Wednesday, 19 August 2015

A late move and an early start

We've never had any problems at Buglawton, but neither is it popular as a mooring spot, so when we saw some teenage boys hanging about on the towpath in the late afternoon, we decided it would be more relaxing to move on a bit further. At five, we let go and did another half hour to a towpath mooring just before Bridge 61. We could have gone through and tied on the mooring we use if we want to walk up The Cloud, but couldn't be sure that there would be room there at that latish hour.

There were a number of other boats already tied where we stopped, including Emily Anne, the steam narrowboat belonging to Daniel Hutchinson, the owner of CWDF. Here it was blissfully peaceful and we had a very quiet night. We still wanted to get away early, so got up at six and drank tea whilst dressing and breakfasting. Sheila was finished first and set off whilst I got sorted out, after which I took over, it being my day to steer.

We arrived at the foot of Bosley just after seven. Although it was Sheila's turn to lock, the bottom lock was actually empty. 11 was full though, and I made a bit of a pig's ear of the turn from 12 into it, ending up with Sanity Again cross-winded in the lock tail. I blamed the swirl of water in the pool below after the lock had been emptied, but Sheila reckons I just left 12 too fast.

No matter, things were pretty straighforward after that, with most of the first six full and just one other with us in that half of the flight. We always do half each on a long flight so swapped places after 7. A CRT gang immediately appeared, stern hauling a work boat down the flight. This meant that the upper six were with us, of course...

Emscote, the ex-OwnerShips boat, was working down 2 and the lockwheeler had already prepped 3 so we crossed with them between 4 and 3. We'd already seen a volockie walking down to check his levels; both he and Emscote's crew warned us that the pound between 2 and the top was a bit low and that the summit pound was well down. In the event, Sheila had to take it very slowly along the first of these but got into the top lock OK. The summit is a bit low, but not as bad as last year, when we stuck in one of the bridgeholes above Bosley and had to shaft through it. We left the top lock at 9.20, so took two and a quarter hours for the flight.

Arriving at the Royal Oak swing bridge, we were able to take advantage of the fact that the boat in front had just swung it. We returned the favour by working the manual swing bridge just before Lyme Green for them. The weather kept fine all morning but has now turned wet and windy as forecast. We'll stay here tomorrow and get a bit of shopping in, including a new water bowl for Sally.

Then we'll amble on towards Poynton, aiming to arrive on Monday morning.

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