Today, the second day of our maiden trip, the start is a lot easier. It feels as if we have done this all our lives. With Lawrance at the tiller (except for the locks) we head for Middlewich, where we stop to do some shoppings at Tesco. And have lunch. Then it is time to negotiate the Middlewich T-junction.

Last year it was windy, and as soon as I came out of Wardle Lock then, and wanted (needed) to turn left, the boat was blown sideways. It took a lot of effort to get Sienna to turn her head in the direction of Anderton Boat Lift. But today there is no wind, so I’m not worried.

Wrong! I’m doing better than last year, but the turn still won’t win a beauty contest. And we get even more stressed, when the guy from the boat behind us, is running after us and shouts: “You forgot to close the paddle!” Only after I manage to pass between tripled up hire boats at both sides of the canal I find time to breath again. The three Middlewich Locks (with the dog leg in between) is a piece of cake, as is Middlewich Big Lock.

We stop at Anderton Services to get rid of our galley and other waste, and moor at the visitor moorings at Anderton Boat Lift. We don’t have a fridge yet, so we can’t store food. Therefore we have to stop at places where we know there is a pub that does food. Tonight’s pub is The Stanley Arms. We have a drink (me and Lawrance) and a smoke (me) outside. Once inside I decide to have something from the specials board instead of a vegetarian dish from the menu. Lawrance chooses something from the menu. We’ll find out later that, if I had chosen the vegetarian dish, we both would have had the same meal as a year ago…

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