Having spent a week at Grindley Brook, during which time the crew abandoned ship for a few days, we commenced our travels again on Sunday. Our planned destination Wrenbury, was six miles and four locks away. Passing through Quoisley Lock we met Ken, an old boy who attends the lock daily with a wheelbarrow containing useful supplies. He always helps with working the lock, even if not buying, but today we purchased a bunch of fresh carrots and some firefighters. Hopefully the latter will not be required for a few months yet. On arrival at Wrenbury we pulled into the ABC hirebase for fuel and water. This has now made it onto my list of ridiculously slow filling water taps. Over an hour, and the tank was still not full, but we had enough to last us a few days. We moved on a short distance to the 48 hour mooring zone, just before the manual lift bridge and stopped for the day. We had timed it perfectly as it was now 1 o’clock, and a Sunday roast at the Dusty Miller was beckoning.
Watching the countryfile weather forecast last night, it appears as if mid week we may get wind and rain, so this morning we made the decision to move again. Not long after navigating the three locks at Baddiley we were passing an ideal spot, so we stopped. I expect we will stay here for a couple of days now.
Since departing Yelvertoft in March, the boat engine has been run for 240 hours so far, and an oil and filter change is soon due. Originally, our planned route home was to be via the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union and then onto the Trent and Mersey canal. With this in mind we have arranged to purchase some oil from Aquaduct Marina on the Middlewich Branch, as they stock the specification of oil required for our engine. The change in our plans is that, from this point we are then going to return and follow the same route on our journey back. Our reason being, we both like the Shroppie and have not quite finished exploring it yet. The Trent and Mersey and Harecastle Tunnel will have to wait for another year.
Checking the map our mooring spot is adjacent to the small village of Ravensmoor. It is about a mile away over the fields, with a convenient footpath from bridge 12. The book also states the village is the home of the Farmers Arms P.H. which will need to be checked out, probably during our walk tomorrow.
Sunday totals 6 Miles 4 Locks
Monday totals 3 Miles 3 Locks
Running total 388 Miles 176 Locks 17 Tunnels
Soon after leaving Barbridge we were turning right at Hurleston Junction, to join the Llangollen Canal, and entering the bottom lock. There were warning notices informing boats to remove fenders, once in the lock it was clear why. I doubt if we had more than one inch clearance on either side in places. This was not the only issue we had with this flight of four locks. The pounds between the locks were very low, and on a couple of the locks we had trouble getting over the bottom cill. Still, once we reached the top we had good views back over the Cheshire countryside.
We had five more locks to go before arriving at our destination, two at Swanley and three at Baddiley. We have also experienced the effect of the flow of water on this canal. As we pass through the bridges where the gap narrows we are slowed to an almost complete stop. The Llangollen is fed by water from the river Dee, which in turn supplies the Hurleston reservoir and the Shropshire Union. Just before Wrenbury we encountered our first manual lift bridge, of which there are many on the Llangollen. These require the use of the windlass to raise and lower them.
Just after this bridge we stopped on the 48 hr moorings adjacent to a caravan holiday park. Not our usual type of spot, but well placed for Sunday lunch and the services at the boatyard ahead. Exploring the village there are two pubs, The Cotton Arms, and The Dusty Miller. Both are dog friendly but the Dusty Miller won the vote for our Sunday lunch. The boatyard also has a chandlers and I was able to purchase a much sought after HEP2O key, so now I should be able to manage any leaks we may get in the future.
We will stay put till Monday then set off for Whitchurch. We don’t plan to head too far towards Llangollen this week as it is the Eisteddfod and likely to be very busy.
Totals 7 Miles 9 Locks
Running totals 308 Miles 149 Locks 11 Tunnels