Thursday, 8 August 2013

A meeting with NB AREandARE

It’s been almost three months since we last met Barry & Sandra (NB AREandARE) at the Crick boat show.  We’ve both been travelling on the same canals but they have been 2-3 weeks ahead of us.  However that changed when we arranged a meeting at the Old Barbridge Inn.  The evening was spent in the beer garden (with the wasps) catching up on what each crew has been doing since May. 

Photo taken early the morning after!

As anyone who follows Barry & Sandra’s blog will know, Barry takes fantastic photos.  Probably not surprising as he has been a professional photographer for decades.  My cunning plan was to get him to bring me up to his standard over a beer.  I’ll leave it to readers to comment on the quality of blog photos from this point onwards! Winking smile

Barry gave my Canon DSLR the once over and said “Nice…Expensive!”  Then he showed me his camera which didn’t look nearly as expensive and told me he’d used for all the photo’s you see on their blog…… Bastard!  My theory that expensive cameras take great photos has been shot to hell.  Both Jan and I were up early and I wandered around taking photos.  Barry had told me to practice… practice… practice!

Waiouru and AREandARE moored bow to bow.

Sandra had invited us aboard AREandARE for morning tea and whilst there Barry used our Canon to take a photo.

I guess it just goes to show a poor tradesman shouldn’t blame his tools.  The remaining photos on this post were taken with Jan’s very small Samsung digital.  I’m just getting in my excuses at the beginning. 

We know from previous experience the 3 Mobile coverage isn’t that good on the lower part of the Llangollen Canal and we’d already recently done the Middlewich Branch so last night we decided to head north towards Chester.  We won’t go that far, however it will be an opportunity to see some new lengths of canal.

We were quite surprised to find the Bunbury Staircase Locks are doubles. The locks south of here on the Shropshire Union Canal are singles hence the surprise.  The second surprise was that there were two boats working up and we were then expecting to go down with AREandARE.  But another boat crew emptied the lower staircase lock and entered it without checking if there were boats above (eg, us) waiting to go down.  Canal cruising isn’t a race so we weren’t that fussed.  However when that boat was up and out of the lock we both entered the upper chamber only to discover another boat had gone into the lower chamber.  We then did the Bunbury Shuffle. With the upper chamber empty and the lower chamber full AREandARE moved into the lower chamber beside the boat waiting to come up.  I then moved Waiouru across the upper chamber which allowed the boat coming up to move forward into the position Waiouru had previously occupied.   Barry then moved AREandARE across the lower lock chamber in to the position previously occupied by the boat coming up.  I then moved Waiouru forward into the lower chamber previously occupied by AREandARE.  We emptied the lower chamber whilst the boat going up filled the upper chamber.  We’ve now done the ‘Bunbury Shuffle’!

Waiting in the upper chamber

I take a photo of Barry taking a photo of me whilst we wait for the lock

At two of the locks we noticed these small round brick buildings with a brick dome roof beside the lock.  What purpose do they serve?

The second wasn’t locked so I took a peek inside.  There was a fireplace and a water tap.

I assume it’s some type of workman’s shelter from the elements?

The girls worked the boats in tandem down through all the locks except Beeston Iron Lock where there is a warning notice advising the lock should only be used by a single boat as the sides were bowed.

Barry & Sandra continued on to Tattenhall Marina whilst we stopped above Wharton’s Lock.  There is a ‘Dot in the sky’ and good internet coverage here.  The plan it to remain here tomorrow so I can get in a walk to the local village (Tarporley) for Jan’s weekly magazines and then I want to walk to Beeston Castle.  But more about that tomorrow.

One other question.  Does anyone know what the two cylinders on the stern of the boat in the following photo are used for?  They look like gas cylinders!

Oh….. it’s a metal duck on the plate by the rudder!


Halfie said...


Tom and Jan said...

What... the cylinders on the back of the boat????

Captain Ahab said...

Its usually moored at Coven on the S&W - I always presumed they contained smaller gas tanks, a bit like Russian dolls.

Tom and Jan said...

Well that's logical. I noticed the boat had a patrol notice on it so maybe there's a problem.

Halfie said...

... as in: something which is painted. Sorry, I wasn't taking it seriously!

Tom and Jan said...

More me being gullible!

Carol Palin said...

The round buildings are lengths-men’s shelters. He was employed by the canal owners to look after a length of water back in the day!

Sandra Walsh said...

It was great to spend time with you both - see you again soon!
Sandra & Barry :-)

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Sandra & Barry,
Likewise...... Do stay in contact!