We started off at 9.00 this morning, going first to the winding hole south of Nantwich and then back past our mooring about thirty minutes after we left. We have friends from Australia who have just taken out a hire boat from Trevor and we are moving along the Llangollen to meet up with them.
We reached the bottom of the Hurlestone Locks just before two hire boats, both crewed by Americans, none of whom had any experience of working locks. There was another boat ascending the four locks just in front of us and there was a short wait at each lock so I spent that time giving lock working lessons. There seemed to be a lot of running up and down the flight by the second set of Americans who were clearly quite apprehensive and they were coming back with messages about boat movements ahead which they didn’t quite understand, so it got a little confused. Meanwhile the boat ahead thought we were the novice Americans and very kindly started emptying each lock for us as they left it. A lady from the boat came back to explain why they were doing it. At the second time she asked me how long we were out for and when I said three years she realised that we weren’t really in need of a helping hand! Anyway it was kind of them and I was also helping the boat behind so it was passed down the line.
It was about 11.30 by the time we left Hurleston and very hot and sunny. We pushed on steadily from then on, eating lunch on the move. Considering the Llangollen is usually very busy there weren’t many boats passing and we had minimal waits at the locks, if any. Most sensible people were probably moored up to enjoy summer before it finishes. As we went through Wenbury to the first, manual, lift bridge it was raised and a South African lady hirer hitched a ride across the canal on the boat in front of us and told me that it was jammed so she was leaving it. Alan was walking so I transferred him over as I took the boat through and he shut it with no difficulty. I wonder if she had left others open? Alan raised the electric lift bridge for me and another boat that was hovering and I went through and pulled into the side to wait for him just past Dusty Miller. There was a strong mistral blowing across the canal and as I jumped off with the centre rope the bow was blown right across the canal: I was rescued by a man from the boat moored behind who helped me pull it in. Alan took forever and it seems he had opened the bridge again for another boat following. When we set off again there was no need to push the boat off the side, it was a matter of getting going before we ended up on the offside bank. We remember wind being a problem at those moorings when we were there last year.
We made it past Marbury Lock before deciding that was enough for such a hot day: it was then well past 4.00. The canal looks very attractive in the sunshine and there are masses of dragon flies and butterflies buzzing around. I hope the Australians don’t think that they will have the same sort of weather for two weeks, that would be miraculous!
As I was writing this a hire boat from Wrenbury went past so fast that we dipped right over to the side and he was making huge waves. Alan yelled a bit late and I had the computer on my knee, or he would have been yelled at in stereo!
Today we did 11.66 Miles, 10 Locks and 3 Lift bridges
Statistics so far:-
2748.84 Miles, 1703 Locks, 177 Swing Bridges, 94 Lift Bridges, 50 Tunnels