Marple Ridge (I don’t normally put CRT down, but…)

  One of the two reasons not to moor at Marple junction (more later)

On Wednesday morning we cycled almost all the way back to Whaley Bridge to get some eggs from a nursery garden that we visited last week, called Secret Garden.  They sell eggs and plants from a stall with an honesty box and as you probably know, we like to buy unstamped eggs and give our custom to people who use honesty boxes.

Secret Garden’s wares at Carr Farm

Heron fishing from the towpath on our bike ride
When we got back home, we had lunch and then set off for a cruise to Marple to fill up with water. 

  Leaving our mooring at Strines (with one of the large Peak Forest canal milestones by the wall)
It was yet another hot sunny day and parts of the journey were in welcome shade now the leaves are nearly all out on the trees.

Welcome shade when cruising

  Welcome shade when operating a lift bridge

The water point at Marple is back on the Macclesfield canal so when we reached the junction we reversed into the Maccy until we reached the water point.

  Reversing into the Maccy – note how we can tell the strength and direction of the cross wind by looking how my hair is blowing

New sign at Marple services (although why it's for one boater I don't know)
I was astounded to see the sign above as it appears that all the talk about CRT rebranding wasn’t a joke.  I was astounded because of the thought of all the money it costs to rebrand any large organisation, but why should a charity rebrand, particularly one that needs funds?  Surely the money would have been better spent on some of the many maintenance and emergency works they are facing at the moment.  It’s not as if they have competition from any other charities.

Whilst waiting for the tank to fill we put the washing machine on to get the towels washed and sat outside to eat our fruit salad.  Once filled up we went back onto the Peak Forest canal and moored up just round from the junction as we wanted to check on progress on lock 15.

When we arrived at the lock we saw the top gate had been lifted out of the water and put back in place.

Top gate now reinstalled

Most of the workers were gathered around a crane that was lifting one of the bottom gates into position.  They had done quite well, and I had even videoed them, when the foreman shouted that one of the lads near the gate didn’t have his hard hat on.  I don’t quite understand the reasoning but whilst the lad went to get his hat the gate was lowered back down onto the earth dam it had been laying on.

Gate being lowered back down

We wandered off into town as we needed to go to the Post Office and do a few other little jobs.  On the way back, we went back up the flight.  This heron was either sunbathing or exposing itself to a Canada Goose:


Back at lock 15, the gate had been moved again and was now laying on the pavement ready for the next stage: lifting it over the lock bridge and into position. 

We went back to the boat and set about moving back down the Peak Forest to a nice spot we had noticed at Marple Ridge.

It was then when we realised the mooring at Marple wasn’t the best.  First of all you need to be an acrobat to get the lines off the chains and then remove the chains.  I know it doesn’t look steep but I actually felt I could have easily slid in – see picture at the top.

It then took us about ten minutes to move off the mooring as a large obstruction in the water prevented us going forwards, so we had to reverse back but the wind kept catching the front end making it difficult to get lined up without hitting other boats.

We finally got away and moored a mile away at Marple Ridge.

Our mooring for Wednesday night

So, on Wednesday we cruised for three miles but in the end were only a mile from where we left in the morning 😉

We are still hopeful the locks will be open on Friday evening so will probably have a little cruise on Thursday to turn around and be ready for going down the locks.  We’ll also make sure we’ll go back to check on progress on lock 15.

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