Wren is now back on her berth at Blackwater Meadow in Ellesmere and its back to life on land for the crew. Over the last 9 weeks the boat and crew have travelled over 650 miles along 11 canals and 5 rivers and also ascended and descended through at least 520 locks.The journey has been fascinating in many different ways and the help of friends has been invaluable and a great deal of fun. Sharing an experience definitely makes it more memorable (as does writing about it, I hope).
The final two days of the journey from Church Minshull to Wrenbury and then onto Ellesmere were very straightforward. The canal was quite busy as the school holidays had began so there was a bit of waiting at some of the locks. But nothing like waiting for a cross channel ferry!
On Sunday Alex canoed out to Wrenbury to accompany Wren on the last leg so on Monday morning the mini convoy proceeded up the Llangollen Canal to the first lock at Marbury where, unfortunately Alex and the canoe capsized just as Peter started filling it up. Luckily both Alex and the canoe were unscathed so after the lock there was a short break so Alex could change his clothes and warm up with a coffee. Needless to say that at all the subsequent locks he portaged the canoe along the towpath while his wet togs dripped dry on Wren.
After the final locks at Grindley Brook were completed and the 6 lifting bridges had been raised and lowered it was time to pause at Whixall (where else?) for a celebratory cream tea. At Colemere there was just time to greet Bill and Julie as we chugged along before continuing past Blakemere and through the tunnel. Then just before Wren approached the entrance to the marina there was a sighting of a vaguely familiar boat called Penny - we had met at Stoke Bruerne on the second day of the trip down the Grand Union and the chap had accompanied Peter on the Jews Harp when he played Ace of Spades on his ukelele. Isn't it a small world, especially on the canals.