Lived onboard Hadar

Daisypath Vacation tickers

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Week Two of our time away.

Monday 4th February.

The morning got off to a frosty start, but with the sun out and the wind dropped it was an ideal day to head off again, so at 8.50am Paddy and I set off to the first lock to set it for the boat, this would end up being the first of 20 locks for the day until we reached Wheelock. Because of the frosty start, everything was icy so it was a matter of being careful where you put your feet, especially on the bow of the boat we saw Mountbatten and Jellicoe owned by Ivor and Mel Batchelor, and neither was on boat as far as we could see. Having done the first 10 locks we had thought of stopping at Hassell Green but it was only 11.30am, so we made the choice of moving onto Wheelock, as we got into Hassell Green lock the skies blackened and the sleet began to fall, along with the sleet the winds picked up. But we had decided to continue so it was a matter of battling against the wind and sleet. To be honest it does not really bother me much, once you’re wet you’re wet. We saw three other boats, 2 were hire boats from Anderton and the third was a Challenger share ownership boat. As we left the last lock for the day a mooring was insight yayyyy. I knew I had done 20 locks; I was so out of practice having not been out at all last year. We moored up at 1.35pm and first thing on the list of things to do was have some well earned lunch. Dinner was going to be at the pub later I announced, I reckon we have earnt it. It had been a good day.

Tuesday 5th February.

The weather this morning was looking good, so we were going to make a move towards Middlewich. Having walked Paddy through the mud on the towpath, he was only to glad to get back on the boat. We took on water, emptied the loo etc before heading off at 9.35am. There was a breeze but nothing which bothered Hadar to much. I had a total of 7 locks to do today and at Rumps Lock we meet up with an Anderton Hire boat. They seemed very lost as to what to do at a lock. The lock was empty they coming up so it was their lock, but they had no idea about this, so I spent 10 minutes explaining to them how locks work, and what the do’s and don’ts are at a lock. I do sometimes wonder if any of this is every really explained by the hire companies. Having reached King’s Lock at Middlewich we turned onto the Shroppy and through Wardle Lock where we were hoping to see Maureen at the Lock Cottage, but she was no where to be seen, so we moored up further along the towpath at 1pm and had lunch. Keith wanted to go to Kings Lock Chandlery, but the rain began to fall so it was a wet walk to and from the chandlery. We had thought we may do a shop in Middlewich, but with the weather looking like it was set for the rest of the day we decided not to bother. Half an hour later the rain had gone and the sun was out. We untied the boat and headed for the flashes and a winding hole to turn Hadar around. We found the winding hole, but it did appear that although the hole was large enough to wind a 70ft boat, it needed dredging a little to make the boat actually wind. Keith was up for the task and with a little persuasion Hadar did her own dredging. We moored up for the day at 5pm over looking the flashes. It has been a long day but a nice one.

Wednesday 6th February.

It was a truly beautiful morning, cold but the sun was rising as I opened the galley window.

I could hear the geese and swans on the flashes calling to each other. We treated ourselves to a cooked breakfast, before setting off back to Middlewich. The railway crosses the canal; it gives you a view of life in the fast lane.

I am always talking about the wildlife, because we are so very lucky with what we see each day and today began with a Kestrel looking for her breakfast. We saw the usual ducks, swans, moorhens and squirrels. You do see some funny sights and this morning we spotted these wellies upside down on sticks at a mooring.

After reaching Wardle Lock Keith had to turn Hadar at the junction, but the wind got hold of her bow and she was not a woman for turning, it took a lot of effort on Keith’s behalf to get her around the turn. We were lucky enough to see Maureen from Wardle Lock Cottage on our way down the locks and she was delighted in our new boat. Narrowboat Alice Rose was coming down behind us, so I set the locks for her owners as we descended the flight. We moored up before Big Lock in order to do some food shopping at a Tesco express store and had lunch before heading off again for Anderton Lift moorings. We passed by Croxton Flash and Billinge Green Flash, which even at this time of the year look amazing. The weather today despite being cold has been lovely. We arrived at the moorings at 4.50pm.

Thursday 7th February.

It was a cloudy start to our day and because we were awake at 7am we got up for an early start.
We set off at 8.15 am for Preston Brook and Midland Chandlery, where we wanted to stock up on light bulbs, bought a couple of new chimneys and other odds and sods. We had 3 tunnels to do.
Balterford Tunnel, Salterford Tunnel and Preston Brook Tunnel.
We have armed ourselves with ear plugs, which are needed in our case as our engine is a thumper, so through a tunnel we need protection.
One beautiful thing we saw today was a rainbow, but thankfully the rain stayed away. We did meet a couple of other boaters out and about. We also saw some old working boats on our trip to and from Preston Brook.
Having been to the chandlery and bought our bits and bobs, we made the return journey through Preston Brook Tunnel and Dutton Stop Lock. It has to be said that there is some fantastic scenery, which includes the river Weaver. Which you can get onto by going down through the Anderton Lift, which is where we moored up again, this time for the weekend. We will do the river Weaver at some point but not this year. It was a lovely days cruising with fantastic views, with the wildlife thrown in for good measure.

