The second time of trying our friends Arthur and Wendy made it away from work commitments in York and joined us for the weekend.
We’d moved back to Bugsworth to meet them on Thursday, giving me the day to give the boat a good going over before they arrived on Friday evening.
Chatting and the odd drop of whiskey kept us occupied till well after midnight, but we were still up and ready to go shortly after 10 on Saturday morning. The fact that it was a fine, sunny morning may have helped….
We cruised the 6 miles back to Marple, Arthur keeping me company at the stern, the girls chatting at the fore-end and keeping us supplied with brews and bacon sandwiches, although the odd prompt was required. “Stick the kettle on” works well…
We were lucky enough to get on the last space just through the old stop lock on the Macc, between the two snake bridges.
Moored on the Macclesfield Canal at Marple.
Bridge 2, one of the delightful snake or turn-over bridges that are a major feature of the canal.
On Sunday morning the distinctive beat of NB Alton’s vintage engine echoed under the bridge, and the boat settled alongside the charity trip boat moored opposite us.
I chatted to Ann Marie through the side hatch as she filled and emptied the trip boat, while Brian struggled to replace Alton’s rudder, lifted out of it’s lower cup by an underwater obstruction under the bridge.
Brian checking to make sure that there’s nothing stopping the rudder post from dropping back in.
The engineering for the rudder mounting is basic; the post goes through a bearing on the counter, then down and into another on the skeg, welded to the base plate. Gravity normally keeps the assembly in place, the whole lot is pretty heavy. But riding over an object in the water can lift the rudder out of the lower cup. Although it can be difficult to line up and refit, it’s preferable to having a fixed assembly in these circumstances that would probably bend the post or rudder.
Repair effected, they pushed on towards Bugsworth, we had to go back to Goyt Mill to turn around, then followed in their wake. We passed them filling up a customer at Strines.
Arthur on bridge duty, winding up….
The return trip yesterday wasn’t as warm as Saturday, still dry, at least till we got back to the basin, but cloudy and cooler. Still, it didn’t dampen the enjoyment of cruising in good company.
We got back in the early afternoon, just avoiding the first of the showers, then our guests had to had back to York, after a quick lunch.
A really good weekend, it was great to catch up and talk about old times. It was Arthur who drove us to our wedding in his maroon Humber Sceptre, over 30 years ago.
Today we’ve had a steady day, catching our breath. Tomorrow we’re moving back to Carr Bridge after taking delivery of a Tesco grocery order.
Later in the day Meg has an appointment with the vet in New Mills, probably nothing but she may have an infection in her lower gum. It certainly doesn’t look right. Professional opinion required.
I’ve been working on this year’s major project. Seyella is starting to look a little tired, time for a new coat of paint. I’m shying away from red, it doesn’t last as long as other colours, so we’re going for a blue/grey/red (just a bit) colour scheme, like this….What do you reckon?
Locks 0, miles 13 since last post.