Thursday, 22 August 2013

Too Little Water and Too Much Poo!

Thursday, 22nd August, 2013 at Middlewich.
We set off from the Anderton Lift to start the journey back south. We had hoped to visit the Salt Museum, which came highly recommended by the guide books - but we found that it was closed for renovation, with a notice saying "due to re-open in 2012"!  Again we passed the large industrial areas south of Northwich.
Further south, we passed the site of last year's breach, where the embankment gave way and emptied the canal into the neighbouring river. It took all winter, and a lot of scarce funds, to repair it.
When we reached the outskirts of Middlewich, we moored up next to a playground and walked in to Morrison's for a "few bits". It was the same store that we had visited on our way north a few days ago, but this time we approached it from the east (the Trent & Mersey Canal), instead of from the south (the Shropshire Union Canal).
With the boys on board, we had used more water than we anticipated and the "poo" tank had filled up at an alarming rate! So we needed water and a pump-out.  As we approached Middlewich Boatyard in the centre of town, we were relieved to see the staff still there and we moored up at the service moorings.  M spoke to Robbie, who explained that they had just put everything away and were shutting up shop for the day, but he said that we were welcome to moor there for the night and he would do the pumpout at 7.45 in the morning.  In the meantime, we were welcome to fill up with water - which we did.
One consequence of going through the Anderton Lift was that the guillotine gates, when raised to let boats in and out, dripped very dirty brown water all over the boat - so R got busy washing MM down.
While M put out the washing to dry in the evening sunshine.
The boatyard had beautifully tended flower beds and was very well kept, so we had a pretty back garden overnight!  The boatyard has a busy hire fleet; two boats were returned this evening and Robbie said that they have seven boats due to go out tomorrow.
Today:  10 miles, 4 locks and 5.7 hours.
Trip: 293 miles, 221 locks and 237.7 hours.

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