Monday, 9 March 2015

Stranded but rescued by the "fat man"

Sunday 8th March to Monday 9th March 2015

The umbilical cord has not been stretched too far just yet.

It only took a few Viber messages and the gang had decided to make the journey from Stone to Macclesfield with the prospect of a roast lunch and a movie.

Sue, Dot, Andy and Gordon met us at Sutton Hall pub for a lovely lunch and as usual it was as if we had never been parted.
More trolls/gonks handed over - here are two new proud owners

and for one lucky one there is an instant new home
in Sue's bag

We did have plenty of time to just sit and relax and chat - unfortunately Elaine was not well so we were 2 short to complete the full set.

We had decided to catch the movie "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" which was shoing in the Macclesfiels Cinemac for the princely sum of £3.50 each - a bargain.
Amazing what a Cornetto and a bag of crisps will get you.

Having enjoyed the first one and hearing good reports on the second we all did enjoy it - including the Bollywood dance scene.

Thanks to Andy and Sue for the chauffering and putting up with a wrong turning on the way back, which took us a little bit out of the way, but all enjoyed a lovely Sunday.

The Monday morning realities were weather dependant and we had not been entirely sure which day we would tackle the Bosley locks, so when Diane  announced, after consulting the reports, that the rain would not appear until 11am and it was at that time only 6am, we decided that we would go for it and at least get that group of locks out of the way.

Where had that lovely Saturday sunshine disappear to?

Off we headed at 7am and Diane had promised to text through to Paul when we were going - he was keen to help with the locks - a bit like some pre-season training.

So after we had finished at the services at the top of the locks - elsan, water and rubbish - Paul "the fat man" Macey arrived ready for action.
"Why did I say I would enjoy this? I don't do cold"

How does this work again?

Attack the locks we did - at least it was one way to get warm - although the forecast was for rain late morning there had been no mention of it being warm and the wind chill factor dropped the temperature way down below 0C.
I think this was the ground work to get the bacon later on

All was going well until we found the pound below lock 5 way way down; still we thought that we should have a bit of a chance to get through - that would be the case, if only we could make it out of the lock.
Damn, we had hit bottom and remained static.

Diane opened the paddles above and we refloated enough to get over the cill and out of the lock.
She headed down to prepare the next lock.
A very low pound

getting water through the lock to re-float the boat

Whilst the boat and I were out of the lock, once we cleared the bridge hole we ran aground - not a sign of any movement.
Paul then did his thing and "raced" back up to the lock and reopened the top paddles and then further to the lock before that to let even more water down - this was a boon start to his weight loss program, and within 10 minutes we had water beneath us again and heading along.
no clouds over "The Cloud" just yet

"Am I sure that the motorhome was the correct decision?"

He is looking slimmer already after those 12 locks

The new slim version of Paul will be appearing soon.

Progress after that quickened and we finished the locks in just over the hour and a half; moored up; whilst I finished with the boat outside, Paul and Diane disappeared below to prepare morning tea (breakfast for Paul) - Diane even gave the last of the bacon to Paul for his help this morning.

Just after the boat was fully secured, the rain started - the time - why it was 11am - good one my dear.

After saying farewell to Paul we were back into the warmth of the interior and just relaxed for the rest of the day, in anticipation of tonight's FA Cup match bewteen Man United and Arsenal.

5 miles, 12 lock, 1 swing bridge
YTD: 96 Miles, 37 Locks, 1 Tunnel, 2 Lift Bridge, 6 Swing Bridge
Totals: 2990 Miles, 2158 Locks, 99 Tunnels, 36 Lift Bridges, 157 Swing Bridges