That’s it!

Gurnett Aqueduct to Victoria  Pit Moorings: 8.8 miles
           “That’s it,” proclaimed the Captain as, at 1440 today, Cleddau drew onto her home mooring. It was a graceful mooring up, there was no wind to create havoc, no boat on the towpath opposite to narrow the turning space – and no Halcyon Dawnon the neighbouring pontoon to avoid. Neither was there any audience, so no applause …
           It’s obvious, but it has to be stated: there were so many brief but cheerful conversations today about the improved weather, all on the same theme of  We’ve waited long enough and  Great weather for boating!  People were out walking in families, or on their own, or with dogs, or running. From the playing field below Bollington Aqueduct came the distinct shouts and cheers of a Sunday football match… but here’s a special mention of two rather different ventures. Well before 10 this morning the Captain had a conversation with a pair of passing walkers. They’d just set off, having walked about a mile already – of their planned towpath walk to Kent, 223 miles of it, expecting it to take 19 days… Then, between Macclesfield and Kerridge, there was one of several dodging bouts with three canoes (a single and two doubles).

 The canoeists (not youthful) are in training – for the 24 hour 96 mile canoe paddle around the Cheshire Ring, to be held on the last weekend of June.
It was a very pleasant last day’s cruise: church bells were ringing at Sutton, Canada geese were arguing near Macclesfield, patrolling the towpath further on.
 A guitar was being played inside an angler’s shelter at Hurdsfield,  a security guard inspected the inside of the fence of  AstraZeneca. An Andy Russell painted boat provided a splash of colour near Kerridge, spreading its own kind of magic.
 Opposite Adelphi Mill an alligator still lurks. “They told me it was rough up this end of the canal,” said the solo canoeist, “but not this rough!”
 Ribbons of snow could still be seen strung across the hillsides behind Bollington
though round the corner at Clarence Mill waitress service had resumed for outside customers.
Onward: a cheery wave and a quick chat with Seyella’s Geoff and Mags, they just calling on Moore2Life.There was much boat owner pottering at the marina at Lyme View,
more outdoor eating and drinking at Bailey’s Trading Post. Time for celebration here: the repairs in front of the Post are finished so boats and folk can moor and walk safely!
That’s it then, the Easter 2013 cruise concluded,  55.6 miles cruised, 54 locks negotiated. A grand trip it was, though one crew member at least, was glad of the snowmitts
by day
and the bedsocks by night.
         Tomorrow:  Boat duties will be relinquished but the Cheshire One will be keeping the crew  busy!

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