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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Devils garden surprises us again.

Tuesday 10th

FS was surprisingly stable last night, not to much rocking and banging on the pontoon, even though the wind and those waves got worse as the evening wore on. The skies stayed clear and the sunset over the Manchester Ship Canal was pretty spectacular. Even the pipes on the chemical works emitted a red glow. Going walkabout that late at night did me no good though, as my arms, legs and upper torso had been attacked by some sort of biting insects. I must have 14 large red itchy swellings which is driving me crazy. Slapping on the 'after bite' cream is helping but I reckon I'm in for another bad night. Note to oneself. Do not go out in shorts and skimpy T shirt when the light starts to fade.

With rain forecast for later today we left very early, just after 7.30am. Thought we would try and be moored before it arrived. First we stopped at the Sutton facilities.

Elsan is behind the hut.

Facilities between the two bridges
 Returning to Devils Garden again we were the only boat moored. We nestled FS in between two trees so when that torrential rain turned up and the river did rise, at least we have something to tie to. Having lunch and watching Bargain Hunt something ran right past our window not 5 feet away. As plain as you like it stopped for a moment before bounding away. And what was it? A Stoat! No chance of taking a photo, much to quick so have been on the web and found this from the British Wildlife Centre to show what it looked like.

And then the rain arrived around 1ish and hasn't yet let up yet. Reckon this could well be in for the rest of the day and evening. Glad we are moored and relatively safe. With nothing to do, TV put on and a film selected.We now wait for better weather to come, hopefully that will be tomorrow.

footnote:- Comment left by Ditchcrawler mentioning the Hulks at Sutton Swing bridge by a disused Level lock so will probably wind round once the rain has stopped and go try to find them. 

And a few on route photos.

Dark skies ahead and plenty of steam from the chemical works

After all that wind yesterday, the river today was dead calm.

Weir goes off to the right.

And the wildlife,

Shell Duck chicks

synchronized flying. Tufted Ducks




Linda Chandler said...

We spent a month on the Weaver 2 years ago and it remains a favourite place for us to visit time and again. The Devil's Garden holds fond memories - have you found the secret footpath up through the woods to the bird hide? I'm enjoying your photos particularly the shell ducks. Happy Boating 😎

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hello Linda, Wish I had known earlier. We have now left the Devils Garden and are heading back to Northwich. We too loved the place and we will be back.

Jennie said...

Hi Irene - I hope the bites are subsiding a bit? Have you ever tried holding an ice cube in kitchen paper on a bite? It helps a lot. Rubbing a lemon over them is also worth a try as is surgical spirit. You must be a tasty soul! Jennie x

Carol said...

Not seen shelduck chicks before, fantastic pictures Irene.

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