Thursday 21 April 2022


 Today's Canal - Shropshire Union

Another brilliant day - a bit breezier but pleasantly fresher. It did make boat handling require a tad more attention!

Through the day the sky was generally blue but mostly with a thin hazy cloud layer.

A day of to halves  - just over two hours level cruising before the final six wide locks. Again, Golden Nook moorings took about half an hour at a very slow pace to pass.

Eventually we arrived at Wharton's Lock, today's first. We shared all but one lock today but with three different boats!

We spotted a wonderful woodland splash of  bluebells but, as we usually find, it is difficult to capture the blueness on camera from the boat.

The boat we shared the first lock with rather wanted to persuade us to try the same at Beeston Iron Lock. It is likely that this would have been OK but with dire warnings posted beside the lock, we declined the invitation!

We warned them that we were probably stopping for lunch in the next pound so that they should not wait for us at the Stone Lock.

The arrangement below Iron Lock is very awkward for boats wanting to ascend. There is a hire base and bridge just 100m before the lock with most of the towpath allocated as a Visitor Mooring. Between the bridge and the lock the bank is not really suitable for mooring and the metal lock landing is a very short and not at all friendly to boats. With Mike preparing the lock, Christine was left to hold the boat just before the bridge where the Shroppie Shelf  makes itself felt. Another boat arrived and in the process Christine became very seriously stuck on mud but this other boat managed to pull her free. In reward she let them go ahead of us!

The Stone Lock was the first after lunch and we were joined by a CaRT workboat. The two person team had just finished a smart brick paved area at Ellesmere Port Museum and were on their way to their next job near Barbridge.

We paused for a while to allow a boat to clear Bunbury Staircase and took advantage of a water point - usually difficult to access on a hire boat turn around day! By the time we were ready to go up we were joined by one of the boats we shared with yesterday!

We continued for a short while to the next Visitor Mooring at Calveley where we found plenty of space and enough depth of water to be afloat tonight!

9.4 Miles - 6 Locks

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