Saturday, 4 May 2019

For years we have been searching for..... Saturday 4th May 2019

Westport Lake to Church Lawton
4.25 miles, 6 locks, 1 tunnel

The day dawned bright and sunny, but very chilly.  With Harecastle Tunnel not far away which takes about 40 minutes to navigate, it was imperative that Monty had a decent walk before we set off.  Leaving Chris to ready the boat we set off to walk around the lake.  Monty had to be on the lead all the way due to the number of geese, some with goslings and other abundant bird life, but it was an outing and is a pleasant walk.

You would have a brilliant view from the upstairs visitor centre cafe on a warm day

After the usual safety checks we were waved straight in with Chris on the back deck in thick waterproof, life jacket, hat and head torch and Monty and I safely ensconced inside.  39 minutes later we emerged

and continued on past the entrance to the Macclesfield Canal

to the first lock of the day, but what was that we spied on the lock landing?  We were just trying to decide where we could off load me and which lock we would use (quite a few along this part of this canal have two to choose from) when we realised there was a boat coming up in the right hand lock and a crew member popped over to the left hand lock to open the gate to let us in.

Problem solved as we were going down, so I could step off once we were in the lock.  He cheerfully said it was keeping him warm!

After three locks we stopped at the Red Bull Services.  I disposed of the rubbish and yellow water whilst Chris lit the fire (they have to be out to go through tunnels) and it was certainly going to be needed today as the wind was bitter.

Just as we finished and were moving off a boat was coming down the lock behind us.  As you can see the fire is still at the somewhat smoky stage!

Do you remember the Signal Box garden shed from a couple of days ago?  Well today it was the turn of a 'Beach Hut' garden shed.  On closer inspection I think it is a garden room complete with wood burner.  Whatever its purpose, I really like it.

As we rose up in the penultimate lock for today there was a boat leaving the last lock - always a welcome sight.

From that lock I think I spied the folly on top of Mow Cop?  I am sure Sue or someone else will correct me if I am mistaken.

So down we went in the sixth and final lock today

to continue round a couple of corners to moor up near Church Lawton.  I know Monty and I went on a lovely walk with Sue last time we were here, but my knee has done enough for one day.

Due to the wind we have done a 'belt and braces' mooring especially as the bow rope is on a safety pin as the ring is just in the wrong place, but it will do us very well for the night.

What have we been searching for?  Well do you remember the poster I added a few days ago

We found this by lock 46 today.

Could this be Mr Magnolia's missing boot?  Or is there someone else hopping about?

We are hoping that this bodes well for our transition from Staffordshire to Cheshire tomorrow


Jane M said...

I can confirm that is indeed the folly at Mow Cop (Mow Cop is the village) - 355m above sea level. It was built in 1754 by the Lord of the Manor as a summerhouse but just a ruin now. We must go and see it when you are next here - the 360 degree views from there across Staffordshire and the Cheshire Plain are amazing on a clear day.

Jennie said...

Thanks Jane - we have had it in our line of sight quite a lot, so I am sure the views must be stunning, but not on a day like today! You would be blown away! Jennie