Day 1: Tuesday June 15th

Our departure from Lyme View coincided with sharp north easterly winds, which meant that it took four attempts to ease away from the pontoon, do the sharp right hand turn necessary to pass the other boats and then make the sharp left to the exit onto the canal. Only fierce activity by Ken with the heaviest barge pole managed to combat the effects of the wind…

Our boat trips have rarely been drama-free; three hours into the trip, and only a mile south of Macclesfield, a most unusual ominous double thump from the engine compartment caused an emergency mooring up, right beside a small group of anglers. Such a sinister noise perhaps indicated a failed gearbox… in the event, from the weed hatch a lot of rope, much plastic and a rubber fender were retrieved. Delay to the journey, 30 minutes. Benefit to the environment: a boat fender will be recycled! As for the anglers: when profuse apologies for disturbing the fishing were offered, a gruff reply came: “Too late now”.

We locked down the Bosley Flight (of 12) in one hour 46 minutes, a good time for what can be a gruelling stretch. Bosley was at its best, there were clear views of the cliffs and stone faces on the Cloud (local Cheshire hill landmark). We moored for the night at the base of the flight among about seven other boats and spent the evening undisturbed by any traffic other than a passing boat or duck! One strong visual memory from the day: the large clumps of yellow irises seen alongside the towpath in many locations.

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