Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bank Holiday break.

I think my postings have lost a bit of 'oomph' recently! Since returning back from my summer trip, it's been mainly work in readiness for the start of the next term at school. I did manage to get a good 4 day break back down to London over the recent bank holiday and managed to celebrate the only few days of summer with a bar-b-q and a couple of fantastic walks.
I have posted a picture above of my bank holiday Monday walk in Eastbourne and along the seven sisters. This picture was a lunch break on the beach and it was very hot!
Returned back to the boat today and all was fine! The rest of the week is planned to be spent in school with planning meetings on Friday, inset training day on Monday and then the children hit us hard on Tuesday and full normallity resumes.
The only boat news is that I plan to get a quote fromA J Canopies for the production of a new cratch cover at some point due to the fact that the cheap material my current one is made from, is beginning to seriously fall apart!I have also bought a 'digi-sender' to send the satellite TV signal to my TV in the back cabin. It works really well and I bought a new remote control so that I can even control the channels from the back cabin as well. This means I no longer need a separate TV aerial for that TV and can now operate both TV's from the one dish. Result: much less hassle, greater number of channels and better quality all round!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Updated potted holiday page!

Just to let you know that I have updated the main website to reflect the potted overview and a load more pictures of the holiday. Click on the 'cruising pictures' link on the left hand main menu then select the 2007 summer holiday link. As well as a video of the Anderton Boat Lift, you will find a potted overview of the holiday along with the final calculated statistics! Enjoy!

Posts may be a little less frequent now as I begin to regain normality as of tomorrow. I plan to go into work tomorrow and every day this week at least for a few hours in order to get up to date. If things work well, I would like to spend a long weekend over the bank holiday down south to get some walking in with my father. Watch this space.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Back home!

Left the Atherstone locks this morning and pushed on through with a very good road ahead until we met a smart boat with a fuel blockage moored on a bend! We pulled over to see if we could help and ended up towing them to Springwood Haven. Some 2 miles of interesting bends! Stopped briefly at Valley Cruisers to pick up a few chandlery items we wanted before pushing on again towards Sutton's Stop where we met John on NB Briar Rose. John also moors in Brinklow Marina and is a good friend of mine. On again towards Stretton Stop and an exciting and most unexpected meeting at All Oaks Wood with Mike and Liz from NB Snecklifter along with Derek and Dot from NB Gypsy Rover. I have communicated with Derek and Dot via email for some time now andour paths have never crossed. It was great tofinally meet them, all be-it too briefly - hopefully our paths will cross again some time when we can meet for more of a chat over a cup or glass of something!

The final few twists of the canal took us back home to Brinklow Marina after completing a total of 404 miles and 266 locks in the past 4 weeks!

I ordered a Chinese from the local takeaway, turned the key in the car ignition to fetch it and...nothing, just a click! Fortunately one of my very kind neighbours took me to his house to collect a set of jump leads and a spare battery, collected my chinese on the way back and jump started the car for me. Hopefully it will start tomorrow for me to take my father the hour and a half or so to Stoke on Trent to collect his car left with friends before returning back home again!

I declare that the summer holiday 2007 is officially ended!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Familiar territory!

Back on familiar territory this evening. After my scathing report last night on the topeend of the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal and the lack of care or interest I have to today, give credit where due to the bottom end and, in particular, the Curdworth Flight. The lengthsman involved, (who we had the pleasure of passing and congratulating,) has incredible pride in his flight and it is a credit to him. Neatly mown verges with vegetation sensitively left in places for wildlife and locks immaculately kept and planted all make for a most enjoyable passage through.
There is also the added interest of locking through the brand new lock that drops you below the M6 toll road - this has to be the smartest and best lock I have ever travelled through. Another interesting feature, although totally out of place, was this footbridge in the shape of castle turrets!
We turned right at Fazeley Junction, in itself interesting given that we have never approached the Coventry from this direction before, and I would like to add that despite the view of this photograph and the apparent angle of the boat, I did not touch a single thing making the turn - for those in the know, the bridge at the junction has a nasty bit sticking out and I was simply manouevering round it!

