Category: Boat Update

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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...

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A waterway in the making

Sunday 25th March 2012             In October 1811 a group of businessmen met in Bedford to discuss the prospect of a canal connecting the (then) Grand Junction Canal which runs through Buckinghamshire and the River Great Ouse at Bedford.  John Rennie, the famous canal engineer, was commissioned to compile a suitable route.  He found two, prepared presumed costs, although in due course his preferred route was used to develop the Bedford to Bletchley Railway. Roll forward two hundred years and talk...

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Pole-painting and a pootle

Friday 16th to Sunday 18th March It’s when the evenings grow lighter that the symptoms start, an itching to be out and about, tramping the towpath, working some locks, steering the boat, peeking round the next corner… To cope with the longing to be afloat Boatwif is inclined to make impulse purchases: recently a new mop was bought (easier to operate with its shorter handle), then a second hand vase (to replace last year’s Hawksbury Junction casualty), and even a couple...

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Things found (and found out)

Saturday 10th March 2012, A “Grand” walk Recent events have included “a bit of turning out”. That phrase swam into Boatwif’s head last night: it doesn’t indicate anything as large-scale as Spring cleaning, more an activity which involves the complete emptying out of a box or a cupboard… It was while in search of the inherited heavy iron cooking plank, needed for making Welsh cakes, that a few odd items appeared. First was the key, a fine-looking, serious door key, but...

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Checklist Cruise

Saturday 25th to Monday 27th February The Captain and Boatwif self-prescribed a cruise: maybe cool fresh Cheshire air would clear the sinuses and some gentle floating curb the coughing… But first there was Duty to be Done. So that Techno Son-in-Law could run the school PTA Social Event and AGM while Cheshire Mum was returning from a London conference the Cleddau crew were needed in Macclesfield: just deliver and collect the Cheshire One from school, provide Part 1 Tea, take...