Sunday, 16 May 2010

Whaley Bridge to Macclesfield

Whaley Bridge to Macclesfield 
13th April 2010

Peak Forest and Macclesfield Canals  15 miles - 0 locks - 6 hours

A full boat last night, with all four Ahab's on board. The birthday celebrations continued with a great cooked breakfast which really set us up for the day.

Belle and Tilly departed at 11.00am leaving Jeff and I to our own devices once more. I know that Manchester marked the northern most point of the trip, but this felt more like the turn back home, downhill all the way to Great Haywood.

Bugsworth basin

Before setting off we had to atttend to a recurring mechanical fault on WB which has been niggling for a while but had suddenly taken a turn for the worse. The flexible exhaust coupling to the skin fitting keeps rattling loose, that and the bolt securing it to the exhaust pipe out of the manifold. The nuts are far too large for my mole grip so we had to resort to a rag and some twisted string. Not a perfect or lasting solution, but one which seems to hold for about three days before a repeat treatment is needed.  At least I now know what the trouble is, and that it isn't the exhaust baffles breaking off which was my earlier diagnosis.

Emergency DIY bay

Whilst laying on my back on the swim sorting out the exhaust I noticed that the wide coolant pipes were chaffing on bits of the engine in two places and took the opportunity to protect them - another replacement job for the winter.

After the warmth of Monday,  Tuesday cooled throught the day with extra layers being added as fast as they were discarded the day before. The temperature dropped with each passing mile and in the end we were all muffled up in fleeces, windproofs and gloves - at least there was no rain.

 Helicopter at Wood Lanes

Whilst the day was devoid of locks, the area abounds with aqueducts which resultred a a great many off boat forrays to secure images for the Aqueducts blog. I must get round to posting the rest of them. As well as all the aqueducts, we also passed the back of Dr D's first home in High Lane - I hope I got the right one.

Dr D's olld house - I think

I had forgotten how shallow the Macclesfield is, as shallow as the Peak Forest in parts with the bridge holes being the worst. Each passage caused great gouts of rubbish and sediment to roil in our wake with twigs chattering through the blades of the prop.

Hovis mill in Macclesfield

We had plans to moor after Bollington but BW and their contractors had other ideas. The hopefull MP marked on the map turned out to be a sea of freshly dredged mud so we had no option but press on. Mooring in this area is problematic so in the end we moored in Macclesfield itself, right opposite the old Hovis Mill. The old structure looked particularly good after dark, stretching the camera to its focussing limits.

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