Onwards thru Audlem

Up early and off by 0730 – it’s going to get hot and we’ve 13 locks to do, so we choose to finish these before the heat of the day. Unfortunately for us, the last boat down last night was Becky and he left ALL the bottom gates open! This would have been a right pain as we would then have to close both gates and then fill the lock. But serendipitously, a local chap (moored on the permie mooring below) was out for his morning walk and he offered to close em all and prepare each lock for us! Magic!

The night before – lovely spot – time for a G&T
Got this thru the post via Amazon – this is our lounge music!
So, 0730 – no one about and off we go – Viv drives all the way and Steve winds – helped by our local guy, Alan – you can see the next lock is all prepared for us to drive straight in
Here’s Viv “Inside No.9”
No. 10 – only 5 more to go. Although locks can be hard work – this really is a most pleasant flight.
Viv steams off to the next one
There’s Alan – cheers mate!
Ah and here’s “Becky” – I say nothing.
It’s not New Year but here’s an Audlem Sign (groan!)
Good old Telford
Nearly done – just 2 locks to go.
Arty photo?
Hurrah! The last lock and here comes Viv
Bottom lock and it isn’t even 0900 yet! Well done.

Quite a quick descent – helped mainly by Alan. Just a short cruise now, past Overwater marina and on to moor near the Coole Pilate Halt (csd 1963) where there’s nice moorings and even picnic tables.

We moored right at the end, near bridge 84 – a bit quieter as the earlier boats had music playing and later had the bbq going too.
Ah, frequent flyers with us will know from blogs passim that this is the site of the Secret Nuclear Bunker, well, not so secret I guess. Steve went last time and it’s Viv’s turn today.
Being of a certain age, we lived under the threat of nuclear war and can clearly remember the sinking of the Belgrano in 1982 – it put paid to any Argentine ship ever leaving port again. And this is the actual kit used to send the VLF message – all a bit chilling.
I’m sorry but for security reasons we can’t show you any more – you’ll have to visit yourselves. Just don’t press any big red buttons.
Meanwhile back in the sunshine, orange tip butterflies.
Time to sit and enjoy the 20 degree sunshine – tonight it’s gin & fresh limes to go with our strange meal – Venezuela’s national dish Pabellon Criollo – beef, plain rice, black beans (here done in a chipotle sauce) – normally with a fried plantain but we had garlic bread instead – fusion food eh?