I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Monday 13 May 2013

Friday 10th May

A very frustrating day for one reason or another.  My problems have been technical.  I’ve just got a new wireless modem which I cannot get to work properly.  I think it is probably the poor signal in this area so after a very long phone call to 3 and numerous attempts to log on I’ve gone back to the old dongle with mobile wi-fi hub which has an external aerial on the boat roof.  It’s still not brilliant but better than the new modem.  My second problem has been Navvygator.  I’ve used it for a couple of years now and on our first outing this year, however it now doesn’t want to work.  I’ve been in touch with Stuart at Navvygator and he is trying to work it through with me but it will take time.  Just as well there is a manual recording system on Water Explorer.

Blake Mere, Ellesemere
Richard’s frustrating problem was been that on leaving Frankton Junction we picked up a slow hire boater and had to do 3.5 miles at a snail’s pace.  Not that it really mattered as when we got to Lock 20 flyboat Saturn was stuck across the canal!  It was very gusty and I guess one gust just caught her.  Her crew managed to manhandle her into the lock but we still had a long wait as quite a queue had formed in front of us.  While queuing a hire boat came up behind us and was about to go straight past until he realised that there was a queue.  There was a loud bang as he hit us, the skipper yelled out “how do I make this thing go backwards”!  Don’t the hire boat companies tell their hirers anything anymore??

Since I last went to Ellesmere a Tesco store has been built beside the basin – so of course I had to pay a visit!  In one way it was good as we were in a hurry but it does mean that maybe people don’t go into the town any more.  We will have a good look round on our return.

Ellesmere Wharf
I’m going to have to have a rant about hire boaters here L  However it’s not really their fault – it’s the hire companies.  Not only did we have the incident with the chap who didn’t know where reverse was but the other boats in lock queue were all hire boaters doing their first lock.  None of them had the faintest idea what they were doing and obviously hadn’t been told a thing - this was confirmed when we talked to them.  I ended up doing all the work for 2 boats and Richard pulled over when he was through the lock and helped the boat behind us while I went up and set the next lock.  Do the hire companies not worry about what happened to their boats? 

Frankton Junction
We will go up the Montgomery on our way back
After the lock incidents I reckoned we needed a night out so we plodded on to the Poacher’s Pocket where we had an OK meal. 

Muffin did his first tunnel today but he was more concerned that I wasn’t on board as I had walked through and yapped the whole way through.  More tunnels tomorrow though and I hope he doesn’t suffer from vertigo as it’s the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct too!

14.41 miles
2 locks
0 lift/swing bridges


  1. An interesting blog, I can sense the frustration over the hire boats and of course you are absolutely right. Hire companies just want the boats out these days and rely on boaters to give help and advice in their stead.!

  2. You must have been just behind us. http://nbceilidh.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/5th-may-2013-maesbury-marsh-to-weston.html Hire boats were the theme for our entire trip up the Llangollen too. I think I may have found a niche market. Hang around a lock like New Marton and charge a fiver to help first timers through. Would make a killing! I hope I wasnt that bad when I started.....