Thursday, 16 July 2015


We departed St. Martins's Moor at 9.30 this morning and an hour later we were passing through Chirk, approaching the first of two aqueducts we were going to cross today. The Chirk Aquaduct is the smaller of the two but running parallel with it is an impressive structure carrying the railway.

                                                        On final approach to the Chirk Aquaduct.

                            Joining the Chirk Aquaduct with the railway to the left and Chirk Tunnel ahead.


                                             The crew steering whilst I hopped off to take a few snaps.

                                               Not as high as the next one but a taste of things to come.

Chirk Tunnel proved interesting. It is only 459 yards long, but due to navigating against the flow it was slow going, and 100 feet from the exit we nearly came to a complete halt. Next we passed Chirk Marina which has a big hire base. We are hoping that between 9 and 2 tomorrow most of the hire fleet will be off the system due to it being change over day when we attempt the final leg into Llangollen. The route involves navigating a few narrow single passage sections so the fewer boats to meet the better.

                                                         Chirk Marina and Black Prince hire base.

A few hundred yards further on is Whitehouse Tunnel. Progress was again slow but this tunnel is shorter at only 191 yards. It was then only a mile to go until the highlight of the day. The canal was very shallow in places, and we often found ourselves bouncing along the bottom. Rounding the bend at the village of Froncysyllte, we could see through gaps in the trees the Vale of Llangollen, and the height of the canal from the valley floor below. Joining the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct it seemed as if the wind picked up. The boat was being blown against the thin side of the cast iron trough, and that was all that was preventing a big drop. (Perhaps it was my bad steering).

                                                  Beginning the transit of the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct.

                                  Viewing down the Vale of Llangollen with railway viaduct in the distance.

                                                            Viewing up the valley towards Llangollen.

                                                         Looking over the edge to the river Dee below.

Once over the aquaduct we entered the short arm for the village of Trevor and after winding and reversing we secured ourselves at the end of the arm. Over the last few days we have been trying to decide whether to take the boat the final leg to Llangollen as the canal is even more shallow and we have quite a deep draught. After seeking advice from various people we have decided to go for it. Moored close to us is a 1940's Ice Breaker called Spitfire. They are also going to Llangollen tomorrow. These old icebreakers are quite deep so we should be ok. 

Totals 8 Miles 2 Tunnels and 2 Big Aquaducts

Running total 343 Miles 161 Locks 14 Tunnels

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