Daisypath - Anniversary

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Day 42 Lyme Green to Congleton Aqueduct

After the usual morning chores and preparation we got under way in bright morning sunshine though a little on the cool side at first.  The sun soon warmed things up and as the morning progressed it got hotter and hotter.

Leaving the Lyme Green mooorings

We had a good run to the swing bridge at Dane Moss and only one car left queuing as we passed through,  clearly when schools out this road is hardly used.

Swing bridge at Dane Moss
 We reached Bosley top lock to find it in our favour.  Another boater coming out of the services kindly opened the gates for us.  Unfortunately this was the only lock in our favour and with no boats coming up we had to reset each one as we descended.

By lock 4 the sky was looking pretty dark and threatening.  Distant rumbles of thunder accompanying it.  We prepared for the downpour to come and carried on.

Dark angry sky and clear signs of a deluge to come.
 Chris donned her boaters coat but in the end we only received a light shower, the rain scudded across in front of us.

Only a few spots of rain but still we thought the worst

Within minutes the sun re-appeared and all looked good,  We had dodged the worst of the rain.  In fact the sky has had some pretty dramatic cloud formation all day some rain leaden and some with accompanying thunder.  Luck for us we dodged all the rain.

Love these cloud formations

Even better at lock 5 two volunteer lockies appeared with two boats coming up which meant the rest of the locks remained in our favour.  Odd that other than two more boats before the locks these were the only boats we met on the move all day.  Perhaps the freshening breeze might have had something to do with that.

Fabulous cloud formation over the aptly named "The cloud" hill

Another darkened sky crossing ahead of us

But we worked the locks in bright warm sunshine

Thats the royal we of course.  I gave Chris a rest at lock 6.

For the rest of the trip we remained bathed in sunshine, they say the sun shines on the righteous :-) Rain clouds moved all around us but somehow we manage to keep clear.

The canal skirts round the cloud for some distance and the view of it is magnificent.  I'd like to go up there one day, the views must be spectacular up there.  The cut out plateau near the summit is the source of the stone blocks quarried to build the Bosley locks.

The cloud now washed with sunshine
 Just before Vaudrey's wharf we came across this gaily coloured boat flying the rainbow gay flag.  Clearly the owners are comfortable and open with their emotions and are happy to show it.  Have to say the boat sparkled with all sorts of bling and is clearly very well maintained. 

I guess being gay is clearly not a problem for George and Louis.  Good for them I say.

On the approach to Congleton at 3:30pm we found some lovely moorings on an aqueduct to stop for the night.  The sun is shining and the solar panels are working flat out keeping the batteries fully charged.  Now for that afternoon power nap!

Total distance:7.84 miles Elapsed time:5h37m44s Locks:12 Bridges:32 
Average speed:1.39 mph (3.52 lock/mph) 

Friday, 18 August 2017

Summer Cruise Day 41 Bollington to Lyme green

Wow what a noisy night we had last night.  About 1am in the morning the bedroom lit up and a distant clap of thunder woke us up with Smudge barking at it.  

We reassured him and he snuggled back down between us and dropped of to sleep again.  By now the rain was lashing down so getting to sleep was not easy.

I have this weird need to watch thunderstorms, don't know why, so I crept out into the observation deck (cover over back hatch) for my fix.  Not long and a massive flash blinded me for a few seconds followed almost instantly by a the most tremendous crash of thunder overhead lasting all of 3 minutes.  So close in fact the thunder vibrated AmyJo from stem to stern for a full couple of minutes.  We think lightning may have struck barely a few yards away, possibly hitting the Mill chimney as the mill was now in total blackout.  My ears were ringing for a good while after thats for sure.  After 3 years aboard this was our first thunderstorm and, I quite enjoyed it to be honest.  Smudge slept through it all of course.

Sleepy eyed we rose at 9am this morning and got ready to cruise.  There was still a light drizzle in the air and after the night's downpours everything was dripping wet.

