Day Three - June 28, 2005
The Montgomery - Mid-Wales Marina / Maestermyn
Our day beings well with plenty of sun. The canal boat Montgomery is quite comfortable. The floor could use a good cleaning but everything else is very nice. Lots of room on board. Beds are comfy but mine seems to have a spring that finds my ribs. Operating seems to be fairly easy for Beth since she has a small sailboat with a tiller and has sailed since she was 7. It's not that hard though and I catch on but still want Beth to take over on the very narrow spots, tunnels and aqueducts. With a 55' boat you really need to gauge when to start your turns around bends.
Starting out we have to check the prop for anything that could be wrapped around it, turn the greaser and check the oil. The boat runs on diesel so we warm the glow plugs before starting, remove the mooring lines and head off but not before a simple breakfast of a cinnamon roll and lots of coffee for Shirley and I.
Crossing the aqueducts, tunnels and narrow passages
Cruising along the canal is peaceful. No locks today but there are several narrow bridges to go under. The first aqueduct we come to is the Chirk Aqueduct. We wait in a short queue to cross making new friends along the way. People are very friendly and helpful letting us know when there are other boats coming and to hold back or waving us on. We are told to come across and there is space for our boat in the holding pool. There are several boats coming through the tunnel and we wait in the pool with the others. Soon we are able to venture into the tunnel with the others and take up the rear.
The view from the aqueduct is beautiful, especially through the train viaduct. The tunnel is an experience. There is quite a current traveling up towards Llangollen so Beth gives the engine a bit more throttle. After the tunnel we find a peaceful spot for lunch and pound our stakes in the ground to moor our boat. We spend nearly two hours lounging and then notice one stake is GONE, lost in the canal. There were many boats passing and the turbulence caused it to come out, luckily our boat did not drift.
On the go again and shortly we come to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. There is only room for one boat at a time. When all is clear from those coming down stream we head out. This aqueduct is long with no rail on one side of the boat. Both Beth and I do not do well with heights but she does very good as she tries not to look anywhere but straight ahead. After crossing we arrive in Trevor where there is a sharp turn to the left towards Llangollen. From this point on the canal is more narrow. It narrows even more, just enough for one boat after passing bridge #41, the Sun Trevor Bridge. At this point, if there is no boat ahead to forge the way and verify there is nothing coming downstream, you need to send someone out walking ahead to see if any boats are coming. We are following another boat and they have already sent someone ahead so we follow. There are two such narrow passages along the way to Llangollen. The scenery along the way here is very stunning with valley's, pastures with sheep and picturesque homes and gardens.
Soon we find ourselves entering the mooring area of Llangollen. The boat ahead of us takes the end mooring and we find a space in front of them. The time is around 7:00 p.m. Tie up and walk up to see where we will turn around tomorrow and to check in to spend the night. The cost is 5 pounds to spend the night but our boat rental has given us a voucher for one night. Since it is getting late we decide to head back to the boat and fix dinner. I fix spicy chicken parmesan, rice and broccoli. Tomorrow we'll visit the village and do some site seeing.