Boatwif Blog

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Legal – and lower…

    It was as Cleddau was about to draw away from the Hightown shopping area of Congleton this morning that it happened. A man on a bike stopped, gazed hard, and then peered into his hand-held device.  A modern-day boating equivalent of a train spotter? No, an official from the Canal and River Trust (Northern Canals) checking boat licences and registration numbers. He’d driven from Halifax, off-loaded his bike at Bridge 46 and had been pedalling the towpath (and checking...

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Many hands make light work

      There were five pairs of hands involved in getting Cleddaudown the flight of 12 locks at Bosley today. The Cheshire Three had offered their services as volunteer lock keepers.      “We could leave home at 10, meet you at Bosley at quarter past,” the Cheshire Mum had suggested.  Alarm bells, alarm clocks, an electric swing bridge and about a three mile cruise flashed through the mind.       “Better make it half past ten,” became the agreement.      Through Broadhurst Bridge...

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Snow mitts in summer time

               Escaped! On Friday duties done (for a while) the Cleddau crew could head north in a heavily laden car. There was a brief pause in Macclesfield to hand over spare car keys and then a continuation to Higher Poynton. The rubber front deck tiles were re-laid;  the bed was made up; the car was unloaded… Then “How about…?” mused the Captain. It wasn’t raining, it wasn’t even blowing – and so it was, that a day ahead of the...

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Better than watching paint dry…

     There was one last weekend before Summer Cruise departure date, one last chance to “do boat jobs”. The Captain had been muttering about the front deck. It takes fair punishment – as an overspill catchment area during water tank filling,  as drop off and landing place for boat crew and visitors, as coal shed and timber store during the long cold months, as storage space for anchor and water pails, as conservatory for summer basil and mint pots…...

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Spit and polish – a sequel

        “ I’ve started so I’ll finish,” a particular TV quiz master used to say. That was the sentiment in the Captain’s heart: he’d started the boat polishing, it needed to be finished. So, a Friday afternoon and an early evening were spent taking diversions to avoid M1 hold-ups between Junctions 14 and 15, and  using the M6 Toll to avoid delays further up the M1. Then just patience, lots of patience, was required during the slow and near stationary...

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Spit and polish

Sunday 14thApril Still curious about the “no hole digging” sign in the previous blog? Techno Son-in-Law suggests it might be to deter bottle hunters, a problem that occurs from time to time on Lindow Common in Wilmslow. The theory is plausible and as Cleddau cruised slowly back along the canal between Furness Vale and New Mills on Sunday afternoon some lads were active behind the walls, one at least with a spade…            Sunday at Bugsworth was...

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Boatwif regains control…

      The Captain took to blog-writing last night, “with the permission of Boatwif” he wrote! Suppose now the secret’s out that theCleddau crew is afloat again the tale will need  completing…  Friday: The route from Higher Poynton (by canal) couldn’t be simpler: point north (for about three miles) and instead of turning left down the Marple Locks turn right along the Upper Peak Forest Canal to Whaley Bridge and Bugsworth Basin. There are no locks at all on this route...

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The Captain writes a blog entry (by permission of Boatwif)

Poynton to Furness Vale (almost) 8.1 miles, 3 movable bridges After 3 days aground with our granddaughter she was safely returned to Techno Son-in-Law and Cheshire Mum. Should we stay in our stationary home for the rest of the Easter break or escape once again into the hills of Derbyshire? It was a very easy decision! Back up the M1 and M6, cast off for Marple and the Upper Peak Forest Canal – a weekend in Bugsworth Basin is so much...

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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...

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A bridge too far…

Bosley Bottom Lock to Gurnett Aqueduct: 6.1 miles, 12 locks, 2 swing bridges            The sun was shining weakly on the iced waters of the canal this morning.  A delay for a couple of domestic tasks allowed two boats to pass and to do some useful ice-breaking….  Nb Misty Waters and Cleddau have been leap-frogging each other for days but the other boat was unknown. When later at Lock 6 there was a conversation with its crew Boatwif gleaned that these...