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Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2015 – Day 40

Posted by indigodream on 2 January, 2016

Rewind to Sunday 27th September

Stud Green Bridge to Red Bull

A kind of magic...

A kind of magic…

We had a very quiet night on the moorings – it’s the first decent mooring spot past Middlewich, yet we were the only boat moored between the bridge and the lock. This made it nice for the hounds, who could have a good rummage before we started the day.

We had a relatively easy day’s cruising ahead of us, so we filled the morning with car shuffles instead! I needed to move my car from the lane near the moorings, so it seemed sensible to drive Richard back to Anderton to pick up his car before we both headed off to Red Bull to leave one car there. At this point we became very well acquainted with the A533, though we did not drive at mad speeds and took a moment to enjoy the fine sight of a canal running alongside – I’m not sure the motorists last night would have noticed the canal unless they crash landed in it!

You get a great view from the top of the lock....

You get a great view from the top of the lock….

We dropped Richard’s car off at Red Bull (there is unrestricted road parking uphill from the Red Bull pub). I then drove us back to the boat – there is a little parking space just by Crow’s Nest Lock which allowed me to park up while we got the boat moving. There was a boat already approaching the lock when we arrived back, and another approaching the bridge behind us as we moved off the mooring – Clapham Junction!

Once we got through the lock, Richard took the boat along the two mile lock-free pound to Wheelock while I went off in search of a supermarket. We needed supplies because we had another boating buddy cruise tomorrow, this time with a CRT employee from the Red Bull office and his two whippets πŸ™‚

All in all, it was a very smooth morning – though it took me a little while to find the boat in Wheelock because Richard’s mobile was with me in the car! But it was only a matter of deduction as we have stopped at Wheelock before and my vague memories led me to the convenient free parking next to the canal/service block. I loaded up the supplies while Richard helped a hire boat moored behind us – I don’t recall what the problem was now, was it a fouled prop? Not too sure, they had real difficulties mooring up their very aged hire boat, we had been following them and their prop wash had looked strange. By the time we opened up the weedhatch the prop was clear so had something dropped up or as Graham would say did they just have a little one?

Sheep may safely graze - though the long shadows of autumn are coming...

Sheep may safely graze – though the long shadows of autumn are coming…

With both cars now safely parked and the boat adequately stocked with hot chickens, we set off for an afternoon’s locking up Heartbreak Hill. We have fond memories of this stretch – it’s familiar ground from our first narrowboat nb Dragonfly and even better memories from Indigo Dream. It turned out to be a lovely afternoon, warm and sunny but with that crisp crystalline edge that marked it as autumn.

The Beanz enjoyed the fabled Cheshire Locks – the canal was quiet, so they could have some unrestricted rummaging time though they didn’t favour lock-wheeling with Richard, mainly choosing to cadge a lift on the boat between locks πŸ™‚

Having been at sea level for the last few weeks, it was a great pleasure to be climbing again. The flight gives a fine view of the Cheshire plains as we headed for the summit at Red Bull. We had a fine afternoon’s cruising but there are a LOT of locks, so it was dusk again by the time we moored up.

We were quite weary by the time we moored up. I know that the Red Bull pub is not dog friendly and doesn’t do food on a Sunday, so Richard went off to forage for a Chinese takeaway – he eventually found one in Kidsgrove. We spend another evening with the DVD – not a hardship as we decided to leave our half-finished box sets on board so we’ve been keen to catch up after a few weeks away.

A tribue to artist Steve Sanderson :-)

A tribute to artist Steve Sanderson πŸ™‚

Today’s Trivia

I’ve been following an artist called Steve Sanderson on Facebook for a while now – he does the most beautiful and poignant paintings, most featuring and old man and his greyhound. The fundamental truth of “art imitates life” was manifest when I say this man walking the towpath – he could have walked straight out of one of Steve’s paintings πŸ™‚


"Why do you love the canals?" people ask; D'oh!

“Why do you love the canals?” people ask-d’oh!


Ooh, is that my ride?

Ooh, is that my ride?


So glad that the Beanz were supervising my lock entries - it's a tight fit :-)

So glad that the Beanz were supervising my lock entries – it’s a tight fit πŸ™‚


Such a lovely day....

Such a lovely day….


A rare bit of company - we hardly saw a boat on the move once we passed Wheelock..

A rare bit of company – we hardly saw a boat on the move once we passed Wheelock..


Road v canal? No competition on a day like this :-)

Road v canal? No competition on a day like this πŸ™‚


Archie and Ollie :-)

Archie and Ollie πŸ™‚


The paired locks of Heartbreak Hill....

The paired locks of Heartbreak Hill….




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