Whixall to Ellesmere
We woke to the white stuff, but it wasn't a pretty a pretty sort of white.
Overnight a northerly gale had sprung up and the fierce northerly wind was bring sleet with it, driving horizontally across the marina and making movement impossible.
Mooring at the end of the Prees Arm
The plan we to go and explore the other four miles of the Prees Arm and by adopting the Outward Bound maxim of "its not the wrong weather, its the wrong clothes" I donned my waterproofs, put my camera in a waterproof bag and set off leaving Belle and Jeff in the warmth of the boat.
The Prees Arm came as something of a revelation and offered lots for a canal enthusiast to see, but rather than interrupt the trip report I will return to this section for a mini series of its own later in the season. Suffice to say I was hammered by the elements for about three hours and returned at lunch time when the worst of the sleet was over.
The afternoon was still bitingly cold, with the wing gusting at 30 mph and the mornings snow still lingering on the ground. Its all a far cry from last Easter when we were sweltering in 27C and trying to hide from the sun. We plodded on, crabbing up the cut in the exposed sections till we reached the relative shelter of the meres of Ellesmere. It seems like all the hire boats has clustered around Ellesmere, waiting for better weather to arrive. We went into the town arm but there were no moorings so we moored on the mainline and Belle and Jeff walked back to Tesco's whilst I warmed up by the fire. The wind dropped a bit but the cold was savage casing condensation to cascade from the window frames.
The plan was to eat out at a pub in Ellesmere but the weather was so bad we decided to stay put and eat in, watching DVD's and continuing the card tournament. Belle provided inner warmth with her Sloe Gin and Sloe Vodka which were fabulous. Now she is on the lookout for Primroses, Dandelions and Wild Garlic - a foragers lot is never done.