|Dec 15 Bugsworth|
|Feb 16 Bollington|
|Jan 16 Poynton|
So after so many years of dreaming of living on our own boat we have actually been living ‘our dream’ for the last year. We always imagined we’d simply love living on a boat, but there was always a chance that we might not, once we’d actually done it…..but NO it’s such an amazing way of life. We have quite a lot of ‘mod cons’, but it’s still quite a labour intensive way of life which makes for never a dull moment and keeps us fit.
|March 16 bridge 86 Macc canal|
|May 16 Mancester|
|April 16 Marple aquaduct|
So how far have we have travelled? 665 miles and been through 437 locks and 183 swing bridges. We have travelled a good way this last year, but nowhere near as far as quite a few other boaters we’ve met. We’ve attended 4 canal festival and a 2 wool festivals, we volunteered at some of them too.
Our first 4 months aboard we were trapped on the lock free beautiful Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals, due to winter stoppages. This gave us an excellent chance to really get used to our boat. Within a few days of moving aboard we were frozen in, which was magical. We’ve seen the River Mersey from both sides, Ellesmere Port for the Easter Historic Boat Gathering (we were made very welcome even though Burnt Oak was only a few months old) and Liverpool where we were at the IWA festival. We have cruised from Liverpool to Leeds and taken part in lots of the canal’s bicentenary celebrations. We loved staying in Manchester during the spring. Due to the incredible height of most of these canals, we’ve been up and down some interesting flights of locks. Bosley and Marple flights were our first, with Ashton, Rochdale and Wigan. In addition the staircase locks at Chester 3 rise, Bingley 5 and 3 rise, to name just a few.
|June 16 Onthe way to Liverpool|
|August 16 East Marton|
|July 16 on the way to Blackburn Fest|
We have met lots of great boaters, volunteers & CRT staff, walkers and fishermen, some who we have made good friendships with. We’ve moored several times with other Braidbar boats.
Quite a few people have come to stay with us over the summer. Ada for her 21st birthday & Dale to help us up the Wigan flight of 21 locks and Edmund to help us back down.
I have almost finished all my incomplete knitting projects in addition to doing a little spinning too. We have done natural solar and traditional dying, made locker hook and rag rugs for our floors. John has made blackberry wine and mead, which will be bottled before Christmas. I have made blackberry and apple jam, plus my usual pickled onions, red cabbage and eggs. I used canalside crab apples in my mince meat this year.
And then there’s all the pubs in quaint little villages and larger towns we’ve visited along the way. I keep a daily journal as it’s so easy to forget what we did yesterday yet alone last week/month.
|Sept 16 The Twisties|
|Nov 16 Rufford branch|
|Oct 16 Burscough|
We have been down south just twice this year and it felt quite comforting to be with everyone who had the same accents as us!!!!
This winter is going to be fantastic being so close to Heather & Jason’s. However, we’ve only got a very short 4-5 mile stretch of canal from Tarleton to Rufford to travel due to the planned winter stoppages.
For our second year afloat we’ll head off of the Rufford Branch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal as soon as all the winter works have been completed in March. Probably first stop Poynton to have a couple of bits sorted on the boat and then onto the Midlands.
And I don’t think we’ll ever get bored with seeing kingfishers just about every day, even on the urban stretches of canal.
And now I need to up date our blog with the events of the end of November & early December........