Wednesday 9 August 2017

Summer Cruise Day 33 Portland Basin to Marple Aqueduct

Unlike yesterday today was grey and overcast and feeling a lot cooler.  The jumper was brought out of the drawer for the first time this summer.  

We set of at a more convenient time of 9:30am and first made the turn onto the Peak Forest Canal via another aqueduct over the river Tame.  This is quite narrow so lining up for the turn has to be precise.

The junction is opposite the basin and is the start of the Peak Forest Canal

After making the turn AmyJo proceeds over the aqueduct

As the morning went on the rain got progressively heavier until mid day we were sheltering under the pram hood again.  The route is for the most part tree lined  but now and again urban development intrudes.

Warble Marine Services

We came upon the 176 yard long Woodley Tunnel.  This is quite narrow due to the tow path through it.  At times the top box wings were barely an inch from the walls.  I took it fairly slow so as not to wander all over the place.

Woodley Tunnel approach, you can see the tow path handrail and just how tight it is
 At Romiley we stopped briefly so Chris could nip to the local Aldi for some supplies whist I stayed aboard.  All the time teenagers walked by looking at AmyJo and then typing away on their phones.  I'm sure all very innocent and probably replying to text from their mates but one did wonder.  Manchester clearly has me on edge.  I also took the time to go down the weed hatch again but all was clear.

The rain was now becoming most resistant and the tow path looking more and more muddy.  We passed through a much wider Hyde bank tunnel, 308 yards long.

Finally after bridge 15 we found a nice stretch of armco with only one boat moored.  We decided as we could see the aqueduct ahead we would stop here for the night.  It was as well we did as within an hour all the moorings were filled with boats coming down from the Marple locks and it was clear there were no moorings available ahead of us.

After dinner we took smudge for a his walk and took a look at the aqueduct.  Looking very much Like Chirk Aqueduct it too has a rail bridge close by that is higher.   It is the largest all masonry arched  aqueduct in England.  The tow paths were now really muddy so my walking boots were pressed into service once more.

Our mooring for the night

A view of those masonry arches

Total distance:6.56 miles Elapsed time:4h40m31s Locks:0 Bridges:27 
Average speed:1.40 mph (1.40 lock/mph) 

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