Friday, 12 August 2016

Washday for Clothes and MM.

Friday 12th August, 2016 at Hassall Green.
The day dawned bright and breezy with a clear blue sky. The perfect day for pegging out washing! M had done a machine load yesterday afternoon and so was up with the lark at 6:30 this morning to peg it out (still in her nightie!) and take advantage of the good weather. The dirty footprints on the (recently washed) roof are the result of yesterday's rain, combined with the fact that the towpath had just been mown - so grass cuttings everywhere! Bother.
We couldn't go anywhere until the washing was dry, so R washed the roof for the second time in three days.
By lunchtime, the washing was dry, folded and put away, so we set off towards Hassall Green. The first lock had a very fierce water flow from the top paddles.
The lock was in a pretty setting and M said that she would love one of these cottages above the lock. The boat in the background arrived as R was leaving the lock moorings to enter the lock, but instead of slowing down and turning on to the lock moorings, the new arrival accelerated and headed for the open lock gates. Only when it became clear that MM was going to reach them first, did he slow down! Very strange behaviour; experienced boaters are very conscious of good manners at locks - trying to jump the queue is greatly frowned upon.
A herd of cows watched curiously as we sailed by.
The breeze early this morning turned into a very strong wind. Between the two Pierpoint Locks is a very short but wide pound and R had to wait while M set the second lock and opened the gate. The wind caught MM and pushed her nose away from the lock so she ended up broadside across the pound.
The wind was so strong that, even with lots of power, R could not turn her nose back again. Eventually R backed MM to the bank and a fisherman came over to help. The two of them, plus M, all hauling on the ropes, only just managed to pull MM back round against the wind.
We found a very pleasant spot to moor up for the night, with very contrasting views. Behind was the distant skyline of Mow Cop, with the green pastures of the Cheshire Plain below (lovely).
As a contrast, about 300yards in front of us was the frenetic thunderous din of the M6 crossing the canal (ghastly).
The noise outside was unrelenting and intrusive, but MM is well insulated, so inside it was quiet - particularly after R had shut all the windows and blocked up the roof vent in the bedroom! So we slept like babies.
Today: 2 miles, 4 locks and 2.0 hours.
Trip: 233 miles, 175 locks and 177.3 hours.

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