Yesterday we stayed put, sitting out the promised rain. However, there were a lot of boats that didn’t, mostly hire boats heading back towards Middlewich to be back for today. Cholmondeston Lock became a real bottleneck, with boats waiting on the lock landing and several hovering at the back of the queue. It was a highly entertaining spectacle, not least because we weren’t part of it! It kept us amused for quite a while, watching them all manoeuvring, trying to keep out of each other’s way, trying to get out of the way of boats exiting the lock, and trying not to hit the boats moored each side.
It was busy most of the day. We went down to the Cafe at Venetian Marina at lunch time to have an All Day breakfast, and were very disappointed to find that they no longer did one! So we had something else instead, with me promising Rog that I’d cook him one for tea! We had a lazy afternoon, and set off this morning.
Still cloudy and damp, the weather wasn’t showing much improvement from yesterday. Half an hour from setting off we were at Barbidge Junction, and we turned onto the Shroppie proper.
Not long afterwards were passed the Hurleston, the junction with the Llangollen canal
Hurleston Junction – not this trip!
Another half an hour or so saw us at Nantwich Basin, where we filled and emptied as necessary. Several boats passed us going the other way, all desperately looking for somewhere to moor. Nantwich was rammed – but then it nearly always is! There are a lot of permanent moorings, and some good long stretches of visitor moorings, both before and after the aqueduct, but they were all full. Eventually, the boat in front of us found a space. We were glad we weren’t planning on stopping there.
Shortly afterwards we saw this sad sight – yet another sunken boat. This is the 4th we’ve seen on this trip – it looks like it’s been there some time.
It had now turned into a typical mizzley Shroppie day – I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve cruised the Shroppie in this sort of weather.
We came up the two locks at Hack Green, queuing for a little while, but not for long, and then continued to our planned mooring at Coole Pilate. The weather has improved a little now, but it’s still dull. This is one of our favourite mooring spots so we plan to stay here tomorrow. Hopefully the weather will be a little better as we would like to get the cratch frame rubbed down and stained.
Our mooring for today and tomorrow, complete with picnic bench and barbecue stand. The Shropshire Union Canal Society do a wonderful job along here, providing excellent moorings, although the grass is longer than usual, but apparently that is C & RT’s responsibility these days. A lady I was chatting to at one of the Hack Green locks (they moor near here at Overwater Marina) told me that someone had to call C & RT not so long ago to report that the grass was waist high. At picnic sites (which this is) they are supposed to cut it 8 times a year. It’s not too bad now, but could really do with cutting again very soon.
8.6 miles and 2 locks