Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Sunday 2 March 2014

Thank you Tattenhall Marina - Haere Ra (farewell) - we'll be back!

It was rather sad to say goodbye to the friendly folks at the marina yesterday. Our first venture into marina life was a great success, and we're thankful we chose Tattenhall for many reasons, including:
  • Clean, well-kept grounds in the beautiful Cheshire countryside.
  • Glorious sunrises to behold looking out at the distant hills, with Beeston Castle on the horizon
  • Stunning sunsets to watch behind the workshop.
  • Plenty of parking (for those with cars, or us when we had a hire car)
  • Scott's Bar - open every day for hot drinks and food, and most evenings for drinks and socialising.
  • Camaraderie amongst the boaters is very evident, we experienced lots of helping each other out in a myriad of ways (the lovely Mike even took Barry out on a day trip to Wales when I was at my parents recently, photos to follow).
  • Chandlery and workshop on site - with a competitive rate for hull blacking.
  • Minutes from a bus route to Chester and Whitchurch.
  • A short walk to the Cheshire Ice Cream Farm - a fantastic play park, farm shop, farm animals, soft play, ice cream shop and indoor games area.
  • A rather precarious walk to a delightful village, with a Post Office, Chinese, Thai, Indian and English restaurants; great cafe, three pubs (one we loved loads and it felt like our 'local'), hairdressers, butcher, library,in fact everything you could wish for really!
I'm sure there's more assets I haven't mentioned, forgive me Scot and co if I've missed out anything important! I did ask Barry what he loved most about the Marina, to see if there was anything I hadn't thought of. His reply? Rather predictable really - "The bar"!

 Sandra's face seems to say "Do we really have to leave the home comforts of the marina?"

 Some of the motley crew lovely people we've met during our stay

A couple of the team who keep the wheels turning, Tom and Scott - 'Dodgy' (not sure why they call him that?) Dave escaped before we could get him in the photo! 

 Crew Areandare outside Scott's Bar

The Chester Day Boat on possibly it's first run of the new season from the marina

Scott's photo of us leaving, copied from the Tattenhall Marina Facebook page

That's it then! We're back on 'the cut'. And it's not too bad - so far! In fact it's quite lovely.

Our plan is to go up to Ellesmere Port this week, and return to Chester by Thursday evening so I can get the bus to my daughter's on Friday. Checking our Nicholson's guide today, we got a fright as it said the National Waterways Museum is only open weekends from November to March which would've scuppered our best laid plans (which hinge around friends and family as well as us!). A phone call later and we're relieved to discover they're open 7 days a week - phew! That's the disadvantage of relying on a 2009 waterways guide!

While we're in the area, we'll get to socialise with a few lovely people. Mike is the husband of a midwife who was my mentor in the late 1980s when I worked in the community. He works in Ellesmere Port and will come to the boat on Wednesday for lunch. Wednesday evening we're hoping Lisa's brother-in-law and nieces are coming to visit. Then on Saturday we're going to Elaine and John's home, right by the canal approaching Chester, for dinner and board games!

What a wonderful life we have.

Loving the calm and serenity back on the canals - first stop overnight at Christleton Saturday

Our first locks since August held no challenges for us today, and the rain was mostly kind - only a few light showers.

Sandra's all wrapped up and back into locking - as if she's never been away!

I'm a little apprehensive about the doing the rather deep staircase locks in Chester tomorrow. We watched a boat descending when we visited last summer, and last Friday evening chatted to a couple with recent experience who explained the concept (they're all slightly different!).  It's like a lot of things in life I expect, so long as we read the instructions first, and follow them, we're unlikely to go wrong. At least that's the theory ...


  1. Hi Sorry to miss you on Saturday hope all is well and that the locks weren't too bad,as I remember the gates where VERY heavy and caused a lot of swearing on my part !

    Hope to see you "on the cut" sometime over the summer or perhaps when you come back to Tattenhall ?

    Liz ans Andy nb Midland Star

    1. Hi Liz and Andy - shame you weren't in when we went for a coffee, it was lovely to get to know you a little and we look forward to meeting up again. Maybe somewhere with a pub and a quiz night???

      Staircase locks all done ok, though yes heavy gates and a good workout on the paddles! Still preferable to being in the depths of the murky lock imho!

      There's a possibility we'll moor again for the winter at Tattenhall, but who knows what the coming year will bring!

      Take care and tell Andy not to work too hard.

      Sandra & Barry :-)

  2. How much did you get paid for the obviously over the top,ad.Talk to the people who live on their boats there,you'll be glad yours was a short visit

    1. Hi there 'anonymous', that's an interesting comment! Payment for a blog write-up - now that would be fabulous, we'd have really pushed the boat out then lol! No, we weren't coerced or blackmailed into giving positive feedback, we really enjoyed our almost seven-month stay at Tattenhall Marina.

      We did get to know quite a number of people there who live on their boats, and didn't hear anything negative, sorry if your experience hasn't been so positive.