Wednesday 26 July 2023

Just hold the rope, don't scream, then get on yer bike

 It's horrible when a really good holiday comes to an end, that's completely how I felt this morning.  Yes obviously we played the Llangollen canal game of leaving early, I think it was 6am, not much past anyway.  

The reason is to whip through the narrow sections between the basin and Trevor, Trevor is the first village you come to, its a hire base there but we'll be way too early for the base to be open, then do the murderous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct without any hindrance, we've heard tales of boats queueing up both sides waiting for the chance to get across, then lastly to get past the slightly narrow but bendy section around Froncysyllte which curiously liveaboards chose to moor and presumably get hit by any inexperienced hirer passing, but that's free choice for you.

On this canal there are so many hirer boats on the move constantly from anyone of five bases on this canal but also other bases within striking distance on other canals.

Back to leaving.
I had my bike out this time.  My job was to stand on the short, wobbly pontoon, not to scream, hold WaL's bow rope as D reversed to aid him in not knocking the two boats either side at this hour, at the last moment throw on the rope, get the glass recycling, zip to the bins, then whizz to the first bridge to get photos for your pleasure Reader then scoot down the canal with phone to hand and report any boats coming.  

I would have been shocked should there have been any but anyway.

Short but wobbly pontoon, no noise, no voices just gestures, some of them rude.

These are the horse drawn trip boats that go up from here to Horseshoe Falls, then the horse is turned from the front to the rear of the boat and it returns.  The horses are walked up the hill to different accommodation overnight. 

These are the buildings with the nice cafe, elevated from the town with nice coffee and food.

And there he goes into the first of the narrows.  Is it true that two boats met along here, both refused to reverse and the were wedged for a day?  A great story if not.

The white posts on the right show a passing place in the narrow section.

The river Dee way down below, I was waiting on the towpath for David to arrive.  So sorry to be leaving. 

The junction appeared, I was on the bow looking for other boats, all clear and we eased through the junction, but it's an exposed site and the wind took the bow and WaL refused to turn right, so I took the plunge and jumped off the bow with the rope and pulled her around.  I must say that my days of jumping off a raised boat without the man I love to catch me are numbered, my knees think so too. 

Just for a change I stayed on the towpath and walked between WaL and the barrier.  I felt much better but poor David who does not appreciate heights was left alone.  But if you look you can see him straining to be as far as he can on the port side of WaL (left) to be away from the sheer drop. 

I felt much better walking.

Nothing coming, although the first boat we passed wasn't very far away at all.

Sun hat removed as it was a bit blowy.

I felt a bit sick taking this shot.  I hope you appreciate the lengths I go to for you Reader.

Yikes I didn't like being left behind either, those railings look very flimsy to me.

No dog walkers today, the cratch cover was firmly zipped down today.

Very lovely but the access is on the canal again, at least there is a grass verge.

Goodbye Chirk aqueduct.  A nice day now.


One last shot of the Llangollen valley in sunshine and blue skies, these skies were to be a bit of a premium in the week coming.... 

There was rain forecast later in the day.  Another reason for the early start.  Wimbledon had started and we are tennis fans.  One teeny weeny fault with the Llangollen canal is the lack of 4G.  But back at the long straight there was some signal. 
Some, so we were aiming for there.

We had begun to meet boats immediately after the Ponty-wot-not aqueduct as they were returning to their bases at the end of their holidays, we followed a really slow one for a mile and luckily he turned into the next base.
On reaching our intended mooring the sky was quite cloudy by now and the wind much stronger, it moored us up nicely blowing us firmly against the armco, but the boat following us was blown against the opposite bank, I think due to a bend, he had a lot of trouble getting off again and reversed out of sight and when he returned was going much faster to pass us safely.

We had noticed last time here that the hire boats are not slowing down, both days the wind was strong, I think they are either spooked or forget to go slower and to give a bit more space between moored boats as our ropes get a heck of a wrench, once is kinda okay but twenty boats have repercussions.
Well we moored and watched the matches.

Supper much later on was baked feta and tomatoes.  Not sure how exactly but I had three packs of feta onboard, (Another reason I'm not allowed shopping) 

Nice way to show support for Ukraine.

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