Tuesday, 22 August 2017

We've made it

We've now arrived safe and sound at Higher Poynton and are moored on the Braidbar mooring outside the yard. We've been catching up with all and sundry and generally getting sorted.

Things have indeed been a bit hectic, so I've not time to blog properly just now. I'll get my act together tomorrow and do a better account then.

(I must admit, I've been a bit distracted because my nice new Kindle Paperwhite wouldn't let me register it to my Amazon account. It needs a firmware update, which seems a bit feeble for a newly despatched Kindle that was supposed to be pre-registered to my account.

I had one of those very slow live chats with customer services to get that far!)



Location:Higher Poynton

Monday, 21 August 2017

Another day in Bollington

Just a note today. We've been to the butcher and the Co-op again and taken a walk this afternoon to look at the dredging going on. I'm pleased to say that they were doing the winding hole just this side of Riley Green. The dredge is being spread on a field by the canal.

We came back along the Middlewood Way – it's really useful to be able to combine towpath and the MW around here.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we've been able to confirm our electoral registration this afternoon. Elanor had visited the marina and phoned with info about the post she'd collected for us. One item was the brown envelope from the S Derbyshire council with the details of our registration.

Elanor photographed the first page of the letter with the security codes on it and emailed it to us. I opened that on my iPad and gave the info to Sheila who was on the website on hers. Ten minutes later and it was all done.

Tomorrow, a bit more boating, hooray.



Location:Bollington

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Taking it fairly easy in Bollington

Although we weren't going anywhere today, we still woke in good time and had a serious lie-in reading the Indy and doing Killer Sudoku. We finally ambled up to eat breakfast, then made an early visit to the Co-op, buying a bit of the heavier stuff like soda water and beer. We’ll make a final trip tomorrow, including a visit to one of the butchers here.

Back at the boat, I decided to run off a letter asking for a repeat prescription to be sent to the Braidbar yard. Sure enough, the printer cartridge was reluctant to co-operate, but thanks to application of the warm water trick and the cleaning cycle on the printer we finally got an acceptable level of print out of it. (Thanks, Jenny, for the advice!)

After coffee, we cleaned and waxed the galley floor. We’re almost out of Osmo wax, so will have to wait until a fresh order is delivered to Braidbar before we can do the dinette and saloon.

We’ve been taking it easy this afternoon. The warmer weather means we can have the bow door open and listen to the intriguing snatches of conversation on the towpath.

Another easy day tomorrow, then on to Poynton on Tuesday for a rendezvous with the crew of Priscilla II. A visit to the Boar’s Head may occur…



Location:Bollington

Saturday, 19 August 2017

A wet day in Bollington

It’s a good job we didn't want to move today as it’s been raining quite hard on and off, the sort of deceptive stuff that looks as if it’s stopped and the sun’s come out, then starts pelting it down again when you venture out. We felt very sorry for the folk who had booked day boat hire that we've seen go back and forth past us in the downpours.

We took advantage of one dry spell to improve the way we’d moored. We had tied on rings that were pretty square to the bow and stern and as a result were moving back and forth quite a bit when boats passed, even those who were moving slowly. Combined with a sloping washwall, this was decidedly uncomfortable. We’ve now put a pin in a bit ahead of the bow, pulled the boat forward to tie the bow line to it and then used one of the centrelines to spring back onto the ring.

Things are now much more stable.

Apart from that, it’s been a day for largely lurking inside. We have cleaned and rewaxed the study bedroom floor. We managed to get down to the Co-op this afternoon to get some fruit, veg and a couple of bottles of wine to keep the stock going until we can get an Ocado order in when we get to Poynton. We’ll probably go down again tomorrow for some more bits and bobs. It’s a pleasant stroll down the wooded slope to the road but quite a pull back up hill when returning with full daysacks.

Typical Macc, in fact.



Location:Bollington

Friday, 18 August 2017

Two alternates and a third choice

We made a prompt start this morning with our alternate targets in mind. If there was room when we got there, we’d tie on the new pontoon moorings in Macclesfield and have a trip to Tesco. Alternatively, we’d press on to Riley Green and visit the Co-op in Bollington. So we got going just before eight, passing the other moored boats quietly, including Amy Jo which looked dark and dreamy still.

It’s a bit of a plod to Gurnett Aqueduct along a length that always seems to need dredging. At least it wasn't as windy today as it usually is. The visitor moorings on Gurnett were full on the unrestricted section but with a lot of space on the 48 hour part. It’s always quite a challenge tying there, as I’ve said before. There are rings but at awkward spacing and the ground is very reluctant to admit a pin. It’s a hard concrete edge that extends back under the grass for some distance.

