We have been moored at Swanley Bridge Marina which is at the end (the English end) of the Llangollen Canal. We are moving from here after the summer, and so it is today that we begin the obligatory cruise to Llangollen
We are as prepared as we can be: The boat is heavy in the water with wine, the freezer full of ice cream, and the dog (Mr. Jones) has various strange garments to keep him cool. We also have dog gates (fore and aft) which captain has spent the last few weeks whitling and fettling, to keep Mr.Jones both secure and cool.
Our first day of cruising was full of the expected and unexpected. Typical of boating in general. We expected to be hot as we progressed through five locks and a lift bridge, whiich we were. We didn't expect to be helped through every single one of them including the bridge. We have barely lifted a windlass. All these helplful strangers are on holiday in hire boats and many hung back in the lock to close the gates for us when you might have expected them to be on a mad dash to complete the nine counties ring. Quite the opposite. People couldn't have been more laid back.
We are moored up in the shade of the trees and about 100 yards from The Dusty Miller in Wrenbury where we are booked in for dinner. After a nap and a shower, that is.
We aim to be in Llangollen in about a week's time.
Nice and slow. We are on schedule.