Well what a different day, only a little rain over night and then this morning a lovely sunrise. It almost dropped to freezing last night and frost was appearing on wood and grass this morning as it actually got colder for a while.
For the first part of the journey all locks were against us until we cleared Church Top Lock and then things bucked up, even though we caught a boat up where was having breakfast in Church Bottom Lock.
Just below Lawton Bottom lock at the winding hole the canal use to swing out to the left before rejoining at the winding hole just below Halls Lock. Today it was possible to clearly see part of the route of the old canal,
the loop was chopped of when the locks were paired. The canal is crossed by a wide cart bridge just below Lawton Top Lock and a pair of stone gate posts are still in place on the off side at the entrance to the bridge, the reason for these is quite obvious, what is less obvious is what the pair of gate posts are for half way along the side of the lock, unless the loaded boats while in the lock?
Being a nice clear day wilt blue sky's Mow Cop was easily visible in the distance and the sun actually made it feel quite warm at times.
After Townfield Lock we always had a lock set ready, even though we were following another boat and we had only me one coming down, a second appeared out of Red Bull lock just at the right moment. As we were leaving Limekiln Lock I could see a boat cross the aqueduct behind us so expected to meet him at the junction or Plants Lock but there was no sign of them. I made a complete mess turning into Hardings Wood Junction as I took it very slowly expecting a horn to blow, but all I got was a gust of wind through the bridge which stopped the bows going round. As we rounded the slight bend just beyond the junction there was the boat that had been on the aqueduct, now collecting fire wood.
The canal now takes us round in a complete 270° turn towards the Macclesfield Canal as can be seen by this map shot from Motion X.
The Macclesfield Canal really starts at Hall Green Lock that has a rise of about 9 inches. Beside the lock was this notice warning that the canal was closed at the Marple Flight, we wont be going that far this time.
Just beyond the lock the towpath is closed and they have erected a wooden barrier that makes it a bit difficult for boaters as it sticks out over the canal and there is a water point just the other side of it. The other end of the closure was just through Hall Green Bridge and I suspect this is the reason for the closure, some one has hit the bridge.
It wasn't long before we passed Ramsdell Hall and by now it was turning a bit chilly
and overcast so a mooring was called for. There are visitor moorings almost opposite the hall but they were a bit open and a chilly breeze had sprung up so we went a little further and moored in the lee of the hedge, we even got quite close to the bank which is unusual on this canal away from recognised moorings.