This is Steve & Viv Carter's log of the trips and travails on the narrowboat Adagio – liveaboards from October 2015. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." (Mark Twain)” firstname.lastname@example.org
The rain continues! Records still broken – starting to come in the boat now . . . . could do with a dry spell and some warmth.
The forecast is getting better . . . and our mate Mark is due to visit today. And to prove it – he’s here. We’re thinking of heading off on a Saga trip – maybe to Bangor, by train, see the Menai straits and visit llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
Bit of a busy day – having organised post to be sent to Wrenbury P.O. – poste restante – we were now stuck in Grindley Brook. So Steve cycled the 2 miles to Whitchurch station, narrowly missing the train, caught one that didn’t stop at Wrenbury, so had to go on to Nantwich and double back. Such Fun! Cycle the mile or so to Wrenbury and pick up the vital post (2 birthday cards!). He then cycled on to view the damage to the canal.
We left Whixall marina, having taken on water – so our boat is now over half a tonne heavier, what with refuelling yesterday. Only 100 litres went in, so our “mpg” is around 1.4 litres per hour, not too bad. It was still drizzling. We rejoined the main canal and just missed the lift bridge, 45, as a boat had just gone through and blow me, if they started to drop the bridge as we approached – not a polite thing. Maybe they were in a hurry (nb Dipper). Anway we tooted ( a lot) and they raised the bridge to let us through – we said we’d go on and do the next one (for there are five of these today!). They were to get their comeuppance later!
Yes, it’s raining. And it hasn’t stopped. My ickle weather station light up yesterday with 2 new records – highest monthly rain (hang on it’s only 11 days in!) and highest daily rain. Tuesday we moved on to Ellesmere – slight drizzle but hardly any boats and, oh, joy, going with the flow is soooo different, can’t quite put the water skies out but there’s no slowing down at bridge holes.
Many thanks to TG builders, in Ellesmere, for having a bag of coal and alerting me to the fact that because I also purchased some kindling and firelighters, I would get their Buy 3 and get the cheapest free! I also stopped at the famous Vermeulen deli and bought wonderful homemade pies, Klonakilty black & white puddings, a giant custard tart and a cherry Madeira cake! Well, ”tis time for some comfort food.
One of the downsides of being so ruralated (my new word), is by definition, you are a long way from civilisation. Steve often has tooth trouble and a filling/bit of tooth came away last week. Luckily we subscribe to Denplan and they are very good – you tell them where you are and they not only find a dentist but book the appointment. Today, we were unlucky – they couldn’t sort me out. No worries, we’ll try again when we’re a little nearer bigger towns. The fire’s on and despite the constant rain and temperatures straining to make double figures – we are cosy and warm
The atrocious weather (and I do feel so sorry for all these hire boaters, no I do!) reminds me of one of our favourite songs – just replace December with June!! And if you’re feeling a bit flighty, underwear for overcoat 😱
Up at 0600 – walk dog, breakfast then away by 0700 – at last, going with the flow, down the Llangollen canal, back to Trevor basin. We left early to avoid the crowds and the forecast of torrential rain at 1100.
And then into the basin for an overnight stop. CRT had put stickers on the visitor moorings, commandeering them for a “Let’s Fish” event, 0730-1700 the next day. Not too happy about this as it meant we had to get up early again, to move the boat away. Hmm, even CRT’s own regulations prohibit fishing from visitor moorings and here they are promoting it! (Don’t get me started!!) But we are the compliant type and moved our boat at 0720 – back and tied to some trees. Then we were told the bit opposite Anglo-Welsh is actually a visitor mooring and so we moved there and waited for the Royal Party to arrive!
It’s our own fault. We should have stayed a la Plan A. But it didn’t look like rain – despite the Met Office 5 day forecast saying: Rain and lots of it, nah, we’ll go on. So we left about 11 ish – no one about. Chirk Bank was nice and so was Chirk aqueduct but then we got to the tunnel (one way) and had a bit of a wait – understatement as about 12 boats came through! Then it was our turn – normal tunnels are bad enough but going against the flow of millions of gallons of water is well, like driving a canal boat uphill!
Monday morning came around. We enjoyed spending Saturday and Sunday at the quiet mooring back at the short arm near the top. There’s a well kept toilet block and troughs of herbs to help yourself. It was the start of a long and a bit of a gruelling day . . . more on that story later…