Tuesday 9 December

The Navigation Inn at Bugsworth Basin is worth a visit.

I wake trying to recover some duvet – for a little dog Max takes up a disproportionate amount of space as he lies legs akimbo between us. The clock says 7.30 but its still dark and a little chilly so I get up and put more coal on the fire and take a peak out of the window.   Pink sky in the morning, sailors warning.

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Eventually, having untied our stiff ropes, we move forward onto the water point and fill up with water and deposit our rubbish in the skip provided by CRT, and then start retracing our steps towards Middlewich. It is a bright sunny morning and we decide to put the washing machine on but we haven’t been going long when the sunshine disappears to be replaced by grey skies and plummeting temperatures. We should have paid more attention to the pink morning sky.

The dusting of snow on the hills has disappeared and we realise that one advantage of cruising the Peak Forest Canal at this time of year is that you can actually see the peaks because in the Summer, when the trees are in leaf, they’d be hidden.

We take it in turns to steer and with all my many layers on, I’m a good advert for ‘Michelin Tyres’. When not steering I go below to keep warm.

After lunch, the wind gets up too and to maintain steerage we pass moored boats at a speed above tick-over and that means we reach Bollington quicker than we’d expected and moor up at 3.30pm.

At least the rain held off until after we’d moored up but we are now sitting huddled in front of the fire listening to the rain beat down on the roof while also being buffeted by the wind.

(14 miles, 2 lift bridges, 2 swing bridges)

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