Saturday, 6 August 2016

Oh so crowded here, can we cope?

We woke early, much earlier than loud laughing studenty types next door.  No sign of life there unsurprisingly, but we were as quiet as mice as we slipped away.

Rather a lovely start to what developed into a lovely complete day.

We pottered down to the lock, a whopper, with a dolly sized lock landing with a narrow boat already on it.   Humph could possibly have been uttered by me.... but as we looked for options, the Lock Keeper wasn't going to arrive for another twenty minutes.  Then a call form the bank was heard of moor up alongside us and we met Teresa and Brian.  

The ropes fastened and  the kettle on.  David went off to locate the Lockkie and to 'Check-in'.  

They have a different way of doing whopper locks to the Thames, where in all my limited experience we have not breasted up in those locks but we did here.  I think the Lockkie was very gentle with us, maybe he is with everybody or maybe its the "Northern" way, but it was a most civilised descent.

NB Hercules

This was moored up at the first lock.  Its looking a bit sad, but online there wasn't much information that I could find.... anyone know anything else about her (Or is it a him) other than this    HERE

We followed Teresa and Brian out of the lock.  

Not terribly clear, but they are terribly fast to disappear these Grebes.

Another sad sight, this time much much sadder.

Into the second and last lock of the day.
 We were wanting to water up (And obviously get rid of the rubbish having had fish twice already), but to save the other two boats waiting and the lock keeper at this second lock, we stopped at Acton Bridge I bolted with the bin liner and then raced off again.  Here the Lockkies either phone each other of your impending arrival or we can phone them ourselves to have the lock made ready.  

Last year on the Thames, a Lockkie shut the gates on a narrowboat about fifty yards out and said he can wait when there was PLENTY of room for him.  I had been staggered at the time.  
We filled with water after this second lock,  it really dribbled out but it was very sunny.

Through trees
We had been told that the far northern end was industrial and having come through Northwich on the canal I believed them.  I felt we didn't have to go right to the bitter end so turned when the fields got a bit dull looking.  Then retracing our steps went to here, its oddly named Devils Garden, ok its a bit thistly, but Devils...?

The calves put me off, you would think I would be ok with them having had about 400 at home at any one time but no.

Our mooring tonight
The boat in the very front had said to me he hasn't seen it so busy as it was today....  I looked at him thinking it was that good ole British sarcasm but he was Scottish and as serious as a judge.

Ok, hours later another boat joined us and at 8pm another.  But had this free to moor meadow been on the Thames well it would have been filled with Gin Palaces and no room at all.
I like it up here in the norff.

Our view to the south-ish

And the north-ish, packed with boats.

I can't tell you how much I love days like this.

David had to jump and and get rid of the pesky calves who came marauding .

And today lunch was....

and a very good Soave.

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