Day : Sunday
Date : 29 September 2019
Start : 0910
Finish :1310hrs Carrs Swing Bridge
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Last night we went to sleep to the sound of the rain, the forecast for today was no better and we have had 20mm of rain in the past 24 hours. We were slightly surprised to wake to the sound of silence, noting, not a drip or a splash, so we slept a bit late. Once up we decided to set off while it was fine and we actually managed 3½ hours before it rained, but when it did, boy did it come down, luckily we were about to go under New Mills bridge so I could stop under the bridge and put waterproofs on for the next half hours travel.
For the first hour we followed a boat that had moored behind us overnight and was pulling away just as I came out to start up, by the time they pulled over to moor we had a boat following close behind. The only other boat we saw on the Macclesfield Canal was the trip boat that I met right in the Eccles Bridge hole with boats moored right up to the hole on his side, but we got by.
Goyt Mill was looking quite splendid and as you can see the walkers don't have rain gear on.
At Marple junction it was hard right up the Peak Forest canal, this was a bit busier and we met several boats including Bargus the coal and diesel boat. On this canal there are 4 bridges to open, the first is Turf Lea Lift Bridge, this requires lots of cranking on the rotary hydraulic pump to lift the bridge deck high enough to pass through. The pump is on the offside so the crew be that side to operate it.
After this its Wood End Lift bridge, now this one is electrically powered hydraulics and is all controlled from a small panel on the towpath side, the hydraulic crossing the canal at high level to lift the bridge from the offside.
The next bridge is a manually operated swing bridge, ie. you unlock it and then rotate it clear of the canal by pushing on a leaver. The bridge its self is just round a blind right angle bend that has long term moorers on the offside of the canal, I suspect it is them that put this useful notice up after getting fed up with boats coming round and attempting to stop before the bridge, probably hitting their boats on the way. We haven’t reached the final one yet.
We carried almost to New Mills before the rain finally arrived and completed the last half hour of our journey in pouring rain, most of the good moorings are full, I suspect this is due to the steam rally being held in Bugsworth Basin this weekend, this has resulted in us being moored under some large trees, so even when there is a break in the weather we still get the water coming out of the trees onto the boat and a constant drip, drip, drip. I will probably try and move later when the weather clears.
PS. Well we did move, all of 200 yard under a much smaller tree