Very little traffic seemed to be moving today and after a pleasant break to catch up with a friend of my fathers from NB Gospel Belle who we passed and who acts as canal chaplain for the Canal Ministries charity, we soon encountered the bottom of the Atherstone Flight. We passed through the first 2 locks and are currently moored in the long pound ready to tackle the rest tomorrow. I expect to be back home in the marina either tomorrow evening or Saturday morning.

The quote of the day has to come from the skipper of a very smart traditional boat I saw towing a Canaltime hire boat. I past and made the casual comment, "Is this a rescue mission?" to which the reply came back in a somewhat grumpy tone of voice, "more like a salvage operation!"

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Out of the city - on towards the countryside.

Woke up this morning and the rain was lashing down again outside so we decided to have a lazy start to the day in Birmingham. Walked over to the sea life centre just next to the boat. In the queue a kind lady gave us a 2 for 1 voucher so that made it even more worthwhile! Had a very enjoyable couple of hours looking round and when we eventually left not only was the queue right round the building and down the street but the rain had eased off.
The decision was made to push on out and see how far we could get and moor anywhere this evening just to begin the journey home. The Birmingham and Fazeley locks were interesting as we met afew boats coming up including a 70 footer in the shortest pound of them all which caused for a bit of ingenuity and bumping to get us both past each other! If anyone wants to see what a canal is like when managed by British Waterways and with no 'pushy' society or support group to keep on top of them, take a visit down the Birmingham and Fazeley. Not only is it one of the most uninteresting and graffiti covered canals I have ever seen but the maintenance is totally non existant. Anti-vandal locks that don't unlock or lock, paddles falling apart, ratchets that don't allow being kept up due to pawls that don't fit, beams so heavy they needed 2 of us to open........... To be fair, all the people we met were extremely polite and friendly including the dope smoking tramp under the railways arch, the non speaking immigrants who helped lock us through one lock and the 2 drunks 'serenading' us in their own unique way as we left a lock under a bridge!
The whole place is quite an experience as you pass under scaffolding and beneath the shadows of the BT telecom tower.
We made the turn at the meeting of the M6 and the M42 and ran alongside for some time with the overhead gantries showing a restriction of 40MPH!
Further along and an attempt had been made to livenm up the otherwise drab surroundings by a narrowboat mural which was actually made out of different coloured bricks - quite clever and certainly an added interest.
Following the Nicholson guide and we noticed a part of the canal that simply disappeared before re-appearing again. there was no bridge, tunnel or aqueduct marked and so we were intrigued as to what it could be, well it was this.....
.....it can be seen on page 37 of the 'Birmingham and the Heart of England' edition and is, in fact, a building - an office block that one goes under for quite some time - a very different experience indeed!
Finally we broke free of 'Drabland' and began to see green and have managed to moor up opposite a field being harvested! Tomorrow, Fazeley Junction, a right turn and on into more familiar territory.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Birmingham central!

Started at 6.00 again this morning! By 7.30, we were locking through the first of the flight of 21 through Wolverhampton - Anti vandal key in action although so as not to offend the locals,I notice BW call them 'water conservation keys'- a nice spin!

The Wolverhampton flight are not the most interesting of locks, although they were very well maintained. We found the pounds extremely low and I was close to not getting in one lock, however, to their credit a BW man was running up and down trying to refloat us all again and very apologetic about the lack of water. At lock 6, we met up with Steve and Julia on NB Even Balance and a cup of coffee and cake provided a welcome short relief from locking through in the increasingly heavy rain.

Onwards and upwards, (quite literally, although at times it felt more of the latter than the former,) and finally the toplock was reached and even the rain eased off.

There now began a few hours of cruising through what I describe as 'Grimland' Not even historical architecture providing any camera fodder. Most of the anglers and 'passers by' were pleasant enough and even the hoodies acknowledged your passing by with a smile and wave - just enough to seem polite but not too much to be seen to be uncool or even worse: enthusiastic!

Eventually Birmingham was reached. To the Birmingham newcomer, the lack of signs and plethora of trip boats made quite a daunting welcome, not helped by the ingestion of a sodden fleece jumper which almost stalled the engine as we were deliberating over exactly which arm we should go down and whilst watching a 70 ft trip boat bearing down upon us from behind!

Eventually, we discovered Gas Street Basin and went on a little tour of Birmingham whilst being photographed from the front, rear and from bridges above by tourists who probably thought we part of the 'Britain in Bloom finalist' celebration which were advertised on banners around the city.

