Another fabulously hot day, the first of the locks arrived within minutes of casting off, Tilstone Lock and shortly afterwards the two Beeston Locks. Beeston Iron Lock is unusual in that it is made of, that’s right, iron. The sides and bottom are all constructed from giant cast iron plates, the reason for this is that, the whole of the surrounding ground is sand and this construction solved the problem of ‘running sand’, that’s what the book says, however the iron tank has twisted and although it is a double lock the recommendation is that only one boat should go through at a time to avoid getting hung up.
The views of the bulky remains of Beeston Castle, high on its rock are very impressive and the open countryside was beautiful in the bright sunshine.
The decision was taken to push on to the far side of Roman City of Chester, as we were not keen to moor in the City centre. Although the approach to the city was the usual mix of residential giving way to industrial, the bit through the centre was something else as we passed the high sandstone walls and turrets of the medieval City Walls, passing under The Bridge of Sighs in a deep sandstone cutting. Finally down the Northgate Staircase Locks, with rails line and road bridges passing over the top and lots of gongoozlers looking on.
As soon as we left the last lock we turned into Tower Wharf and along one side of the wharf were the pub gardens of the Telford Warehouse, bulging with folk sunning themselves refreshed with cold drinks, further along that side, a new canal side development is under construction. On the other bank were the large covered dry dock and then the first of the locks that lead down to the River Dee, sadly now not navigable as the exit onto the Dee is silted up.
We continued for just over a mile, selecting a quiet stretch of canal to moor, with a golf course on the far side and open land on the other. The BBQ was lit and we dined on the stern of SKYY, but not before poor old Duggie misjudged the distance from the stern to the bank and went splosh. There was a cool breeze this evening and after a long days cruising we soon returned to the warmth of the cabin and not long afterwards we were in our beds.