Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Audlem festival 2014...

Back home now after an excellent few days trip to this years Audlem's historic transport festival but this years was more special than previously,  it was the first time we'd gone with Dee O Ghee.

Setting off last Wednesday evening after work we untied after seven and had moored up an hour later near Beeston for the night.

Thursday morning setting off in brilliant sunshine was very nice but we know what lay ahead of us, the dreaded five broad locks that take so long to do on your own, is time we were fortunate and a work boat heading for Tilstone emergency lock repairs on Friday was heading our way, at least for one of the locks. Three and a half hours later we had completed all the locks, Barbridge junction next and onto Hurleston junction that was deserted when we past by.  We continued ahead and past a long line of boats, we had hoped to moor in the heart of Nantwich tonight but instead we had to settle for a mooring just past the aqueduct.

Again Friday was very hot as we set off. The damn horse flies were bugging us something terrible and I'm still blaming one of theses flies for making me hit some bushes, Corinne was down getting a drink when we hit and she came rushing out thinking id either fallen off the boat or had a heart attack. After a quick check over Dee O Ghee and a thumbs up from the bow, no serious damage done just another war wound on the paintwork. A bit further along as we approached Hack Green lock Nr2. You know the one with that Secret bunker location that nobody knows about.

 Guess who was coming out of the lock in front of us, it looked very much like someone we know, the sailing boats on the bow gave it away. As they pulled over to the towpath and we entered the lock Steve and Chris from Nb Amyjo walked back up the lock to meet us, it was great to see them at long last after following the blog for so long and knowing we were going to be neighbours in the same marina when they finally brought Amyjo home, it was a shame we met where we did and couldn't stop for a longer chat.

We soon reached Audlem and checked for a space as we passed along all the boats, turning around at the winding hole just before bridge 79, and finding a mooring closer than we had expected to the festival, the day was still very hot and we know Charlie would struggle in the heat if we went walking too far, in the end we took a nice slow stroll up to Audlem Mill and picked up a souvenir of our trip, a big red pot teddybear.

On the way back to the boat we sat outside The Shroppie Fly for a drink and a cool down under an umbrella bench.

Later that evening once the suns heat had dropped we headed back for another look around the boats before the crowds arrive tomorrow.

Cheese Boat

Saturday and the official first day of the festival it was a scorcher, we went out earlier to miss the heat and called in at the Mill again and bought a foxy door stop we'd seen yesterday,

Foxy door stop
Charlie flaked out with the heat

had another quick look around the boats and headed back to take shelter from the weather, as the day came to a end we repainted the towpath side of the blacking to hide some of the knocks we had acquired since last November.

Sunday. Today was Corinne's and Charlies birthdays,

Birthday girl
we all lounged about till around ten thirty and then headed for the procession of vintage and some not so vintage vehicles that pass through the village at 11:15. The hot weather had eased slightly. We watched all three hundred vehicles pass by then headed up to the green where they had parked up for people to look at them more closely.

We slipped away slightly early to get lunch before the rush started, Thinking we'd give the Shroppie fly another chance after last years disgracefully attempt at food, only to find they are no longer a dog frendly pub, their loss not ours. We took a walk up to the Bridge Inn just a 100 yards up the towpath and found dogs are more than welcome, the drinks are better too.

Wanting to get back the the boat before the Dakota fly past we headed back after lunch. Its been a great day and the fly past topped it off.

Monday was our day to be heading off home, we set off around 9:30. the narrow locks we came to were a dream compaired the doubles we had ahead of us.
Aqueduct at Nantwich
Coming into Nantwich we needed the get water and empty the unwanted waste and rubbish, two boats were aready on the services but it didn't take them long to move off, all full and clean again we were off, today was yet another very warm day, we were making good progress too. As we approached Barbridge Inn a space just big enough for us to squeeze into was avalible at the front of the pub, inches to spare and we were in. Everyone was sat in the garden to the side but the tables at the canal front looked better and in the shade, We had seafood salad and banoffee mess, both lovely and on our to visit again list.

It was then we made the decision to go on and get the five broad locks out of the way today, leaving lock free cruising tomorrow. It was a good choice too because as we waited at Bunbury Staircase a boat came up behind, and joined us for all five locks, we both moored for the night at The Shady Oak Beeston.

Tuesday and a slow get away, no need to rush as all the work was done yesterday, it was a nice trip back to the marina, the weather had gone a lot colder but it was fine.

This trip: Miles 34. Broad locks 12. Narrow locks 4. Aqueducts 2.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Follow-up on Moonraker TV Aerial...

We finally got a chance to try out our new TV receiver away from the marina. Following Tom & Jans comment, we were interested to see how it performed.
I suspect the Moonraker is directional. We usually have to point ours inline with the transmitter. We also have it mounted at the top of a pole to get over those towpath hedges.
 As it happened the aerial picked up a signal without any adjustment required, maybe just luck. We did notice that in the marina we picked up English TV and when out on the cut for the night Dee O Ghee, pointing in the opposite direction could only get Welsh TV, suggesting it is directional. The picture quality was excellent and its still easier and quicker to set up than Free-sat. Still liking it.

Moonraker fixed to rear of cratch