We turned to find a place to moor and managed to squeeze into an end terrace spot behind a kind Black Prince hire boater who willingly pulled his boat forward to allow us room before we battened down the hatches and walked off for an explore by foot.

We decided on an evening meal at the 'Malthouse'. Err Ummm well yes, it satisfied the need for hunger but would not be recommended based on our experience although others doubtless would disagree. The service was slow, portions adequately sized - no more, my prawns for the starter, were almost warm and my father's soup of the day was not hot! The steak was good and the price was reasonable though.

Tomorrow - off towards the Grand Union and nearer home!

****STOP PRESS****

Gas Street Basin is a great place for photography. Not only did I manage this lovely shot of the evening sun reflected off the buildings into the canal....

....but we were also rewarded with a beautiful rainbow against a pink sky over the city centre.

We have also worked out that by about 30 lock miles, our shortest route back is via Fazeley junction, through some of my favourite places such as Hopwas and Atherstone so that seems to be our intended route now.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Shroppie end to end - almost!

Moored up this evening just a few miles from Autherley Junction which will mean we will have completed the entire length of the Shropshire Union including the Middlewich Branch. We only cruised for a couple of hours but it took us most of the day! We had a lazy start this morning after yesterday and stopped for shopping in Wheaton Aston, (an excellent Spar shop in town!) and water.

A couple of days ago, I was locking through Beeston iron lock when I saw Will Chapman of 'Save Our Waterway' fame. He was on his way to meet Tony Hoyland from Towpath Talk . We had a good chat before passing in opposite directions. This evening at the waterpoint at Wheaton aston, I met Vic and Sue from NB No Problem, another fellow blogger who, until now, I had never actually met in person. The other day, I passed a very smart blue boat called Waterway Routes. I was cross with myself today when I was informed by Sue that not only is this also owned by a blogger, (and the website has much more!) but it is also a very interesting boat being electrically powered.

If this holiday is going to go down in (my) history for anything, it will be the sheer number of people I have met!
Tomorrow - another early start to clear the 21 flight Wolverhampton locks, (in forecasted winds of 29+MPH and 'heavy rain' - oh joy!) with a little sunshine hopefully in that we should be passing and stopping temporarily to chat with Steve and Julia on NB Even Balance who are coming up in the opposite direction so if you see 2 almost identical boats moored on a lock waiting area with a kettle whistling inside, please be patient, it will only be for a few minutes - honest!!
I was treated this evening by the lovely sight of Roger Fuller towing Illford on a long line. Both motor steerer and butty steerer were in traditional costume and both boats were looking resplendant. As ever, a great advert for the attention to detail and workmanship of Roger Fuller boatbuilders.
By the way, I tried to better my kingfisher quest today and managed this picture - spot the kingfisher, I promise he's in there somewhere and as I reduce the sizes of published pictures, it may be hard to find him!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A long day!

Set off this morning at 6.00 to clear the Audlem flight and still met boats! Some had set off at 5.30am!!! Travelled on looking for a nice quiet country mooring to moor up early - no chance; this is the Shroppie after all. I maintain that this is a most beautiful canal, ruined by 2 things. Firstly: long, long lines of online moored boats including, in one place, an extremely long line alongside a farmer's field where not one boat was displaying a mooring permit - I guessed that they have not notified BW and therefore don't exist.

Secondly: the complete lack of remote country moorings. Moorings are fine if you want to stop outside a pub squeezed in with dozens of other boats but if, like us, you like to get away a bit you are faced with shallow waterand thick mud or concrete walls and sloping slabs!

Due to this, we ended up not mooring until gone 5.00pm having completed 47 lock miles, (22 miles and 25 locks,) in a total of 11 and half hours cruising time!

We did, however, reward ourselves with a full beef roast dinner and freshly made fruit salad and have allowed ourselves the luxury of a lie in and full fried breakfast tomorrow before continuing towards Wolverhampton, Birmingham and home - that should be interesting!

Every trip, I have attempted to photograph a Kingfisher - it is my life ambition. Today I got the closest ever.......

........OK, not quite there yet but I'll keep trying!

