Our 2018 season begins aboard Narrowboat Chrissie.
Collected Chrissie from Stoke Boats, Longport Wharf on Monday 9th April, where she’d been all winter having a few extra jobs done.
We hired a van to take all our junk back onboard this year.
Joining us was our Granddaughter Nancy aged 10, she enjoyed the journey from Exeter to Stoke sitting in the middle up front in the Transit.
It’s been a wet and chilly start. Made a short day 1 cruise to Westport Lake only about half a mile N of longport where we overnighted.
Next day saw us at the Southern Portal of Harecastle Tunnel and a short wait for those boats coming through Southbound.
It’s quite an experience, Harecastle is a one way only tunnel as there’s no room to pass. Also quite unique is that they have huge ventilation fans running at the Southern end which are quite noisy for a while when entering the tunnel, also they close off the South end so that air is drawn from the North end, which make it draughty but clear air. It’s a 40 minute passage with mostly good headroom.
The North end saw us in “Red Bull” and the water is certainly very red from the iron ore locally.
After collecting coal from David Smithson it was into “Heartbreak Hill” 26 locks to Wheedon. Jill took the Granddaughter home to Exeter and rejoined the next day.
Easy cruising now to Middlewhich on 16/04/18 only 4 locks, mooring above Kings Lock.
We were able to see the canal breach on the Middlewhich arm of the Shropshire Union that has rendered it unusable for many months to come. Fortunately we carry straight on here towards Northwich and the Anderson Boat Lift down onto the River Weaver.