Friday 8th February.

We were woken up at 5.30am by two men talking outside of our boat grrrrrrrrrrrrr. They were chatting about how boats get down onto the river. I really cannot see why they were there at that time as it was still dark, but neither Keith nor I got up. Instead we made a cup of tea and drank it in bed before nodding off to sleep again. We then got up at 8.30 to a grey morning but mild. We decided having had breakfast and walked Paddy that we would move the boat to the other side of the Anderton Lift footbridge, where we moored up infront of Lindsay and old working boat still used by BW.

Having done so we got chatting to the owner of Florence E, he was waiting to go down in the Anderton Lift. He told me about the local village store, where I wanted to get some bacon from so I headed off to the shop whilst Keith did engine maintenance and odd jobs. The village shop is poorly stocked, many of the shelves and fridges were empty, however you can buy your paper and milk there. The gentleman off of Florence E also told me of a fresh fruit and veg shop just down the canal, so having had lunch I took Paddy for a walk there to see what they had on offer. It was brilliant. They have as I said fruit and veg; they also do pet foods, and all groceries. I would totally recommend it if you are short of supplies. I bought some fruit, veg, organic eggs and other bits. To get there you walk down the towpath after the Anderton lift going North past the Stanley Pub on the right, to the concrete bridge where you walk left. A short distance down the road is an industrial estate, which you enter. A short distance into the estate you come to Dave’s Fruit and Veg Shop, it is also a garden centre. We spent the day doing jobs on the boat and chatting to walkers passing the boat who wanted to know about the history of the engine and boat. It is always nice to chat to others, especially as they show such an interest. One gentleman was a fisherman on his own trawler down in Cornwall and has a love of engines, he was really interesting. All in all we have had a fab day.

Saturday 9th February.

The weather today was beautiful after a slight frost, everything was fresh. There was no breeze at all and as the sun came up it soon warmed the air. Having taken Paddy for his walk, we settled down to a cooked breakfast cooked by Keith, and planned our day which began with a walk to Marbury Park and around the Anderton Nature Park, if you have been moored up by the Anderton Lift but never taken the Nature walk I recommend you do so as it is really fantastic.
One of the walks takes you along the River Weaver, and even though there is industry right beside the river it does not detract from the rivers beauty.

Through out the park there are boards telling you about what wildlife can be seen. It is a well laid out nature haven for many species of wildlife, although today there was very little to be seen.Towards the end of our walk we approached the Anderton Lift in all its magnificent glory. You cannot visit the centre lift until March as they are doing maintenance, but it still looks fantastic and boats have been using it now that it is open to boats again.
After we got back to the boat, the chores needed doing, and on the list for today was a boat wash, polish and brass cleaning, never a dull moment. I did the cleaning of the brass and the boat, whilst Keith was doing all things electrical. We also spent time chatting to the passers-by who were interested in our boat and her history, it has been interesting that many think she is an old boat revamped, we of course tell them she is new. Having had another lovely day we settled down for an evening on the boat with dinner, when there was a knock on the window, and who should be standing there but Andrew Denny off of Granny Buttons, he had come from Preston Brook where we had seen the boat a couple of days previous and moored up for the night up in front of us. So having had dinner we paid Andrew a visit for a couple of hours, we enjoyed a pleasant glass of red wine and conversation. It is always nice to catch up with Andrew. So a great day.

Sunday 10th February.

Last night was a heavy frost with a river mist as well, so the morning was amazing. I took Paddy for his walk with my camera to hand for any good shots of this beautiful morning, with the sun coming up.
We walked past Granny Buttons; Andrew would have still been in bed as it was early. I then set off into the park.
There is something very mystical about mist on the water.
It is a photographers dream. I am not a professional but enjoyed taking these photos.

It was breath taking just to be out on a wonderful morning. The rest of the day was spent again doing boat chores and chatting to people including our good friend Andrew from Granny Buttons. Week 3 to follow.


Daniel Hutchinson said...

Good evening!
- You seam to be geting out and about already. Fantastic.
- Im very jelous of anyone able to be boating while im not. Roll on warmer weather and works holidays.
- I see you bumped into grannybuttons, did you see emilyanne while you where at anderton.


Keith & Jo said...

Hi Daniel. Welcome onboard.
We will be off again probably tomorrow, but this time South down to London. Are you even more jealous hahahaha Sorry.
Yes we bumped into Granny not literally.
We did see Emilyanne moored in the marina, Keith was the first to notice her. Maybe we will see you out and about soon.

dhutch said...

Yeah, we plan to be out and about sometime after easter. Intially around home, going down to chester, and then come back up the weaver and lift which we havent done before. And then there was talk varous other places to go before making an apprearence at the IWA national at Autherley and possably shackerstone after that.

Londons nice though! We went down to limehouse and up on the thames to bealepark the year before last. Indeed very jealous, but thats life eh!