We left Chester yesterday morning having had four days mooching about the city and tumbling into Barton Rouge and The Old Harkers for dinner.
Our neighbours, Mr and Mrs Clayton, provide a much needed service of looking after our house whilst we go off cruising. We are blessed in this respect. It was lovely to see them in Chester and have a walk through the park, onto the river washlands, up onto the city walls and back down the tow path. We finished up with cocktails and a good dinner at the pub. The Harkers never fails to amaze me in that it seems able to consistently produce fresh and delicious food even on the busiest of public holidays.
We did 11 locks yesterday and in all of them went through with another craft. The first five were with experienced narrowboaters who made short work of it
The second half was with a young man, navigating the whole of the British waterways in a tiny motorcruiser. You have to admire his spirit. However being in a lock with a small plastic boat is difficult especially with a high risk of crushing his much loved craft. He tended to get out at the locks leaving it bobbing about and getting in the way. First mate was tasked with trying to keep PL2 alongside and keep tight hold of his boat at the same time. Great fun, especially when we met a boat coming down in the upper chamber of the Bunbury flight. It was like one of those puzzles where you move all the pieces round with one square free and then pour hundreds if tons of water down on the operation at the same time.
The new cross bed has been a great success. It is comfortable and roomy. We quickly found a system of making it and tidying it away in minutes.
We head home today on a straightforward bit of canal with only the four single Hurleston Locks to negotiate. But you never know what adventures lie ahead. Bring it on.