Monday 30 May 2022


Today's Canal - Llangollen

We set off at our usual time of 9:30 on a day that promised mostly grey and some wet spells. (In that regard it did not disappoint!)

However, Mike soon realised that the problem with his CanalMap program had not gone away and so he felt the necessity to see if he could fix it and he persuade Christine to take over steering for a while.

As a result there are very few photos between our overnight mooring and Ellesmere Junction! The problem was that the GPS navigation feature was not recognising when we passed each known way point.

This long been of help to us to know where we are if we lose track on the paper maps. However, although a new feature (to recognise entry into tunnels) had been tested in the lab (aka Mike's home office) it was failing 0n the boat and Mike needed to look at the data in real time.

Along the way we passed through Ellesmere Tunnel which, although fairly short, has a bend in the canal just before the entrance which meant that Christine could not see if there was boat already coming our way. Alas, on this occasion, just at the last minute, spotted one on its way towards us and had to back off.

At the junction we could see that the imposing former Canal Company house is undergoing extensive renovation. Let's hope that this will mean that the view is retained for a long while yet.

We turned down the short arm towards the town and were relieved to see several empty slots and we quickly grabbed one.

The reason we came here was so that we could top up our food supplies - there are few other opportunities en route ahead. However, as we had a cup o coffee some very heavy rain arrived and it was shortly before midday before we could venture out.

We walked to the town centre - this is not a large place but with a range of small shops. We managed to pick up some unusual loves of bread including one called Welsh Bread together with a couple of delicious looking Eccles cakes. We also bought a small freshly made pork pie from the butcher and a larger one from the delicatessen next door (where we had earlier bought bread) Time then to return to the boat, hurrying to avoid the rain.

The butcher's pork pie formed part of our lunch and was especially good. Some places make them with too thick pastry which is not cooked through (big disappointment) whilst others fill a lot of the inside with jelly. This one was just right!

Mike continued to sort out his program and was rather relieved when he found what suspected to be the problem but only when we get going again will he really know.

The rain returned over lunch so it was quite late before we could go to the nearby Tesco for the rest of our shopping. Fortunately we were able to carry it all back to the boat in a trolley - along with most of the other moored boaters!

It was almost half past three before we could untie and go to the end of the arm in order to turn around and hence back to the main line.

Alas the former Shropshire Union Canal Company warehouse is even more decrepit than when we have seen it before - it seems that no-one has yet found a new use for it.

Just after the junction we paused to use the full range of facilities at the once busy maintenance yard. Unlike several others this one has not (yet!) been sold off for up-market housing.

Although still grey the rest of the afternoon was dry as we followed slowly behind a number of hire boats freshly out from the nearby marina.

We continued for about an hour before finding a place on one of the visitor moorings - it took some effort to be reasonably firmly tied up. Although this is one of the designated visitor moorings, complete with rings (courtesy of the Shropshire Union Canal Society) some parts are very shallow. Again, no mobile signal so this blog will have been uploaded later by the time you get to read it. (It took us to Whittington Wharf next morning, close to a main road, before we could pick much up)

6.0 Miles - 0 Locks

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