Monthly Archive: September 2012

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Three mills and a return to base

Lyme Green to Higher Poynton: 9.65 miles Warm sunshine on Saturday: chill wind on Sunday… Yet despite the much colder temperature* joggers, canoeists, cyclists, solitary walkers, anglers, family walking groups and a twenty strong Ramblers Association group were all tow path users today while at Poynton Recreation Ground footballers were playing hard. Perhaps hearing the Met Office forecasts for the coming week had driven folk outdoors for a last gasp of open air for a few days… The final nine...

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Bosley Locks in sunshine

Biddulph Aqueduct to Lyme Green:  7.66 miles, 12 locks Biddulph Aqueduct this morning was glorious, the sun sparkling over the valley, dog walkers and joggers enjoying the tow path, voices floating up from the pasture below where more dogs and children were being exercised.  It was mid-morning before Cleddau pulled away from her mooring.  Approaching boaters squinted into the sunshine, brims pulled low over their eyes. It takes about 90 minutes to cruise between the Biddulph Aqueduct and the bottom...

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Round the bend

Church Lawton to Biddulph Aqueduct: 8.2 miles, 7 locks             Are you optimistic by nature – or pessimistic? When the rain is so persistent that even the ducks have disappeared into the bank side growth it takes an optimist to see a positive in the day’s weather…             “Too wet even for the ducks!” called out the Captain at about midday, echoing a conversation he’d overheard earlier.             “But great for water levels,” cheerily announced a boater from his moored...

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Locks and cows, cows and locks

Malkin’s Bank to Church Lawton: 5 miles, 18 locks             This is a favourite stretch of the Trent and Mersey Canal for the Cleddau crew: the industries of Northwich and Middlewich are left behind, while the fields, cattle and canal settlements which typify the route are all easy on the eye.  Several times this morning a blaze of colour on a nearby tree came as an unexpected contrast to the green of the fields and the rust brown canal water....

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Slowly through Middlewich

Bramble Cuttings to Malkins Bank: 8.22 miles, 11 locks             Why does the BBC weather site taunt the boater so? Why does it forecast some dark clouds, maybe followed by white skies, only then for the skies to produce a morning of continuous heavy rain with just one or two momentary pauses… ? The Captain is not at his best when encumbered by waterproof over-trousers and early on a fellow boater gently mocked his offer of help while he stood...

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Contrasts

Dutton Hall to Bramble Cuttings: 12.66 miles, 2 tunnels “Lovely day, in bits!” called a chap from the tow path near Northwich. He was tall, rather unkempt, a small terrier running in front of him. Probably that was the best summary for a day when it has been warm enough to take off a layer and to grab a sun hat but also cold enough for fleeces, wind-proofs, caps and gloves. There were short sharp showers (and a double rainbow)...

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Clock check

Lymm (Bridgewater Canal) to Dutton Hall (Trent & Mersey Canal): 12.91 miles, 1 tunnel, 1 lock  In the blog titled Anti-clockwise the start point of this Cheshire Ring cruise was described as at 2 on a clock; now Cleddau has reached 9! It was a beautiful sunny morning. On the tow path a local lady engaged the Captain in deep conversation: how she loved boats, how she and her husband had moored a boat outside their home for years, how...

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Urban to rural

Castlefield Junction, Manchester to Lymm: 12.84 miles, 0 locks There was a distinct morning after the night before feel to the city centre this morning. Staff were righting chairs and sweeping the terrace at Albert’s Shed, in various locations Saturday night girls staggered in sleeveless dresses and impossibly high heels along unforgiving pavements and a pack of women, looking jaded and under-slept, trundled with weekend suitcases round a corner from a hotel, several wearing black jogging tops, Sarah’s Hen Manchester...

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The Rochdale NIne

Piccadilly Village to Castlefield Basin Junction 1.4 miles, 9 locks There can be no other title but the above, even though the day was in two quite distinct parts. Part 1: Prompt at 9am Techno’s Dad waved from the towpath opposite the Piccadilly Village overnight mooring: Cleddau’s extra crew member had turned up again for another gruelling boating session. The Rochdale Nine (locks numbered 84 to 92) form the southern end of a canal from Rochdale. Boaters speak with pursed...

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Operation Ashton

Dukinfield Lift Bridge to Piccadilly Village: 6.4 miles, 18 locks             You know what it’s like when you have to get up early, you wake periodically through the night. “It’s quarter past four,” muttered the Captain “two hours ‘til the alarm goes off!” And so it was that at 30 seconds past 0700 (as planned) Cleddau pulled away from the mooring, turned sharp left at Dukinfield Junction and headed west towards Manchester. There at 0732 on the tow path by...

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