Boatwif Blog

16ak-32a 0

Ferry duty

The thing about the unexpected is that there is no warning of when it may occur… Take Sunday for example. A prompt start from above Willey Moor Lock     was successful for all of one minute – and then a high pitched bleeping sound sang out from the rear end of the boat. Engine off. Warning gauges inspected. Engine boards up. Loss of water coolant diagnosed (the cause of the slightly blue tinged water in the bilge at the...

16AJ-00 2

Quick Peeks

There was nothing quick about the start on Wednesday morning… Cleddau and Tentatrice had spent the previous evening and night about two hundred yards above New Marton top lock. From untying the mooring ropes it took nearly an hour to enter the top lock. The reason? Cleddau was number four in a boat queue, Tentatrice number five …     and as the minutes ticked by so the queue grew! Once through the two locks a meander of a few...

16AI-27f 0

Tight squeezes on the Llangollen

The last five miles from Trevor to Llangollen are spectacularly beautiful.   The canal runs on a contour along the side of the Vale of Llangollen, the River Dee running in parallel below along the valley bottom. For boaters crawling towards (or from) Llangollen the trip can be a nerve-wracking business. There are three stretches of Narrows, where there is room for one boat width only.     For the second time in recent weeks the hand-held radios were deployed...

16AH-15 1

Pronunciation

And so to Llangollen… In all the time Cleddau and crew were heading north west to Liverpool and back earlier this year no boaters showed any curiosity about how to say “Cleddau” or why the boat is so called… Heading west on the Llangollen Canal however, folk can pronounce the word (think: CLETH-EYE) and some even recognise the reference. “Ah, Pembrokeshire!” said a walker one day. “Is that the eastern or the western Cleddau?” Then, at Ellesmere (Ellesmere in Shropshire...

16AG-17f 2

Lurking along on the Llangollen

There’s been a fair bit of lurking in recent days: there were hours huddled inside the boat below Hurleston Locks on Saturday, drying off and warming up after a very wet cruise along the Middlewich Arm. Then on Sunday morning there was more lurking while waiting for the Cheshire Three to arrive with a promised mail drop.     Along they came – by which time there was a boat queue. Seven boats one side of the bridge, four the...

16AF-13 1

Downhill to Middlewich, then a sharp left turn

The boat trip to Llangollen continues. Boating is great but occasionally, just occasionally, it’s good to go ‘off piste’. Moored still on the Macclesfield Canal at the Ramsdell Hall Railings Boatwif and the Tentatrice First Mate ploughed across the fields (and the odd cow pat) to Little Moreton Hall.     It was not the first visit for Boatwif, nor the first guided tour.     Viewing  the long table in the Great Hall leaves you impressed.     It’s...

16AE21 0

A HALOUS Experience…

Cleddau’s late summer cruise is under way.  A leisurely cruise to Llangollen (92 canal miles, 69 locks, 12 movable bridges, 3 tunnels and  2 major aqueducts) cross-country from north Cheshire to North Wales) started with a deadline to meet… Conditions on Thursday were grey     – then wet, very wet… The sky was a tiny bit leaky at Bollington (look, those floats are marking the site of the leak earlier this summer     – and look, there is...

16AD-24 1

Bottoms up!

The Cleddau crew have spent some time in the home land. In far west Wales the Cleddau Bridge that strides above the Daugleddau waters that feed into the tidal Milford Haven is an impressive sight.      Car drivers are charged at 75p per crossing. Those with a head for heights (and suitable weather proof clothing) can stroll across for free…  On a glorious sunny August afternoon the water sparkled     and foaming wakes left sharp white patterns on...

16T-30 2

Bedford River Festival

“Are you going to the River Festival?” friends and neighbours had asked all last week. “Will you be on your boat?” Yes – but no… Cleddau is tied up in Cheshire     and the Bedford River Festival  is 9 waterways, 297½ water miles and 141 locks further south…  This year, then, the Festival was to be viewed by foot rather than by boat. The River Festival “was founded in 1978 to celebrate the completion of a navigable route, by...

16U-21 0

 Takeaways

It’s a modern word, Takeaway, isn’t it? For some it might summon up images of kebab boxes dumped on the street or frankfurters smothered in onions and  tomato sauce. Sound as intentions might be for healthy eating options, sometimes the craving for a takeaway is just overwhelming… Not everyone gets the chance to attend a festival – but you can probably guess that a festival will likely provide new and unfamiliar sounds, sights    – and probably tastes too… It...