Leaving Home. 25th May

Lockdown Mooring 4A to Lockdown Mooring 5, Hack Green Winding Hole

Blimey I’m going to have to remember how to do maps now!

Saying goodbye to Tilly’s field

Our 48hrs were up this morning as the 14 day mooring rule was brought back in on Saturday, I know that doesn’t quite make sense unless you understand the mooring rules on C&RT waters . I could look back and count the actual amount of days we’ve been at Lockdown Mooring 4 and 4A, but I’ll save that for another day.

Bye bye ‘Home’

We’ve enjoyed our time at this mooring. I’d been aiming to get the gunnels repainted as it’s a perfect spot for the job, but general life, lack of motivation and the matter of 16 illustrations have all been keeping me busy and stopping me from sanding and painting. I’m hoping we may return ‘home’ for a couple of days before we leave for the east. There is also the matter of the Wheelie Shoppers!

Tatties growing

Pushing off just before 11am, boats had already started coming past, with the sun out we could tell today was going to be a busy one on the cut. The flag bubble have had a move around, NB Plum has headed off to fit some solar panels and the bubble has been joined by another boat that’s been up and down the pound for a while now. We waved to Sandra, Kim and Barry, we’ll be back in a few days time.

The potato field is doing well, wonder how long before they are worth digging up?

Then round the next bend the local swan family came swimming towards us. Dad at the front, Mum bringing up the rear. But hang on! Quick, slow down!!!

One is catching a ride

Dad was giving one lucky cygnet a lift on his back. Such a wonderful sight, we’d thought the cygnets were too old for this, but obviously not. Sometimes there is space for a couple to catch a ride, but this cygnet wouldn’t leave much space for a second one.

Not much space
Riding high

One of those special moments in life.

We chatted with Heidi from the pirate boat as we passed, saying where we were aiming for. She and Jacki had tried the other side of the aqueduct but it was far too busy for their liking, so they’d returned to Henhull. We’d still go and see what we thought, we could always come back this way instead.

The pooh boat

A boat was just pulling of the services as we approached so we hung back leaving them space to get through the bridge and past the moored boats on the 24hr moorings. A washing load had been done this morning, so our tank was quite depleted. Tilly got a fresh clean pooh box, I think only her third of lockdown, she has after all been using shorebased facilities as requested.

Plenty of boats came past, some stopping to do the necessary and others waiting for water. Then once filled we pushed off leaving the tap for another boat that had just pulled in.

NB Myrtle’s second mate sat under the A frame

Nb Islonian was selling coffees and across the other side of the aqueduct was NB Plum and NB Myrtle, the later with big flags out trying to drum up trade. As we passed I spotted their second mate taking shelter underneath their A frame. They sell jams, chutneys, dog treats, but nothing for our feline friends! Tilly was not impressed, I suspect neither is their second mate!

Busy today

Boats came towards us, not many we recognised. Were they boats that have been pootling about at this end of the canal, just like us at the other end of this pound? Were they boats from marinas out for a jaunt for the day enjoying the bank holiday sunshine? Who knew, there were just plenty of them.

Keep the
tiller straight

At Marsh Lane, Mick kept a very good hold of the tiller, despite Oleanna wanting to wind to return to our ‘home’ water, we wanted to go further, we wanted to go straight on. We were now back on water we’ve not been on since the 19th March, pre-lockdown. The last time we cruised this stretch in this direction was just shortly after the Beast from the East back in 2018 when the water was icy in stretches, today no ice to navigate through, just sunshine and fishing rods.

Fresh water

Onwards we forged with a slight sense of freedom.

Fishermen out in force

Someone else was enjoying some freedom too. A Jersey cow was trotting along the towpath towards us, an occasional kick high into the air. She carried on past us thank goodness as we were wanting to moor up and didn’t really want a nosy cow peering in through the hatch or nibbling at our ropes.

Hack Green bottom lock and a cow!

Two chaps asked if we’d seen a cow, we pointed them down to where her friends had come across the field on the off side to say hello to her.

How do

I need to take back my recent criticism of the crew on board Oleanna. Today they finally have managed to break the circle the they seem to have been stuck in for months. Today they finally managed to tie up a whole new, different, exciting outside! One with extra cow for good measure. She wouldn’t let me out until the cow had gone past. But then I was free to explore and find myself some tasty friends. Would I know where to come back to? Don’t be stupid of course I knew.

Ooo a new outside!

My sour dough starter was still looking a touch flat. I’d pepped it up with a touch of maple syrup this morning and later on I added a touch of bog standard gluten free flour in with the brown rice flour, this worked the last time, fingers crossed it does the trick by morning.

Not a bad vista

Plenty more boats came past us, few familiar. We soon noticed that the majority were actually just coming to wind and return back towards Nantwich. A few came from the locks and a few continued on up them, but I think the majority of boats out today were out for a day trip to check things over before returning to their home mooring. Currently Leisure boaters can visit their boats and go for a short a cruise, but as yet no overnight stays are allowed.

This will do

By the end of the afternoon I had just about finished my illustrations, painting in blossom and fireworks. Sideways trees now with more detail, although when I looked back at them they were starting to upstage my actors, so a bit of water and some kitchen towel tamed them down a touch, fading them into the background.

The final light tonight

0 locks, 4.49 miles, 1.78 miles of fresh water, 1 home mooring left behind, 1 piggy back, 2 pirates, 1 full water tank, 0 rubbish left on board, 1 clean pooh box, 1 straight on for a change, 1 sky filled mooring, 1 jolly Jersey, 1 happy cat, 1 friend from the friendly cover, 15 illustrations complete? 1 eye test required, 1 punctured tyre fender, 1 shelf again.

So much for a map! Google won’t let me drop a pin!

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