Dee
Close by King Charles Tower we spotted a memorial we had not seen before. The sculpture below is a memorial to Captain Morgan who was in charge of a large cannon which was a major part in the city defences.  During the battle the cannon took a direct hit from advancing parliamentarians killing its gun crew.  The memorial attempts to recreate what was left of the cannon after the fateful event.

Monument to Captain Morgan's destroyed cannon

In the evening we walked to the Grosvenor park ready to see the outdoor theatre and had a stroll around the park

Status of the Second Marquee of Westminster
We then settled ourselves in our seats in the theatre to see "A comedy of errors" with our Presecco picnic hamper.  The show was most hilarious and we enjoyed every minute.  If you are ever in Chester during June to August I highly recommend booking tickets from  

Drinks in hand we're ready for the show in front row seats

The stage set and ready for the show
Once again the actors delighted the audience with their antics and then received standing ovations at the end of the performance.
We cruised back to Tattenhall on the Monday in better weather and had a lovely gentle cruise back even the locks seem to helps us through. 

On arriving at our berth we found the wind would assist us in reversing onto the mooring.  This because the wind held AmyJo's bow downwind but in line with the mooring jetty.  I managed with a great deal of luck to reverse onto the berth and even received a complement from a fellow boater who watched us.  Little did they know I'd never done that before nor probably be able to perform the manoeuvre as well again :-)  Still being a dinghy sailor and wind aware has its advantages sometimes but I do admit to being very relieved all went well as I shut the engine off.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Poor reception

Hi All
Sorry for the lack of posts recently.  For the last two weeks mobile phone reception for us has been diabolical to none, mostly the latter.  

Even as I type our internet connection is dropping out or barely maintaining connection with 1 bar.  Both Chris and my mobile phones are struggling to find a connection and mostly sit with 'No Service' outside AmyJo's cabin.  Even AmyJo's router SIM is struggling with her pepper pot antennas to get a signal. 

What is more annoying we are within yards of a mobile phone mast just across the cut.  This has been going on for the last too weeks.  Vodafone website showed a problem in our area but now shows its been fixed since 8th September and here we are two days on with still the same issue.

I am currently unable to post pictures so hence no posts.  Lets hope normal service resumes soon. :-(