Friday, 22 August 2008

Drowned Rats!

2 Locks, 11 Miles, 1 tunnel. Now moored at the Poachers Pocket.

Our friendly squirrel awoke us this morning by pelting us with more acorns or parts thereof again which had to be cleaned off before we could remove the stern cover. At least it was fine to start of with this morning when we set off for Ellesmere tunnel. This was Robin and Jenny's first experience of a canal tunnel.

As the canal was getting narrower and becoming shallower many boats were running aground in their attempts to pass each other but most of them managed to re-float themselves and carry on. We came across one boat with 3 damsels in distress who were well and truly aground. As we passed by we offered some advice which didn't work so we reversed back to them, took their stern rope on board and tied it to our mooring post and towed them clear. That was our good deed for the day.

By the time we reached New Marton locks it had started to rain with the occasional roll of thunder in the distance and there were some real black clouds on the horizon. This didn't go well with the fact that we were in a queue of 5 boats at the first lock. Due to some boat crews dithering about it was an hour and a half before we finally got into the lock but at least this spread the boats out by the time we reached the second lock.

It was not long after this that the skies opened up and we had a real downpour for nearly 15 minutes. It rained so hard that the roof drains couldn't cope and the roof literally filled with water up to the hand grip which meant about 2 inches of water sitting on the roof. Robin had pulled the tonneau cover over the stern and sat underneath it leaving me to weather the storm. The rain finally eased but we still had to put up with occasional showers right up until we moored at the Poachers Pocket pub.

After drying and thawing out we thought that the weather had improved sufficiently for us to go for a walk and have a look at the Chirk aqueduct and railway bridge. We started out on the towpath but it was so muddy that we opted to try the nearby road even though we were not sure if it would take us near the aqueduct. As it turned out we found the aqueduct and viaduct which we photographed from below and then retraced our steps partway before trying our luck on another road which lead back to the canal and a tar sealed towpath right up to the Aqueduct. We walked across the Aqueduct talking to the crew of a boat making its away across to the Chirk tunnel and crossed into Wales again.

Before we had left the boat Jenny had put some chicken pieces in a marinade that she had concocted so by the time we got back to the boat the chicken was ready for the pan and it turned out to be a delicious meal which was enjoyed by all.

1422 locks, 2050 miles, 46 Tunnels, 42 swing bridges and 26 lift bridges since Nov 2006

1 comment: said...

A handy site to find moorings at :-)