My new camera is great but I am finding it hard getting the colours right. Most of my pictures have turned out over exposed and washed out so tomorrow, I'll take the ISO setting off automatic and set it on ISO 200 and see if that helps.

My final picture this evening is one of the characteristicly high Shroppie bridges. I simply love these deep wooded cuttings.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Audlem flight at dawn!

Another good run today. The weather makes all the difference and at the moment, it has been most obliging to us meaning there is nothing better than just running on into the evening. Moored up tonight just under a mile from the first lock in the 15 lock flight at Audlem. The plan is to make a very early start tomorrow to clear them. It's tradition for us to make rediculously early start in the summer holiday and tomorrow seems like a good idea. Early morning, (before 6.00 ish!) is the most amazing time to cruise - trust me.

Getting out of Chester seemed to take ages thanks to the miles of moored houses, sorry boats. We slowed down as low as we could but being a Saturday and with the dole office closed, one bloke still felt the need to yell profanities at us for apparently not slowing down!!

I would like to nominate Calvely service station for having the lowest water pressure in England!

It must have taken us over an hour to fill up half a tank of water!

The rest of the day was uneventful. Passing through Nantwich we almost hit 2 men in a very old rowing boat who were really not coordinated. As we past, we said in a cheery way, "you're living dangerously down there aren't you?" to which a dour faced thug peered over the top and replied, "we don't care - when youve just done 14 years in jaol, you give up caring!" We hurried past without another word!
My final picture this evening is passing the end of the Llangollen Canal. Very busy, so we were glad to be passing!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Heading home!

An hour run into Ellesmere Port this morning proved uneventful except for several stops to clear the prop, (thanks for the warning Don,), a couple of kids lobbing stones off a bridge at us and being told to kiss a certain part of a very over-weight gentlemans anatomy! I now see why so many people questioned our sanity when we informed them we were heading for Ellesmere Port. In the whole day of 'there and back' we only passed 2 moving boats.

Khayamanzi moored in the basin at Ellesmere.

Ellesmere itself was interesting. The locks down into the basin needed careful use in order not to flood the towpath and museum and a large Singaporean chemical ship with 2 tugs on tow proved an added interest. Here you can see the flowers of Khayamanzi and a funnel of the ship going past in front.

The museum is excellent. Our only complaint is the total lack of regard for boaters in the shop! Some excellent historic DVD's were being shown around the museum but none were available for sale in the shop, nor was there even a brass plaque to commemorate my achievement of reaching the end. In fact, unless one wanted Rose and Jim items or perhaps the odd 'Ellesmere Port' pencil eraser, there was nothing of interest to the enthusiastic boater.

The return journey was equally uneventful. The only excitement provided by more significant stops to clear the blades of rubbish such as this:

......and the discovery of this wonderfully apt graffiti found on one of the last bridges out of Ellesmere. I should add that the arrow is pointing away from Ellesmere! I solute the frustrated boater who undoubtedly provided such accurate entertainment.

Life is full of coincidences and the boating world must provide more than many other areas. Imagine my surprise as I concentrated on manouvering Khayamanzi out of the lock in the middle of Chester only to hear a sarcastic voice saying, "Mr. Edwards, would you please slow down!" I turned and there was my head teacher from the first school I taught in back in London with a friend of his. Apparently he was up in Chester for the weekend and on his way to the pub. As he hadn't seen the boat, I had to stop and catch up as well as give him the guided tour. Roger is in the white shirt on the extreme left as you face the picture.
Finally moored up late after Chester in almost the same spot as we did on the way down. The first relatively quiet mooring after the hun-drum of the city. Tomorrow onwards down the Shroppie for as far as we get!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

One happy fisherman, one miserable fisherman!

Today is a tale of 2 fishermen. It all began a while back on the Trent and Mersey when we found a fishing rod caught up in the bushes. Much revving of engines later and we pulled it out, complete with reel and line attached and working. It has been on the roof ever since looking for an appropriate benefactor. Today, we found one. Two kids sitting in a slummy estate that we passed through with only one rod between them. A quick shout established that the standing boy didn't have his own rod so we grabbed it from the roof and passed it to him - he was a very happy fisherman!

