Monday, 25 August 2008

Trip details and some photo's

So it was 120 miles and 76 locks from Hunts lock to Fourlane ends on the Macclesfield and back. We were out for 10 days and it felt like it rained for most of them at some point.

Images are worth a thousand words - and easier to put onto the blog.....

On the way to pick up our crew, just after we have done the Fradley locks

Leia taking an early nap

We were waiting at Sandon lock as the thunderstorm demonstrated the weather to come....

This was the thunderstorm after it had passed us

Colwich lock was not very busy at all - which if you know the route is a good thing

We timed our arrival at Harcastle tunnel perfectly as we were able to water up before we went through. The police helicopter buzzed us most of the way from Festival marina, we found out they were looking for a flasher !

My mum helping us moor up after day three (Leia is standing by waiting to help)

This Rachel taking Waterlily up the Bosley 12 locks, on the tight turn between locks 1 and 2

This shows how stunning the scenery is on the Macc...

There is a Heron in this picture somewhere...

Another nice pic and some blue sky

Some more of the same lovely countryside

This is a moon shot from our moorings above Bosley locks - I still cannot get anywhere close to Andrew Denny's fantastic night shots

My birthday the Fools Nook - very apt and nice meal in a friendly pub

Then back off towards the Trent and Mersey but via this electric swing bridge - following a hen party day boat !

Rachel took this much better photo of Mr (or Mrs) Heron, spot its plastic mate in the reeds

This is one of the Maccs 'snake bridges' designed so the horse does not have to be unhitched when the tow path swaps over

Yours truly looking typically miserable

We were the last boat (just made it) through the Harcastle tunnel. Looking back to the entrance

The Tuesday was very wet. You can see the lock leaking top middle right, normally these leaks stop as the lock empties this one was still running as we left the lock
Tom and Lucy braving the crap weather I think this was Aston lock (half way on the Trent and Mersey) For the record there is a new Marina to be built here - surely they have reached saturation point ?

The rain did stop on the last Tuesday, just in time for a little fishing in the late evening.

Final day.....

A bit late but for completeness.

After the breakdown in Stone we were running late so we only made it to above Hoo Mill Lock. A 7.30 start saw us working our way back to our home mooring. It was all very uneventful with a nice cruise back. Rugely was very busy and luckily we met a boat just as we were passing the lat of a very long line of moored boats. We stopped for lunch just after Woodend lock, just as I got the rod out - yes you guessed it the rain came.

We got back onto our mooring just after 4pm and was home for 6pm.

I'll post some pics and a resume of the trip on the next post.


Sunday, 24 August 2008

My new bike.....ish

I posted a while ago about my Ducati. While I was away on my trip up the Macclesfield my P&J was getting a makeover.......

From Blue to proper Ducati Red

When I first saw and brought the Ducati the fact it was blue was a little disappointment, but I wanted another V twin and a Ducati was my preference. When the tail piece fell off recently and got badly scratched up an excuse was given for a respray. I brought the belly pan off ebay to complete the look. Originally I was going to have it with white stripes but at the eleventh hour I went for the plain 2001 Ducati red look with the latest Monster decal (there is the word Monster in black under the white Ducati) I might put some text on the belly pan.
Cordwells did the work- -about 300 quid and I am pleased with it. I am also pleased I managed to put all the bits back on without scratching or damaging anything.
I keep thinking about selling my bike - now it looks so good I have put this off again....I took a 60 mile trip out into Derbyshire today to ensure the tank and fueling was OK - I ached by the time I came back (fibromyalgia) but on the whole it was worth it.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Penultimate day - and we break down

Not in an emotouonal sense -a water pip gave up and RCR had to be called. It meant a long day cruising and another long day tomrrow. ho hum..... and the weather has been just cr@p - literally rained all day.

We cruised from Barleston to Stone, when I checked the stern gland the bilge was full of rusry water - the return water hose had worn through by rubbing on the engine mount. A good reason to check the engine regularly.

RCR came out and sorted it in 2 hours.

We are just past Weston so a long day ahead tomorrow (or today as ts 12.40.......)


Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Continuous Cruisers I salute you.

Continuous Cruisers I salute you as when in my office the weather always seems fine and warm and I envy you. However being on the cut for the extended period I see the weather is foul and nasty and you must suffer - so endure and enjoy as much as you can. Be assured when I stop cruising the sun will shine again and all will be well.......apart from the fact I will be back at work !!

Day 9

We are now at Barleston on the final full day of our trip. We changed crews with precision at Stoke, dropping my mum off at Festival marina for her to catch a taxi and train and taxi back home then down the five stoke locks to pick Tom and Lucy - our eldest and his girlfriend up at the station itself. For the record the bottom lock is walkable to the station.

