Saturday, 12 August 2017

Onto the Macc

The plan today was to work up the first three locks to the service wharf at Red Bull, fill the water tank and start a wash load, then carry on to Hall Green. It’s not a long haul up those locks and it was a bit cool first thing, so I started the Webasto for once, thus warming the boat a bit and heating the calorifier to provide hot water for the wash.

We set off just before eight and were on the water point a bit after half past. Rubbish was dumped whilst the tank filled. When we were ready to set off we had to hang about a bit for a share boat to come down the single chamber that’s the first of the last three up to the junction. Immediately after working up, the canal passes beneath the aqueduct that carries the Macc over the Trent and Mersey.

I hovered again below the top lock whilst a boat came down the left hand chamber – the turn onto the Macc is very difficult for a 70 footer from the left hand lock but nearly impossible from the right hand one. Finally we were round and on the last canal of this year’s boating – the return will only involve the T&M, of course, once we’re back off the Macc.

The difference in depth between the two canals makes itself felt at once, coming to a nadir on the approach to Hall Green stop. Sanity Again slowed almost to stop of her own in the narrows which are all that’s left of the disused second stop lock. When the Macc was first built, the Trent and Mersey company insisted on not only there being a foot difference in levels between the new canal and the old, but on two stop locks, one controlled by each company, to ensure that no precious water found its way off the T&M onto the Macc.

Such can be the consequences of private operations…

We’d been a bit concerned that the visitor moorings here would be busy, given that it’s still peak holiday season, but in the event there was plenty of room at 10.45 and there are still spaces just now in late afternoon. When we arrived, there was a chap sitting on a bench on the towpath chatting to someone in a GRP cruiser moored alongside. He seemed to be carrying something on his left arm, but it wasn't until he got up to go that it became apparent that there was a live barn owl on his wrist.

We’ve made an expedition to the former Co-op, now a McColls, and got immediately necessary supplies. We’ve still got five days in hand before we’re due to arrive in Poynton, so tomorrow we’ll make the short run to Congleton Wharf and spend a couple of days there, renewing our acquaintance with that pleasant town and having a bit of retail therapy.

Location:Scholar Green

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