Tuesday 28 January

Again rain was forecast for the day but by 9am the skies were again blue.   We were just thinking of setting off and instead decided to just wait a minute or two to let the traffic pass …

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We moved off and when we arrived at Preston Brook we had just five minutes to wait for our passage through the tunnel.  The sun was still shining as we came out of the tunnel although before long the clouds started to build and as we went into Saltersgate Tunnel it was just starting to rain.  When we came out at the other end the rain was quite heavy.  We continued on a bit further and made it to Anderton where we moored up and decided to call it a day as there isn’t much point getting absolutely soaked as it takes so long to dry everything afterwards.

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Sunday 26 January

We left Castlefield Basin today after a fun time in Manchester having been to the Museum of Science & Information (MOSI) a couple of times as there is too much to see in just one visit.  The Imperial War Museum at Salford, where we’ve been twice before, had an art exhibition that we wished to see.  Artzu, a small art gallery in Spinningfields, was exhibiting works of aspiring artists all of which we would like to have supported. In between we walked extensively round Manchester, along the Ship Canal, through Salford Quays, and Manchester City Centre eyeing up the architecture amongst other things.  It rained most days but this dampen our spirits.  Photos below – Arcade off Deansgate, Imperial War Museum, and the Cable Stay Suspension Bridge crossing the Ship Canal from the Imperial War Museum to Media City at Salford Quays.

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Smart parking!

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Preparations were under way for the Chinese New Year and it was lovely to see all the red lanterns brightening up the streets.

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We made it as far as Sale when a sudden change in engine noise alerted us to a problem.  We pulled in and lifted the weed hatch under the tiller to discover a mass of heavy duty plastic wrapped round our propellor.   We have a useful gadget we acquired at one of the boat shows for clearing debris from our prop without getting our hands wet.  This was put to good use and by the time we’d filled a bin bag of debris we decided to moor up for the night.

Monday 27 January

The BBC forecast rain for the whole day today but we woke to beautiful blue skies and decided to take advantage of this and we were underway before 9.30am.   Heading back along the Bridgewater Canal we put on a load of washing and as this uses power at a quicker rate than our batteries recharge, we always need to continue motoring for about three hours after the wash has finished.   We stopped briefly for water and at the Chandlers at Stockton Heath for some coal.  Thankfully the good weather continued and we made it as far as the village of Moore before we called it a day at about 3pm.   We’ve stopped here before and we weren’t too impressed by the pub but after stopping so early in the day we decided to give it another chance.   We were really glad we did because it was under new ownership and was very welcoming and tempted us to stay for dinner.  The rain started at about 9pm.

Tuesday 21 January

Sorry for the lack of news – we’ve been home for a week and our return to the boat was delayed due to a broken tooth.

 

This now means we’re not willing to chance clearing Marple Locks before they close for six weeks so we’re going to return along the Bridgwater rather than tackling the Rochdale 9, the Ashton, Peak Forest and Macclesfield canals this time.

 

We’re staying in Manchester until Sunday though so we can explore more of what this marvellous city has to offer.

Tuesday 7 January

The weather forecast suggested that the morning would be fine so we left Lymm in sunshine and headed for Manchester.   Three and a half hours to Castlefield Basin, passing through Sale and past Old Trafford and Salford Quays.   The heavens opened just as we were passing Old Trafford but by the time we’d moored up the sun was shining again!

This is the view from our back door.

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Monday 6 January

After a day of staying put while it rained and the wind blew, we topped up with diesel and water and bought a new gas bottle in Stockton Heath and headed off eastwards along the Bridgewater Canal.   However, before long the rain returned and we decided to moor up in the pretty village of Lymm.

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After lunch it dried up again and  we went off on foot to explore the area and discovered Lymm Dam.   Mr Lever of Lever Brothers is to thank for the creation of this lovely public park, now in the ownership of the local council.  No photos I’m afraid as I left my camera on the boat but well worth a visit.

Saturday 4 January

Anderton to Stockton Heath (10 miles, 1 lock, 3 tunnels and some baking).

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This is the entrance to Saltersford Tunnel which is only 424 yards long but is quite crooked – you can’t see through so you can only enter on the hour going east.  We also went through Barnton Tunnel 572 yards and Preston Brook Tunnel 1239 yards.

 

Max also tumbled in today.   He was taken by surprise by a man walking his goat along the towpath.  Max did a double take and lost his footing and fell off the roof of the boat.   He wears a harness so we can grab him and he was soon back on board, just a little wet and a little shocked.