Boatwif Blog

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Homebound cruise resumed…

After an emergency closure of the navigation on the Middlewich Arm Cleddau had returned southwards to Nantwich to await further news… Canal and River Trust was due to publish an update about the stoppage on Monday morning. When late on Saturday night a check on the website revealed that the closed area would reopen at 10am on SUNDAY morning it was time to formulate a new plan. The boat needed to be turned round to face north again, (a slow...

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Delays… diversions… disasters…

Back to the Macc… It’s a simple route really: take a left out of Overwater Marina,      go about 5 miles northbound to Barbridge Junction,     take a right across the Middlewich Arm to Middlewich, then a right uphill, up the Trent and Mersey to Hardings Wood Junction, then a left back onto the Macclesfield Canal… Was the Cleddau crew really ready to go straight back to the Macc – well, not quite. There was a pause overnight...

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An evening cruise – and a Dahling afternoon…

No, Cleddau has not slipped her moorings at sunset and sailed off into the gloom – but the John Bunyan did! While home-based for a few days in Beds, a friend had extended a kind invitation to join her on a birthday cruise. Since 1995 the Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway Trust  has been promoting the development of a canal link between the Buckinghamshire town of Milton Keynes and the county town of Bedford. Close the Gap (not the same as...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...