Sunday, 6 March 2016

Overwater to The Montgomery Canal

Monday 18th January

We have a few days to ourselves before family and friends come and visit during February so we decided to head back up the Llangollen Canal and make another attempt to visit the Montgomery Canal.  We booked our passage through the locks for Friday 22nd January.

Leaving the marina

Dave steered Ella out of the pontoon and out of the Marina.

Excellent position!

It was the best exit we have made yet!!

We cruised to Nantwich and moored up on the embankment and waited for Tim the engineer from Bourne Boatbuilders to arrive.  There were a few snagging issues to sort out before we continued on our way.

After Tim had left we walked into the town of Nantwich to do some shopping and then returned to the boat for the evening.

Tuesday 19th January

Today we cruised from Nantwich to Wrenbury and moored up in front of the boat that makes and sells boat fenders.  We treated ourselves to supper in The Dusty Miller beside the lift bridge.  

At the top of the Hurleston Locks we met Linda who runs the hire boat company called Cheshire Cats out of Overwater Marina.  She was busy replacing carpet on nb Little Star ready for the new season.

Wednesday 20th January

We woke to a cold and frosty morning, the weather was sunny and dry and we had a fantastic day cruising to Whitchurch.  Our passage through Grindley Brook was much better this time - practice makes perfect - and we moored up outside the Whitchurch Arm for the night.

Thursday 21st January

Another cold start to the day, but a pleasant enough cruise through to Ellesmere.  As the water flows on the Llangollen, there is less risk of it freezing over, but as we turned into the Ellesmere Arm the canal was frozen over and we stopped at the first available space to moor up for the night.  Dave had to use the pole to push the slabs of ice away from the mooring so I could get close enough to moor up safely.

Friday 22nd January 

Fortunately the temperatures had increased overnight and the ice on the branch had completely melted and disappeared.  This meant we were able to turn the boat around at the end of the branch and cruise out forwards.  I didn't like the idea of reversing the boat out of the branch!!

Arrived at the Montgomery Canal bang on 12.00 and Roger the cheery lock keeper was there to meet us.  He was going to guide us down the Frankton locks onto the Montgomery Canal.

Roger and Dave

Roger helped us down the staircase lock and then through the next two locks.

Deep chamber

The staircase here has three locks, top middle and bottom.  
Below Frankton Middle Lock is the site of the dry dock where "Cressy", the narrow boat was moored. It featured in "NARROW BOAT" by the late L.T.C. ROLT and this publication fired the enthusiasm for the restoration of the canal network and which was later to produce the birth of the INLAND WATERWAYS ASSOCIATION. 

Perry Aqueduct

The Montgomery Canal has its very own aqueduct over the River Perry!!

We cruised on until we got to Maesbury Marsh where we decided to stop opposite the Navigation Inn, as we were tired and the wind had got up again making cruising much more difficult.
The canal was extremely quiet until we got to Maesbury Marsh where we saw seven boats all moored up.  The limit of current navigation is just up the canal at Gronwen Bridge where you need to turn the boat and head back up towards the Llangollen Canal.

Saturday 23rd January 

Today we had a quiet day exploring the local area.  We walked further along the canal to where it is being restored and was fascinated to see the shape of the canal with very little water in it.  

Canal Centre

We called in at the Canal Centre which acts as a shop/post office/cafe during the season.  I understand it does fantastic chocolate cake but we weren't able to try it as they wouldn't let Toby in and it was too cold to sit in the garden!

Horse drawn boat

We found a horse drawn boat moored up. This is used during the season to ferry people on day trips.

Sunday 24th January

Turned the boat around and began our trip back to the Llangollen Canal and Overwater Marina.  We took five days to return and eventually moored the boat up again on Thursday 28th January.  Cruising was generally incident free apart from getting stuck under some trees and losing the boat hook into the canal.  In my defense, it was very windy and I was distracted by a fisherman and I was more worried about losing the satellite dish into canal!!
Fortunately that didn't happen but we are minus a boat hook!!

Ella is going to spend February in the marina whilst we meet up with friends and family and begin to plan our next adventure in March.

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