Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Great Haywood

Wasn't as rainy as promised, but no bad thing to have a day in port. Took off the Squirrel's fire door to replace the glass, and went down to Penkridge to purchase the replacement. Decided to fit proper screws as well, though they had only one of the longer ones.

0 miles

Monday, 10 September 2018

Cross Green to Great Haywood

Because of the weather forecast for tomorrow, decided to do more than just half the journey to GH marina today, and ended up doing the whole lot. Cloudy day. Got into some queues at locks, but the journey made more bearable with TMS.

18 miles, 12 locks, 10.1 engine hours

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Market Drayton to Cross Green

Got away about 7.45 in order to get to Brewood for Café Church. Tied up there just before Bridge 14, where the steps go up to the Bridge Inn car park. Couldn't get nearer than a foot to the back – but I didn't want to stress the gunnel paint anyway.

Café church was good – chatted with Adam and Natalie who were there to talk with the vicar about getting married, and then formed a foursome with them for group discussion during the talk.

Decided not to have lunch in Brewood, and came all the way to Cross Green, tying up just before the Anchor. Perfectly dry, with sun in places. Hope to eat in the Anchor tonight.

10.5 miles, 2 locks, 4.4 engine hours

Saturday, 8 September 2018

High Onn to Market Drayton

Expecting it to be very rainy but, in the event, it wasn't too bad. Set out early to avoid the worst of the rain, and that turned out to have been a good decision. Tied up just through the bridge in Market Drayton. The point was to get within an hour or so of Brewood, fo Sunday morning.

Checked the weed-hatch and greased the drive with silicone grease (nearly 3 years since they did it at Debden Wharf, and it should be an annual event. By then the rain had dried up sufficiently for me to paint with gunnel paint the inside of the hull under the cruiser stern boards, down to the bilge paint line. Just did the left side back to the rear stanchion.

3 miles, 0 locks, 1.3 miles

Friday, 7 September 2018

Shebdon Visitor Moorings to High Onn

Nice day for travel – mostly "sunny intervals". Got a pump-out at Norbury (£20 without blue), filled with water, and then had to walk back over the bridge to buy a new bottle of Blue.

Tied up at High Onn, just after the tow path crosses, in the same mooring as on the outward journey. Put a second coat of gunnel paint down the left side to the rear stanchion, hoping we'll be able to leave it long enough to harden a bit before it gets serious testing in a lock.

Good TV, but very little Three signal this time.

8 miles, 0 locks, 3.8 engine hours

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Market Drayton to Shebdon Visitor Moorings

Sunny at 7.30 when we set out, an early start because of the promised rain which duly arrived late morning. Tyrley flight was straightforward. Water at the top was pitiful. Tied up on the ringed moorings above the old Wharf Inn, which is now a private house. Sun came out later, but too late for painting.

7.5 miles, 5 locks, 4.3 engine hours

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Audlem to Market Drayton

Sunny day with a nip in the air. Helpful traffic meant we were often going straight in to the locks. 24 lock-miles in about 5 hours is very good going. Back on the mooring in Market Drayton opposite NB Elijah.

6 miles, 18 locks, 5.2 engine hours

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Audem – Overwater Marina – Audlem

Grey day with some drizzle. Went down the four remaining locks, taking on water on the way, and on to Overwater Marina for some gunwale paint. 2.5 litres for about £45. Turned there and, back in Audlem, decided to tie up below lock 13, to avoid being in the spot where we had spent the weekend.

Put black undercoat on the left gunwale, between the cabin end and the rear stanchion.

2 miles, 6 locks, 3.2 engine hours

Monday, 3 September 2018


Wetter than promised, though dried up later. Fitted the screw cover in the channel of the re-sited window and finally removed the tarpaulin from its position

In the evening went to the folk session in the Shroppie Fly.

0 miles, 2.2 engine hours

Sunday, 2 September 2018


SG indicate a drop to 65 overnight – may have been precipitated by significant use of the inverter, but it had been on 78 before we went to bed. So we ran both engine and Webasto for an hour in the morning to restore charge and get hot water for showers.

Church at Audlem Methodist. Lunch at the Shroppie Fly. Had to clean more dog-dirt of my trainers after some canine left a fresh deposit just outside the back. Also had to clear our own toilet, where there was a blockage in the pump. Helpful  engineer on the phone advised that it should be possible to clear it with active use of a brush. In the end I used the long-handled paint-roller handle.

Applied epoxy glue to top right-hand corner of the re-sited window to hopefully seal the joint completely.

0 miles, 1 hour engine

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Market Drayton to Audlem

Set out just before 8.30 to do the Adderley and Audlem flights. A stream of oncoming traffic made things pretty easy and fast. Tied up on the 48 hour moorings above lock 12, which we had avoided before because of rumours of the shelf. Seems OK and a very nice place to be. Become very sunny and hot and the solar panel is working well at filling the last bit of battery capacity.

