Graham went down to Kings Lock to have his heater serviced at 9.00 and we waited until the Andersen and Middlewich hire boats had cleared the lock on their way back to base and then went down and breasted up with Autumn Years so that we could buy a new Calor Gas Cylinder and fill with water. The junction soon became busy with boats travelling in all directions so we left Autumn Years and bimbled on down the next 4 locks and found a nice mooring just outside Middlewich.
At the top of the first lock we spotted this clutch of mallard chicks on their first outing on the water.
AY joined us a short while later when the service had been completed. It was so warm that we sat out on the bank drinking tea and reading our books.
Early start as we needed a pump out (not a nice subject but very important to boaters).
After finding several out of order we eventually obtained one at Anderton Marina who used an excellent new machine.
On the way we passed the first of the Flashes, just like the Norfolk Broads, even had boats hidden in the reeds.
* Are we in
Hiding in the Reeds
We passed by the Anderton Lift with nobody using it
* Anderton Boat Lift
and then through the Barton and Saltersford Tunnels (must remember to take off my photochromatic glasses before entering). The Tunnels are all one way and entry is timed in each direction to ensure that you don’t meet anyone coming the other way.
Moored up just short of the next tunnel.
Woke up to a frosty morning and whilst having breakfast we had a flurry of snow, can you believe it, 25 degrees when we left Brinklow and now Snow!
Set off through the stop lock to reach the Prestonbrook Tunnel for 9.00am as boats going north can only go through on the hour.
*Preston Brook Tunnel
The tunnel is 1229 yds long but you can just see the other end an amazing feat of our ancestors.
*You can see the end
Motored on along the
, I had forgotten how lovely it is. Bridgewater Canal
Spotted Miss B Havin, a Sandhills boat and left a message about the owners group.
* Fellow Sandhills Boat
Passing through Lymm as it was busy with weekenders we moored up on the Little Bollington Aquaduct over looking Dunham Massey House (NT) on one side and the
Pennines on the other.
* Our view of Dunham Massey
In the afternoon we walked through the aptly named under bridge passed the Tea shop, the Swan with 2 Nicks pub and the Bollington Mill into the Massey estate grounds.
* Tea Shop Little Bollington
We went into the Water powered Saw Mill which was working and had a demonstration of how it was done 400 years ago.
We explored the estate grounds and amongst the herds of deer spotted this white one.
* White Deer
Continuing our circular walk we entered
with its Brewery and down passed the Axe and Cleaver Pub where the Hells Angels were having a BBQ and Bash after having their bikes blessed. There some great bikes and the band were excellent, you could hear them 2 miles away. Dunham Town
* Hells Angle Bash
Found a real farm shop and bought some excellent Rump Steak for dinner. They rear their own beef pigs etc and obtain the fruit and veg from local farms.
* Little Heath Farm Shop
We were going to stay another day at Little Bollington but the weather forecast for Tuesday did not sound too good so we decided to move on. Whilst we were having breakfast we spotted in the field below us Buzzards, Foxes, Pheasants and a multitude of birds, June was in her element.
As we sailed through
we spotted a very unusual sight on the canal, a coxed 8. Further down the straight we found Trafford rowing Club and several other sculls out on the water. They must use the 2 mile long straight as there race track. Sale
* Coxed 8
A short while later we crossed the River Mersey at Barfoot Aquaduct, almost a stream at this point.
Turning left at Waters meeting we passed Kellogs factory with the smell of cornflakes and eventually reached another unusual sight, the Barton Swing Aquaduct which took us over the
, another fantastic feat of Engineering. Manchester Ship Canal
* Baton Swing Aquaduct
At the very pretty
we stopped for water just short of the arm which went off to the right and would have taken you directly into the Mines of the Duke of Bridgewater, the reason the canal was built. village of Worsley
Just passed Astley we moored up and sat in our chairs on the bank enjoying the afternoon sun and Carolann’s Tea and delicious Fruit Cake with lovely views across to the
Pennines and the first Swallows skimming the water for insects.
Overnight the wind and the rain swept over the boat, I had to get out of bed and tie down the boat poles as they were making so much noise we could not get to sleep.
At about 8.30am the rain stopped and the sun came out so we decided to move on a short way to
stopping at Tesco in Leigh to obtain some more provisions. Great mooring spot overlooking the lovely lake with all it’s wild life and sailing club. Pennington Flash Nature Park
At lunch time we had a down pour with hale and strong winds but this soon disappeared and we able to go a 2 hour walk around the lake in sunshine which continued into the evening.
Pennington Flash Park