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Friday, August 12, 2011

Some Goodbyes & a Beautifully Painted Water Can

We set off from Red Bull Aqueduct about 7.30am & at least it wasn't raining yet! Our first customers were Peter & Mal on Midama. They'd recently returned from a final cruise on the Weaver & 4 Counties Ring and decided due to health issues to move back ashore after 18 years afloat. We had a lovely chat with them and Mal had been having a sort out & loaded us up with hats & scarfs, 2 old water jugs for Ann Marie's flowers as well as bottles of wine! We are so lucky to meet such lovely people in our job and we'll certainly miss Peter & Mal's banter & smiles.

We carried on down the hill with Liam & Kerry on the Fuel Boat Ariel also following behind, like buses you don't see a coal boat for ages & then 2 come along at once! The rain came in fits and starts, with the odd glimpse of the sun. We had customers at various intervals before finally arriving at Middlewich about 7pm, here we spied Jane Selkirk's & Mac's boat Hero. We tied up and Mac brought out our old water can which had been beautifully repainted by Jane. We stopped for a coffee & a chat with Jane & Mac and caught up with their news. Jane is a very talented painter & has decided now is the right time to retire & they are selling their wonderful 70ft boat 'Hero' (with Lister JP2 I think) so if you are in the Market for an excellent trad boat, just get in touch. After having a good chinwag we wished Jane & Macc all the very best in the next stage of their busy lives.

We set of again in the dusk through Middlewich (grabbing a bag of chips at the chippy on the way) and decided to keep plodding, finally tying up for the night at Church Minshull and so to bed.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Wet day on the Macc

On Monday we returned from our holidays and got straight back to work on Alton. George, Mike,Chris & Terry had operated Alton over Sat to Monday from Oakgrove up to Whaley Bridge, their help really was much appreciated. Now it was our turn to boat back to base. Yesterday we had a pleasant day with plenty of customers on our way back down the Macc.

Today we've had a busy morning at Oakgrove re-loading Alton with supplies prior to setting of a bit before midday. We soon reached Bosley & were met by the rain & wind, ahh perfect timing! We had a reasonable run down the flight meeting boats at each of the first 6 locks. At lock 7 we met Phil from NB Aurora we had walked up to give us a hand down the locks.

The rain got heavier & heavier, but we still had a busy afternoon on the lower Macc. We finally tied by the aqueduct at Red Bull absolutely soaked through. Brian nipped to the Blue Bell (one of his favourite real pubs) for a swift pint of "Hop head" & we grabbed some tea before getting a much needed early night.

Tomorrow we head off down the locks to Middlewich.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Traditional Fishing Boats at Brehemont on the Loire

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Winding up our Vacation

We've had a wonderful week wending our way along the Loire, heading for the Brittany coast. We've visited some amazing Chateaux's and various museums including one containing a 2CV Sahara, an Ami M35 (you have to be a Citroen nut to appreciate one of these) an A Type 2CV and even a Steyr Puch Haflinger. One of the highlights though was a visit to a working windmill built in 1740. It was still in operation milling animal feed and flour. This wasn't a tourist attraction, but a real working mill & it was fascinating to talk to the owner about his work and the mechanisms of the mill. He let us clamber all over the place and it was fascinating.

Last night near Dinard we had a delicious farewell dinner & end of raid Soiree. It was a lovely evening and we were joined by other 2CV friends Annie & Dave (ex UK & Australia) who have now moved to Dinard as well as other 2CVGB friends Chris & Debbie, so a good time was had nattering & catching up on each others news.

This morning we awoke rather more bleary eyed than usual and after packing up we had a final communal breakfast. We said our goodbyes to all & started our journey back home.

A big THANK YOU! to George, Mike, Chris & Terry for they're help in operating Alton while we're been away enjoying ourselves, it really is very much appreciated.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals