Sunday, 13 March 2016

Spring Adventure - Week 1

Overwater Marina to Bosley Locks 

Monday 7th March - today we prepared for our longest cruise yet - somewhere in the region of six weeks with Liverpool being our ultimate destination!!  
We had a delightful cruise from Overwater Marina to Nantwich in beautiful warm sunshine and light winds, moored for the night and enjoyed a lovely walk with Toby into the town and back again.

Tuesday 8th March - the weather was not as good as yesterday but good enough for us to cruise.  We called in at the Nantwich Canal Centre and filled up with diesel and water before setting off for our day.  
Old Barbridge Inn

Cruised past this pub today, we have spent some pleasant lunchtimes in the garden but not in this weather!

Barbridge Junction

Here the Shropshire Union Canal reaches a junction with the Middlewich Branch which connects the Shropshire Union with the Trent and Mersey Canal.  We began to turn right under the bridge and immediately had to stop as there was another narrowboat coming through! Excellent helmsmanship allowed us to pass unscathed and we continued on our way.

Line of moored boats

Both sides of the canal are used for permanent moorings, so very slow cruising for a while.

We stopped for a lunch break at some delightful moorings above the village of Church Minshull. 

Church Minshull

Beautiful countryside with Church Minshull in the distance.  The moorings were a little difficult as there appeared to be a ledge between the edge of the canal and the boat. The closest we could get was half a metre, Toby was not impressed!!

Continued on towards Middlewich where we moored up for the night.  Middlewich is a busy town which owes its existence to salt extraction.  This has resulted in some subsidence, but it is now undergoing a big renewal scheme.  However , the canalside is a haven of peace below the busy streets.

Wednesday 9th March - we have decided to stay for a day in Middlewich as the weather has turned decidedly wet and miserable.  We spent the day catching up on e-mails, speaking to our girls and up dating this blog.  We walked to the end of the Middlewich Branch where it has a junction with the Trent and Mersey Canal.  

Canal Tales

This information board tells you about the short Wardle Canal which joins the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union to the Trent and Mersey.  The Trent and Mersey insisted there should be no direct connection between the two canals, built the Wardle Canal and charged large tolls for traffic passing along it.

Thursday 10th March - weather today is much better so we set off bright and early for our next destination of Wheelock.  


Along this stretch is moored Elizabeth, I think she looks a very pretty boat and she shares the name with my eldest daughter!

Albion Lock - new development

On the outskirts of Middlewich there is a lot of new development, I do wonder what is in place for these developments as they seem to be stuck in the middle of no-where!!

Sunken boat

How sad to see craft left for so long that they either develop leaks or become vandalised and sink!! 

On our way to Wheelock we passed the Homebrew Boat.  The owner is originally from New Zealand, but now lives on his boat and makes a living selling homebrew kits from his boat.  

Homebrew Boat

They are on their way to Buxworth Basin where there is an Easter Festival being held and there will be many canalboat traders attending.

When we arrived in Wheelock we stopped at the water tap and filled up with water.  We then moored up further along the canal and I went to the pet superstore across the road. An enormous pet shop that sells a brilliant selection of goods for your dog!! 

Misty morning scene

Friday 11th March - We made an early start this morning so that we could to get to Rode Heath for the early afternoon.  It was a little misty, but as was promised the sun broke through and we had a pleasant cruise.

The locks on this part of the canal are double locks which are quite impressive to look at.  Especially when they are shrouded in mist!!!

Ella's Launch 

This is where Ella was launched in September 2015, but today we moored on the other side of the canal.

We waited for Tim the engineer from Bourne Boat Builders to come and carry out our 250 hour engine service and sort out the last of the snagging issues.  I think we have got to the end of them now and everything seems to be working perfectly.

After a walk with Toby across the fields we decided to have our supper in the Broughton Arms across the canal.

Saturday 12th March - super day of cruising!  Weather was calm and settled, ideal conditions.  We completed the set of locks known as Heartbreak Hill, heading towards Kidsgrove and the junction with the Macclesfield Canal.  

The Macclesfield Canal is 28 miles long and runs from Marple to just north of Kidsgrove.  It is mostly lock free apart from a stop lock of 1ft rise and a set of 12 locks at Bosley.

We moored up at Scholar Green opposite the boatyard where we collected Ruby Tuesday for our first ever week on a canal boat in March 2014.  Then it was very cold, snowy and windy.  Today it felt as though spring is just around the corner!!

Sunday 13th March - we left Scholar Green in beautiful sunshine although a little chilly. We cruised gently along to Congleton and moored opposite Congleton Wharf which has now been converted into apartments.

We walked into Congleton and bought provisions before continuing on our way to below Bosley Locks where there is the most amazing view across the River Dane valley.

I apologise for the lack of photos for the last two days but we have lost the lead to charge the camera.  Once we have replaced it I will add photos to the end of this blog.

1 comment:

  1. Love the Macclesfield canal.Started our ownership of shared boat Scherzo at Heritage boats around 2001/2002.Of course we had hired for 25 years before that.xx
    Enjoy your trip.We will be at Nantwich 1st -8th April but no doubt you will still be cruising then.xx