Saturday, 9 September 2017

North West Passage: Day 15

If yesterday was better than forecast, this morning was far worse. The rain wasn't too bad when we set off at about 8.30, but it soon got harder and harder. The canal between Wheelock and Middlewich isn't that remarkable, but it didn't seem to take long to get to the first of the Booth Lane locks. At the second lock there's a big housing development called Albion Lock -- a name which must be complete fiction. I took no photos along this stretch, it was raining too hard. At King's lock, I started the boat going down and then made a quick dash to the neighbouring chandlery to get a new glass for the stove. For some reason, it cracked yesterday -- not sure why, we haven't even been using it. I bought two, somwe have one in stock. The rain had eased enough for me to take a photo of Adrian bringing the boat across Middlewich Junction.

At the Middlewich locks, we were following a boat down, but then one was coming up. The arc where you walk to push the lock gates open were flooded.

We continued round the corner and moored up alongside a playground. I then replaced the stove glass, and we had lunch -- of course the sun came out. After lunch, we had a visit from my sister and her husband, and my nieces, Rachel and Emily. The playground proved to be a welcome distraction at times. With the weather reasonable, we decided to go for a little trip down Big Lock and on a bit. Elizabeth and Emily sat in the cratch, Rachel came with me at the stern, and Ian worked the lock with Adrian.

We moored up just beyond Croxton Aqueduct and put the kettle on again. Adrian had made a lovely lemon and poppy seed cake. There was another torrential downpour, but by the time the family was ready to walk back to their car it was dry. A few minutes later there was a lovely rainbow over the nearby farmhouse, along with some dramatic clouds.

7 miles, 9 locks. (171 miles, 129 locks)

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