Aqueduct Marina to The Old Barbridge Inn : 4 miles, 2 locks, phew!
We're off!! We rushed around this morning doing things that we need a lot of power or water for. I vacc'd the whole boat. That was another ordeal. We'd packed the little vac we had spare at home and I had ordered a heap of bags for it online. Stupid, stupid, they came so neatly packaged that I didn't open the parcel and of course they are the wrong size. So now for the next year we'll have to manipulate the bag to get the vac hose plugged in. Oh well.
Mick washed the covers for the flat cushions that go on the seating in the cratch. I did a couple of loads of washing last night and took them to the marina laundry to dry in their mega dryer. We tidied up, had a cuppa, and then ran out of excuses as to why we couldn't leave. We both ran to the loo a couple of times. I think we were nervous. :)
Finally we decided we could delay no longer so started up the engine and ever so slowly made our way out of the marina with me peering out the front to tell Mick how close he was to the other boats. Goodness it was nerve wracking. We did our little manouvre to turn left out of the marina (thanks Ray) and there was Sue from the marina office hurrying down to the canal side to wave us off. When the marina was out of sight we looked at each other and starting laughing!
We didn't go far for our first attempt as we had spied a lovely spot on our training day and decided to stop there for lunch. There were picnic tables and seats and the weather was very nice. There wasn't a boat or a person in sight and not a sound to be heard except a distant cow and the squabbling of some ducks on the water. One boat ... very aptly named Ellie... did pass but that was all.
After our very leisurely lunch we headed off to Barbridge Junction... the next challenge being a left turn from the Middlewich Branch and onto the Shropshire Union Canal. We moored up shortly after the junction, deciding it was enough for our first day. We had a wander over the bridge and past the Old Barbridge Inn but decided we'd stick to our budget and eat in on our first night.
Last night we decided we'd head first to Llangollen so tomorrow we'll be only a short way down the Shroppie before turning into the Llangollen Canal. That will be interesting as there is a current on the canal and also apparently some crossflow on entry into the locks. We'll see how we go.
Photos from our first real day :
1. Our lunch time mooring
2. And again
3. Picnic table for lunch
4. The weather went from sunny to rainy and back again
5. - 7. This evening's mooring