Friday 17 April 2015

Easter 2015 Cruise - Day 15

Today is to be our final day on the LLangollen canal.  We have both immensely enjoyed the cruise on this canal and will certainly return in retirement to explore in a lot more detail.

We had a wander into the Mill shop before setting off this morning as we wanted to get a couple of canal maps and one of those oval metal plaques of the Montgomery canal as we seem to have started collecting them.  Not sure where I'll mount them yet,  probably in the back cabin somewhere.

We set off and fortunately the Lift bridge worked first go. Probably because two C&RT engineers were in attendance.  They were only too pleased to lift the bridge for us as it gave them a chance to test it.  A similar occurrence at the next lift bridge saw a boater's wife wait for us to go through even though there would have been plenty of time for her to lower it and get on their way before we got there.  Naturally we thanked her profusely for her kind patience.

Lady boater works the lift bridge for us.

Just short of Baddiley locks Chris spotted these young lambs and their mothers.  One lamb was happily playing with a cheeky Crow, chasing it and then being chased in return by the Crow.  Both seemed quite content with their game.   Unfortunately the Crow flew away as we approached close enough for a photo opportunity.

Playful lamb with crow just out of shot
 At the lock numerous birds were chirping and flying around.  Chris just managed to capture this bird by the bywash wall before it too flew off. After consulting the book we reckon is a Grey Wagtail 

Moving so fast Chris just caught this short by chance

All the Baddiley locks were against us so we took our time as no one was about.  At Swanley locks a few boats were coming up so we had these in our favour.   Up to now it had been very quiet with few boats on the move but this all changed as we rounded the corner for the run to Hurleston Locks.  Boat after boat after boat lined the towpath all the way down to the locks.   Not sure why so many but all seemed set to stay for the day.  Various painting and cleaning jobs were taking place.  Some were just sitting out enjoying the freedom the weekend provides.

Moored boats all the way to the top lock
 At one point I had to reverse back to allow a boat to pass because of overhanging bushes.  The wind gently blew us onto the bushes whilst we waited for the boat to pass but luckily we were stopped so no scratches.  

It was just as busy in the locks themselves.  As we descended each lock we crossed in the pound with another boat coming up.  There were far more boats ascending than going down so mid way down the pounds we getting lower.  AmyJo barely made it out of the third lock down bumping on the sill as she exited

A busy day at Hurleston
 At the junction boats were everywhere.  Four boats were waiting to come up and I had to wait for two to pass on the Shroppie before I could pull out.  Chris had to walk round and across the bridge onto the other side before I could pick her up.

Pulling in to pick Chris up.  Looks like I'm going to hit but
was mid turn as I winded round and got stern in to let Chris board.
 After the last few days it was like turning out onto a busy motorway.  We barely got underway to find three boats behind us and two heading towards us.  Now I know why they call it Frantic Friday.  Clearly everyone was out for the weekend cruise.

Now we only have two days left of this cruise the three of us (yes including AmyJo) are starting to slow down as we get closer to Tattenhall though for AmyJo this is probably because the canal here is much wider and no flow with us, so progress just appears slower.  

Seems none of us want to go back as we're enjoying ourselves cruising.  Perhaps we should have turned right instead of left at Hurleston Chris!  

One day soon my dear ... one day  :-)

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