At the Junction we turned left and down to Hurleston Junction, where at hNBOC's request we tried Alton for size in the bottom lock. On our first attempt without any struggling we got most of the boat into the chamber & were only a foot or so from being able to shut the gates. We didn't try any further, but plan to have a more serious go latter in the year. We carried on down to Nantwich, with every other boat shouting "your going the wrong way!" In Nantwich our first customers were the hotelboats Oak & Ash, who always like to support us when we meet. We winded a mile past Nantwich & served more customers on the way back. We stopped for more customers at Calveley and George & Irene passed on the tug Sandbach. By the time we reached Bunbury they had the staircase lock set so we buttied down the rest of the wide locks with Sandbach before tying up for the night at the Shady Oak. Just as it was getting dark we heard a boat coming through the lock and who should come alongside but our friends Tom Hill & James Bill on the fuel boat Archimedies. They had come up all the way from London & we were very surprised to see them. Ann Marie & Irene got out the wine on board Sandbach, whilst the lads headed to the Pub.
After a late night in the pub, we where up a 5 and Alton and Archimedies had sa lovely run through the dawn mist to Christleton where we were re-loading with diesel. After a bit of a wait for the tanker we continued down the locks into Chester. Arriving at Tower Wharf we where greeted by an impressive line up of dozens of boats. We tied up on the outside of Skylark, just leaving a 10' gap for passing traffic to get through.
There was a great atmosphere in Chester with everyone milling around and enjoying the sunshine. Brian sat in the shade of the trees busily splicing rope for orders whist watching more boats arrived. We then had a leisurely evening drinking & nattering.
For the final run in from Chester to Ellesmere Port we were joined by our friend Alex (NB Witchcraft & Bewitched). We dieseled up a few boats and then set off for Chester about 9am. We had a reasonable run down to the Port, just picking up 2 bladefuls and scrapping our way through a couple of Bridgeholes. We arrived at the Port about Noon and where soon tied up opposite the entrance at a handy spot where customers can get to us.
So after a good trip down, were looking forward to an enjoyable long weekend here at the Port.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals