Following our more personal catch up post last week, I thought you’d be interested to read about our journeys over the winter months.
Barry hasn’t edited the images he wants to compliment our journeys, but full intends to get them posted in the not too distant future …
Continuous Cruising On The Inland Waterways
Annually, from the end of November to the beginning of April, the majority of moorings on the system change from their usual 24-hour/7-day restrictions to 14 days. There are far fewer boats around, so moorings are easy to find and it’s a joy to park up and explore areas for longer. Only the hardy continuous cruisers remain generally.
Canal and River Trust (CRT) take the opportunity to do work all over the system that they’ve planned in advance. We get a ‘Winter Stoppage Notice’ in good time beforehand so we can plan our routes. There are a few pages of ‘handy tips’ on their website for winter cruising.
As the fuel prices rise, nationally and internationally, we’re thankful to be living in a small space. It’s not too costly to heat with our diesel-fueled Eberspacher radiators (which also heats the water), and multi-fuel stove. We’ll update the costs of these in September this year, once we’ve been back on board for 12 months. It’ll be interesting to see how much it’s increased as our previous update was June 2020.
From Nantwich To Anderton
Barry travelled down to the southwest in late October to spend a few weeks helping with the builds of Calendar Club stores. During that time we were moored in the Nantwich area – the first time in eight years that I was on the boat alone. He returned in January for the take-downs of some of the stores.
We’d decided to potter around the northwest canals and rivers to be close to my daughter Lisa, son-in-law Rob, and two grandsons. After all, we’d recently enjoyed 49 weeks in New Zealand! Our gorgeous grandsons have been on board a number of times. How fortunate are they to find grandma and grandad kiwi at a different location every time they visit?
After Nantwich, and Hurleston Junction, we meandered from Tattenhall to Chester for a few months, as this stretch of canal is on the number 41 bus route to Malpas. We spoilt ourselves with a few stays in Tattenhall Marina, where we’d moored from August 2013 to February 2014. Such a lovely place. The current managers travelled to NZ not so long ago, and love the country (how could anyone not?!), which entailed much reminiscing.
We even ventured up to Ellesmere Port again. Our first time since 2014. From there, we took a couple of train trips into Liverpool, in preparation for our planned passage into Liverpool’s Albert Docks on 11th April. Not long now!
In early March, we moved off the main Shropshire Union canal and headed across the Middlewich Arm. What a gorgeous stretch of canal this is. We moored for a couple of nights near Church Minshull – it was the first time we’ve stopped on this stretch.
Then we continued to the Anderton Boat Lift and Weaver Navigation, where we spent an idyllic few weeks. Our grandsons stayed on board, separately, and we had a great couple of catch-ups with dear friends Tony and Heather, who used to run ‘The Fudge Boat‘. During this time, we also took an inaugural cruise to the navigation end we’d not previously visited. That was an eye-opener. Barry loved it and has many super shots to share.
Essential Maintenance On Board Areandare
There have also been a number of boat maintenance and upgrades to consider. We pre-ordered a new cratch cover whilst in Nantwich, from Tim and Hazel at ‘Cratch Covers And Canopies‘. There are long waiting lists for these – ours will be made in June if all goes smoothly.
We invested in a new mattress, from ‘Mattress Next Day‘, as the previous one had been on the boat since we bought it. They say they recycle the old mattress (which we paid to have taken away), so hopefully, that’s true! A tree is planted for each one bought too.
Our Candy washing machine had also been on board since 2013 and sadly gave up working in February. We managed to get a new one delivered to Tattenhall Marina. It’s rather more modern, and can be programmed by wifi – though only Barry has worked this out so far!
Barry recently laid carpet tiles laid through the lounge, kitchen and our bedroom, which makes a massive difference to the cosiness of the living space.
He’s been doing some engine tinkering and tidying up the cupboards and drawers in our Boatman’s Cabin – as well as making some super new steps with storage for exiting the back door. He’s such a clever kiwi!
We’ve still got to paint above the gunnels following the hull work we had done at Debdale Marine in November 2020. Why on earth we didn’t just pay extra to have that done is beyond me. We haven’t managed to plan how or where we’ll do that yet …
Next Stop Liverpool
We’ll tell you all about our journey to Liverpool in a future post. That’s where we’re heading today, Monday 11th April, for two weeks. We’re enormously excited.