Boatwif Blog

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Boat and spirits lifted

Monday 9th April 2012: 1 repair, 1 boat lift, 2.15 miles Moored at Lion Salt Works Museum, Marston, Trent & Mersey Canal Will Cleddau be repaired tomorrow? Will Relief Crew be reunited with car and family…? These were the questions that hung in the air last night. Stranded far from road or population the crew dug deep into their own and boat reserves.  A small traditionally decorated stool, a gift, has been aboard for some 17 years.  It serves as...

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Immobilised

Sunday 8th April 2012: 3 miles, 1 lock, 1 breakdown Plan A today was to proceed to from Acton Bridge to Anderton Boat Lift (1 lock and about 4 miles), drop off Relief First Mate to do Tourist Duty around the Visitor Centre, proceed on a further two miles to Northwich to hunt down Sunday papers, then return to collect the Tourist, and tie up on Barnton Cut Moorings ready for tomorrow morning’s upward lift passage. Plan A was not...

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Just messing about on the river…

Saturday 7th April 2012, Sutton Moorings to Acton Bridge, 5.84 miles, 1 lock Moored overnight at a services mooring Cleddau was well tended this morning before departure: the Captain (at Boatwif’s suggestion) cleared the roof of all the paraphernalia and with a bucket of water,  Zip Wax polish and mop he washed the roof and then the sides of the boat. Did it need doing! Huge amounts of dust had accumulated along the top during the recent dry weeks and...

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From Top to tail

Friday 6th April 2012 Vale Royal Moorings – Marsh Lock – Sutton Weaver Moorings: 18.75 miles, 4 locks The Weaver Navigation (about 19 miles in total length and 50 feet below the Trent and Mersey Canal) has much to interest boaters: deep water, wide channels, helpful lock keepers, varied rural and industrial scenery – and even a few other boaters. In an entire day Cleddau has passed  four other moving boats, a few moored up  with chimneys smoking as an...

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Slow descent to the Weaver Navigation

Thursday 5th April 2012. 1 boat lift, 2 locks, 10 miles  A new day – and a new coolie hat for the boat, a replacement for the rusted specimen crunched in a skirmish with a Middlewich bridge a couple of days ago. Relief crew arrived by mid-morning, equipped with lunch for four, fresh bread, some milk – and some strangely clinking liquid “Easter eggs”.             Cleddau was moved to the holding moorings outside Anderton Lift to await instruction for the...

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The best laid plans – and Mrs Claus

Wednesday 4th April 2012, 4.5 miles 0 locks It was a difficult morning; amendment, it was a very difficult morning after a very rough night. Back in the “historic quarter” of the boat (the sleeping cabin, not yet refitted  to modern standard) the sound insulation is poor. Slap, slap, all night long went the waves which tore across the flash, pushed by the north easterly gale. A lesson has been learned: sunlit expanses of wide water are far from idyllic...

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The vagaries of April weather…

Tuesday 3rd April; distance: 3.5 miles; 1 lock Scottish Sister (resident on the Black Isle, NE of Inverness, only about 100 feet above sea level) rang this morning. “We’re under four inches of snow, we have no power, this time last week we were sitting on the patio in short sleeved shirts!” Meanwhile on Cleddau there were several weather related plans. Plan A: stay put during all the predicted rain, scuttle out later to shop, huddle inside boat again for...

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Onwards to Middlewich

Monday 2nd April 2012             Gaiters and waterproofs were declared the garb of the day this morning. The weather was never too difficult to contend with, but from time to time there was a need to replace the gloves or find a fleece hat or wipe a wind-caused tear from the eye… while underfoot conditions were occasionally slippery. No matter: first there were the Wheelock two locks followed by Wheelock village. Here many of the gardens cause a smile. There...

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As the crow flies

Sunday 1st April 2012 : Anniversary of the founding of the Royal Air Force             As the crow flies the distance travelled by Cleddau today (from just north of Scholar Green to just before Wheelock) was about 7 miles; for the boat it was 9.04 miles and a drop of 307 feet through 25 locks. The boat’s home mooring is distinctly in the Cheshire highlands but now she is heading down to the Cheshire plain where some fields contained contented...

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Renewal and regeneration

  30th – 31st March 2012 Boatwif had woken up with a start on Friday morning: sunhats… don’t forget the sunhats! The assembling of “stuff” vital for an Easter cruise was pretty well complete, and once loaded, she and the Captain headed the 150 miles north to the Macclesfield Canal. Usually the journey is via the M6 route but on Friday the route which goes further north towards Derby and then west towards Stoke-on-Trent was chosen. What a surprise at...