The forecast was right about the morning. We managed to get up most of the Bosley Locks in the dry. That didn’t stop us reaching the top pretty wet though. However we managed a pretty good speed. We arrived at the top lock before the boat ahead of us had left it, so we couldn’t realistically have gone any faster.
Once we’d reached the top I drove on a little way while Clare had a shower to warm up. I found a reasonable looking mooring spot so that I could do the same. As I was about to get back on to the back of the boat having tied up the front, I spotted a large number of wasps at the back step. It seems I had moored up almost on top of a wasps nest. Fortunately the weather was not good for wasps either. If they had noticed us, they couldn’t be bothered to do anything about it. After lunch we decided we should get away from them before they noticed.
By then the weather was better, and the forecast suggested tomorrow would be worse, so we decided to aim to reach Marple today, so that we can spend a few days there and not fret about reaching the Ribble Link.
Along the way, the usual unexpected things happened. This calf seemed happy enough, with other calves nearby in the trees. I’m not sure how it will get out – the fence behind it is barbed. At one point we thought for several seconds that we’d seen a zebra.
Clare found one of the swing bridges impossible to open, so we swapped roles. I opened it for us, and the other boat that had arrived just ahead of us. Suddenly the canal filled up with boats. There were two more from each direction. Unfortunately, Clare ran aground just after the bridge. She did the sensible thing of turning off the propellor. The next thing to try is reversing, but the pushy guy in the boat behind was by now right behind her. He immediately tried to take control telling his wife to attach a rope so he could tow us. Clare gained nothing from this “help”, and he soon decided to “get out of the way” by driving on through the middle. At least we didn’t have to deal with him any more.
Things quickly calmed down after that with me offering the use of “my” open bridge in turn to the other boats. I couldn’t retrieve the key or reach the towpath without shutting the bridge, so it was the polite thing to do. I exchanged pleasantries with each boat and then caught up with Clare and Bartimaeus and hopped on at the next bridge.
Unfortunately the rain turned very heavy before we got to Marple. So I did most of the Macclesfield in a Macintosh. I stuck it out and didn’t get too cold – though I’m going to have to work out how to warm my feet before going to bed.