Thursday, August 18, 2016

Moor and Peace

How very appropriate, here on the Shropshire Union Canal!

We left our very Peaceful Mooring hoping upon hope that the Canal Club boat we'd encountered yesterday had made a very early start, and was moving at least 50% faster than she was yesterday. This was not very charitable of us, I accept, but we do have a schedule to keep. We do need to be on the Wyrley and Essington (aka the Curly Wyrley) by Friday week. And I really do want the poor lady skippering that boat to be doing it better than she was yesterday. For her own sake, and that of her family.


It was a warm day, and building up to be very hot. Swallows darted around the boat. Three of them were seeing off a buzzard, flying at him from all angles as if to confuse him, until he got the message and winged it.

The Shroppie is clearly a superior canal; superior to the Leeds & Liverpool and the Bridgewater. It has Armco for mooring. Miles of it, on banks that aren't overgrown with undergrowth, so that, once again, we can moor pretty much where we want to.


Except that there's the Shroppie Ledge, a mysterious protrusion from the side of the canal, below water level, which gets in the way sometimes when you try to moor, and results in the boat standing out from the back a foot or so. We haven't actually experienced the problem yet, but we have seen lots of boats moored with that gap between them and the bank.
And then there are the wasps. Entirely seasonal, of course, but still a problem. It wasn't so bad today, but yesterday they were buzzing around us in large numbers almost immediately we turned onto the canal. They stayed with us until bridge 27, when they simply disappeared en masse. Even the ones which had been avidly feeding in bowls which had held cake and cream just left. It was strange, as if some natural law forbade their passing beyond that point.

We stopped counting the boats we met, yesterday. This canal is far busier than any that we've been on this yea, and we're probably meeting more in one day now than we were seeing in a week previously.

We spent some time travelling with NB Serenity, getting to chat with them when both of us stopped for a lock. They were on their way to Venetian Marina, where they'd be hanging up their windlasses after six years of living aboard. They were finding life on the canals was getting too much for them as they were getting older, and were stopping while the going wasn't too tough. Wise, but sad.

We've been using less diesel that we'd expect, which is a good thing, of course. But, with about half a tankful still, we decided to fill it to the top again, thinking that this will probably last us now until the end of this cruise. We pulled over at Venetian Marina and filled up. NB Serenity was moored sadly nearby, her owners no doubt psyching themselves up now for moving off her and back onto land.

It was good to meet NB Dabbling this afternoon, albeit for the ten seconds it takes for two boats to pass each other. We were greeted first of all by the lady at the tiller, then by her husband who appeared from below, calling out that he's  a reader of this blog. I got a Tweet from Gerard this evening.
great to sail past a , enjoy reading your blog. I was working in L'pool last week and did spot you on the moorings
It's always good to meet folk who read the blog, or have read my book, or whom I follow on Twitter. It makes them far more real somehow!

At Barbridge Junction, we turned left,
passed the start of the Llangollen Canal,
and went on to Nantwich.

A long line of moored craft had left a space for us!

The sunset over Nantwich was phenomenal!
Not Photoshopped! 

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