With a certain amount of trepidation, we slipped out of the Trevor arm at 8.50 this morning and commenced the turn onto the final stretch of the Llangollen Canal. The reason we were unsure how the day would go, is because the Nicholson’s Guides in their navigational notes, advise against commencing this section of canal if your boat draws more than 21 inches. Our boat draws at least 30, possibly 32 inches, and I had visions of getting stuck halfway, blocking the canal at the height of the holiday season. You will be pleased to know, and we certainly are, that Nicholson’s are wrong. Yes we bumped along the bottom in a couple of places and the final narrow was painfully slow, barely inching along on tickover. Other than that, not much else to report on our short, four mile incident free journey. We only met a couple of boats on the way and the basin at the end had plenty of room. So we are now all secure and plugged into mains electric for our two day stay. The Icebreaker mentioned in yesterday’s post had also made it.


                                                    The landscape is becoming increasingly hilly.



                                                        The hills above Llangollen ahead.



                                     Single passage only at this point but the water is crystal clear.


                                                      The final narrow towards Llangollen Basin.


                                                                   All secure in the basin.


                                                                     The town of Llangollen.


                                                       Llangollen bridge crossing the river Dee.

During a walk round the town we found the railway station, and tomorrow we are in for a real treat. Llangollen to Corwen and back by steam train, including a trip to the famous Horseshoe Falls, the source of the Llangollen Canal.
Totals 4 Miles
Running total 347 Miles 161 Locks 14 Tunnels


We departed St. Martins’s Moor at 9.30 this morning and an hour later we were passing through Chirk, approaching the first of two aqueducts we were going to cross today. The Chirk Aquaduct is the smaller of the two but running parallel with it is an impressive structure carrying the railway.


                                                        On final approach to the Chirk Aquaduct.


                            Joining the Chirk Aquaduct with the railway to the left and Chirk Tunnel ahead.



                                             The crew steering whilst I hopped off to take a few snaps.


                                               Not as high as the next one but a taste of things to come.

Chirk Tunnel proved interesting. It is only 459 yards long, but due to navigating against the flow it was slow going, and 100 feet from the exit we nearly came to a complete halt. Next we passed Chirk Marina which has a big hire base. We are hoping that between 9 and 2 tomorrow most of the hire fleet will be off the system due to it being change over day when we attempt the final leg into Llangollen. The route involves navigating a few narrow single passage sections so the fewer boats to meet the better.

                                                         Chirk Marina and Black Prince hire base.

A few hundred yards further on is Whitehouse Tunnel. Progress was again slow but this tunnel is shorter at only 191 yards. It was then only a mile to go until the highlight of the day. The canal was very shallow in places, and we often found ourselves bouncing along the bottom. Rounding the bend at the village of Froncysyllte, we could see through gaps in the trees the Vale of Llangollen, and the height of the canal from the valley floor below. Joining the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct it seemed as if the wind picked up. The boat was being blown against the thin side of the cast iron trough, and that was all that was preventing a big drop. (Perhaps it was my bad steering).

                                                  Beginning the transit of the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct.


                                  Viewing down the Vale of Llangollen with railway viaduct in the distance.


                                                            Viewing up the valley towards Llangollen.


                                                         Looking over the edge to the river Dee below.

Once over the aquaduct we entered the short arm for the village of Trevor and after winding and reversing we secured ourselves at the end of the arm. Over the last few days we have been trying to decide whether to take the boat the final leg to Llangollen as the canal is even more shallow and we have quite a deep draught. After seeking advice from various people we have decided to go for it. Moored close to us is a 1940’s Ice Breaker called Spitfire. They are also going to Llangollen tomorrow. These old icebreakers are quite deep so we should be ok. 
Totals 8 Miles 2 Tunnels and 2 Big Aquaducts
Running total 343 Miles 161 Locks 14 Tunnels