We noticed over the past few days that the boat was listing to one side and making it difficult for the people who are sleeping on the high side to sleep for fear of rolling off the bed when turning over. We also decided to take turns sleeping on the convertible dining room table since the cushions were so hard. The hard cushion thing was somewhat remedied when we stopped in Ellesmere on our trip back up the canal and purchased a king size duvet for £12 to put down as a mattress pad on the dining room table. That also keep the cushions from migrating and creating a hole in the middle of the night. We also had the added ‘benefit’ of the toilets really starting to smell. So, we called the marina to ask for some advice. They said that the blackwater tanks probably needed to be dumped and we could do it in 2 places. One of the places we had already passed thru and there were no winding holes close enough to turn around an go back. The other was to wait one more night and get them pumped when we passed by the Chirk marina the next day. So, we had one more night of listing and smelling.
We also had to fill the tanks up for the 3rd time with water for showers, washing the dishes, and flushing the toilets. There are various places along the way that provide water for free. They are marked clearly on the map and we just had to look for the actual water points. They are black and white posts along the way. And you just pull up, hook up the hose and fill up the tank. There is a gauge that may or may not be super accurate, so you need to watch the tank and just stop when it starts spilling out the end.
We stopped in Ellesmere on the way back thru because there was a laundromat. We got there around 10am, did a couple of loads. While they were washing and drying, we ate at a local breakfast place right around the corner called Coco Coffee Bar. We went grocery shopping and also bought some food for the ducks and swans along the way. Although there is a difference between the town ducks and the country ducks. The town duck would flock to the boat when we shook the Swan and Duck food box. The country ducks would fly away when we tossed the pellets to them. We tried many techniques: leaning over and gently tossing the pellets toward them, or tossing the pellets way ahead of them and they were swimming out of the way of the boat. Neither one worked.
We did see something completely unexpected today….a MINK! A wild mink running next to the canal. It was so very cool!
After thinking about the listing of the boat, I made the executive decision to stop at one of the many inns along the way to rent one room for the night. Mostly because I wanted to sleep in a comfortable bed and I figured we’d all enjoy a nice long, hot shower. I asked all the other if they wanted to get a room too, but they said no. Rhonda and I were going to sleep in a real bed tonight! We stopped fairly early that evening right on the canal right next to the inn, the Lion Quays Luxury Hotel and Spa. Little did we realize they had a marina parking for narrowboats. We saw the parking when we checked in and had drinks on the patio. But, we decided to stay parked where we were. We had a delicious dinner in the restaurant and chatted with the waiter and bartender for awhile. We eventually went back to the boat. I packed up some stuff and went to the room and then had to call Rhonda to have her grab a few more things that I forgot. A couple of us showered that evening and the rest showered in the morning.
It was lovely to sleep in a flat bed. Although I have to say, it was a bit warm in the room. No air conditioning and we were hesitant to open the door to let in fresh air as we were on the bottom floor.
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