Saturday, 20 February 2016

More Ice and a broke boiler!

We have had an excellent week as our grandaughter Nikita came to stay for the half term holiday. Her mum, dad and brothers delivered her to Higher Poynton on Sunday. All seven of us went for a short cruise, which meant Nikita & Magnus got a chance to wear their life jackets. We stayed at Higher Poynton until Wednesday as we were frozen in again at the beginning of the week and our boiler was playing up (now fingers crossed it's OK after being fixed a second time), our porthole covers needed to be attached and our chimney pots had arrived.

Our trip to Bollington on Wednesday was a VERY wet one. We moored just opposite Clarence Mill. As the forecast is heavy rain for the next couple of days, we'll head off to Macclesfield at some point next week.

Nikita fell in love with dominoes while she was with us, wanting to play morning, noon & night. She also grasped playing the recorder and simple sewing. The geese and ducks really appreciated her feeding them even if they had to skid over the ice to get to the boat.

There appear to be lots of owls in Bollington hooting and screeching. I was looking out of the bow door late one night and saw a huge owl flying along the canal-truly amazing.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The weather is looking up.

What an amazing change in the weather, the met office says <5% chance of rain for the next few days. Washing's blowing on the front deck and we hope the HUGE puddles on the towpath can dry up once and for all.
We're back at Higher Poynton to get our final teething problems sorted out and some touching up……….. of the paint work of course. We spent Monday night in the paint dock at Braidbar which was handy as it was tipping it down and John stayed dry, having the time of his life changing the 10 litres of oil in the engine and gearbox, which needed to done after 50 hours of running and we were actually up to 73 hours. Much more oil than in his motor bike. Being inside the paint dock meant we were unable to light the fire or have the heating on or use the cooker, so a short stroll in the torrential rain to The Boar's Head for dinner and to keep warm.
Today we've walked up through Lyme Park to 'The Cage'. What an amazing view over Manchester, to the Pennines and beyond, the wind was bracing though.
I think we'll be having some visitors next week over half term which will be nice. Then we'll have a trip down to Macclesfield. We're stuck on the Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals at least until the end of February as the locks both ways are closed for repairs. However, there's 28 miles of canal to explore.
John's perfecting his bread making. However, he's feeling a bit paranoid as the geese must smell it and stare at him through the port holes. The same pair of geese seem to be there staring all the time and knock on the side of the boat too.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Leaving Busworth Basin for Marple

Leaving Bugsworth Upper Basin
We woke up this morning with a smattering of snow all around, the hills looked bright in the sunlight, when it decided to peek out from behind the clouds.
Getting water before leaving Busworth
We had to move on from Bugsworth because our time was up and we needed to get some laundry time in, so we were off to Marple.
We had a problem closing swing bridge No 30 on the Peak Forest Canal. The bridge has a locking mechanism that prevents it from swinging open by it's self. However, the locking bar was jammed and we had to hit it with a windlass to free it up. As it's quite windy the bridge could blow open if we hadn't sorted it meaning the farmer may not be able to get over.
The view from the saloon window
We had no more problems on the way to Marple. We did have a little chat with a fellow boater who was moored up just after swing bridge No25. He gave us some good pointers on where to moor on the Macclesfield Canal.
We decide to go through Marple and moor after Goyt Mill at a place we found on the way out to Bugsworth, we will stay here a few days and have a walk around and get our laundry done.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Tramway and Reservoir

On Wednesday, 27th I went and had a chat with the warden about staying at Bugsworth Basin for a few days more, which wasn’t a problem this time of year as it is quiet so we are staying until the 3rd Feb.
We went for a walk up the Peak Forest Tramway, this tramway brought the limestone to Bugsworth where it was transshipped onto boats. It wasn't too wet and muddy and found this chimney, all that is left of a mill, soon to be housing me thinks. We took a little detour, well we followed a sign that said Old Hall Inn 150 yards so it seemed a good idea. Lovely Old Hall with great beers and food they also own the Paper Mill Inn over the road, both well worth a visit if in the area.

We walked over Silk hill to Whaley bridge and onto the Toddbrooke Reservoir which supplies the Peak Forest Canal with water. It was a bit breezy on the top but it was a good walk, then we walked back into town and needing sustenance we hunted out a pub that we found in April when we were here on Braidbar's hire boat Tiree. It was shut on that occasion but we were pleased to find it open this time. The Shepherds Arms, what a real gem of an unchanged pub this is, good beer and the locals are a friendly bunch, we had a good couple of beers and a good laugh there, you must hunt out this pub if you are in the area.
Today had a walk into News Mills along the towpath to find a hairdresser for Martina, guess what? Monday must be the day they don't open! Found a good butchers though so we are set up for meals for the next couple of days.
Wednesday we will leave here and head to Marple to the laundry. We are going to be a bit trapped on the Peak Forest and northern Macclesfield Canals for a little while Bosley and Marple locks are closed for engineering work to be done on them. So we will not be able to break free until early March, not too much of a problem really as there is a few miles (28 infact) between the locks so we will be able to keep ourselves occupied.