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|
|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|
|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 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|