Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Luxury, Sheer Luxury

Starcross' visit to Middlewich was just the first part of a longer trip to the Macclesfield Canal and then the rest of the Four Three Counties Ring. The first part of the trip was timed to coincide with the Boat and Folk Festival, but then I had to take two weeks off boating and get back to work. Though I've often left Starcross in various places around the system for a few days I was a bit wary of leaving a boat for that long somewhere I didn't know so I decided, for the first time, to splash out and pay to leave her in a marina.

The most convenient was Aqueduct Marina, a new site on the Middlewich branch near, but not that near as it turned out, Church Minshull. So, on Monday morning, having winded the night before below Wardle lock, it was back along the branch for a couple of hours to find Starcross' holiday home. "I-Spied" on the way was Adam and Adrian's shared ownership narrowboat "Debdale" resting under a tree. I knew that they were unlikely to be on board so I took this photo for them
Shortly afterwards I arrived at Aqueduct Marina and turned in to report and claim my pre-booked spot. Starcross lives on-line at Norbury Junction and I must admit I was a little nervous about manoeuvring amongst the other boats, but there was plenty of room to tie up outside the office and I was made welcome immediately by the staff and quickly shown to my berth. They have only been open since February, but the permanent moorings are already full with a waiting list. I can see why too. The site is well laid out, with good facilities and friendly and helpful staff and if I was looking for an off-line mooring I could be tempted.

A permanent mooring wouldn't actually cost very much more than my present mooring at Norbury Wharf, (Simon please note!) but I don't mind being on-line and Norbury Junction at least has a pub, which is more than can be said for Church Minshull these days since the demise of the Badger.

Having left Starcross safely tied up I then had to get back to Hereford and the journey was a good example of how good public transport can be when it all goes right - and a reminder of how easily it can all go wrong - but I'll tell you about that in another post.

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