Saturday 18 October 2014

Vanishing lion

Finally having left Sykes Hollow, and on our way to Nantwich, we passed NB Lionheart No 2. I'd acquired an interest in this boat over the last couple of days, and knew Nantwich was her home base, but was surprised to see her moored up on line here. So, when we stopped for water just round the corner at Barbridge Junction, I walked back up the towpath camera in hand. Walked as far as the first bridge, but couldn't see her anywhere. Now I was confused, because I was sure she was tied up in that stretch, and I did want a photo.

Thinking that it would do the batteries no harm to cruise for an extra half-hour, we reversed from the water point, and set off back down the canal in the direction from which we'd come, to find the boat. The gongoozlers were out in force…

but there was no sign of Lionheart No 2. Eventually I came to the winding hole, which was going to need careful negotiation, because it was blowing a hooley. Would you believe…

there was a boat coming the other way just at that moment, making my approach rather awkward – especially when he didn't seem to appreciate the situation and just dawdled through.

Ah well, made it round in the end, and came back checking the boat names again. Definitely not, so presumably it had been moored here…

or here…

but had nipped off in a Middlewich direction while we were filling the water tank. Unless it had actually been moored up far further back than we remembered.

My interest in the boat is that it belongs to Chris Gibson, known as "Gibbo" on the Canal World on-line forum. He designed a battery monitor called the SmartGauge, well known to (and liked by) most of the forum members I've been interacting with over the last few days about battery charging. I came across the SmartGauge a couple of years ago, in the context of a somewhat acrimonious discussion on the forums about whether you could measure the state of charge of a battery without actively measuring the current going in and out. That led me to research the meter – their website has lots of interesting technical detail and discussion (if you like that sort of thing). It was only in the context of the last couple of days' discussions that I associated the designer with the forum member, and found the name of his boat. Hence my (frustrated) desire to get a photo.

So in the end we turned left at Barbridge junction for the second time and came down to Nantwich, passing the start of the Llangollen canal on the way.

A return visit to that particular delight will have to wait for another time.


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