Tag Archives: Peak Forest

Day 28 – So Much For Flaming June

We knew we were in for a lot of rain today, so decided to make a short hop to the outskirts of the Manchester conurbation. We wrapped up warm with our waterproofs and gloves, with plenty of mugs of tea and coffee.

There were a couple of short tunnels, which gave a brief interlude from the rain.

Any missing persons? Perhaps a case for New Tricks to investigate? I know the neighbourhood is a bit dodgy around here but make no bones about it, this looks a bit fishy.

It might be wet, but we keep on smiling 🙂

We went through the lift bridge and moored up shortly after. Sarah walked ahead a bit to see if it looked better further on, but the answer was no so we backed up and picked our spot. Having spent 5 minutes getting our mooring pins in somewhere between the stone blocks and the path, we then found a mooring ring by the middle of the boat. Ah well, too late to move now!

We had our suspicions that the prop had been fouled, so I went fishing in the weed hatch again (seems a bit of a theme this trip!). I caught a few measly bits of string and weed, and then hit the jackpot with this rubber window seal!

Oliver’s batteries had run a bit low yesterday; I looked up the stats and the webasto heater pulls 44W so I think that was partly to blame. Today, after a few false starts, I got the diesel stove burning – nice and toasty, and perfect for drying out all our wet gear!

Tomorrow we’ll be up bright and early to get through the dodgy parts of town before any trouble makers are up and about. We’re planning to stop around Picadilly Village, hopefully in Thomas Telford Basin if we can fit in, otherwise we’ll go alongside.

Day 27 – Jammie Rain Dodgers

16 locks to do today, and rain forecast for 11am. We set off at 8am, convinced there would be at least one boat in front of us, and all the locks would require filling. It was breakfast on the go today with fresh strawberry (me) and fresh raspberry (Toby) smoothies.

First two locks were against us, and we were convinced another boat must be ahead of us, then the locks were full, and half full. Half way we met a hire boat with six chaps and they said no one was in front (just imagine the snoring and the farts on that boat!!). We had a few leaky locks, Toby struggled to avoid this little spurt.

Marple Locks have been closed since Sept 2017 and only reopened a couple of weeks ago (something that passed us by!). Lock 11 became too narrow for boats to safely pass through, it was quite some operation for the contractors to get to the lock and then repair it. The photos below show the new brickwork, and a rose carved in to one.

The bridge to close the gates is below the top of the lock gates, it gave a different view looking inside and out of the lock gate.

Toby was fairly close to the lock gate, and then had to reverse quite some way to get in to position. Apparently it was all my fault, as I took too long opening the gate!

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Every lock seemed to be so deep, the gates are huge.

We were soon through the last lock and then on the Marple Aqueduct, with the railway bridge in sight. The railway bridges were always built higher than the canal aqueducts, something about who can pee up the wall the highest.

All moored up at 10.50 and we beat the rain. To celebrate, we cracked open the popcorn (we’ve been keeping this especially for a rainy day). You may be surprised to read that Toby ate most of it, I had two….no, not two handfuls, just two popcorn kernels.

Day 26 – Don’t Squash My Doughnuts

We woke up this morning to clear blue skies as Sarah navigated us out from the lovely Bugsworth Basin. Someone had got up a bit earlier than we did, and got to the water point before us, so we kept going up to the nearby Tesco store.

Tesco was right next to the canal so gave us the perfect chance to stock up on provisions. I treated myself to jam doughnuts, and the checkout lady said to make sure I don’t squash them as we packed our bags. Rest assured, I never let my doughnuts get squashed!

After Tesco we decided to explore the other fork of the canal up to Whaley Bridge. It’s only a short way, and had a water point so we could top up the water. Turning onto the water point, and then back out again, was made rather tricky by the yoghurt pot moored on the corner. Grrr. Sarah made good use of the bow rope to help pull us around when we left.

We worked our way back through the collection of lift bridges and swing bridges, and Sarah had a go steering through one of them – which just happened to be the manual lift bridge requiring lots of windlass action. Some horses came over at one of the swing bridges to see what was going on. Sadly we didn’t have any polos or sugar cubes to offer!

Both of us have strong memories of passing the swizzle factory on a previous trip , and it didn’t dissapoint the second time around either. The smell as you go past is just awesome and brings back all those childhood memories!

The views remain wonderful… this one speaks for itself.

After a couple of hours further cruising we looked for somewhere to moor up. The first couple of attempts had to be aborted as we ran aground trying to get alongside, but eventually we found a spot where the stern was only a foot or so out from the side.

Whilst writing the blog for today, we had an unexpected visitor as a tiny litte bird flew in and perched on the arm of the sofa. I think it might have been a wren. Sadly it flew off again before Sarah could get the camera.

Tomorrow we’ll be tackling the 16 locks of the Marple flight, our first locks for a while – but a good warm up for the locks on the Ashton in a few days time.

Day 25 – Farewell To The Big Mac

After our day out in Manchester, we set off this morning to overcast skies and a chilly wind, but no rain – hooray! Today’s our last day on the Macclesfield canal as we turn on to the Peak Forest canal.

There are so many pictures we could take of geese and ducks with their young, but we couldn’t resist this one with them all lined up in a row following Mummy.

Sadly not everything on the waterways looks as healthy as the geese above, with these two boats looking particularly poorly 🙁

It wasn’t too far before we reached Marple junction. For today, we turned right and onto the Peak Forest canal – we’ll be headed back the other way and down the Marple locks in a day or two. We’d got the wooly hats and warm coats out to keep the chill at bay.

This section is lock free, but there’s a good mix of lift and swing bridges, some electric and others like this one requiring a bit more muscle power.

The views remain spectacular all along this stretch. I’m not sure that I improved it though 😉

We’ve seen this boat before, but think maybe just on Facebook rather than in the flesh.

The canal forks in two towards the end, and we headed for Bugsworth basin. The basin was pretty much all filled in after the canals fell into disuse, but has been lovingly restored over many years starting in 1968, and finally reopening officially in 2005. Can you spot Oliver?

The site used to be a real hive of industrial activity, with lime kilns burning and shipments of coal, quick lime and various other cargoes constantly headed in and out. These days, it’s rather more tranquil.

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