We set off this morning with plenty of time for the Bosley Locks deadline. We arrived after 11.30 to find another boat just about to come out of the lock – so we were able to go almost straight in. Clare had opted to work the locks today while I drove.
Anyone who knows me well will know I am often trying to optimise things. While working a lock flight, I generally try to maximise the speed of the boat. Sometimes this will see me running back and forth between locks so that water is moving in one while we wait for equilibrium in another. Today we met a woman who was clearly maximising something else. After her husband drove her boat out of the lock, she stayed to chat to Clare while I drove in. She then shut a gate for us (I usually did that), finished her chat and sauntered on – maximum relaxation!
As today was dry and much warmer than the way up, I was much more relaxed and maximised enjoying the view on the way down the hill. As luck would have it, all the locks were set our way (or had a boat just coming out of them). Clare got a small amount of help from lock-keepers but did most of the work herself. We were out of the locks by 13.01 – which for a flight of 12 is pretty good going!
After some lunch we drove on past Congleton (pausing for ice cream). We had a slight delay while a boat in front did a strange manoeuvre across our path. To our surprise they put down a gangplank and sent someone on to the tow path to retrieve a whippet (in a life-vest). We gave them a well-deserved round of applause as they drove on ahead of us.
We’ve made good time today, we should still easily make the Ribble Link. The update on the fallen tree is that two cranes are going to be needed – in two weeks time. We definitely made the right choice by turning round.
Another rural mooring tonight. We are near an aqueduct that you don’t notice as you cross it on the canal.
We went for a walk underneath and beyond. Some road users must also be surprised by this aqueduct, the advance warning sign is in need of some maintenance.
On the way back to the boat we saw something you don’t see in the other direction – Jodrell Bank in the distance – my eye noticed it more than the camera does,