|Same viewpoint, not sure how old this photo is, but I think boating is altogether more enjoyable today than then.|
Early-ish up and a purposeful walk along the city wall which is right next to us to the North Gate, then into town to a shop David had been told about, A Cheese Shop.
We took twenty minutes or so deciding and brought four different ones, or was it six?
Ambling back to the boat still enjoying high temperatures and sunshine, pulled the pins or to be pedantic, untied the ropes and set off around the corner, along a bit through the gorge type cutting under the dramatic city walls and onto the lock landing for the triple staircase locks here.
|City Walls at the top of picture.|
|Corner Tower of City Walls|
|Just look at the different layers of the walls.|
|The canal was blasted through the rock in the 1700's|
All the locks were full of water, a pair of boats had recently come up.
Easy, read the instruction board, then scratch head, read the board again and to go down the locks, empty the bottom and middle locks. Then have crisis and walk back up the hill to the board at the very top and read the board again.
Yes, I WAS doing it correctly. I had been expecting to have seen a lock keeper here but he/she was clearly on holiday.
|WaL in the top chamber|
|See the rock walls? This chamber caused me worry.|
|Middle chamber filled to the brim before I emptied it, it didn't fill as high again.|
|My Old Dutch about to come and help...|
Now the worrying thing for me, and Reader I was very concerned, was that on arriving the three were completely full.
To go down WaL takes one lock of water with her to descend.
But, on emptying the top lock of water into the middle lock and WaL going down too, the water level now in the middle lock was well below the wet mark on the lock wall where the water had come up to only minutes before.
Now to this simpleton, that means that there is not the same quantity of water in the middle lock as there had been to take the previous boats up, only about fifteen minutes earlier. I was very concerned that WaL might touch, scrape or worst case get stuck on the cil between the locks.
David was a very long way down inside the lock and frankly not much help, I think he shrugged his shoulders.... but in the event he put the engine into neutral and wafted to get over the cil.
All this time, I had been telling this small giant, 'Dutchman' next to me my concerns, this couple had been walking on the city walls above us, seen the action and come down to watch. I was soooooo happy they did as....
Next problem soon arrived. Me and My Old Dutch, shut the gates, opened the paddles and waited for WaL to descend into the bottom, third and final chamber, then could I open the gates? I could not, not a millimetre, David getting a small shower at the back there from the leaking gates was yelling "Its ready, open", we were pushing it and shoving it (I think you'll find thats a song) but still no movement at all. Me and my Dutch, went over to the other gates and tried those but no joy.
I reported back to the Captain.... He was deep deep below, did I ever tell you Reader he does not like heights? To have had him climb up the ladder to help may have involved the services of an Ambulance.
Suddenly a dog walker was on the other gate, giving it repeated wallops with his derriere and BINGO! The required gap appeared. I called out my deepest thanks to him but he didn't stop, just called his dog and walked on without a backward glance. Thank you sir, I really don't think we could have done it without you.
The Giant Dutchman and his very nice wife thanked us for the show and waved goodbye, resuming their walk. We went on and out of Chester into the scrubby countryside.
|I think some of this is old....|
|We had almost passed this plaque before I saw it, but Mr Rolt was from Chester.|
|Restored canal buildings in the basin.|
We moored up at Chester Zoo, or pretty close enjoying the afternoon of sunshine.
The next day jumped in the waiting car, drove to Old Trafford and had a day at the cricket for David's Birthday treat. We saw Mr Cooke and Mr Root get a century each, a great day. The next morning the Boat Sharers arrived and we departed for a week at home.
I called my mother the next day, "I've broken my arm!" she announce with great aplomb. I didn't want to tell you or you would have driven home too fast on the motorway...
So this is what I have been doing since and why this blog has been so disjointed.
WaL is in B&B and we will rejoin her as soon as.
|This place had a car park.|
|Selfie Sticks forever!!|
|Sir Matt Busby (Evidently important)|
|I like to think these people in Hospitality had to pay serious money for having to stand the entire day to watch, we had seats.|
|Mr Ali in the nets.|
|This idiot sat in the full boiling sun all day without cream or hat and was seriously burnt, I couldn't take my eyes off him.|
|My dear old mum|