This morning we set off just before 1100hrs in fine drizzle, the stuff you can hardly see but makes you very wet. The first highlight of the day was coming through the second bridge on a bend and meeting the working boat Alton with Ann Mary steering, to the towpath side was a moored boat and the off side a shed and then a cruiser, but there was plenty of room for two Narrowboats to meet providing the skippers did nothing silly. We soon reached the end of the Macclesfield Canal at Marple Junction where we turned right on The Peak Forest canal heading up to Whaley Bridge.
Just above the junction a long length of the off side has been cleared which looks like it could well become long term moorings called Tramway Wharf, at the moment there are No Mooring signs along there but one boat was moored up, presumably with the owners consent.
There are a couple of lift bridges along this section of canal, the first requires a windlass to work a hydraulic pump and operate a lifting ram, the second which had been removed last time we were this way has been electrified with the control box on the towpath side requiring the use of a BWB key. A lot easier for single handers but another bit of heritage gone.
A short way after this is a swing bridge, this is manual and while Diana was opening it a boat came the other way so she waited and let them through as well.
We stopped for lunch beside the Swizzels Matlow sweet factory where there is a nice straight section of bank but underlying stones, so the mooring pins were only half way in, the first boat passed slowly, the second at normal cruising speed, we had finished lunch before the forth boat passed and I was just able to catch the front mooring pin as it came out of the ground.
We stopped briefly just passed bridge 37A so that Diana could pop into Tesco. This is right in the middle of the long-term moorings that run from Whaley Bridge Branch Junction to 3 boat lengths short of the terminus. Luckily a majority of the moorings on this section are not taken so there was room for us to stop. Once the shopping was done we continued to the terminus to wind and then returned to the junction to go into Bugsworth Basin for the night. There were loads of spaces in the basin so we went for a little cruise round first. I didn't go into the Upper basin as I winded just before the entrance and while I was trying to back through the bridge another boat came up and sat waiting for me. I thought it may be too silted and gave up, but the other boat sailed straight in. Looking at it afterwards that is what I should have done, but I didn't know at the time that it was possible to wind in there. We then went back and reversed up the Lower Basin to moor for the night at about 1630 Hrs. We then went for a walk round, there are lots of interpretation plaques and a 3D model of what the basin use to be like.