Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Chester Revisited

Our August cruise, which was mainly spent stationary, and sampling the delights of Chester, drew to an unforeseen early close. 

The end to our journey was not how we anticipated it to be when we untied after five nights in Chester. But on a whim, a whim largely driven by laziness, we abandoned our plans to return to our mooring at Swanley Bridge, and instead put in to Tattenhall Marina, where having found an agreeable mooring, we shall stay for the winter. 

Whilst we were in Chester, the summer subtly ended: There was a slight bitterness in the air, we found ourselves leaving restaurants in the dark, and for the first time in months, there was a fire in the stove. The reassuring constancy of the last few months had gone, and it was replaced with a reminder of what was to come. 

With this in mind, and a forecast of wetter conditions, the relatively small number of locks facing us over the coming few days seemed more daunting than it should have, and so it was that many were left unassailed. No more to Bunbury or Beeston for us, nor would we rise through Tilstone or Hurlestone. 

Perhaps five lazy days in Chester contributed to our decision. Either way, over time, a plan evolved to divert to where we are now: in Tattenhall. 

The stove is in, and as we sit here drinking good wine, we can reflect on the summer, but as that vision of summer fades, the routine of survival begins again. 

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Going with the Flow

The plan to get to Liverpool has been abandoned, at least for this year. We set aside just over two weeks to slip up to the top of the Shropshire Union, out onto the Manchester Ship Canal to Eastham locks, and then across the Mersey (with a Pilot). We were very excited by the prospect of cruising across such a historic estuary into Liverpool Marina via Brunswick Lock. We had planned to stay in Liverpool Marina for a night or two, and then Salthouse Dock was booked for a week. We were then to head to our new marina at Scarisbrick via the Leeds and Liverpool Canal link.

The plan fell apart due to a breach north of Liverpool. Now the breach was (and still is according to CRT) to be fixed by 24th of August, which would have been fine. However, CRT recently cancelled all passages in and out Liverpool to the end of August! This is too late for us, and although the left and right hands of CRT are a bit out of sync, it feels like the sensible idea is to leave it all for now.

So we have mooched down to Chester where we are tied up nicely in our favourite spot (apart from the rather noisy 'cohesion piling' going on across the canal), and where we plan to stay for four nights.