Made it!

Given that such a great deal of planning had gone into July’s Nearly party in Pembrokeshire and that another birthday celebration lies ahead later in the month, what to do, where to be and how to mark the actual decade-changing day had not featured on the planning schedule.

First though, on September the first, boat and crew needed to head north back to the Macclesfield Canal.

Harecastle Tunnel – a sixth (and final) transit this year.


While lead boat of a short convoy there was a brief encounter with the ‘Harecastle ghost’ – a strange white mist that appeared and then disappeared midway through the tunnel.



Through the tunnel, left at the junction,   along the Hall Green branch to the stop lock, further on past Scholar Green to squeeze onto the last available mooring at the Ramsdell Hall railings.

Then what a glorious sunset preceded the decade-changer…  

The next day dawned, bright and peaceful. The Day was full of little pleasures – ingredients if you like which combined to make a perfect cake day!

Ingredients for a Very Happy Birthday

  • 10 hours of non-stop sunshine
  • 1 post-breakfast rural stroll   
  • 1 pile of birthday cards  
  • 1 influx of digital greetings
  • 1 hour or so of gentle boating
  • 1 delicious deli lunch (Crema Deli) l
  • 1 new place to visit (Congleton Museum)   
  • 1 long circular walk between town and boat
  • 2 free taxi rides between boat and BBQ
  • 3 lots of cheesy decorations


  • 1 well-cooked BBQ dinner (eaten outdoors)  
  • 1 candlelit birthday cake


  • 1 transatlantic Facetime conversation

All in all, a wonderful day!

Two more days were spent on the return to Higher Poynton: across the Dog Lane Aqueduct     from Congleton, past the water point (scene of the recent swimming exploit),     creeping towards      and up Bosley Locks,      on past the electric swing bridge,      towards the misty hills,     crawling past the canal dredging operations at Macclesfield 


 and at Bollington,     anti-diesel bug toxin added after refuelling at Bailey’s Trading Post , then     finally pulling in beside a new pontoon neighbour.

So, made it (very happily) through the decade-changer and made it (without further misadventure) back to home moorings!

Westport Lake (Trent and Mersey) to Higher Poynton: 25¼ miles, 1 tunnel, 13 locks.

Final Stats since 13th August: 124 miles, 102 locks and 1 tunnel twice.

Monkton Moments* – a recognition of Cleddau’s Pembrokeshire connection: 2.

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