We left Marple at 09.00 yesterday morning, no rain, no wind and lots of warm autumn sunshine to speed us on our way. Caxton started the descent first followed closely by Matilda Rose. As Graham and I got Caxton (Joe as tillerman) into the first Lock, Jill went on ahead and set the next three. Thereafer I got a lock open and Caxton coming in before heading for the next lock and setting it in our favour, returning to let Caxton out and reset the lock for Matilda Rose. We got both boats down the 16 lock flight in 2hr 50mins; and did I know it! There were plenty of walkers about who stopped to watch the exercise but it wasn't until the final lock that 'dad' helped his two sons with opening the gate with me. The children were fascinated by the locking process - future boaters maybe?
From the bottom of the locks it was rapid progress to Bridge 14 and Romiley where we had a date with a Sunday Lunch.
Another visit to The Friendship Inn where a home cooked roast beef lunch was presented. If you are in this part of the world do try the landlady's home cooking - grand!
After our lunch we headed off to Portland Basin but had to negotiate this tree that had fallen across the cut.
We had misjudged our journey by perhaps 20mins, half an hour, arriving in the dark on tunnel lights and mooring by torch light but hey ho, all good experience!