Sykes Hollow to Long Lane Bridge, Middlewich
We pootled our way along to the Queueing Lock, Minshull Lock, where a boat was coming up. No boats were waiting. We used to pass through here on our shareboat and quite often on a Sunday morning there would be a two hour queue to get through.
Familiar buildings and moorings came thick and fast as this six mile pound was quite often where we’d stop on our first night out on NB Winding Down. Embankments overlooking the Weaver to the east, a couple had moored up and plonked themselves right in front of a great view. The old house that looks like it was once a gate house, the archway for carriages now a glazed entrance. The stables that have been converted into a house retaining the old doors. Then the house with shutters, displaying large window boxes full of colourful flowers.
On the right of us were fields where the grass was being cut for hay. Orderly lines of cuttings were being made rapidly by a farmer zooming around in his tractor. I suspect it was a perfect day for it.
At Stanthorne Lock a boat was just about to come up, so I lent a hand. On board was a couple and it was their first time on a hire boat. The lady said she’d been given differing advice from people on how to work the locks. She’d also had people trying to rush her through, everyone has a first time on a boat and needs to take their time to gain confidence. I suggested that if people were in that much of a rush we tend to just let them go past and do things at our pace.
As I was working Oleanna down I could see the bow of a boat approach, a familiar design of a Carefree Cruising boat. No body came up to the lock, they were too busy tying up on the lock landing. They both appeared to see what was ahead of them at the lock side just as we were leaving. It was NB Otter the newest of the fleet, launched earlier this year, with we suspect the newest of it’s owners. Hopefully they had picked her up this morning and hadn’t taken since Saturday afternoon to get through one lock and a mile. But as we looked back at them taking their time, we did wonder!
We’d hoped that the visitor moorings before Wardle Lock would be in the shade as it was getting really quite hot, but when we arrived there was little shade to be had. It’s a nicer mooring here and closer to Tescos than dropping down to near Big Lock, so we pulled in. This afternoon we’ve stocked up the cupboards and hung washing out. A company has been found in Liverpool to service our life jackets, RCR membership has been renewed, measurements for various bits and bobs have been taken for Finesse and contact has been made with a chap who we hope will make our cratch and pram covers. Someone has asked the powers that be if I need a life jacket too. Well if I do, I want to be able to sit on the roof without a lead and jump on and off as I like. Or the life jacket’s hours will be numbered!
2 locks, 7.4 miles, 0 clouds, 1 hot day, 0 queues, 1st lady Doctor, 2 boxes oatcakes, 1 chicken jointed into 8 pieces for 5 meals, 1104mm by 705mm, 1 tin of woodskin needed, 4 hours in the brambles, 1 garden, 1 noisy woofer, windows 10 being uploaded, will the boat batteries last long enough? 1% charge on phone again!!