Tree Fall and cruising on to Scholar Green, Kidsgrove

We woke to dull skies and rain today. The forecast was that the weather would improve, but it didn't - the rain got heavier and it was wet for most of the day. We planned for a quick run down to Bosley Locks, but as with many boating plans this didn't quite happen. We got to Fools Nook where there is an electrically operated swing bridge and found that it is a really well used bridge. Not only does a large volume of local traffic cross the bridge, but it also feeds a main road (A523) with a T junction within a few metres.  Traffic quickly backed up on all the roads as we operated the bridge, even though took the boat through quite quickly and it was mid morning (not the rush hour).

Just around the corner we found NB Alton who operate from a wharf close to Oakgrove stuck with most of the navigation blocked by a fallen tree. It appears that they were on their way to Etruria for the weekend boat rally fully loaded with diesel and had just left the wharf when the tree fell in front them. Squeezing past the tree they ran aground. They were quite firmly stuck so we helped by pulling on lines to get them afloat and then  back onto their moorings. This took some time and quite a lot of effort. The crew of Alton had rung BW for help. They had contractors in the area sorting out fallen tree but unfortunately they had to finish that job first and it was taking time.

Fallen tree and NB Alton firmly aground

Back cabin stove alight on Alton

Once Alton was clear we had a go taking Albert past the obstruction and we got on better, having less draught. However, just when we thought we had go through the obstruction we ran also aground. Three further attempts followed but all to no avail. We then reversed alongside Alton, had a cup of tea and waited. Not a lot happened for around an hour, except the rain got heavier, so we had an early lunch.

Three other boats eventually arrived and all being shallow draughted they got through with varying degrees of ease. Because each boat nudged the tree a little making it a wider channel and the contractors appeared to be taking sometime to arrive, we thought we would have yet another attempt at getting through. Nudging the tree firmly with our bows, and then taking as wide a line as we could, we finally got past the tree and headed off for Bosley locks. In all we spent around two hours trying to get around the tree. The only positive was having an interesting chat with the crew of Alton.

The heavy rain continued and most boats appeared to have decided to batten down the hatches for a wet afternoon. There should have been superb views from the locks, particularly of The Cloud (hill) which dominates the area but unfortunately it was in cloud! All locks were set against us but we made steady progress down them. It was then just a matter of getting as far as we could down the Macclesfield towards the Trent & Mersey.

Maggie indicating that we are in the second lock of the Bosley Flight
(Well I think so)

The Cloud, near Congleton - in cloud

Another great short boat, Bosley

"Snake" bridge near Congleton

The rain abated as we passed Congleton and we finally found some excellent visitor moorings near Scholar Green. As the cloud lifted this evening we got better views of the Cheshire Plain and Alton passed us on their way to Red Bull. As a coincidence there is a red bull in the field opposite, he spent part of this evening playing head butting with his male offspring for our amusement.

For the first time in about two weeks we lit the stove tonight.