Saturday, 26 July 2014

On the Macc....

Goodbye to the T&M for now, we have moored for the night just south Of  Congleton.  After another early start, we completed the day's cruise at 1430.  Yet another hot day, with little or no breeze to ameliorate the temperature.

As today is Saturday ( I think! ) we decided to get through Stoke and Harecastle before the hire boats started leaving.  So away from the mooring at 0715 ish and arrived at the Trentham lock before the engine was even warm.  This was full, so we assumed someone was ahead of us.  Ali released it and up we went. The next pound is long and althougnh mostly urban, shows a pleasing aspect.  On the whole, Stoke seems to have made an effort with the canalside environment. Very little litter around, certainly a lot less than we have seen previously.

We had like yesterday a boat behind us, but there was little boat movement heading south.  In fact I think we saw two boats all day.  We flew up the Stoke flight with ease and upon exiting the top lock, with nothing moving in sight, we were able to empty the cassette at the services and release the water from the lock in readiness for the boat following us.  This also topped up the pound, as it was a little low.

We chugged in the increasing heat the three or so mile s from the junction to the south portal of Harecastle tunnel.  The gates were closed, with nobody waiting to head north.  We used our time topping up with water and no sooner than we had completed, the doors opened and two boats emerged heading south.  Then it was our turn, all on our lonesome.  It is quite eerie at the best of times when the doors clang shut behind you and the fans are engaged, but as the smoke cleared, it was so nice to have the place to ourselves.  In thirty minutes we were out and soon at Hardings wood junction and turned onto the Macclesfield canal.

One more lock to do before we called a halt.  This was Hall green lock, with only a rise of a foot or so. The approach to this was somewhat challenging as the approach is narrow and choked by verdant vegetation.  As we approached a boat was leaving the lock and heading towards us. The lock landing has collapsed here. Such a  pity as it is such a pretty location.  After this we chugged for a few miles before deciding to moor up in a rural location a mile or so short of the outskirts of Congleton.  Hopefully, if we arrive there mid morning, we may be able to find a mooring to enable friends to visit. Fingers crossed...

Another beautiful day, much enjoyed. But where have all the boats gone?

Misty Morning

First lock of the day

All wildfowl seem to have good size families this year, these swans had 8 cygnets

Love this bench by the canal

Stone mason mark on the lock wall

Etruria Top Lock 13' 2"

Bottle Kiln

Its great to see the development of Middleport Pottery

Turning onto the 'Macc'

Our mooring tonight (different neighbours sheep not cows!)

Miles 12.5
Locks  8
Tunnel 2926 yds

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