Now the daylight hours are drawing out and its light when I get back from work I can see AmyJo is looking a tad jaded after her winter in the marina so now the weather seems to be improving we'll look to giving her a good clean and polish and a bit of TLC. She has weathered the winter well and our polishing last year has paid off though months of log burners on the go, from ours, and other boats have left a film of dust and soot over her that will wash off easy enough. A bit of elbow grease will have her sparkling again no doubt. Would love to know how Joe keeps nb Yarwood so shiny all the time!
Last weekend in a lull in weather we managed a short trip down the Shroppie to the now closed Shady Oak pub for one night just to clear the cobwebs and stretch our legs for a bit. It sure felt good to feel the cut flowing under the baseplates again even if it was only for a little run and it was clear AmyJo was enjoying stretching her prop too! Traffic was non existent and we had the cut to ourselves whilst on the move. Signs of an imminent re-opening of the pub are to be seen with evidence of a re-fit taking place inside. So hope the Shady will be open again. It used to be a great pub years ago and is so convenient for us on the cut. The next pub is either in Barbridge or Chester.
|Chris decided to helm most of the way there and clearly enjoyed it.
|Beeston Castle looking resplendent the cold air.
|Our mooring opposite The Shady Oak Pub.
|Introducing a very well behaved Buster of Dee O Ghee.
Later in the Summer we hope to do a round robin onto the river Weaver via the Manchester Shipping Canal and the Anderton lift but have no date set yet. We were inspired to do this following Adam and Adrian of Briar Rose's (Click) trip last year. They posted a great blog about their trip on the canal (Click) and some useful advise about it too (Click). The guide provided by the Shipping canal company prefers boats to make passage in convoy or rafted together for stability if possible. If anyone else is thinking of making the trip we'd love to hear from you and perhaps we could go together as a group? There are several Criteria you will need to follow and there is a useful guide downloadable from their web site (Click) if anyone is tempted.
As for the rest of the season, we have no further plans but an imminent change at work, as I am another year closer to retirement, will mean we should be able to cruise a little bit more this season. More on this on a later date when its finalised. The rest of the season we'll have to be content with weekend cruising.
This weekend with a favourable weather forecast, we slipped the lines and headed up into Chester. Chris and youngest had some retail therapy planned and it gave me the opportunity to get the polish out in the lovely warm sunshine whilst they bent the plastic (at least they did not break it - sighs with relief). Eldest has a milestone birthday in a few weeks so some serious shopping was required, at least that's what I was told :-) Dad knows best and got on with the polishing. Its not a good idea to resist when my girls get together, believe me I tried once. Who just said Petticoat government then? Oh and yes little fingers and twist come to mind :-)
By chance we spotted via twitter that Brain McGuigan on Alton coal boat was headed into Chester as well and was not far behind us. We were going to replenish our dwindling coal supply when back at the marina but a 4pm whilst we were moored near Cow Lane bridge, Brain pulled alongside and we took on board 3 bags of his coal.
|Alton pulled in while we stocked up with coal
|Brain, Andy and Alton head off to Ellesmere Port
This morning started very wet and so we sat out waiting for it to stop but was pleasantly surprised by a visit from Chris's school caretaker, Ray and his wife. After they left we donned our wet gear and got under way. Whilst in the first lock (Tarvin Lock) and nearly ready to leave Brian's crew, Andy, appeared and we agreed to wait for them it Chemistry Lock.
Whilst waiting the sun put in an appearance and then the rain stopped. The day brightened and warmed nicely from then on. It took some time for Alton to join us as they had been stopped for fuel and coal by boats moored below but then we were in no hurry so were quite happy to wait in the lock. We then shared the locks up to Christleton. We bought a fender from Brian for our morning neighbour as we had spoken to her about Alton's fenders as she needed one. We paid a lot less than one would in a certain Chandlers then, as Brian had customers at the Old trooper we parted our ways and we carried on.
|Brain and I were so busy chatting we did not see the lock gates open for us,
so got a telling off from Chris, much to Brian's amusement.