Monday 5 November 2012

Washing our way to Wheelock

Bridge 30, Middlewich to Bridge 152, Wheelock. 6 miles, 6 locks
Total to date : 105 miles, 53 locks, 20 lift bridges, 6 tunnels, 6 aqueducts

We had a washing discussion over breakfast this morning.  How could we get two loads of washing done and dry today.  I've never had to think so much about where and when and how to get the washing done.  When we hang wet washing inside the boat we have a bigger condensation problem but to use the drying function in the washer/dryer we need more water and we need to be cruising.  We were a bit behind because the last washing opportunity we did sheets and towels rather than clothes.  We managed one load washed and hung up and a second load washed and dried.  We're very glad of the rails Mick has hung below the gunnels most of the way along the boat.  Great for drying clothes above the finrad radiators.

The couple of locks at Middlewich were really hard work.  I should have taken the helm at the beginning.  I did my share today though.  I'm finally getting over the fear of bumping into something.  I steered about half the trip and into half of our 6 locks today and only once scraped the side.  We had quite a few walkers stop to chat to us when they saw our Aussie flag in the window.  Nearly everyone is so friendly.

We didn't much like the stretch of canal from Middlewich.  There were high concrete edges on both sides and really nowhere nice to stop.  Wheelock was upon us before we knew it and we nearly overshot the water point.  We filled the tank, checked out the BW facilities and I walked around the corner to see what the mooring situation was like.  We're now moored on the straight just beyond the BW facilities.

We had a good walk around the village, checking out the store, the pub, and an antiquey sort of store.  I stumbled across a little pine stool that I thought would make me the perfect side table for my sewing lamp.  It was ours for a fiver.  It will double as a stool to sit on.

I put in a couple of hours work while Mick went off for a walk.  I just happened to glance out the side hatch window to the other side of the canal and there was a fellow walking along with a hawk perched on his hand.  I stood up and had a chat with him.  He said he'd be back in half an hour with his other bird to fly it in the open area opposite us.  I knew Mick would love to see it so I was hoping he'd be back in time.  He was and the fellow was very keen to talk about his birds.  He even offered to walk over the bridge and walk past us on his way home so we could have a closer look at her.  I got a couple of lovely photos.

Tonight we decided to treat ourselves to dinner at the Italian restaurant on the canal side by the bridge.  They had an early bird deal which suited us fine.  We'd received a text from an English couple we know to tell us there is a tv program about the canals on tonight.  We wanted to be back in time to watch it.

Help needed : We've been looking in our canal guide for where we could moor in Stoke on Trent.  Mick wants access to the B & Q there.  The canal guide doesn't show any moorings at all!  Can anyone tell us a good place to moor near the marina at Etruria?

Today in pictures :
1. Our mooring at Middlewich
2. And again
3. Wardle Lock - deep isn't it!
4. Waiting for the lock to fill
5. With cars rushing alongside
6. A couple of pretty stretches
7. And looking back the other way
8. A chatty fellow with hawk on hand
9. And then his female hawk
10. What a pretty girl she is

In the drink to date : Elly's phone charger (retrieved - it floated!), Mick's sunglasses, hearth brush, mooring hook (retrieved with sea searcher)


Adam said...

There are moorings just before the marina entrance, right outside the Toby Carvery. Alternatively, turn down the start of the Caldon Canal at Eturia Junction and there are moorings there too -- although it would be a longer walk to B&Q.

Tom and Jan said...

We moored almost opposite the entrance to the Festival Park Marina one night. It's only a short walk from there to the Retail Park (B&Q Morrisons, etc)