Sunday, 28 September 2014

Principles of Boating

Since commencing a life on the canals we’ve identified a number of unwritten principles.  The first is; if you are going to meet an oncoming boat then there is a greater than 75% chance it will be on a blind bend or obscured bridge hole. The second is; if you find a nice and isolated stretch of good mooring another boater will moor either immediately in front (or behind you).  However when you are desperate for a mooring you will find the moored boats spaced out to ensure there’s no available room.

After a good rest at Bugsworth Basin we recommenced our cruising.  But not before stopping at the basin services to dispose of the rubbish and fill the water tank. I managed to wash, rinse and chamois dry the starboard side whilst waiting for the tank to fill.  Jan did the two swing bridges and then the two lift bridges on the way to Marple Junction.  It must have been Saturday because we passed four boats going in the opposite direction.  One assumes they will spend the weekend at Bugsworth Basin.

One last look across the valley (I assume it’s the Goyt Valley?) before we reached the junction.

Having already met one boat at a swing bridge and another at a bridge hole we weren’t particularly surprised to hear a horn when commencing our turn at the junction onto the Macclesfield Canal.  We stopped partway into the turn and allowed the charity boat to come under the bridge.  Actually it hovered in the bridge hole and we eventually realized  they were intending to wind (turn around).

We usually forget to take a photo in this situation, but after only having discussed this failure on our part several minutes earlier, Jan grabbed her camera and took the above photo.  The steerer invited us to pass through the bridge hole and narrows beyond whilst he winded.

We’ve been on the Macclesfield Canal before, but for the life of me there is very little I remember.  I do recall there was a one day stoppage at Bosley Locks because a cill had collapsed.  I also remember it hosed down the entire trip resulting in me being soaking wet and chilled to the bone at the end of each day.  One of the reasons why I didn’t want Waiouru to have a cruiser stern!

We passed what looked to be a cemetery headstone adjacent to the towpath and as it was so unusual I took a photo. 

After zooming in on the photo I think it’s a canal milestone.

There was a local tractor convention near High Lane.  You know you’re getting old when you recognize the machinery and don’t think it’s particularly dated!

There was an adjacent workshop

Jan couldn’t recall Goyt Mill from our last trip.  However my ancient grey cells did.  There was a second mill at Bollington where (if my memory is accurate) we moored and went into the town looking for a laundrette.

Goyt Mill wasn’t plastered in mobile photo antennas last time!  Actually the mill is quite new when compared with some of the other mills we’ve seen this year.  Built in 1905, it has six floors and in its heyday as a cotton mill it had 82,000 mule spindles.  The machine was manufactured in Ancoats.  Power was supplied by a sole steam engine fuelled by coal from Poynton.  The building now has multi-users.

We were peacefully cruising along when Jan suddenly exclaimed “Isn’t that a folly?”.  Sure enough, on a hill in the distance was a lone building.  I used the large camera to take a photo and then cropped it to enhance the image.

Is it a folly and what is its name?

Shortly after passing Lime View Marina we passed this sad sight.

It’s probably now abandoned and (we via our licence fee) CRT will have to pay to have it removed.

The weather today has been a rather mixed bag.  It started being warm and sunny before turning to light rain.  However as we approached our destination for the day it changed back to sunshine. There happened to be a vacant 60ft space on the 48 Hour moorings at Bollington which we were happy to occupy. 

This is Clarence Mill which has been converted into luxury apartments.  This former cotton mill is considerably older than Goyt Mill having been built in 1834, some three years after the canal was built.

Whilst Jan started on dinner I managed to polish the starboard side.  That’s the entire boat completed for this year.  Sleep won’t be problem tonight!

1 comment :

Paul (from Waterway Routes) said...

The "milestone" shows the distance to the end of the Macclesfield Canal at Hall Green, where it met end on with the Hall Green Branch of the Trent & Mersey Canal. These days many people consider the Macclesfield Canal going all the way to Hardings Wood Junction.

The boundary between the canals at Hall Green was marked with a pair of end to end stop locks with gates opening in opposite directions so neither company could steal each other's water.

These days just one stop lock has gates, with the unusual arrangement of double top gates and single bottom gates.

The water is always lower on the Trent & Mersey side since they lowered the water level in the pound through Harecastle Tunnel so modern boats could pass through. That has the unfortunate side effect that you scrape along the bottom through the second (disused) stop lock.