The weather forecast for today promised low wind and plenty of sun but chilly. The temperature stayed above zero, but not by much. We weren’t planning to go very far, but I was still pretty chilly before we had gone far enough to charge the batteries up. This bit of the canal takes a long detour around a hill we were moored near last night. It seems to be called The Cloud – perhaps it is a large pile of everybody’s data.
Before lunch, we reached Heritage Marina near Scholar Green. We had planned to fill up with diesel here, and also see if they could provide us with an overnight mooring to plug in to shore power. They did, so I reversed us gently on to an empty pontoon. I didn’t miss the bow thruster much this time, there was no wind and the boat seemed happy to go where I wanted. Once hooked up to the electric we had a quick lunch and then headed off for a walk to the local attraction.
The village of Mow Cop sits on top of a hill which also seems to be called Mow Cop, and the folly at the top of the hill also seems to have the same name. We learnt from a local that the first word of the name rhymes with “cow” – not “low”. It was a relatively short walk horizontally, but a moderate climb.
By the time we reached the top, the sun was already low. The Cheshire Plain was obscured by a low level mist, though we could see Joddrel Bank rising out of it.
We headed across the top of the ridge passing a field of alpacas in search of the other feature we’d been able to see from a distance. After doubling back a bit we found the Old Man of Mow. This is a piece of rock in the middle of a former gritstone quarry. Gritstone was one of the main cargoes on the Macclesfield Canal when it was built.
We headed back to the boat, which was a much easier walk down the hill. We got back to the marina just before it was properly dark. As we approached our jetty, a man came to speak to us asking if we were on the boat that had arrived today and were we staying the night. He then suggested that we should take some rock salt (gesturing to the sacks at the side) and put it on our jetty as there is likely to be a sharp frost tonight. We thanked him for the advice, and I went and did as he suggested – there were already icy patches on the jetty.
We have had repeats of two of the marina experiences from November. The battery charging is warming the section of the boat that has the temperature sensor in it. I’ve had to tell the central heating to stay on despite this – we should perhaps see if we can put the sensor somewhere else. And the smoke alarm has complained of carbon monoxide. We think this is smoke from someone else’s chimney. It seems to have been short-lived so far, at least the battery is back in and all is quiet.