This morning the sun was out but large grey clouds were beginning to appear. As there is a water tap close by Chris took the opportunity to get a wash load done to keep on top of the laundry before we set off.
When this was completed we moved AmyJo the few yards to the water point and filled up. C&RT appear to be re-laying the stonework around the gate on the off side of the lock and their fencing made it difficult to get to the paddle to work it but there was just enough room to squeeze in.
|C&RT works at the lock and the awkward barrier access to the paddle
Just as we were full and left the water point a boat came up and out of the lock so we went straight in, for some reason, keenly watched by a group from the towpath.
|This was the first moving boat we'd seen since joining the branch, The group watch in the background from the towpath.
We left the lock and chugged slowly past the marina and under the railway bridge. So quiet is the branch that these were the only two boats moored up on this popular stretch.
|No queue for the lock and not a moving boat for miles.
We arrived at Minshull Lock to find it also in our favour. Obviously no one had used the lock since we passed the boat at Cholmondeston lock. The cottage here looked as though it has had some TLC as it looked splendid with its tended garden.
|Straight into and down the lock on our own.
|The lovely lock keeper's cottage
It was a nice cruise with the cut all to ourselves. You can see the black clouds accumulating in the photo too. We expected traffic as we passed Aqueduct Marina but here the moorings were also empty.
We finally reached Church Minshull moorings to find we had them completely to ourselves. By now a very big ominous black cloud was approaching across the valley and just as we finished tying the lines the heavens opened up. We sat out the shower banging on the shelf until it finally eased so I could deploy our anti shelf tires to hold us off. The sun later made a brief appearance but showers have scudded through all afternoon. The temperature has notably dropped somewhat and for the first time this summer I've put on a jumper!
|One of the most popular moorings on the branch and we are Billy no mates.
|A rare moment with the sun out.
Its now 6pm as I type and so far only two boats had gone past since we moored up. Its so peaceful its heaven here at the moment!