Friday, 1 August 2014

Our first wet day. Don't like it!

Well, we have done well thus far weather wise and it could not last.  No surprise that today was a tad damp, they did forecast it.

We were on the move just after 0830 after making use of the services opposite our mooring. It was cloudy, but dry and we pottered out of Marple past the moored boats on tick over.  This speed seems alien to folks around here. We always pass moored boats slowly, pity this is not reciprocated and it is not hire boats that are the main culprits!

Anyway, soon out of the metropolis and the rain started. This was earlier than forecast, but was steady rather than heavy so was a gentle reminder of typical British summer weather. As usual, I could see a glimmer of sunshine which remained invisible to Ali, although I even began to doubt myself as the rain pattered down....

Soon through High Lane and then Higher Poynton. Past the "Illegal" tea boat, according to signs erected by the cafe owners near Braidbar's yard. And still it rained...

We had sort of planned on mooring at Bollington.  You can hear the "BUT" coming here.  Same boats appear to be on the 48 hour moorings as when we passed several days ago and no room in the Inn for us, so onward went we.  The clouds did begin to break by this time and even Ali could see the glimmer of sunshine between the rain drops.  Soon passed through the ever delightful Macclesfield with it's welcoming moorings! 

We approached Gurnett.  Rounded the bend and there were spaces on the aqueduct moorings!  So dodged in, moored up and erected the pram hood. Then it poured down!  Settled in for today and tomorrow, when we hope to meet up with Paul and Elaine, ex N.B. Caxton owners.

So not too bad a day despite the British summer.

Leaving Marple

This is a lovely little boat, with a great chap in his 70's the owner, 
we have met him a few times over the years, he comes from March, Cambs, 
and travels the canals each summer

We weren't alone travelling in the rain showers

This calf was not very old, it was very wobbly on its feet

 White Nancy - supporting a 50, to celebrate the 50th anniversary
 of  Bollington Arts Festival

A bit misty but still fabulous views

The herons along the Macc do not even move when you approach,
they just turn away ..

.. and then resume their fishing position as you have past

Miles 12
Locks 0

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Back on the Macc.

Yesterday we continued our stay in Bugsworth basin. Had a walk into Whaley bridge and then called into Tesco's on the way back.  So well stocked up now.

It was a better day than forecast and so Ali just could not resist getting the paint brush out to touch up a few wounds on the gloss below the gunwale.  Ideal spot for this, nice straight stone bank and as the water level has recovered, it made the touching up a lot easier. 

We must be doing something right as our battery bank seems remarkably resilient.  24 Hours of usage and still 87 percent on the smartguage. We could easily go two days without recharging, but topped up between 5pm and 7.15 pm anyway as this also gives us a tank of hot water.

The basin remained quiet, had a wander and counted only ten boats.  Perhaps the low water levels experienced of late have dissuaded people from venturing this far?  Still, made our stay very pleasant.

This morning we showered, watered up at the very clean services and made our way back from whence we came.  We had a relatively early start, as we planned to stop at Marple in order to use the Launderette. We passed only four or five boats on the trip and with more water available, progress was far easier. The swing/lift bridges were tackled with ease, Ali walking between three of these as they are in fairly close proximity.  Strange day weather wise. Warm in the sun, but cold in the shade and with some threatening clouds. There are some lovely views across the Goyt valley along this section, hard to believe we are so near to Manchester.

As we approached Marple, Ali walked ahead to check out the junction and the mooring situation, the "Walkie Talkies" coming into their own once again.  Good job she did as a boat was proceeding from the Macc almost oblivious that the were approaching a junction with a blind turn.

So we turned onto the Macc and the visitor moorings opposite the services were empty! So dodged in and took up the prime position. 

After a spot to eat, Ali walked to the Launderette.  She is not impressed with the staff/owner as after arriving just after 1200, she was told it was closing until 2pm she did say Ali could load up the washing machine and come back later to dry it, which she did.

Since arriving there has been an increase in boat movements and it was probably wise to moor up when we did. On a canal with so few accessible moorings, it pays to start early and stop early in order to get a prime spot.

Had a walk around the town and as we are moored so near, it would be a crime not to visit the Ring O Bells....

So we are back on the Macc, just.....

P.S. Been to the Ring O Bells for a meal. Great food and a lovely drop of Robinsons.  Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Lovely colours in the summer flowers

 Turning back onto the Macc - will he make it?

Its looking close - watch that paintwork!

Made it!

Isn't nature brilliant - this is growing out of a wall and its beautiful

Miles. 6
Swing/lift bridges 4

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The bottom is too close to the top!

For once, we did have a plan of sorts.  Move up to the visitor moorings in Macclesfield, then visit the town.  Erm, no.... When we arrived, what are somewhat loosely described as moorings were full.  This town does not welcome boaters.  The banks were falling down at other possible spots so we came up with plan B,  Move on to Bollington, moor up and bus it back to Macclesfield.  Erm, no 2...

Yet again the moorings on the aqueduct were full, so we decided to move on and make the stop on our return down the Macc.

Plan C.  Move onto Marple.  Around this point it became apparent just how low the water level was.  Now we know from past experience that this canal is shallow, but exposed rocks and virtual beaches indicated something was amiss. If you kept to the centre of the channel it was ok, but when passing another boat, one or other ended up grounded.  A local chap said it was a foot down from the norm. Looking at the bank, I would say more like 6" but whatever, it made navigation and mooring a challenge.  We are not deep drafted, so what it was like for others requiring more depth, gawd knows.

As we had done a wash load en route, we stopped at the water point in Higher Poynton and topped up.  Just got into the bank with much grating of steel on stone.  Braidbar owners were already beginning to gather for their annual bash.  We crept on, just over tick over and bridge holes were negotiated with extra rev's as the boat was grounding!

We arrived in Marple to find that all the Moorings were taken.  Deep joy.  We did try to get in a little out of the town, but rocks protruding from the water dissuaded us.  All we passed commentated on the water level. Whether this has been caused by the reopening of the Ashton and increased activity on the Marple flight, I know not, but Ali did phone CRT, who rang back stating they were addressing the issue.

Plan D. Make for Bugsworth basin as the water is deeper.  By this time it was late afternoon and we feared that all the moorings would be taken if previous experience was anything to go by.  But no, arrived at the service block to see one boat moored in the finger immediately in front, so turned and reversed down this.  After settling in and showering, we walked around the basin and saw no more that ten boats in total. We then visited the Navigation and had a meal which was by any ones standard huge and really quite good although neither of us could polish it off entirely.

Last night we had a very poor Internet signal.  Seems a little better today.  We are staying put and will take a walk into Whaley Bridge and no doubt visit the supermarket for supplies.  The water level does seem up a tad this morning, so fingers crossed .

Adelphi Mill, Bollington

A garden on the rear deck

Goyt Mill, Marple

Mile post at the start/end of the Macclesfield Canal

Swizzles factory (the air is so sweet/sugary)
The owner of the chocolate lab appeared about 5 mins later shouting him, 
he was having a great time running along the towpath at full speed!  

Miles  17
Lift/swing bridges 4