Travelled 11.4 miles, worked 6 locks in a time of 6 hours.
Saturday evening Bob on NB Glenfield moored in front of us for the night. It had been a good couple of years since we had seen him, so it was lovely to catch up with him and to give him a book back that he lent Keith.
Yesterday (Sunday) was another busy day for me, what with finishing off the Spring clean in the back cabin, I also top coated my sale boards with some white gloss. During the morning a hire boat pulled in at our bow, and ask if we sold ice cream as they had run out. I could not sell them ice cream, but they did buy a packet of firelighters ha ha ha. I managed to wash and polish one side of the boat, the other side will be done when we are moored up in a shady place. Bob off of NB Glenfield left us to go on his travels for the Summer, so we said our goodbyes for now.
By the time I had finished polishing the boat, it was time for lunch and then I sat and watched the F1 GP, which was a fun packed race from Malaysia. Having cooked dinner and enjoyed a pint of Bass, I settled down to watch the "Dancing on Ice" final which was one of the best they have ever had, I am so looking forward to the next one now. As the daylight faded, we were treated to a stunning sunset over the Winsford Top Flash.
This morning we woke to heavy frost and a rather chilly back cabin, so there was a reluctance to climb out from beneath the duvet, but Paddy needed walking and we wanted to be on the move. At 8.45am we left our weekend mooring and set off in beautiful sunshine towards Beeston.
My first lock of the day was Minshull Lock 11'0" and we saw a boat already at the lock. NB Tilly Ho Jo went up in front of us and I went and helped with the paddles. As we moved up through the lock, two further boats arrived at the bottom, they had come out of the Marina.
As we approached Cholmondeston Lock, we were amazed to see most of Venetian Marina empty, but then realised that most of the pontoons had been removed and more were going the same way. Apparently the marina is under new ownership and they are doing a lot of work on the place. At the lock there were now two boats in front of us, so I stepped off the boat with the centre line, secured the boat to a mooring ring and then went up to help with the lock work. It seems that this spell of warm weather has got people on the move.
We arrived at the junction of the Shropshire Union Main Line Canal at 11.55am. With it being lunch time, I ducked down into the galley to make us something to eat whilst on the move. We stopped at Calveley to empty the toilet cassette, so I topped the water tank up, I had used a lot of water over the weekend, Keith got rid of the rubbish he had collected a long the towpath over the weekend. Just after the sanitary station we met up with NB Mary Russell, who we had met up with in Stone about 3 years ago. Hello's and how are you's were exchanged, and we were once more on our way. Before reaching the Bunbury Staircase Locks we passed some kilns, which we had never seen before, but because the undergrowth has been chopped back they are now visible.
Bunbury Staircase Locks in view, I once more stepped off the boat to work the locks.
I had forgotten how heavy these gates were and the fact that the bottom paddles were so highly geared they take an age to wind up.
We made it through Tilstone Lock and Beeston Stone Lock and Keith suggested we moor up in what was a lovely sunny spot with a lovely view. We closed the boat up and walked over the Chas Hearnden narrowboats, to say "hello" and to have a natter. Chas was very busy preparing his hire boats for the coming season, but Chris one of his helpers let us into the shop, where we picked up the latest Towpath Talk and bought a ribbon plate.
Back on the boat it was time for dinner and for me an early night.