Lift Those Fenders. 24th April

Rookery Moorings to above Pierpoint Top Lock 55

To avoid having to stop for lunch and to give all the other boats headed for the locks chance to get going we loitered, long enough for a breakfast. Along the Cheshire Locks there are places you can moor, you can take it steady rather than climbing the hill all in one go. This time we are aiming to do the majority of locks in a couple of days.

I wish gf black pudding was as good and as big as fully glutenified

We set off a little after 11am, a bit of a pootle to reach Wheelock where we wanted to dispose of rubbish and yellow water and if there was room top up the water tank. Just tucked onto the end of the water point was a share boat, the crew stood having breakfast. Then there was a git gap to a boat filling with water, their hose just reaching their tank, another gap not long enough for us. No chance on topping up on water. We pulled into the next space and did the neccessary, the share boat coming past just before we were ready to push off ourselves.

Between the Wheelock Locks

A lot of the Cheshire Locks are paired, one lock sitting side by side with another. Some chambers have been converted into bywashes, others are simply not in working order at the moment, but the bottom few were still in working order. So we were able to use the lock alongside the other boat.

As they rose up I noticed that they had all their fenders down, six, three each side, those rubber pipe fenders that once they get detached from your boat get strangley attracted to other boats props or in and around lock gates inhibiting their function to hold water. Should I mention that it wasn’t such a good idea to cruise with them down?

As they finished in Wheelock Top Lock a boat was heading towards them. Their crew lowered paddles, one walking all the way round the lock to then walk on ahead, the other standing waiting to close the gate, which would be better left for the on coming boat.

Click the photo for more info

Quite a few boats were coming downhill, so the locks worked well, one out, one in. At Lock 63 I had time for a chat to the other uphill boat whilst our lock emptied. Up ahead some of the paired locks are narrow and should they end up in one of those with their fenders down their boat may well get stuck! ‘We always put them up on the Middlewich branch and Llangollen Locks, but she’s been recently blacked so we’re wanting to help protect that.’ I understood, keeping your lovely black bottom black is one thing, however getting jammed in a lock another. She did say they’d not lost a fender, yet!

When their boat had risen they lifted all their fenders and then headed onwards to the next lock, a single on it’s own. Time for a queue.

So pretty with the sun out today

Locks 60 and 61 have the near side locks padlocked off at the moment, these are the narrow chambers I’d warned the boat ahead of. We waited our turn. Then I’d work Oleanna up to a height that I knew Mick would be able to step off at before I walked on ahead to the next lock to set it. Would there be a boat coming down, should the gates be left for them?

Cheshire countryside

A boat was coming down. I phoned Mick and he left the gates for the downhill boat, only for them to tell him in a strong German accent as they passed mid pound, that they were stopping for lunch. With a boat hot on our tail, Mick had told their crew there was a boat on it’s way down. They would now be waiting below the lock for a boat that wouldn’t arrive. One of us would need to head back to close the gate and inform the boat behind us that the lock was theirs. Mick did the honors. This did now mean we weren’t hot on the tail of the boat ahead.

The folly Mow Cop

When the sun was out it was so gorgeous. Warm, bright green and yellow, stunning. Our first view of Mow Cop between the trees. Then when cloud came over an extra layer was required to keep the chill off. I now remembered that I like these locks, only downside is there are only a couple of pounds long enough to boil a kettle in.

M6 traffic flowing well today

Under the M6. We passed a few boats we’d seen yesterday, some stopped for lunch others for the day. Above the Pierpoint locks we discussed whether to stop in this pound, our scheduled stop, or continue onwards to Rode Heath. Here we’d not have numerous woofers walking past and Tilly trying to reach the good trees on the far side of the field, so we pulled in and settled for the remainder of the afternoon.

Mick checked the batteries, as he does most day with the use of an old phone. There was something not right. The inside battery didn’t seem to be working as it should. It had been charging, but now wasn’t giving out any of it’s power. The Shed was emptied, voltage across the terminals checked. 4.8 volts which should have been 26.7ish. This was not good, it was as if the battery had turned itself off.

One coming down

A phone call to the chap we’d bought them from. Mark asked if Mick could send him screen shots from the Battery managment system, but if what Mick was saying was the case the battery would need to be returned, it sounded faulty. Thank goodness we got two, our capacity with just one battery is better than we used to have so we should be fine.

Sock shot from Jane, a complete stranger who has sponsored a pair of socks

Whilst Tilly decided this outside wasn’t so good, our thoughts turned to where the faulty battery could be picked up from whilst we still need to be on the move. Also how to package it up for the journey, we’ve obviously not got the original box and packing on the boat. Hmmm? I wonder if….?

12 locks, 3.9 miles, 1 cooked breakfast, 2 git gaps, 6 fenders lifted, 2 locks reduced to 1, 567874965367689 gladioli, 1 beautiful day, 1 boat half way up the hill, 230 amp hours.

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4 thoughts on “Lift Those Fenders. 24th April

  1. Ade

    Enjoying the photos and the climb of the Cheshire locks. Looks lovely country. Lovely looking breakfast too! Yum yum.

    1. Pip Post author

      When the sun is out the Cheshire Locks most certainly don’t deserve their other name.

    2. Pip Post author

      You seem to be having a big blog reading catch up this morning Ade. I’m not superstitious but one more like would get us to 14 today πŸ˜‰

      1. Ade

        Ah sorry about that!
        Yes a slow start so was whiling away an hour on your blog!
        I knew last year we were on holiday I missed a chunk and caught up a lot but never closed the gap! After turning page after page from May and liking along the way! I found it in September a holiday and I started a new job took my attention away. So started on the blogs I missed. Not there yet!

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