Put a second coat of Goldstar varnish on the inner window frame and surround. Curtains can go back up tonight. Also had a go at creating a smoother top external edge with a little more Sikaflex. OK, but proving very difficult to do it neatly.

6 miles, 16 locks, 5.2 engine hours.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Goldstone wharf to Market Drayton

Got down the Tyrley flight very easily. Wanted to shop in Market Drayton. In the event stayed there, on the 48 hour mooring just before the water point. Got gas for £29 from the chandlery opposite.

3.5 miles, 5 locks, 2.3 engine hours

Thursday, 30 August 2018

High Onn Wharf to Goldstone wharf

Called in at Norbury for water. Their gas price was about £31, so we didn't buy. Then it was the long haul across the Shebdon embankment. Goldstone wharf comes at just the right time. Put the first coat of Goldspar varnish on the window frame. Worked nicely over the coats of marine varnish to give a satin finish.

15.3 miles, 0 locks, 5.2 engine hours

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Wheaton Aston to High Onn Wharf

Wanted gas from Turner's, but it proved really hard to reverse to their wharf from our mooring without hitting someone. So we pushed on, thinking we could always get it on the return journey. Main item today was fitting the window, which meant having the towpath on the right-hand side. Moored at High Onn, just before the towpath switches sides – new to us but a very mice mooring.

Spent the afternoon fitting the window, with all the nervousness that entailed. Thought it was a good idea to put a bead of Sikaflex along the top edge before tightening, but in the event that used far too much, and resulted in a lot of mess. Next time, probably put on a bead before fitting.

2.8 miles, 0 locks, 1.1 engine hours

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Shroppie Bridge 7/8 to Wheaton Aston

Cloudy day, no rain. Came to Wheaton Aston for fuel and water, and hopefully to fit the window. Stopped off for shopping in Brewood, had a coffee in the Bistro (don't ever order a flat white there again) and bought two ham salad subs from the bakery. At WA we queued for an hour for the lock, and then got dog dirt on trainers while re-fuelling, which necessitated a walk back to the water-point for cleaning. By the time we'd tied up on the 48 hour moorings opposite Turner's, we didn't feel like working.

56.3 litres of diesel.

5 miles, 1 lock, 4.3 engine hours

Monday, 27 August 2018

Shroppie Bridge 7/8

Occasional very light shower, but generally dry enough to work on the window. Enlarged the screw holes on the right-hand side of the frame to match the holes in the cabin-side. Re-tapped the hole for one of the screws holding the top-right mitre together. Fitted an M4 machine screw and assembled the mitre with epoxy glue to seal and support. Leaving overnight. Will need to do a final test for fit tomorrow, but not expecting any problem.

SG reading 77% late afternoon so no need to run the engine.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Shroppie Bridge 7/8

Rain and wind made outside work on the window impossible. Attempted to clean off old silicone from the frame.

Used the Webasto a fair bit, so ran the engine in the evening to cover the battery drain, since the solar panel had been giving very little.

2 hours engine.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Shroppie Bridge 7/8

Sunshine and showers, making it tricky to do further work on the window. Took it out, to see how much I could repair. Tapped two angle screw-holes to replace two loose self-tapping screws with M4 machine screws. Also tried to glue the two top corners. The one with the new screws seems OK, but the other is probably not.

Didn't need to run the engine at all.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Pendeford to Shroppie Bridge 7/8

Went down to Oxley Marine at 9 a.m. to get them to sort the window machine screw hole which had been drilled out too far. They said it was now ready for tapping with M5 tap, and that this was the best solution, so we went ahead. Then they went around the window inserting all the other screws, with difficulty because of the alignment issues. Orph talked about fixing the window in place there and then with the sealant they use, but that felt rushed to me. I'll run the risk of fixing it myself.

Tied up at our normal mooring between Bridges 7 and 8 on the Shroppie. Had to cope with some really heavy showers and strong winds. It blew me on to the bows of a small boat as we were coming in. I apologised but she wasn't very receptive.

New batteries seem to be working really well.

4.5 miles, 0 locks, 2 engine hours

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Penkridge to Pendeford

Found a lot of bird dirt on the roof in the morning. Nice timing on a lot of the locks with boats coming the other way. Were fortunate to get away just ahead of a rather fussy boat coming up Filance Lock. Got a pump out from JD at Gailey. No rinse, but blue was included in the £18. Then filled the water tank and cleaned the roof with the hose. Uneventful run through to Pendeford, though had to pass an oncoming boat in the narrows. Tied up just after Marsh Lane Bridge as usual – no company.

9.3 miles, 5 locks, 5 engine hours.