Monday, September 9, 2013

Away and Back to Chester

Friday (5th September) morning saw us doing a quick un-mooring as a boat passed us heading in the direction of the staircase locks.  We knew if we were quick enough we could catch them up and share the locks down.

King Charles Tower from below
Northgate bridge from below
We stopped at Tower Wharf to fill the water and empty the pump out tank.  The later was fun as Andrew had to reverse the boat in to a lock in order to get close enough to the pump out facility, oddly placed at the bottom end of the lock !!

Odd place to place a pumpout

The weather was playing up, it just could not decide if it wanted to be wet or dry, warm or cold.  We, on the other hand, decided rather than stay at Tower Wharf, we would continue towards Ellesmere Port and stop if the weather got too bad.  We eventually stopped about half way to Ellesmere Port as the rain got more persistent and Andrew was feeling a bit chilled.  Out came the necessaries to get the fire going and we warmed up the interior a bit.  First fire for the autumn :(  We did not keep it in though and let it die out after a few hours.
Saturday morning we woke to a nice bright sunny morning.  The temperature though is certainly dropping as we are wearing our warm jackets in the sunshine.  I guess it is more the wind though that it chilling.

Saturday morning visitor - odd looking plane and flying with it's wheels down

After a very slow start we continued down to Ellesmere Port and paid our way through to moor up in the basin.  Another odd and even day with the weather saw us laze away the remainder of the day in the warmth and comfort of the boat interior.  There was not much going on in the basin or at the museum, so a nice quite night it was too.

Ashdown moored in Ellesmere Port basin

Sunday.  As we had paid an entrance fee for the museum in order to be able to moor, we figured that we might as well have another look around.  Nothing has really changed since Easter when we were last here, so the look around did not take very long.  So by 11:30 we were ready to make our way back to Chester.

On the way out of Ellesmere Port, we passed the Chester Oaks, Designer Outlet retail park.  Andrew suggested that there was no reason to visit as there was nothing that we want.  At which point I set him straight, there was lots of 'stuff' that I WANT, problem is on the 'need' side Tongue out I do not really NEED any designer items and as the cash cow is drying up, the capability of purchasing such items is also a bit beyond the wallet.  As such we did not stop but cruised on by.  I was saving my walking points for the walk around the city walls of Chester and the retail park here as I wanted to get some more wool.
We made it back to Chester, planning on staying in the basin at Tower Wharf but by the time we got there the 3 spare spaces were full and the other 3 boats which had been in the 48hr mooring for the previous 3 days or more, were still there!  So it was on up the staircase locks and hope for some space where we were before.  We were in luck, the other visitor moorings only had 1 other boat so we were able to sneak back in there Winking
The weather is still playing up and I have no idea if it supposed to be wet or dry from one day, or even hour, to the next.  But still at least it is relatively warm with only a lightweight jacket needed to keep the slight chill out.
Andrew had arranged for a diesel fill from nb Alton.  They travelled further in one day than we have done in one week!  I do not envy them their life.  Hard work doing all those locks in a day and still managing to serve all their customers too.  They arrived at late afternoon and topped the diesel tank up very nicely.  Andrew also bought a replacement button for the bow as we have given the existing one a bit of a beating.  We waved them on their way at early dusk. 
Today, Monday, we finally did the city wall walk.  Lovely sunshine and warm to start and a soaking to finish I dont know  but still it was fun and great to see.
It was  back to the boat to wait out the worst of the rain, have a cuppa and a snack and then we were out again for the walk to the retail park.  I tried to work out those bus timetables as I was already tired but couldn't figure out which bus so we walked anyway.
Lots of city wall views:
Roman Garden
Roman Amphitheatre
Houses on the wall
Bridge over River Dee

Wier on the river
Castle walls
Water Tower
Pigeon tiles :)

Tower Wharf

Found the wool I wanted from Hobbycraft and then we had a look at a few other places, stopped for coffee while it rained again and then finally made our way back.
Trotting up the towpath towards the staircase locks, we spied nb Alton on their way back from Ellesmere Port, so Andrew gave Annmarie a hand with the locks and was granted a short ride back to our boat and was even allowed to steer.
Andrew at the helm of nb Alton - photo courtesy of Brian, nb Alton :)

The rest of the day has been spent recovering from the long walks today and watching the sun and rain come and go Big Grin

I have also sent my cv off for a prospective job so we shall see what happens.

Andrew and I had another discussion on the matter of work on our trip back from Ellesmere Port.  As the majority of the job opportunities that I have seen advertised are in London, that is where we shall head.  So it is back down south for us now and hopefully I shall soon secure a lucrative past-time SighRolling on the floor

So there you have it once more. All up to date Dancing

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