We'd rung Chirk Marina about half an hour before arriving on Thursday afternoon to arrange a fuel fill-up and a toilet tank emptying; we'd checked that we could access the marina ok (ice) and were told it was alright. When we got there and turned in (breaking the ice in the entrance) a man appeared and said 'I don't think so!" (When Ann and Charles arranged the same thing 10 days or so ago, the marina staff broke up the ice before they arrived.) Anyway we reversed out, winded and moored up opposite, we were picking up visitors at Trevor before lunch tomorrow so would be heading back the way we'd just come.
Nearly 10am yesterday morning and the marina staff started breaking the ice; we were just about ready to cast off when they called to us that we'd be able to pull in for services in about 5 minutes. 'Sorry' I said ' it's too late, we'll call in on the way back in a couple of hours'
Through the cratch window onto Pontcysllte Aqueduct in the drizzle.
Our friends, ex-neighbours Bill and Margaret had just arrived at Trevor Basin as we winded once again ready to head back over the aqueduct. We lived next door to each other for about 18 years in Fairbourne; Bill and Marg were the best neighbours anyone could ever wish for.
Bill is a carpenter and built our kitchen all those years ago, and today ...
... he brought me this beautiful, tactile, wooden pot which he had crafted ...
... it's made from 300 year old Yew with Cherry inlay.
The Yew came from Arthog Hall which is a couple of miles from where we lived and had a conservation order on it, but it was growing too near the hall and had to be cut down (with permission of course), about 15 years ago; Bill was doing some carpentry work for the owner and took the tree as payment.
The inlay goes all the way through the piece ... it really is a delight both to look at and handle.
Thank you so much, both of you.
We cruised over Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, through Whitehouse and Chirk Tunnels, winded (turned) and cruised back again. It was about 4pm when we arrived back at Froncysyllte and Bill and Margaret walked back over the aqueduct whilst we winded once again to head back to catch up with the convoy.
Half past 5 as we cross Chirk Aqueduct in the rain with a quickly darkening sky and it was nearly 6pm when we arrived at Gledrid Bridge where Geoff and Ann were waiting for us and helped to tie our ropes in record time. We were cold and wet and glad to be still; the last half hour travelling with the headlight on was not easy but yet another 'first' boating experience.
All in all it's been another fantastic day and tomorrow we're off to a party!