Friday, 20 November 2015

Aground and a Cold Day

There we were in bed last night watching the weather forecast on the second TV (I know – decadent) realising it was probably going to snow tomorrow afternoon with bad weather for the weekend.  The forecast for the morning was light showers and sunshine which resulted in a decision to move before lunch.

Jan arose to a cold morning whilst I stayed in bed waiting for a hot cuppa….. and waited….. and waited….. until “Get up Tom it’s 7.30!”

We had last night’s mooring all to ourselves. 

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A very exposed mooring which meant a good signal for both the ‘dot’ and the terrestrial TV.  However I wouldn’t want to be here in a storm.

It was a short cruise down to the water point above New Marton Top Lock.  There is good water pressure here however filling the tank still took some time after having additional crew for the last few days.  Jan got talking to a local dog walker who told her that he was a retired canal lockkeeper.  It was apparent he had a dry sense of humour when he told Jan that if she could see the trees on the hills in the above photo then it was about to rain.  If she couldn’t see the trees then it was raining!

We dropped down through the top lock only to run aground exiting it.  A combination of the by wash current and wind pushed Waiouru diagonally across the canal.  The lady from the canal cottage appeared and offered to help Jan pull on the centre line in an effort to free the boat.  Then two CRT workers arrived informing us they had dropped the water level in the pound between the top and bottom locks in order to expose the weir so they could remove all the debris.  They had completed this and were on their way back to the top lock to run more water down.  Once they had done this Waiouru floated off the mud bank.  Jan walked to the bottom lock whilst I slowly cruised in what was a stiff side breeze.  When we reached the bottom lock it was apparent how much debris had been removed from the weir.

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The water level was normal below the lock and we made steady progress passing Maestermyn Cruisers Hire Base and Frankton Junction.  The weather alternated between cloud, light rain and sunshine.  Fuel Boat Montgomery was moored at Bridge 63 but no one appeared to be aboard.  We need a replacement gas cylinder, but it’s not urgent.  The diesel tank is still above half full and we have another 50 litres in containers.

Eventually we reached the CRT facilities at Ellesmere where we disposed of our rubbish before going down the arm and winding before mooring adjacent to a hedge but away from a rather large tree.  We’ll probably be here for the next three days waiting out the weather.  Tesco is at the end of the arm so we won’t starve! Smile

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