On we plodded along the side embankment with a view over the town. We were following Belle of the Dachshund Carrying Company, a deep draughted boat that was struggling to make any way at all. Finally, her steerer waved us past, explaining that he had a blade full and would just have to stop in mid channel to clear it, the towpath being hopelessly inaccessible with shallow reeds along that stretch.

The bridge holes were very bunged up as usual and needed the boatman’s strategy of cracking on at them until you get the bow well in the hole, then shut the throttle so that the stern lifts and you slide through.

Hopefully.

Mostly it worked but it wasn't the fastest trip. When we got there, there was no question of tying on the pontoon moorings. If the two splitters GRP boats and a canoe occupying two pontoons between them had been tied more considerately, a 60 footer might well have got in, but not Sanity Again. So we pressed on on a reasonably pleasant morning, if a little cool.

A boat going the other way warned us that CRT are dredging the canal by Clarence Mill, so we were prepared to be held up for a bit in a good cause. However, as we approached, a boat was just leaving the far end of the moorings on the aqueduct and we were able to drop into the space she had left. This is the only way to get a mooring here, basically get lucky with a boat leaving. There are rings but no time limit beyond the default 14 days, so they are very popular. We’ve tied just in front of Braidbar number 8, The Iron Maiden.

It was now just after half ten and the sky was clouding over. The forecast is pretty soggy for the weekend and we are about two hours cruising time from Poynton. We’ve decided to stay put here for the weekend and finish the trip on Tuesday, arriving just one day early. I’ll probably just do brief blogs between now and then as there won’t be much boating to report.



Location:Bollington

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Flexible planning again

It rained hard overnight and was still quite grey and mizzly as we were eating breakfast. We’d planned to take a trip into Macclesfield by bus but between the weather and feeling lazy after yesterday’s exertions decided not to bother. Instead, we’d just walk up to the Co-op to restock with various perishables that were running short.

We’d only just got ourselves off the boat and were heading for the footpath when the phone rang. It was Sheila’s brother Peter suggesting that we meet up for lunch, a much better idea than trekking into Macc.

So we did our shopping and then loafed about on the boat for a bit before smartening ourselves up and going to the rendezvous in front of Homebase. We’ve had an excellent lunch at Sutton Hall, which must be one of the best pubs around here. They were very busy, surprisingly so for a mid-week lunchtime, but we kept ourselves going with the aid of an order of bread, olives and oil and balsamic vinegar until the main courses came.

It was two o’clock by the time we’d finished and driven back to the boat for coffee. We’ve caught up on the family gossip and had a generally relaxing and pleasant day. Tomorrow, we may stop at the new Macclesfield pontoon moorings, if there’s space, and pop down to Tesco. If not, we’ll carry on to Riley Green for a couple of days.



Location:Lyme Green

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Up Bosley and on to Lyme Green

We actually slept in a little this morning and didn't get boating until nearly half seven. Nonetheless, we were still the first boat into the bottom of the flight. It was Sheila’s turn to steer, so I did the first six locks. 12 was empty, 11 full, 10 empty, nine full – it just depends on whether the bottom gates are leaking faster than the top ones in these circumstances. The person who does the first half actually gets the tougher job as they are all close enough together to justify double walking to set the next lock whilst the one below is filling.

This was particularly true today as, not long after we’d swapped over, we were joined by a volockie, it now being just before nine, who stayed with us all the way up the flight. As a result, we made good time and were on the water point at the top by ten. Whilst the tank was filling we dumped rubbish and recycling, started a wash load, made and drank a cup of coffee and did the breakfast washing up.

Once on our way again, I was look out for most of the way. There were now a few boats in the opposite direction including Derwent 6 with Del and Al. We only seem to see them passing in opposite directions these days, haven't had a chance of a proper natter for years.

I opened the Royal Oak swing bridge and then waited whilst a boat came through in the opposite direction after Sanity Again had passed. There was yet another boat behind that one but I now had a traffic queue building up so closed the bridge. Fortunately, a passing dog walker offered to reopen it as he had a BWB key and was clearly either a boater himself or made a habit of this. This was especially good as the boat in question was single handed.

We were surprised to see that there was only one other boat in the whole length of the Lyme Green towpath when we got here, so we had plenty of choice about where to moor. We’ve stopped by the footpath into the retail park and had a wander round there this afternoon. I got a pair of plastic clogs to replace my boat slippers which were wearing out and we found a Turtle mat clone to try in the front of the saloon. At £8, it’s a bit cheaper than the Turtles, too.

Tomorrow, we plan to stay put for the day and maybe do a bit more retail therapy.



Location:Lyme Green