Tuesday 9th August
Today we returned to Rode Heath to find Ella sitting prettily outside the Broughton Arms. All the work we had requested has been done and we are ready to complete our summer cruise and head back to Overwater Marina.
Wednesday 10th August
Woke this morning having spent the night listening to the fire alarm beeping all through the night!! We removed the battery and found a replacement in the local store, so that solved that problem!! I had decided to change all the batteries in fire alarms and detectors on the anniversary of Ella's launch but this one beat me to it!
Daniel returned the keys to us on his way to work and we were able to make a good start on the second part of Heartbreak Hill.
This is a sad looking pub at Hassal Green which used to be called 'The Romping Donkey' - just love the name, one day it might re-open it's doors!
The canal passes beneath the M6 on its journey to Wheelock. It always amazes me the number of lorries thundering past at what looks like incredible speeds! I much prefer the gentle speed of 2-3 miles per hour!
Once we had moored up at Wheelock Toby and I went shopping to the best pet store in the area. Toby celebrates his second birthday this month and I wanted to get some new toys and a replacement collar and lead. We then took him for a lovely muddy walk along the meadows!
Thursday 11th August
We moved the boat from our overnight mooring to the middle of Wheelock where the water taps are and filled up with water.
Just outside Wheelock we passed nb Black Pearl moored up. We met the owner the first time we moored up with Ella a year ago and were surprised to see that she is now available to hire. She does look a handsome boat - much nicer than many other hireboats.
A field full of Canada geese!!
The new housing estate, Albion Lock, as you go in to Middlewich is appearing rapidly - I do still wonder what amenities are going to be put in place here.
The saltworks and a huge mountain of salt, the whole area is well known for the industry and the canal has suffered quite a lot of subsidence because of it. It does mean the canal is quite a bit deeper than normal, non-swimmers beware!!
We had to take our turn to lock down into Middlewich through Kings Lock and then we wanted to turn left onto the Middlewich Branch. A hire boat wanting to take on water, blocked the junction and then moved into the turning hole for the junction. It made the turn difficult but I managed with no mishap apart from the gentleman suggesting I could have done with bow thrusters - I was not amused!!!
We continued out of Middlewich and moored for the night on the Middlewich Branch with a beautiful view of Top Flash and the River Weaver below us.
Friday 12th August
Woke today to sunny skies and warm sunshine, lovely!
Passed our favourite village, Church Minshull, and a new bench to enjoy the view from.
We turned left again onto the Shropshire Union Canal and carried on towards Nantwich where we moored up for the night. We do like the town of Nantwich and walked in to do some shopping.
Saturday 13th August
Last stretch - a short cruise to Overwater Marina. we were leading a convoy of four boats but we soon lost them as we went through the Hack Green Locks.
There were two working boats from the 1960's breasted up below the locks. Mountbatten and Jellico (the butty). She was built as a carrying vessel and has been used to service the canals with diesel and coal deliveries.
Dave maneuvered the boat successfully into our mooring and we packed up the essentials before heading back to the house.
This cruise was given the title Overwater to Stratford-upon-Avon. In reality we have been anywhere but, and have found many beautiful and enchanting canals. It has been our longest cruise, just over eight weeks, and we have thoroughly enjoyed our time on the boat.
Some facts and figures -
- visited seven different canals
- cruised 356 miles
- worked 221 locks between us
- sailed for 206 hours
- used 284 litres of diesel
- diesel costs £212.06
I do like facts and figures!!
This week the stopping places are lime green dots!!