Our first port of call was Bollington Wharf for Calor Gas.  Brian McGuigan and his team have really smarted up the wharf and Brian was there to greet us

The rain easing of as we approached Bollington Wharf

Coal boat Alton is now moored here when not out delivering

Bollington wharf is a fascinating place with a varied selection of old working boats, including Brian's nb Alton.  With gas bottle replaced we wished Brian well and set off again.

All was going well until we reached Kerridge Dry dock when Chris yelled out "Monkeys overboard!!!"  I still can't believe we actually did this but we put our man overboard drill into practice just for a dog's toy!  

You see, the monkeys are Smudge's favourite tug of war toy consisting of 3 soft monkey heads on a rope depicting Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil.  Smudge has had them since he was 10 weeks old.  They are so much loved by him that they no longer resemble monkeys, in fact we now call them the 3 wise mutants.  We cannot bare to get rid of them as he loves them so much.   Turns out Smudge had dropped them by Chris, sat in the bow, to play and they had rolled over the side.

Kerridge Dry Docks

The overboard Monkeys toy.  Poor Smudge was by now distraught his toy was leaving him and he could not fetch it

With Smudge running the length of the boat several times in panic for his beloved toy and slamming on the brakes I managed to gently reversed AmyJo back to the toy and using the boat hook fished it out of the cut.

gently does it so as not to wrap them round the prop

Safely back on board and drying out though not recognisable as anything but rag right now
 The weather started to improve and the short bursts of sunshine started to warm things up nicely until by mid day we were discarding the wet gear.

Now dry but low cloud still hugged the hills nearby

Lovely cross over bridge.

Along the way a large over-spill was the fishing ground of a kingfisher that could be seen swooping into the water and flying off into the bushes nearby.  As we passed the weir a black minx, I think it was at least, scuttled along the edge dropping into the water and swimming off.  It could have been a ferret as it looked similar.  Sadly my camera was down below and Chris had not seen it.

The over-spill where I saw the ferret like creature

Arriving at Macclesfield we were amazed to find the mooring pontoons almost empty.  We pulled in and, as we had not gone into Macclesfield last time we were here, we took a walk into town.

On the moorings at Macclesfield
 The town is accessed from the nearby road bridge.  We walked towards the Railway station and up into the shopping area.

View from the bridge and the old Hovis mill on the right

Lovely looking Alms houses

Impressive looking house

We walked up a lovely cobbled hill which could easily have been the location for the old Hovis advert. I nearly started humming that well known tune accompanying the Hovis Adverts but refrained.

That old Hovis tune sprang to mind as we walked up here
 We found the indoor market in the shopping mall and bought some doggie treats at the pet stall.  We were just leaving the arcade feet from the exit when an obnoxious chap in security uniform called we don't allow dogs in here mate.  I spun on him and retorted "Then its about time you put up signs informing people of that then isn't it"  (there were none on display, we make a point of checking first).

 After lunch back on AmyJo we got underway again.  Our goal was the Gurnett aqueduct and a meal with friends in Sutton hall.

We passed this impressive rampart wall though what its purpose was not clear.

Looks like castle ramparts from the canal.

On reaching the aqueduct not a spare inch of mooring space was to be had.  The place was full of moored boats all the way to bridge 44.  We even tied to moor after the bridge but to no avail due to silt.  We eventually found a nice mooring 2 miles further on at Lyme Green and moored for the night.  Sadly the meal was not to be and we ate aboard instead.

Tried to moor here but it was too shallow

Total distance:5 miles Elapsed time:3h34m19s Locks:0 Bridges:18 
Average speed:1.31 mph (1.31 lock/mph)

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Summer Cruise Day 40 Poynton to Bollington

Before leaving Higher Poynton this morning we pulled onto the water point outside Braidbar's yard for a top up then got underway. 

It was a quiet run today with hardly any boats on the move.  We only passed two boats all morning. 

We took it steady and ambled along at an easy pace, Chris stepped of at a bridge 'ole with Smudge to give him a walk and to do what dogs need to do now and again and then got back aboard at the next bridge.

