A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Posts Tagged ‘endevour’

Narrowboat Log – Day 7

Posted by Alan on August 22, 2010

First off we moved the few hundred metres through Wheelock to fill up the boat.  Having not reached Hassall Green, the last day would be longer than planned.  From here we were rushed through locks 66 and 65 buy a really unhelpful boat called ‘Stonewall’ who seemed to think everything was far to slow! So we moored up an ate the sausages bought in Middlewich the day before as brunch and let them steam by.  The rest of the Wheelock flight plus the two locks at Hassall Green were finished in time to have a pint at the Romping Donkey.

Happy Ruth locking up

Happy Ruth locking up

And then the sun came out! And after a quick pint we carried on up the final locks to Kidsgrove finding the Red Bull next to Lock 43.  Excellent food and rather good beer.  By now the light was starting to fall as we hit the last stretch back to the boatyard.  Given our tendency not to rise early, it seemed wise to be as close to the marina as possible.  The last lock, the Hall Green stop lock with just at 6″ rise put us back on the Macclesfield canal and within 15 mins we were moored inside the marina.

Mum working the boat

Mum working the boat

And so that was it – Sunday morning we had to hand back the boat at 9AM, so after some tidying we slept with alarms on for the first time in a week. It was my first boating trip in around 9 years – very enjoyable and Ruth is now hooked.  Apparently if I get rich, I have to buy a narrowboat! 🙂

And so I sign off this series of posts with a very helpful sign on one of the locks: Keep boat forward of cill marker.

Keep boat forward...

Keep boat forward...

Summary

Weather: fair with sunny outbursts

Destination: Heritage boatyard, Scholar Green

Locks: 25 (I think)

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Narrowboat Log – Day 3

Posted by Alan on August 8, 2010

Mostly gentle cruising today, swapping skipper once in a while.  This stretch of the canal winds around country estates as well as some heavy industry.  It’s a slow and indirect passage.  In many parts the salt mining industry has caused the surrounding fields to collapse leading to the formation of vast ‘salt lagoons’.  It’s like taking the boat through a lake, except that aside from the actual canal cut the water is hardly deep enough to allow the boat’s passage.  Not that you can tell that from the surface!

Cows drinking from the canal

Cows!

Grey industry

Grey industry - Salt mining can be found over much of this part of Cheshire

Passing boats on the canal (monochrome)

Traffic!

After arrival at the Anderton boat lift, we decided to see how much it would cost to take our boat down to the Weaver Navigation. Just how cool would it be to take our boat down instead of the trip boat? Err… with a cost of £0 for our boat or £7 per person on the trip boat well, the Yorkshire in us won out – decision made!

Anderton boat lift

Anderton boat lift - the view from the Weaver

(I have a ton of boat lift pictures so I will save picking out the best for a future entry…)

Once on the Weaver Navigation (allegedly a river – pretty much a large canal without a towpath) we headed up to Northwich in search of somewhere to moor for the night and some tea.  Our first stop was near Town Bridge – a swing bridge in the town centre, providing easy access to the town centre and The Penny Black.

Town Bridge, Northwich

Town Bridge, Northwich

After enjoying the ‘spoons Tuesday steak club we decided to move a bit further up, just outside of Northwich beside Hunts Lock to escape the ‘bustle’ (traffic noise) of the town centre.

Hunts Lock and Railway Viaduct

Hunts Lock and Railway Viaduct

Despite the incredibly secluded look in the picture above (our boat is just visible in the dusk light – down from the second bridge arch) we were only a few minutes from a large housing estate containing the Blue Barrel where me and Ruth escaped to for cheeky pint!

Summary

Weather: Drizzle/Cloudy morning, clearing to fine by dusk

Destination: Hunts Lock, Northwich

Locks: 0

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Narrowboat Log – Day 1

Posted by Alan on August 3, 2010

Arrived at the boat yard around 11.45, close to Mow Cop just north of Kidsgrove, Staffs. The boat (Endevour) belongs to a boat club my dad joined through work. Endevour hasn’t been out for 3 weeks so everything needs checking thoroughly and the fridge needs a proper clean out.

Around 1pm ish Ruth’s parents arrive to join us for the first few miles, first lock and a short diversion to the entrance of the Harecastle Tunnel, one of England’s longest canal tunnels. Apparently our boat is too long to ‘wind’ (turn) in front of the tunnel at 52′ long (c. 16m) so we have to manually walk the boat back to Hardings Wood Junction where we can safely wind and head north west.

Ruth gets a driving lesson on the narrowboat

Ruth gets a driving lesson from my dad as Ruth's dad looks on, worriedly!

From Hardings Wood to our final mooring site that night, it is down most of ‘Heartbreak Hill’ (aka the Cheshire Locks) – 15 locks in total on the first day and we are already well ahead of schedule. This is a great opportunity for Ruth to learn to lock! We finished the day tired from the fresh air and small amount of manual effort… long way to go yet!

Double Lock on the Trent and Mersey Canal

Double Lock - typical on Heartbreak Hill

Summary

Weather:             Fair but cloudy
Destination:       Somewhere between bridge 141 and “Chell’s Aqueduct”
Locks:                  15

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Back to the internets

Posted by Alan on August 2, 2010

Having been on a narrowboat last week, I gave up all forms of electronic communication. I didn’t miss it much – the main thing was being able to look up stuff to answer questions when were tanking along at almost 4 mph (6.4 km/h) or in the pub!

Weather was largely fine – a bit of rain one day but we did go boating in the North West so you can hardly expect endless sunshine. I’ve loads of photos to upload and much stuff to write – having kept a paper log! As you might expect… all of the pubs will be reviewed on my other blog – East London Drinker plus a few others from a recent trip away. The biggest adventure was taking the boat onto the Anderton boat lift…but I’ll save that for a proper entry. For now, here is us on the way home at Hassell Green – taking a break before tackling the second half of Heartbreak Hill.

Us on the boat

Us on the boat

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