Saturday, 29 July 2017

Fun and games on the Chester cut

We were last on this bit of the cut in August 2012, the only other time we’ve been here in Sanity Again. I don't know why we don't visit the Chester canal more often, it’s a very pleasant stretch of water. This is only the fourth time we’ve been here since moving on board, and on one of those, the last time we were here on Sanity, we only came as far as the top of the Bunbury staircase, winded and came back. We were regular visitors in the days when we had shares in two boats based at Acton Bridge, so perhaps we felt we’d seen enough of the place then and never got back into the habit of going straight on at Barbridge Junction as we did today.

It made for a very pleasant morning’s cruise, though there was a bit of a scrum at the service wharf here at Calveley, something to do with it being Saturday. In addition, there are very few water points between here and Chester. There are some at the Anglo-Welsh yard at the foot of the staircase, but they charge £2 a tank to use them and they aren't available on turn round days like today. The next chance to water, unless you go into the marina at Tatenhall, is beyond the winding hole at Christleton.

So there was nothing for it but to breast up alongside the boat that was already watering and wait our turn. There are two taps there and by the time we’d finished there were a total of five boats either filling their tanks or waiting to do so.

Once done, we just ambled through the bridge and found plenty of room to tie on the moorings on the other side. The only other boat actually on the 48 hour section was an Aqua boat we didn't know, Althea by name. We didn't have a chance to chat to them as they set off by the time we’d finished eating lunch.

We’ve had a walk up to the Bunbury locks to watch the happy hirers getting ready to start their holidays – it’s very good to see so many folk visiting the canals. When we got back, I finally got round to sorting the bow fender, which has developed a habit of sliding round off the stem post when up against a lock gate. I’d expected to have to replace shackles and stuff, but for once it turned out more straightforward than that. Shortening one side by one link of chain looks to have got it back tight again.

I also took the chance to partly sever one side of a link on each side, using the new bolt cutters. This is a safety measure – if the fender hangs on the gate when rising in the lock, the links will part rather than force the bow underwater.

Tomorrow, we plan to go on to the Shady Oak where we hope to meet our good friends Bill and Eileen, former Braidbar Owners now living in Nantwich when not gallivanting about the world in their camper van.



Janet said...

Hi Bruce, NB Althea here. Its our first time up this way and really enjoying it. We noticed your boat but it was all closed up when we passed. We moved on to just past Beeston Stone Lock - lovely views but no internet so just picking up your blog now. We are turning at Christleton so might meet you on the way back. Janet

Bruce in Sanity said...


Just seen you go past here at the Shady Oak as I was doing today's blog! Might well see you at Christleton.