Just after bridge 25 on the outskirts of Bollington we were waved down to stop by C&RT contractors who were blocking the canal as they dredged.  Anyone who has cruised the Macc will know how welcome this is.  Sadly the contractors are only allowed to dredge certain sections so it will still be a while before the Macc is silt free.

Major dredging equipment on hand.  
 After a 10 minute wait we were waved on but AmyJo had, on coming alongside the bank, run aground again.  Nothing for it but a contractor and myself heaving her back into the channel.  I thanked the workman adding "You missed a bit here mate"  which brought a smile to his face.

Meantime as we started to pass the dredger a barge swung into our path causing Chris to shout to me to watchout,  however, the digger driver was on the job and quickly pulled the barge out of the way with the digger arm.  We all had a good laugh and some banter at Chris's expense and I think this brightened the lads day somewhat.  With that we thanked them and cruised on into Bollington

Clarence mill welcomes boaters as we enter the town.  Now posh flats for rent at £850 per calendar month.
 We rounded the bend onto Bollington Aquaduct with fingers, toes and legs crossed there would be space to moor.  As we got nearer a bow came into view and our hopes faded.  We needn't have worried as to our surprise there were only 3 shortish boats moored and masses of free space.  We got in and moored up just as nb La Bruixa rounded the bend behind us.  At first they were not sure they could get in between us and the next boat but with Chris and my help we squeezed them in in front of AmyJo much to their delight.  Like us they were not expecting to get moored up here either.

After chatting to the crew for a while we took ourselves off into town for a wander.  We both like Bollington and its rows of neat terraced houses and enjoy walking around the town.  Always said we'd like to live here for a while.

Lovely little houses and their own green.  Heaven for Smudge.
 Last time we were here we walked up to the White Nancy (click) but not today as we're only stopping over-night this time.  Shame because the weather was nice and the views would be good from up there.

The white Nancy with what looks like a new coat of paint

As I type this no other boats have moored on the aqueduct since we did and there is still plenty of room behind us.  Most unusual for this time of year!

Moored at Clarence Mill

Total distance:4.16 miles Elapsed time:3h0m50s Locks:0 Bridges:14 
Average speed:1.38 mph (1.38 lock/mph) 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Summer Cruise Day 39 Disley to Higher Poynton

We woke to the sun streaming in through the port holes and for once Smudge was still out for the count.  It took him a while to come too.  Must have been a good deep sleep for him to be like that.

A relatively short run was planned for today as we wanted to stop in Marple.  We set off at our usual 9:30pm and chugged along taking in the lovely scenery around here.  It rates as one of our favorite bits of canal round here.

Almost a picture postcard view.

Just before Marple Junction we came across nb Brammle.  We know this boat as it used to belong to one of our mooring neighbours at Tattenhall Marina but they sold her earlier in the year to move ashore.  She looks as if her new owners are taking good care of her.

Still well maintained nb Brammle looks as good as she did when we last saw her

Approaching Marple junction

At Marple Junction we swung under the bridge and onto the Macclesfield canal.  We found a free spot just after the next bridge to moor up and then walked into town.

Narrows immediately after the turn.  Presumably boats would have been
measured here and a toll levied based on the tonnage of cargo carried.

Whilst in town I managed to buy a new tool box.  Up to now all my tools had been crammed into a very small Halfords tool bag.  Every time I needed something I had to empty the entire contents to find the tool I wanted.  The new 16 inch box has lift out shelves and means my tools can be accessed much easier now. Just need to find a home onboard for it now!

After a cuppa back on AmyJo we got under way again as it was a lovely day for cruising.  We decided we would stop wherever took our fancy rather than stay all day at Marple.

Passing through Hawk Green is located  the Goyt Mill.  A rather magnificent building of red and cream bricks.  Built in 1905 by Johnathan Partland LTD and designed by Manchester architects Stott and sons.

As a spinning Mill it housed 82000 mule spindles, the largest number in the country at the time.  Spinning ceased in the 60s and so the mill was used to store plastics and foam.  The mill finally closed in 1980, just about avoided demolition and is now divided into several business units.

