Sunday, July 17, 2016

Just four locks!

The start of the day
Not intentionally competing with Phil and Jackie on NB Achernar, who must hold the record for the shortest canal journey in one day (I believe it was ½ mile and one lock), our journey today was ½ mile and four locks.

Immediately after descending King's Lock, Grace drew Kantara up alongside the Middlewich Chandlery, where we topped up our diesel tank.

King's Lock Bridge

A soppy spaniel entertained us while we waited, with her attempts to find stones near the edge of the canal that she could knock into the water. She loves the sight of the ripples, and the “plop” of the water, her owner told us. She used to do it continuously when the ground there was very stony, but such was her enthusiasm and energy that she caused the edge of the bank to break up, and they had to have the whole length of it concreted. But still the daft creature scratches and scrapes at it, hoping to dislodge something and release it into the canal.

Tank filled, we found ourselves part of a traffic jam, with two boats coming from opposite directions, each wanting to turn the 90° into the junction of the Shropshire Union Canal (The Shroppie to many), while another was trying to turn out of it. It didn't help matters that we'd had to tie Kantara up at the chandlery with her prow sticking out into the middle of the canal, in order to bring her fuel filler close enough to the diesel pump.
Before the jam!
But they sorted themselves out eventually, leaving us the space to drift across to the other side of the canal to moor at the water point, to fill that tank, too.

And it was then that it started raining.
Circumstances dictated that I had to stand by the tap for the duration of the long fill, so my sogginess started then, too. My photography also ended then!

After filling up, we had three more locks to go down in order to moor close to the town centre where the big Tesco is. The rain got heavier with each successive lock, I swear it did, so by the time we'd moored up, we were both sodden. There's a limit to how much water a cagoule – even a fairly expensive one – can keep out. We dried ourselves, donned dry clothes, ate lunch, and watched the rain stop. We were able to do our shopping in the dry.

After which, more rain. We stayed for the night.


  1. We have done a few longer days recently, but make up for it by having three or four days rest between moves.

  2. That's the way to do it - at the pace you like! Why hurry?

    Have a good trip.