Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stoke and Macclesfield.

Yesterday we travelled up into Stoke on Trent which we have to say is not our favourite stretch of water. It seems to drag on forever and the locks are deep and heavy, but on the plus side, it was noticeable that there was far less rubbish in the canal than in previous years.

The tortoise and the hare
We had a brief wait at Harecastle Tunnel for one oncoming boat to emerge, and then we entered as the second of just two boats travelling north. We had been lucky with the weather until now, but the tunnel was very wet and we emerged some 40 minutes or so later into rain - we'd have been better off underground !!
Southern portal
We made the sharp turn at Hardings Wood Junction onto The Macclesfield and negotiated the stoplock at Hall Green. The rain was heavy now and so we decided to moor just beyond the lock for the night. The rain subsided briefly during the evening for some dog walking and fishing, which was very successful. A bite a cast with lots of skimmer bream, roach and perch, the biggest being a good two pounds plus which got the pole elastic stretching well.

Overnight mooring at Hall Green
We left quite early this morning as the weather forecast was for rain around lunchtime... will it ever end ?? Our neighbours were very keen as they headed off towards Stoke at 6.30, but even that was far too early for us. It is so quiet on 'The Macc' and even when we stopped briefly for a coffee at lunchtime just at the bottom of Bosley Locks, which is such a prime mooring site, there was only one other boat. We could see rain over the hills, but it seemed to be skirting us nicely, and so we decided to ascend the locks. We only saw two boats coming down the flight, the second of which was nb Moon Shadow, an almost identical boat to Blue Moon. We chatted with the owner about all things Aqualine - toilet seals, window seals and batteries to name a few !! The rain was still evident in the distance, but the gods were truly on our side today as we stayed dry all the way to the top. The views on the flight are spectacular and make the locks such a pleasant experience. We also watched a pair of yellowhammers and spotted reed buntings too.
Bosley Locks
We continued on making the most of the fine weather and had a run up to Gurnett Aqueduct at Macclesfield. Let's hope for the same luck with the weather tomorrow and that Murray gets knocked out of Wimbledon. Either one will do !!

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