Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Got taught a lesson or two and an ambition long held realised

Planning and prejudging were my lessons learnt yesterday and a better person for the lessons I think I am. 

Two days posts in one as yesterday I was just too tired to blog ! 

So yesterday 14th September ....

Everything was set and planned for a 5.45am alarm call and a 6am start to get us over the aqueduct at sunrise. All going to plan until we came out of the Whitehouse tunnel in the early morning mist and still dark.... "is that a tree down" I said incredulously, yes sure was completely blocking the canal and in an instant kicking all my planning and considerations into touch. Lesson one of the day and I'd not been awake an hour !

I called C&RT emergency number and got through after about 5 minutes then pulled the boat back and waited. The lengths person  arrived a couple of hours later and advised he had sent pictures...they dispatched a working boat from Trevor and by 11am a very tight channel had been opened. About 12 boats then came through from the Llangollen side then it was my turn to lead my ten or so boats away. 

This gave us the privilege of being the lead boat across the aqueduct, no drone flight for pictures but we got some off the camera.

We nosed into the tuning fork moorings at Trevor and started to wind  (those that know this location will know the strange layout.) I was cursing a fisherman who was fishing at the end of the right side moorings as you look in.... I was unsure if we'd get in front of the boat at the end and his 'peg' while discussing options with Rachel he came up and offered to move so we could get in.... I later chatted to him and he told me of some of his troubles and after he saw me fishing came over and gave me some of his maggots. As someone recently said to me those with the least often give the most.... I was humbled by my initial cursing of a very decent man. Lesson two of the day.

We decided as we had a lovely mooring we'd stay put and set off back home in the morning. We didn't fancy the extra few miles of what is advised as shallow canal to Llangollen only to be in the mix with lots of people. 

We had some food then set off to explore the valley ...... This is the bridge you can see from half way along the aqueduct.

I sent the drone up and got some nice shots and a short video ......

We retired to the boat and had an early'ish night as the alarm was set for a 6.45am call and a 7am start...

We untied the ropes and then started the engine to avoid disturbing our neighbours. Our reward was a deserted Trevor and aqueduct. Rachel was not keen on me flying the drone over the aqueduct so I only got the end on shot but still proof we realised a long held ambition of mine to take Percy over this fantastic structure.

We then met a steady flow of hire boats on their way to enjoy what we had enjoyed. It started to get a bit daft when we got to Chirk tunnel. We had a boat in front who duly stopped then well over 10 boats came through.... very slow as they were running against the current.

We eventually got through and again met a steady flow of boats coming to Llangollen.  Around Chirk bank its quite tricky with boats moored on bends. One hire boat held back at a very congested and twisty  bridge hole section, no way two boats could pass, so we were amazed when we passed and advised there was a boat behind us that they just set off .... it would have been a complete stalemate and we felt for the boat behind us. In the main everyone was being sensible  - this was the first instance we met of sheer belligerence. 

It then got silly at the New Marton locks as we arrived to be in a queue of five. when we were at point three two hire boats came down and thought we were on the water point and tried to go thought the bridge hole where there were two boats waiting to go down... simple mistake, so many hirers seem to not have any maps or awareness of whats coming up ! 

It took 2 hours 20 minutes to do the two locks. !!

We are now the other side of Ellesmere having watered and de-wasted at the services. Tomorrow the alarm clock will be given another day off as we will be going into Ellesmere ( a place I've never visited) for supplies and lunch. then we'll set off in the PM to a destination not yet decided .... the right way to cruise. 


Pip and Mick said...

If you like pies you need to visit Vermeulens, a baker/deli in Ellesmere. Very yummy pies!
NB Oleanna

Nev Wells said...

Cheers MICK, they will get a visit for sure.

Jennie said...

Watch out if you need a hair cut - Chris has one there a few years ago and they scalped him!! Love the photos. I think we need to go back to Llangollen again one day.

Nev Wells said...

Pies procured..... as to haircuts, my good lady gave me a head and beard trim on the well deck this morning, however when I say hair cut (bald) It was a quick trim. Then the Llangollen..... right now I’d give it a miss, I’ve vowed the next time I visit will be in the winter as the hire boats ( apart from the Anglo Welsh ‘ expensive’ class that seem to have wood burners on them so they can hire them out in winter ! ) Will be tucked away in their marinas ......