Instead of the forecast sun we woke to a grey and somewhat cold morning. The feel of rain hung in the air but still we decided to cruise. A later than usual start as being moored directly opposite Sherbourne wharf marina we nipped in to ask about a mooring at the month end so we could go and take part in our favourite sailing race, the Anglesey offshore race. We want to leave AmyJo for a few days in more secure surroundings.
The run up to Congleton is lock free which made a welcome respite from yesterday's heart break hill but we are still facing more locks later on.
I've never seen so many bridges in one stretch of canal as here they occur every few hundred yards it seemed. Another issue, as Tom would say, is the top of the canal is very close to the bottom. This was apparent as at one point the revs suddenly dropped and AmyJo slowed with severe shaking on the helm. We'd picked up something on the prop from the shallow bottom. A quick stop to check down the weed hatch revealed nothing. On resumption of the cruise the helm responded fine and AmyJo made good way. I can only assume what ever we had picked up fell off when we stopped.
Also a feature along this part of the canal are several crossover bridges. Not sure why so many but they seemed to occur near relatively new canalside housing. Odd as the bridges appear a lot older than the housing.
|One of several cross over bridges|
|Rail first, then road meets canal|
|Looks wide enough but the hire boat on the right was hard aground whilst trees made passing awkward|
|Views like this would be superb if the sun was shining|
After an hour, as if by magic the rain stopped and signs things would improve with the sun making the odd appearance. As it was only 2pm we decided to press on. We got underway and noticed a considerable difference in temperature. Within minutes coats and jumpers were off and the air temperature was quite pleasant.
Bosley locks were a delight. Apart from the odd hard to open paddle all the locks, unusually, had double gates top and bottom. For our non boaty reader usually locks have one pair of double gates at the bottom and a single at the top or visa versa. These gates worked so easily being small they virtually opened themselves.
We knew we had a boat ahead of us so resigned to ourselves we would be turning each lock. Joy of joys for it being handover day for Heritage cruisers back at Sherborne wharf as each time we exited the first 6 locks a hire boat returning home exited the next lock.
|Passing under trough bridges. There was one at almost every lock. Anyone know what they are for?|
|Into lock 6 with the next just ahead|
|Doesn't get much better than this for views|
|Looking back one can see the double gates at the top and bottom of the previous lock|
|If Chris is at the lock gate and I'm taking the photo who is helming AmyJo?|
|It started to rain just after I took this photo here.|
So no more locks until Marple but, we have Macclesfield, Bollington and Bugsworth to enjoy before them so a couple of lock free days ahead.
Oh yes and sorry for the lack of maps. Seems there was a problem with them on the Water Explorer website but this seems to have been resolved today.