Now the miserable ones. Again, kids. This time sitting by the canal at the end of their park fishing. We slowed down for them and the boy asked ever so politely if we could slow down please. Being a polite request, we obliged at which point his mate asked if we could stop the engine please! We told them not to push it and informed them that we had actually slowed down for them anyway at which, sour faced they glared and continued their fishing - ah well, you can't please them all!

I have posted a picture of our trip through Chester this afternoon.

Moored up this morning just before Chester and took the Park and Ride into the city to treat myself to a new camera. I am now the proud owner of a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ8!

Had a walk around the fascinating city of Chester before returning back to the boat and moving on through the very delapidated staircase locks at the far end of the city. Two people now have questioned our reasoning as to why we want to push through to Ellesmere Port. Tomorrow, we hope to drop into the basin at the end, visit the museum and then return back somewhere for the night before beginning the south-bound trip back.
Our evenings mooring tonight!
....and a nice bladeful from the weed hatch this evening too!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Chester onwards.

Moored this evening some 5 miles outside of Chester - just about the safest distance to stop by all accounts! A good run through today stopping only for diesel and pump out at Venetian Marina just before the turn onto the Main line. Did manage to spot a lesser spotted lengthsman doing a great job mowing the towpath though!

OK, here's a puzzle for you. Take a look at this picture carefully and work out what is happening. No, your eyes aren't decieving you, there really are 2 boats facing me, one is coming up beside me before I exit a lock chamber and the other is facing my bow and I'm facing his. Don't cheat - only when you give up, can you look below for the answer!!

Did you guess correctly?
At the staircase locks in Bunbury, we met 2 boats waiting to come up and us waiting to go down. The locks were split 50/50 in favour of either of us so we passed them in the middle! We locked down using our water to lift them up to meet us. One of the boats then slid past me into our lock next to me, allowing me to cross over and pull into his space next to the other upcoming boat. The other upcoming boat then slid forward into my space allowing them to complete their uphill lock and me to complete my downhill lock as the next picture shows.

Decided to attempt a stop in Chester at some point to look at new cameras! More than likely, we will push on to Ellesmere tomorrow and do the museum and stop off at Chester on the way back using the 'out of town' park and ride to keep the boat a safe distance away!

It's taken 3 weeks to get this far and what seemed like 4 weeks to get past the mile and a half of moored houses on the lead in to Chester! Whilst I'm on the subject of statistics, up to this point, on this summer trip alone, I have completed 402 lock miles - this breaks down to being 265 miles and 137 locks - not bad!!
****STOP PRESS****
I have added a link to my website of a small video file of my Anderton Boat Lift ascent. I say small, it's 8MB but should stream into your default video/media player on your system. Find it by clicking on the 'Cruise reports' link from the navigation menu, then select '2007 summer trip' and you will find the link at the bottom of that page - enjoy it!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Middlewich or bust!

OK, off the Weaver this morning. 8.45am passage up with Geoff. and Chris - fresh coffee and doughnuts as the lift rose; the only way to travel! Just after the lift, we parted company as Chris wanted to use the launderette allowing us the onward passage towards King's Lock. Little traffic enabled a swift run through the locks and a good right turn onto the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal. We had planned to moor up at Church Mistral on the embankment overlooking the valley but a very scruffy liveaboard boat had beaten us to the only mooring where you can get near to the bank and emptied the contents of their boat all over the bank! Needless to say we, along with everyone else, passed swiftly by and found a nice sheltered spot further on where I am enjoying 4 bars of GPRS signal using only my card and not even the external aerial. I am sitting ont he bank typing this in the sunshine with the dog asleep at my feet!

This picture was taken passing by the sunken boat at Croxfords flash on the Trent & Mersey.

It also prompted me to look at my camera and decide to conduct a feasibility study as to the purchase of a new one! In May, Simba knocked the camera off a rock and broke the battery compartment lid and during this holiday I managed to snap the strap. I have decided I want a good hybrid camera which allows for long zooming without having to change the lenses. My father has a Panasonic which seems excellent so I think that may be a starting point.

Here, my father is deeply engrossed in his magazine - or is it his cup of tea??
Tomorrow we hope to make the turn at the end of the Middlewich Branch and break into new territory on the Shroppie Mainline towards Ellesmere Port and the Boat museum. I have some video footage of our ascent of the Anderton Boat lift this morning and will hopefully add it to my main Khayamanzi website under the 'Trip Reports' link as soon as I return home or get the chance so keep checking that page for any additions!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Stuck on the Weaver!