Biggest issue - the weather - its getting worse, the showers that were predicted are now its just heavy rain - certainly as I type this its driving rain, full waterproofs today. The good news is the leak we had seems to have been cured with some clear sealant.

So off to Great Heywood the rain of course !!!!!


Friday, 15 August 2008

Day five

I have some 3g tonight at Fourlane ends - which is the terminus of this trip.

The Macc is worth coming back to to get to the rend and onto Bugsworth (the original destination, sacrificed for more leisurely cruising. )

We pootled up from our mooring above Bosley locks through Macclesfield and to just before bridge 18.

Its my birthday tomorrow but the stop in bed will be foregone as we are moored next to a ledge so any moving boats scrape us, not pleasant. We'll wind then head for a meal at the Fools Nook (apt). Metcheck says light rain from 1 and heavy from 4 so I hope to be moored up mid afternoon ready for some beer !!

Anyhow some pics courtesy of Vodafone 3g....

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Day four - the Macc is a beautiful canal

Hang the bandwidth - I have to post this image - just shows how beautiful the Macclesfield canal is.
This is Ross taking Waterlily up he Bosley locksWe had a slow start - which I appreciated after the last couple of days of having to be to a timetable - this is how cruising should be - go when you want, stop when you fancy it, travel or don't - enjoy getting there.

We stopped at Congleton for shopping then after lunch moved on and finished the day at the summit of Bosley locks. I really like lock flights in the middle of nowhere. We only met one boat coming down and did the 12 locks in 1 hour 50 minutes, and this included setting the locks as we left for the boat behind.

Only one shower today and that was while we were having lunch. Tomorrow we will get to the terminus of our trip - not sure where but it will include a visit to Macclesfield.

Take care


Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Day three...

Still GPRS so no pics, but its worth the trade off in location.

We started off in beautiful weather at 8am as we had a crew pick up at 11.30ish at the Toby carvery next to festival marina in Stoke

All very uneventful, a nice cruise up the Stoke locks. The canal is very much cleaner than anytime I have been through Stoke so well done BW and Stoke residents. Now the roads are completed and the landscaping is done is was a pleasure to come through.

We arrived with about 10 minutes to spare and picked up my mum and Ross at the pub. As we passed longport lake we were buzzed by the police helicopter, speaking to the lockie (or tunnellie) they were looking for a nude jogger/flasher - it was a nice warm day for it I suppose.

The tunnel was a good run then left onto new territory - The Macclesfield. So far so good - shallow but we knew that, but straight away very rural - so it bodes well.

While fishing tonight saw a large white owl - too big to be a barn owl so it must have been a snowy owl?

On past Congleton and to where ever we want to stop - now we have done the first pick up we can go 2 days out at what ever pace now. So long as there is a pub close by on the 16th - my birthday ...


Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Day 2....

GPRS today sos till no pics.

Bridge 70 to Barleston - that over 30 Bridges and 14 locks. We set off on pouring rain which lasted 3 hours -even the Heron at Great Heywood looked fed up. The rest of the day was sun shine and showers

Diesel and pump out at Anglo Welsh - very efficient and very friendly and very opemn - take heed Kings Bromley, then cruising steadily to Stone.

Stone visitor moorings were choc a block - no spaces at all - good job we were not stopping. Just as we came out of star lock an Black Prince boat sped off the 12 hour town moorings in front of us.... never mind, the bloke seemed OK, I marked him as a rep type - he was giving his two lads a hard time - called them wusses when they were struggling to open the lock gates, plus he was revving the tits off the hire boat, takes all sorts I suppose.

Got to just short of the westwood factory ready for a crew pick up tomorrow lunch time at festival marina - then onto the Macc - a new canal for us...


Day one.....

Well as you might have expected we did not get away unto gone 12. Slow through Fradley - we stopped for diesel and a pump out - only to be told the pump out was 'full' so we cruised on to Kings Bromley marina for the same only to find it was CLOSED - Rachel made a fantastic entrance and exit - why can't they put a sign out on the canal -save an unnecessary manoeuvre.

We stopped just short of our planned destination at about 7pm just after bridge 70 on the T&M

No photo's and a slow connection would not allow it anyway....

Sunday, 10 August 2008

We're off........

Well we will be tomorrow and just me and Rachel, the lads are holding the fort, (that's if we can finish the packing, tidy the house, buy food, get fishing supplies, get diesel, get a pumpout, get water to the other stuff I have forgotten)

Bugsworth basin is the destination via the Macc - this will be a new canal to us. So I hope to post more regular updates while we play at being live-a-boards.

Take care