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 master plan, Cleddau was backed out of her mooring, taken a hundred yards or so north to wind (turn around) and then headed south.
Overnight destination: Lyme View, a half hour’s walk away and an easy mooring for the Miners Arms pub in Adlington.
“Have all your waterproofs on tomorrow, it’s going to be awful!” advised the man on the boat on the opposite side of the canal on Friday evening. Somehow he was both right and wrong. Today rain began to leak from grey skies sometime after midday and peaked at a dank mizzle; much worse was the low temperature…
It Is mid-May and we had survived the night pretty comfortably. However, “I’ll light the fire tonight,” said the Captain at 8am. “I am lighting our fire tonight,” announced the Captain at 9am to the man on the boat opposite. “I am going to light our fire tonight,” said the Captain emphatically to a boater on Bollington Aqueduct at 11am.
“Lit mine this morning,” was the mumbled reply.
At 1115 Cleddau was moored up beside Adelphi Mill for a brief shopping stop. “I’m lighting the fire NOW,” said the Captain – and he did. While he trotted downhill to Heathcotes (locally famous butcher) the boat began to warm through. For cruising Boatwif initially selected a combination of a lightweight jumper, body-warmer and waterproof jacket, which was quickly swapped for a heavier jumper and a light weight fleece… but only a heavier jumper, heaviest fleece, heaviest waterproof jacket, fleece hat – AND the snow mitts recovered from the bottom of the boot bag made standing on the back deck eventually bearable!
“But why do you do it?” some may cry.
“For the views, for the views,” would be the reply. Bright yellow gorse on bank and on hillside,
forget-me-nots crouched under hedges, a bluebell clump by a wall, lambs cavorting, sheep contentedly grazing, Canada geese parents fussing over tiny goslings, graceful stonework on canal bridges,
bright splashes of colour from flowering shrubs.
Low cloud today hid the wider views up into Lyme Parkland into the Peaks behind Macclesfield Forest
but on the water there was still plenty to hold the interest:
a boat being towed, a day boat as a venue for a seven year old’s birthday celebration
and a GO CANOEING Event at Bollington where between 10 am and 3pm all comers over the age of 8 could try out the canoes.
Cleddau is moored tonight in an apparently rural spot,
just south of Macclesfield, although occasionally a speeding Virgin train can be heard and – entirely hidden from view but just 20 metres or so down the path – there is an out of town retail centre: Homebase, Next, Matalan, Curry’s etc. That was a first this afternoon, walking to a Homebase. What other firsts might this trip provide…?!
then the Oakgrove swing bridge and the Bosley 12 locks – and then on towards Congleton.
Distance so far: 10 miles