About Me

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After thirty years of hiring, I finally bought my own 50ft boat in 2005, which was built in 2001 by Andicraft at Debdale Wharf. I mostly cruise single handed and have no problem with that, although it does take a little longer than with a crew. My mooring is on the Wey Navigation, so I have a choice of routes on the Wey or the Thames.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Grand Canal Tour 2014. Towards Nantwich 2.

It was market day in the town and this market has been in existence here for the last 700 years, so it was time to pay it a visit. There was nothing really unusual about it and while the girls visited all the charity shops, Terry, Mick and myself got engrossed in the antique tools stall, where the stall holder was charging exhorbitant prices for his second hand junk; actually it was not all junk as I had my eye on a small Kayes pump oil can, for which he wanted £38! “No problem,” he said, when I refused, “ I will easily sell it at the next steam fair.” I left the group later and headed back to my boat, as they were off to the town museum.

There were twenty two locks between here and Nantwich and I set off about  midday, making steady progress through the Adderley five and then came to Audlem fifteen, where there was a lot of traffic, so I passed through about half of them with little to do. It is so nice to be waited upon sometimes. I passed Gabriel, with James and Hazel on board (also BBC members) and stopped for a brief chat to catch up on news.

Arriving in Nantwich about 6 pm is not the best of times to start looking for a mooring and I ended up down by the marina on an illegal mooring spot. However, as I would only stay the night there, no one was inconvenienced. The following morning, I decided to wind the boat and find a better mooring closer to the aqueduct, which would be more convenient for the town. Winding holes were about 1 mile apart, so it was a slow process past all the moored boats, but eventually I got onto my favourite spot where I moored up so happily a few years ago. The canal is high on an embankment here, which is so typical of Telford’s engineering; if the canal is not high in the air, it is buried in a deep cutting with stretches of open countryside in the intervals. The BBC contingent passed by early afternoon on their way to the Llangollen canal, so I will not see them again for a while, but we will keep in touch, just in case there is a possibility of meeting up again.

Cranley comes through the aqueduct...........
...........closely followed by Barleytwist.

Filled up the tank and containers with diesel from Longport Canal Services fuel boat at 85p/litre, which I thought was a little high, but as the opportunity was there etc. It’s good to keep these guys in business though. I could then work out my fuel consumption, which surprisingly was 0.7 litres/ hour. This is the best ever, though I have been taking it easy and rarely exceeding 1,200 rpm. Normally the engine consumes about 1 litre/hour and on the BCN Challenge, 1.8 litre/hour, but the propeller had so much weed to contend with there.

I was one of the hottest days of the year and I spent a lot of it inside the boat and only went out in the evening to walk through the town to the sound of the church bells. There are a great many old houses and buildings here, many of which are half timbered and I feel the urge to photograph a lot of them.

I was chatting to some dyed in the wool boaters on the bank and heard a couple of funny tales from Graham on Hakuna Matata, meaning ‘No Worries’ in Swahili. Graham was a licensed trader, selling tiller pins, rag rugs, windlasses and too many other things to mention. He had worked on boats since a young age and from a boat yard close to Caggy Stevens on the Birmingham Main Line.

He told the story of the woman in the marina with her new boat. As he walked past, she was baling out water from the engine ‘ole, but he didn’t think anything about it, until he returned an hour later and she was still doing it. Curiosity got the better of him and he asked where all the water had come from. To which she replied that she was trying to check and see if the propeller was clear, but couldn’t get all the water out. He replied that if she continued doing it for another 10 years, she might manage to empty the canal through the weed hatch!

Then there were the hire boaters at the water point, who seemed to take an extraordinary long time filling up, so he asked them how long they had been there – “About an hour now, but there is still no sign of the tank being filled.” When he looked at the hose, it went into the boat and was connected to the galley tap!

Despite it being the hottest day of the year so far, I walked into town again to shop and take some pics, as well as visiting Rodney Densem Wines. I looked in here on my last visit and was surprised at the size of wine stock on show. Every bottle had a luggage label with a handwritten description of that particular wine. There were also free tastings of Scotch whiskey  on offer – most unusual. On that visit, I bought one bottle of Maxime Trijol cognac, which was superb and not overly expensive, so on this visit, I purchased two bottles of VSOP. The only other supplier in the UK seems to be in Southampton.
Alms houses on Welsh Row, built in 1870.

Another house on Welsh Row.

Moving house or just moving on?
Welsh Row again.

Now in the town centre.
Crown Hotel.

Churche's Mansion built in 1577 and originally moated.
The best pub in town?
Interesting Joule's windows,
with their trade mark at the bottom.

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