Monday, April 16, 2012

520 feet above Sea Level…

After a “day off” on Saturday, we made a short trip yesterday to moor at the Dane Aqueduct just below Bosley Locks.

What a fantastic spot for a farm, tucked away in it’s own valley with The Cloud looking on.

Crossley Hall Farm15042012225

Moored at the aqueduct. I got the counter bands finished earlier, just the tipcat and button to refit.

Dane Aqueduct moorings….15042012227

…..and the aqueduct from below.16042012232 The Cloud

Another frosty night, but a fine bright morning today, so Meg and I decided to have a look up The Cloud before tackling the locks. We went up before, in 2008, with Amy (NB Black Briony), and Gloria (NB Completely Foxed).

The Cloud across the fields16042012231 The Cloud

And a bit closer, clearly showing the gritstone cap.16042012233 The Cloud
Halfway up, looking north-ishpano
You can just see, to the left, the long viaduct carrying the West Coast Main Line over the River Dane
At 08:00 we reached the top, with spectacular views all round.

Trig Point and information “wheel” on the summit16042012243 The Cloud

Looking SW…16042012238 The Cloud
Mow Cop is the lump in the middle.

….SE16042012239 The Cloud
Rudyard Reservoir in the middle of the picture. Early mist is still hanging in the valleys.

16042012240 The Cloud
Croker Hill on the horizon.

…And finally NW16042012241 The Cloud
The white blob is the large dish at Jodrell Bank, the smudge on the horizon just beyond is from Fiddlers Ferry Power Station, on the Mersey 27 miles away.

The Cloud sits just outside the Peak District National Park, part of a ridge of high ground on the Cheshire border. It’s 1125 foot high gritstone cap sits on top of a soft mudstone base, and the distinctive elongated teardrop shape was caused by glaciation.

We were back down at the boat by 09:00, having had a cracking start to the day.

By 10:30 we were on the move again, this time by water, heading for the 12 locks of the Bosley flight.

Approaching Bosley Bottom Lock16042012247
Each lock is about 10 feet deep, making the bottom paddles particularly heavy to lift. Unfortunately we were following another boat up, so I had to empty each one. Still, the extra work was well compensated for by the views opening up as we rose up the hill.

Mags heading towards Lock 6, The Cloud on the horizon.16042012249 To L6

Aaah, lambs16042012250 Lambs
The muddy "pond in the foreground is one of the side ponds, built to save water on the flight. At Lock 4 there’s an explanation of their use, alongside a restored one.

Side Pond at Lock 416042012253 Side pond at L4 (Click to enlarge)

The flight climbs through open country, with a main road crossing below Lock 5, at Wheatsheaf Farm.

Wheatsheaf Farm and Lock 516042012252  L5, Wheatsheaf Fm

Two hours of windlass waggling saw us at the top lock, not bad considering we had to turn every one.

Bosley Top Lock, No 1.16042012256 L1 The building is the amenity block, where we filled and emptied the appropriate receptacles before moving on and mooring 5 minutes further on.

We’re now on the summit level, 520 feet up. This is the height we’ll stay at to Marple and then on the Upper Peak Forest to Whaley Bridge and Buxworth Basin. The Lower Peak Forest drops down 16 Locks at Marple, heading down to meet the Ashton Canal at Duckinfield Junction. That’s the route we’ll take after visiting Buxworth, timing it to arrive in Manchester for my next run in the city centre. 

It’s been fine weather all day, mainly sunny but with a sneaky cold breeze. We’ve seen only another four boats on the move all day, one  in front of us, one following, and another couple heading downhill after we’d moored up.

Heading for Macclesfield tomorrow.

I'm missing my camera, especially today for the shots from the summit. They would have been so much better at 14 megapixies, rather than the 3 from my phone camera.

Locks 12, miles 1½


Carol said...

Brilliant pictures Geoff! That walk sounded fantastic - wish we'd been there - do those locks take a 62 footer? Love to Mags xx

Geoff and Mags said...

Thanks Carol
Yes, you'd fit in these with 4 feet either end to spare. Get yourselves up here, we've plenty of water as well!