Impressive Goyt Mill

Plenty of boats on the move today.

We eventually found some nice Armco and rings to moor at Poynton, home of Braidbar boats yard.  Ahead of us is moored this rather odd looking craft.  It is, in fact, a Caracraft (click), a cross between a caravan and a boat.  If the website is anything to go by these look quite comfortable inside.  When moving on land the Caracraft is simply pulled onto a road base and can then be used as a normal caravan.  Oddly they are made in Australia so I wonder how this one got over to the UK?

The caracraft caravan boat

Our mooring tonight, Braidbar's yard is further on round the corner

Total distance:3.73 miles Elapsed time:2h27m54s Locks:0 Bridges:16 
Average speed:1.66 mph (1.66 lock/mph) 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Summer Cruise Day 38 Bugsworth to Disley

We spent a total of 4 nights in Bugsworth in all.  We so love that place its hard to leave.  On Friday several of the boats moored there including Derwent6 and Mochyn Du, all left so the basin was now looking empty.  Perhaps we should have held back a day.

The tow path at the basin is quite low so it makes it perfect for Gunwale painting.  AmyJo was in need of some fresh paint.  So, with a lovely dry day, I set too and rubbed down the Starboard (right) Gunwale. 

I also took the opportunity to treat some rust blistering the paint around the starboard bow fare-lead, which when removed, we discovered was not sealed fully and a small amount of moisture getting in.   I treated the rust with Furtan and let it soak over night.

Primer on and setting

I also dealt with the area where I hit the wall.
Saturday dawned wet an miserable and stayed that way pretty much all morning.  By mid afternoon the weather perked up enough for me to wet and dry back the primer and get some undercoat on.

Sunday was a polar opposite with wall to wall sunshine from the start.  By 11am Chris and I had the finish coat on the gunwale and moved AmyJo across the arm to rub down the Port (left) gunwale.  

By mid day the gunwale was far to hot to paint so we got the chairs out and just chilled with an ice cream.  At 3pm the cloud had built sufficiently to hide the sun and let the gunwale cool down.  Working as fast as we could we got the finish coat of paint on the gunwale and the bow touch ups.

All done and gleaming as new.

Today we left at 9:30am after topping up with water and emptying the Portapotti.

We only met one boat on the way out but as the levels were well down we kept running aground.  At one point I had to use the pole to get AmyJo back into deeper water.

We met the only boat going the other way just after this was taken and ran hard aground

The levels were really low so we barely got over tick over most of the way.  At swing bridge 30 as we passed through another boat appeared astern.  It looked like he had been waiting for someone to go through the bridge  "no problem" I said "you can get the next one.  "I'll be mooring up shortly" he grinned back"

Bridge 30
We made a pit stop at New Mills Marina for a pump out and to top up with diesel.  At 69p for the diesel and £16 for a pump out it was good value considering there is no competition on this arm.

The Twizzle sweet factory at Newtown, what lovely smells emanate from there!

Just before Swing bridge 25 we passed the boat we let through earlier, moored up.  Chris set the bridge open and I went through just as another boat appeared and followed.  To our surprise the first boat untied his lines and motored through too grinning from ear to ear.  

Never tire of views like this

OK I thought perhaps he stopped to look round maybe.  It was not until we found him moored once more at the next swing bridge we realised he was playing us for fools and letting us do his work for him despite having 4 crew to himself.  The other boat let us through first and sure enough he and a further boat pulled out and followed us through.

We tried several times to moor up after this but the low levels meant we could not get in on most of the moorings.  We eventually got in some Armco near Disley but are aground with the stern out 4 feet.

Our shirker went past us not long after and his smile quickly vanished when he saw us moored in a perfect spot and no free Armco left.  I waved and quipped "Hello again" but this time I was ignored!  I wonder why :-)

Hope this is still not the case

Our mooring for the night

Total distance:4.56 miles Elapsed time:3h8m0s Locks:0 Bridges:16 
Average speed:1.45 mph (1.45 lock/mph)