Winding And Lifting. 26th November

Whitchurch Arm to Gridley Brook to 1/4 mile north Bridge 37

A cooked breakfast to start the day before we walked up to Sainsburys for a few bits. Pushing off we winded managing not to disturb the ducks. Today would be full of turning around.

P1180311smP1180313smAt the end of the arm we turned left only to wind at the winding hole so that we could head back to Grindley Brook. Once through the lift bridge we cruised along ready to pull in to pick up some wood. But just as we thought, we’d been beaten to it.

P1180319smTwo boats were moored up along side the mountain of wood which was gradually migrating onto their roofs. We don’t often burn wood, but the odd log late on an evening is nice, so we were only wanting a bit, but we decided to leave them to it as they seemed to be better kitted out than us for log chopping and storage.

P1180320smAt Grindley Brook we filled up with water, disposed of rubbish, I had a shower and we emptied the yellow water tank before winding again at the top of the locks. All we need now is for the coal boat to come past so that we can stock up on diesel and coal. They are due to start their run up to Llangollen tomorrow, so we’ll see them in a day or so.

P1180326smWith all the winding done for the day we then carried on with lift bridges. Back through New Mills where a young lad was transfixed by Oleanna and wanted to know if the bridge was hard work. My answer was ‘Yes and No’. It’s not hard to turn the windlass, but after 49 turns you are glad to stop whilst your boat goes through, only 28 turns to lower it though.

P1180337smBeyond the winding hole we managed to go straight on and pass Whitchurch Marina. Plenty of hire boats in and I made a note of their diesel at 88p domestic. We’ll be using the coal boat when ever we can, but knowing what else is about may be handy.

P1180348smFurther up another two lift bridges, but nobody to hold up. These bridges give access for footpaths or to moorings, so no big roads to hold up. The sun was starting to get low in the sky so we pulled in along a stretch of armco and let Tilly out to explore. I had a swift walk up and down with her to stretch her legs before she went off hunting somewhere. I wonder how far she would actually follow me if there were no dogs about. She quite happily gallops along behind or in front for some distance. But I turn round before I think I’m getting too far away so as not to encourage her to wonder great distances.

P1180353smOur mooring is in one of those blind spots for mobile signal. These are likely to get more frequent the further we go. I received an answer phone message from my brother regarding plans for their Christmas visit in a brief glimpse of signal. My text replying took three hours to find another glimpse. Internet is also getting patchy. So if you don’t hear from us for a few days we will still be here, just not in the internet ether.

DSCF7114sm0 locks, 3.39 miles, 3 winds, 4 lifts, 1 done twice, 197 turns to go up, 116 turns to go down, 1 full water tank, 1 empty wee tank, 1 clean pooh box, 0 bread, 1 rustic sliced white loaf, 2 scavenging boats, 0 for us, 2 hours in the dark, 1 freezer getting low, 1 margee email, 1 almost but not quite phone call, 5 snowflakes.