Boatwif Blog

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Umbrellas

Thursday 12th April: 11.54 miles, 7 locks “I’d love a cup of hail-proof tea,” said the Captain once Cleddau was safely back on the Macc.  From Church Lawton up to Kidsgrove, through 6 locks, during a shopping and a watering stop the skies had  not leaked rain and rain caps had not been worn – a great improvement on previous days. But once the sharp right turn from the Trent and Mersey onto the Macclesfield Canal had been made at...

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Cakes, Hail* and the Marmalade Lady

Wednesday 11th April: just north of Wheelock to Church Lawton, 6.24 miles, 20 locks             Embarrassed last night that only a few crumbs remained of boat cake when our Bosley visitors were on board Boatwif retrieved the second boat cake (baked before departure) from the freezer compartment and now it has defrosted. The recipe for Toss in Together Cake was passed on decades ago and it always goes down well after a boating day. It is flavoured with mixed fruit,...

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Rather a lot of weather

Tuesday 10th April 2012, Marston to near Wheelock, 14.2 miles, 9 locks Pretty well everywhere in mainland UK today was likely to experience showery conditions, according to the morning’s weather forecast. There have been occasional glimmers of sunshine, a great deal of scudding cloud, several very sharp showers, lots of cold air, three hailstorms and possibly the beginning of a twister! So a day never to be far from a rain hat and also one for waterproof over-trousers and gaiters…...

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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...