Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Slight change of plan.

We intended to aim for Norbury Junction today, 2½ to 3 hours down the canal. But I had to take some time out in the middle of the day, so we didn’t even get as far as Gnosall.

Typical Shroppie. Long straights….SAM_6862

…views from high embankments…

…and wooded cuttings.SAM_6864

Cruising slowly through Rye Hill Cutting I spotted this guy,

and then this.SAM_6869

I pulled in and went to investigate, but the wood was soft and rotten, so I had a walk a bit further through the cutting, camera in hand, hoping for another crack at that elusive kingfisher. No bird, but I did spy some more wood up on the embankment. This turned out be good stuff, maybe the top half of a beech tree, a casualty of the recent winds.

So I moved the boat up 100 yards, connected two extension leads to the 10 metre cable on my chain saw, and recovered several decent lumps. It's a problem with an electric chain saw, you can't work very far from a power source. But I'd rather have that restriction than carry petrol...
It was a bit of a struggle getting them down the steep slope without losing control, but finally they were safe on the roof.

We still planned to get to Norbury, and I didn’t want to cut it into rings on official moorings, so we pulled in at Little Onn where I got it all sliced. The chain on the saw is pretty dull, I’ve been sharpening them myself, but they don’t last long. Either I‘ve got to buy a new one or get the two I have done professionally.

Little OnnSAM_6871

It’s a pleasant spot here, and if it hadn’t been so windy we’d probably have stayed the night, but decided to press on for somewhere more sheltered.

Unusual schooner stern on a narrowboat near High Onn Wharf

Old warehousing at High OnnSAM_6874

The towpath swaps sides at Bridge 26, once again an efficient turnover bridge, but it just hasn’t the style of the Macclesfield Canal turnover bridges. Depending on where you are on the network, they are variously known as turnover, changeline or snake bridges.

Bridge 26SAM_6876

The towpath will be on our left till just before Adderley Locks, a distance of around 17 miles. With the prevailing wind from the west, I’m not sure if this is good or bad. Up till now we’ve been blown onto moorings and struggled to get off, now the situation is reversed. It’s OK where we’ve moored tonight just past Castle Cutting, there’s a chest-high hedge acting as a windbreak.

Moored near Castle CuttingSAM_6880

It’s been a fine but breezy day, quite a few boats about, including several Viking Afloat hire boats from Gailey. I guess they’ll be on a mission to complete the Four Counties Ring in a week. We did it, with a boat from Autherley, way back in the ‘80s. Hard work, though. 110 miles and 94 locks. Realistically 65 to 70 hours at the helm.

Not going to plan to be anyway particular tomorrow, we’ll just see where we end up.

Locks 0, miles 4¼


Tom and Jan said...

Chainsaw...? I would have thought someone as super fit as you would use a bow saw! :-)

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Tom. I've got one of those as well, but this stuff was hardwood, 14" in diameter!