|Having dropped down Hack Green top lock Chris heads off to set the bottom lock.
Up to now the rain held off but signs the wind was picking up appeared on the cut but it was still manageable.
|Small wavelets on the cut as the wind started to build.
|Our pretend scarecrow gets ready to climb on his roof and act his part
|Approaching the services. Clearly popular as a winter mooring with plenty of boats moored.
|Is that Mow Cop in the hill in the murk
Now I've always wondered why Coole Pilate got its name. According to Wikipeadia Coole Pilate means a croft growing pill oats. A brine spring is shown on an 1831 map of the area, and is presumably the source of local place names such as "Brine Pit".
Little is known of the early history of the area. A square perforated stone hoe believed to date from the Bronze Age was found in a field to the west of Old Hall in 1936, suggesting possible settlement during that period. Coole Pilate is not mentioned by name in the Domesday survey.
Today the weather was not to good with rain from the onset but at least it felt a good deal warmer at 8C. We set off about 10am and kept the observation deck (pram hood) up to shelter from the rain.
At our first locks, Bunbury Staircase, we met up with the new assistant manager of Anglo Welsh cruisers, Steve, a good friend of ours and stopped for a chat. He has had a bit of a sort out of the boats and noticeable is the fact there is now room for boats to pass in opposite directions with the hire boats now only 2 boats deep instead of 3. All it took was for him to re-arrange them by size to fit in better. Not rocket science but hopefully will make things easier at the lock in future.
At Tilstone Lock we were just about to open the paddles to descend when nb Rosemary caught up. We let them into the lock with us and we worked with them through Beaston Stone and Wharton lock but going single at Beaston Iron lock.
At 2pm, and despite the now steady rain, we decided to stay out one more night so stopped at the Shady Oak which is now becoming a popular haunt for both us and the moorers at Tattenhall.
Tomorrow we'll return to the Marina as Chris is back at work Monday but we'll be out and about again at Easter for a couple of weeks.