Friday 16 June 2017

The Cat, Crick, Chester and beyond

Well reader,
I've been really lazy the last few weeks where the blog is concerned, in fact, now the nice weather is here I've actually been very lazy full stop!

We have, however, been on the move since our last post so time for a catch up.  

If you recall we were moored on our favorite mooring at Waverton for a week.  On the Wednesday it was time to move AmyJo so we (the royal we that is) cruised all of one mile up stream to the Cheshire Cat Pub and hotel.

The moorings here are quite pleasant and the Cat does a lovely menu, well being moored outside it would be rude not to wouldn't it?

Its been working out that we stop 7 days at each location before getting itchy feet to move so after a week at the cat and needing water I moved up to the water point by the Old Trooper some 800 yards further up the canal from the cat and stopped there for another 7 days after reversing back off the water point..

Of course, like everyone else we had booked into Crick show so cruised AmyJo back to Tattenhall marina to stop whilst we were away.  As always the show was packed with boats and people and for once the weather behaved whilst we were there.

It was also interesting to see that our two tone Grey colour scheme seemed to be popular with some of the show boats this year.  These were the same colour shades but in reverse.  They looked superb.

On the second day the crowds were bigger so we decided to take a stroll along the towpath.  Up to now Smudge had behaved impeccably and was handling the sea of legs and other dogs really well considering we spend most of the time out in the country.  Poor chap was having a sensory overload but he never complained once.  His fave stall just happened to be the Fernwood stall as he received a lot of doggy treats from the girls on the stand! 

Not looking as busy this year on the cut
 Poor Smudge could not managed the temporary bridge across the cut.  The pressed out grip holes in the flooring beams clearly hurt his paws so a carry was in order.  For being a good doggy he was awarded a snazzy bandanna to wear afterwards.

Enjoying having the weight off his paws and his new bandanna

No canal boat show would be complete without an appearance from these two!
 This boat had its roof covered in toy ducks.  It would appear the owners were looking for a suitable duck to place over the mooring pins but could not find one suitable.  So many friends donated toy ducks they became a feature of the boat when moored.

These are but a tiny part of the collection

Once more we went to Crick with a small shopping list but once again came away having spent far more than we should have.

After the show we took ourselves off to Essex for a brief visit to the parents and then returned to AmyJo.  After a night in the marina club house for the not to be missed open mike night we (yes all three of us this time) headed out and cruised back to the Cheshire Cat for a few days.

To be honest nothing noteworthy was done for the following days apart from regular walks for Smudge, though with the settled weather I did manage to get some rust treated and painted on the gunwale Starboard deck.

From here we moved up to Chester spending a few days by Cow Lane bridge then moved down into the basin via the Northgate Staircase after a quick stop at Tower Gardens moorings for a spot of lunch.  Its quite interesting single handing down this staircase best done roping the boat down but I don't think I'd want to try going up on my own.

Once in the basin I found a handy mooring opposite the dry dock that was not a visitor mooring so managed to stay there for a week.  The basin has new apartment blocks and one nearby has C&RT showers and toilets built into it.  It also has a hidden water point at the other end to give us drinking water to fill the tank without having to move (note a long hose is needed).  This spot is normally reserved for C&RT working boats but after a chat with the guys crewing the work boat was given the OK to moor there as it would mean the mooring would be kept free for them on their return later next week.   We do just fit behind the work boat when it there to be honest so have moored there before.

Once again after our 7 days of chilling out and visiting the town I filled the water tank, winded AmyJo, and headed up stream towards Ellesmere Port.  The plan was to stop near Chester zoo and when I got there the moorings were deserted.  It was a lovely sunny day so after a bit of early lunch and a walk for Smudge I decided to head on into the canal boat museum.  

Mooring is relatively cheap there although the only amenities are toilets (during open hours) and a water tap outside the shop.  Parking is a bit hit and miss as the car park is locked between 5pm and 8am so if you need a car during that time you need to park outside the car park. 

Your first night fee is your visit fee per person for the museum (£19.50 for two) then its only £4 pound per night there after.  For the fee you get an annual pass to visit the museum any time and as often as you like too.  So good value I reckon.
AmyJo moored in exactly the same spot when
we did the Shipping Canal trip a few years ago.

View of the Mersey estuary

The forecast over the next few days is for a mini heat wave.  If this is the case we intend to give the cratch cover a good scrub to remove the green winter rime and re waterproof it.  Its not done too bad for the last three years so it will do it some good.  I also want to get a bit more painting done where one or two small rust spots are appearing on the bow and stern decks.

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