Tuesday 17 May,
Arrived in Manchester after my first ride in a 380 around 1900 then off to an airport pub for a snack and sleep. The flight was mostly over cloud until we dropped out under a 4000ft overcast. Nice to see the green green grass of Home! after the desert around Dubai.
Wednesday 18 May,
Picked up the rental car. A Renault Twingo, very tiny and a bit short on power with 5 months luggage in the back. Set off for Stockport to sort out our internet. Got lost in the same place as last year (slow learner). We managed to get a reasonable deal on a contract but it did involve a trip to the bank to change my address to a UK one so I had a post code. It was mid afternoon by the time we got to our holiday let at the New Miles Marina. This is about a mile down the canal from where Molly Rose is moored. We eventually got to Furness Vale and surprised Nick the engineer. He wasn't expecting us till Saturday. Boarded Molly to see the engine is not connected to the prop. We had a lot of prop noise last year so had decided to move the shaft back a bit. when they did this they found a leak at the back of the gearbox and were expecting a spare part that afternoon. Molly was looking pretty good after her winter of disinterest, Very dry inside with a few spiders and a bit of dust. Back to the holiday let then out for fish and chips. Watched an episode of Emmerdale which was not to much ahead of where we are at home. Coronation street is a bit different, many characters we had not yet meet and those we did know were in some different and interesting relationships.
Thursday 19 May,
Today the engine is being connected to the prop. lots of interesting comments being heard from the back of the boat. In the end the prop and engine are aligned and it looks like one of the vibrations that worried me last year may have been reduced. We have had an extra bilge pump fitted. The design of the boat is such that the outside rear steps drain into the bilges and this requires a mop and bucket to empty out, so after this being a bit of a pain during last years wet summer the steps now drain into a bucket that has an automatic bilge pump. We are hoping not to need it this year. "yeh right". Inside we are pretty much tided up with bags unpacked and stowed. New mills pub, "Pride of the Peak" for dinner then back to the let. Tried to licence the boat but couldn't because our address was different to what the bank had.
Friday 20 May,
Up early so we could get a load of washing done before we went to the bank to change the address back to our NZ one. Next off Tescos for provisions. Mainly bulky and heavy stuff as we will have to carry every thing from now on. The new bilge pump needs a bit of final work. 3 hours later after fixing all the leaks the job is done. We now have to wait for things to dry so we head off early for tea at the let and a bit of Telly as we won't have one for 4 months, GREAT.
Saturday 21 May.
Busy morning. Take the last of our stuff from the let and say goodbye to the managers. Lovely people who we will meet again. Back to Molly Rose and empty the car. drive into Havel Grove to renew our Rail pass, drop off the car then visit Uncle John. He had been thinking it was about the time we would call in. Catch the bus back to Furness Vale. There is a fair down the road in a farmers paddock so we have a look. It is very local with a few crafty stalls, a bit of food and some good and otherwise music. A heave rain shower had us sheltering in the face painting tent. The most interesting part of the day was to watch a rental van trying to leave the paddock. we gave up watching after about10 attempts left a huge mud bath and several vehicles still in the paddock.
By mid afternoon we are settled into our home for the next 4 months wondering where to go!
From Furness Vale we can go a mile to the end of the canal at Bugsworth, nice spot or we go the otherway for a couple of hours to Marple Junction. At this junction it is 16 locks down towards Manchester. Cant go that way there is a damaged lock. Wouldn't want to, been there, don't need to do that again. So the other option is down the Macclesfield canal. That is the intention BUT about a day away at Bollington they have found a leak in the embankment and have drained the canal. So where does that leave us? We are going to stay put as Murray has decided to drive down from Glasgow and spend a week with us. Having a car available will get us to places a bit further away from the canal.