Well today we locked through Vale Royal Lock and on to the upper limit of navigation - very un-impressive!! A road bridge covered in graffiti, a seedy pub with somewhat dilapidated and clearly little used moorings outside, a bunch of trees and bushes and a swinging BW sign is all that marks the end. Apparently, boats can continue into the flashbut are unadvised to do so given the shallow nature of it and the fact that BW jurasdiction has ended here.
Here, Khayamanzi is waiting at the entrance to Vale Royal Lock.

The upper limit of navigations, you can see from the water that engine is hard astern to reverse out!

This sign warns boaters entering the Weaver navigation from the flash of the requirement for a BW licence from this point on.

We stopped off at Northwich to get some shopping - well, quite a lot actually! Sainsbury's turned out to be right up the end of the town and so the need for the 'loan' of a shopping trolley gave rise to some odd looks as we made our way down the bank and along the towpath. We did joke about the even stranger looks as we returned the trolley - I even asked dad if he had been stopped and informed of the river nearby which was the more accustomed local depository for used shopping trolleys!!

We decided at Northwich to phone the boat lift and book the last passage off, only to be laughed at! Apparently they are fully booked today and have only a few slots available for tomorrow - this confirmed our thoughts and discussions with lock keepers regarding the number of people who simply come down the lift for the experience and then straight back up again - especially as we have only seen a handful of craft moving all day today! I have bookedonto the 8.45 passage tomorow morning.

We moored up this evening along the short term visitor moorings just before the boat lift and took a walk up to look round the most impressive exhibition and visitor centre and to buy the obligatory plaques for the kitchen wall and restoration DVD for the next rainy evening! Chris and Geoff from NB LIBS have moore dup behind us and kindly invited us on board for an evening meal that I am eagerly anticipating - our contribution being a lemon meringue pie with cream and a bottle of red!
Tomorrow - off the Weaver,down the Trent and Mersey to King's Lock, along the Middlewich Branch of the Shroppie and on towards Ellesmere Port and the Boat museum before returning either via the Staffs and Worcester or back through Harecastle.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Hot, hot, hot!!

What a scorcher today! Temperatures soared and I burnt! A stiff breeze up the River kept us relatively cool and at one point my cap blew off and much revving hard of the engine enabled a fish-out with the boat hook just before it sank. This morning, we set off leisurely towards the coastal limit of navigation. The last mile or so flanked by the very impressive and imposing ICI Calcium Chloride factory to the starboard side and the turbulent and equally impressive Manchester Ship Canal on the port side.
Here, the Manchester Ship Canal leads out to the sea.

Lying alongside the disused dockyard with the ICI factory behind me.
Well worth the time travelling to the end - it was quite an experience mooring up to a huge bollard designed originally for ocean going container ships and photographing Khayamanzi from the dock yard amongst cranes and derriks.

The return journey was typically 'Weaver'. An eclectic mix of beautiful and remote landscape interspersed with factories and wharfside notices warning of the import of rabies to the UK, (Simba hid below!)

Passage through the huge ship locks was simple enough although a phone call on the approach to each was necessary to warn the lock keeper of our approximate arrival time. We did find that some locks were not immediately obvious as to where and how they wanted us and they did tend to assume we were locals and knew the system a little too much at times, leaving us holding the boat, back mid channel, in a gusting wind guessing if they wanted us to enter, which lock they wanted us to enter and where they wanted us to land!

We approached Vale Royal lock with the intention of mooring at some well known and beautiful moorings just above us. The lock keeper informed us that there would be no room above and the best bet was to saty moored on the waiting area for the night and wait for the 9.00 passage through tomorrow morning. We dutifully thanked him for his advice and then watched him pack up and go home, 30mins. before the advertised time of last lock passage. We decided to walk Simba up to the moorings and see if he was correct. Although there were 3 boats on the moorings, there was easily enough space for us and we couldn't help thinking that he simply wanted to get home early!

Tomorrow, we plan to cruise to Winsford and turn at the limit of navigation this end before returning to Northwich for some shopping. Apparently Winsford is NOT a good or safe place to moor and leave the boat!