|The Navigator is always on the look-out|
Even in the slow chillaxed cruise mode we are not without itinerary changes.
|Barbridge Pub Mooring|
We moved to beautiful Chester from Nantwich with the plan of going to Ellesmere Port, the end or the beginning of the ‘Shroppie’ (Shropshire Union Canal), with the knowledge of impending paperwork and an inspection from a ‘surveyor’ from the Manchester Ship Canal so we could use the Canal with the big ships to get to the River Weaver. (I’m realising, in England or is it Great Britain that rivers are named as the River ‘Blah Blah’ not the ‘Blah Blah’ River. In NZ the anglicised name of the River comes first e.g. the Clutha River.
We enjoyed a pleasant and must be returned to, 2 nights in Chester, where we took prime moorings within easy walking distance of the beautiful Elizabethan/Tudor CBD not forgetting the Cathedral and the city ramparts. As what happens every year it was my birthday and I had fun visiting the plethora of ‘Op Shops’ (Charity Shops) and spending minimal amounts of money. Our mooring was outside an Indian restaurant sandwiched between a dog friendly Cafe/ Restaurant and a dog friendly Pub. Need I say more? At the Pub we met some interesting people, a couple up from the ‘Land of London’ of 8.7 million people and another couple (it was ‘her’ birthday too and I was advised to google the Gemini-Cancer cusp for astrological information about the whys and wherefores that could make up, in my words, my ‘poisonality’). They were from Keswick (popn @5,300) in the Lake District who have a link with the ‘Prince of Darkness’. Oh the joy of speaking with ‘randoms’ meant in the nicest possible way.
|Boats can go up and down|
Leaving Chester, The Staircase Locks was C&RT volunteer ‘manned’ which we were grateful for. They are deep dastardly locks and we had checked them out a couple of days before, on a Sunday. There was no volunteer working and a Narrowboat was moving up the staircase. We, as ‘the helpfuls’ helped out and lucky that we did as the gate into the Top Lock from the Middle Lock would not budge when it looked like it should move!
Obviously the Lock waters had not met level, problem with the leaky top lock gate.... I can picture why and how we resolved it but no need to explain it. Playing with paddles, in the Staircase system, was involved and a silent cheer from the handful of Gongoozlers when the gates opened.
“Thank you ever so much” was the warm message of appreciation from Mr & Mrs Fellow Boaties.
|Doer uppers? It doesn't float my boat!!|
We cruised on to Ellesmere Port enjoying the rural cruise and excited what the new adventure would bring. The Port is a Museum and we were able to moor up, down below so to speak, for a small fee.
|Are there pirates?|
We anticipated we would be staying for a couple of nights while we got the paperwork for the Manchester Ship Canal attended to and paid for. That was when we first heard that there was a problem with the Lock onto The River Weaver from the shipping canal.
|Manchester Ship Canal|
Sure enough, a phone call later and we were informed the Lock is out of use and waiting for a ‘Diver’s’ report. There was no identified timescale for this and we thought to head back to Chester the following day.
First was a night at the Museum. No pirates!
|How many DB's go into Cuddington?|
We hadn’t thought about having a Plan B and we have yet to confirm what we will do.
|Thx Mr Volunteer|
But we had another night in Chester. I changed my Banjo (Birthday present) for a Bass Ukulele to begin my collection of Ukuleles!
|It's all about the Bass....|
I have my trusty and much loved and used Cordoba concert Uke.
Tra la la........................