Sssshhhhh! to Cholmondeston Winding Hole
Another drizzly start to the day so we took our time to get going. My phone was reset last night and managed to admit that it had a full charge, so far so good. Only thing was it gave me one ! which is what it’s been doing every now and again. But this morning it behaved and the charge dropped in a manor that was expected, so maybe it was fixed. We decided that we would give it a bit more time for it to prove whether it worked or not. So a stop in Nantwich wasn’t needed.
We passed through the two Hack Green Locks passing boats coming up and being followed. Then we pootled onwards to Nantwich. To the West we could make out Mow Cop in the hazy distance. Mow Cop is often in view from the Macc where we’d spent last winter and the last few locks to the summit of the Trent and Mersey.
Under David’s Bridge and the canal skirts round modern housing on it’s way into Nantwich and sits high on an embankment above the town. A lot of boats we’d met recently were after a mooring here and often it is chocka, but today there was space for quite a few. The aqueduct looked splendid with a fairly recent coat of paint. However we didn’t stop until we’d reached Henhull Bridge where we had a bite to eat.
Our cruising for the next couple of weeks will be dictated by our booking into Liverpool and trying to meet up with Finesse to do a few snagging jobs on Oleanna whilst we are relatively close to Sheffield. Last week we put together a list of where we could meet them and get a van close to the boat. The first possible meeting would be tomorrow at Barbridge Junction but as a meeting hasn’t been arranged we decided that we’d be able to carry on a bit further today.
Passing the bottom of Hurleston Locks we could see crews working their way up and down the flight that marks the start of the Llangollen Canal. Originally we thought we’d be heading that way this year, but we stayed longer in London than originally planned so we’ve run out of time.
Day boats now seemed to surround us, weaving their way along the cut. At one bridge we had to go hard astern as one came zooming into view. You could see them bobbing up and down on our stern wave as they came through the bridge hole! At Barbridge we turned right onto the Middlewich Branch, closely followed by another day boat.
Here we now enter old waters familiar to us from our share boat days. NB Winding Down was based in Sandbach on the Trent and Mersey, so the Middlewich Branch was a frequent trip for us. At Cholmondeston Lock a hire boat of Canadians was coming up, two ladies were trying to drop their ground paddles in slow unison. A lady waiting to come up helped with the gates and paddles, although she wanted to wind her paddle up very slowly and after quite a pause. Anyhow we got to the bottom and slowly cruised through Venetian Marina. NB Halsall was moored up on the towpath, it had a gear box failure a couple of days ago and is waiting to be mended, they hope tomorrow. There now seems to be a hire fleet based here and all the pontoons have been replaced, they used to look very unsafe slippy wood, but are now concrete and steel.
Just a short distance to our chosen mooring for the day. Just after Cholmondeston Winding Hole there are benches and barbecue stands where we have moored before. With only one boat there we pulled in alongside one of the benches, leaving enough space behind us for another boat. Tilly has been out climbing the trees and searching for friends. I suspect she’ll be busy for hours.
3 locks, 8.47 miles, 1 straight on, 1 right, 3 day boats, 1 perfect mooring for snagging, 1 sunny day in disguise, 1 phone pretending to be mended, 2 ! ! 1 mooring made for a barbecue, 1 mooring made for cats.