Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Penkridge to Great Haywood

Started the engine early, so we could make some bread. Got completely soaked and very cold during the morning. Shower to warm up, and lunch at Bridge 96.

11 miles, 7 locks, 7.5 hours engine

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Bridge 8 to Penkridge

Wonderful sunny day. Not a lot of traffic till we hit Penkridge. Tied up above Filance lock.

13.5 miles, 6 locks, 5.5 hours

Monday, 27 August 2012

Stayed put at Bridge 8

Wet and windy Bank Holiday. Did a load of database work. Ran the engine morning and evening.

0 miles, 0 locks, 3 hours engine

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Gnosall to Brewood Bridge 8

Went and found Gnosall Methodist, and then had lunch on the mooring. Afternoon cruise in the sunshine. Only excitement was two hire boats coming through bridge 8, not realising how narrow the section is where they would have to pass us.

Tied up below Bridge 8 on the 48 hour moorings, where we had good reception of all sorts on the way up. Simon rang.

10 miles, 1 lock, 4 hours engine.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Anchor Inn to Gnosall

Went up and winded just before the Wharf Inn. Glorious sunny morning, in spite of the forecast. Stopped at Gnosall to get some cheese, and got soaked in a cloudburst while coming back from the shop. Decided to stop over, since the weather was now looking horrible, but moved round to the visitor moorings between the bridges. Unexpectedly got good signals for both TV and Three.

7 miles, 0 locks, 3.5 hours engine

Friday, 24 August 2012

Norbury Junction to the Anchor Inn

At Norbury:
a) filled up with diesel: 234.7 litres. That went from 14 cm to 56 cm on the stick.
b) filled up with water.

Stopped for a walk at Loynton Moss. Then pushed on up to see the two isolated pubs. Raining, so we moored up overnight at the Anchor, where there has been a reasonable Three signal.

2.5 miles, 0 locks, 1.5 hours engine overall.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Brewood to Norbury Junction

Actually started from Bridge 8 on the Shroppie. The BW toilets at Wheaton Aston are still out of order. Found the farm shop outlet attached to the pub in WA, and also the Spar. The church was closed.

Went aground north of Gnosall, and only got off with some difficulty, and some help. Visitor moorings at Norbury Junction have good TV reception, but although the Three signal seemed fairly strong, there were some problems with the broadband.

Still 14 cm of diesel in the tank, so we made it!

12 miles, 1 lock, 6 hours engine

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Gailey to Brewood

Moored up near Bridge 8, a bit before Brewood.

12 miles, 3 locks, 6 hours engine

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Baswich to Gailey

Started out at 8.45. Long stop in Penkridge, including a visit to Jaspers. Set out again when the rain stopped. Some showers in the afternoon. Moored up just before Brick Kiln Lock.

9 miles, 9 locks, 7 hours engine

Monday, 20 August 2012

Great Haywood to Baswich

Pump-out a.m. Started late afternoon. Moored up just before Bridge 101 on the S&W.

4 miles, 1 lock, 2.5 hours engine

Friday, 17 August 2012

Alrewas to Great Haywood

Set out early from Alrewas to give time for avoiding the expected rain. Stopped in Fradley to look around. Bought a new mooring hook to replace one of those we left by mistake at Branston. Thought we would make it to Rugeley but pressed on and got all the way to Great Haywood. Got a bit wet but it didn't seem as bad as forecast.

Light on the Gazelle roof aerial is not on and the TV is not tuning any stations. Not sure of the problem.

15 miles, 10 locks, 9 hours engine time

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Branston to Alrewas

Coping with ropes that had got wet, stupidly left both mooring hooks at the mooring. Quite a windy morning. Found a mooring spot right after Alrewas lock.

5 miles, 2 locks, 4 hours engine – left the engine running while the bread maker made bread.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Monday, 13 August 2012

Willington to Mercia Marina

Drifted into Willington village to moor up for the day, and attempt some internet work. Then on to the marina at 5.30, and tied up on a jetty near to engineering.

2 miles, 0 locks, 1.5 hours engine

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Wychnor to Willington

Started reasonably early, but stopped for a walk at Branston Water Park. Decided to continue after lunch to avoid the rain promised for tomorrow

12 miles, 5 locks, 7 hours engine

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Wolseley Bridge to Wychnor

Intended to moor up shortly beyond Fradley junction, but could not find a spot until after Wychnor. Wind quite problematic at some of the locks. Very long day, broken by grocery shopping in Rugeley and lunch just after Handsacre.

Engine intermittently making a slight whistling noise at some speeds.

12 miles, 9 locks, 7.5 hours

Friday, 10 August 2012

Great Haywood to Wolseley Bridge

Post collected, and everything apparently being in order with Erin Mae, we got under way at about 3, to get down to Wolseley Bridge for the night. Actually moored up a bit further on towards Rugeley. At the Bridge a CaRT maintenance butty had been cut free and was floating half way across the canal. Another boater was in the process of securing it again.

3 miles, 2 locks, 2 hours engine

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Varnishing phase 1 finished

Today did the third coat of the exterior parts of the front door frame.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Friday, 27 July 2012

Started varnishing

Started the varnishing of the front doors.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Mercia marina

Over to Mercia Marina to see what their engineering department and the New and Used Boat Company might say about dealing with leaking windows. Fixed up to take Erin Mae over for August 14th.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Friday, 13 July 2012

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Tixall Wide

Down to Anglo-Welsh for ice-cream and the Wide for lunch, before packing up the car to take everyone to Manchester airport. Wind blew Erin Mae against the jetties, so we had to secure the bows and bring her off with the engine and the tiller hard over. Then we backed across the marina before turning the nose towards the exit.

2 miles, 0 locks, 1 hour.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Wolseley Bridge round-trip

Down to Wolseley Bridge for another visit to the Wildlife Trust Centre, with Chris doing the steering. On to the winding hole and back. With Chris around, there was an extra adult to make sure Elissa and Sam didn't fall in the locks, so they were able to do much more working of the locks.

9 miles, 4 locks, 6 hours engine

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Round trip to Sandon

Iain and Simon, Elissa and Sam on board. Great Haywood to Sandon lock and back. Mostly fine and lunch in the sunshine. Occasional shower, one very heavy.

11 miles, 6 locks, 7 hours engine.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Wolseley Bridge to Rugeley to Great Haywood

On from Wolseley Bridge. Moored up just before Bridge 66 in Rugeley, for some shopping. Winded before Bridge 65 and returned, with a stop for lunch, to Wolseley Bridge for a visit to the Wolseley Centre. Then back to the marina in view of the bad weather forecast for tomorrow.

9 miles, 2 locks, 5 hours engine.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Great Haywood to Wolseley Bridge

Pump-out. Then out to the AW yard for ice-cream and a walk down to Haywood Lock. Back on the boat, we decided to continue, so down to Wolseley Bridge for the night. Ran the engine for extra time to ensure the batteries were charged.

2.5 miles, 2 locks, 4 hours engine.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Tixall Wide

With Elissa and Sam, down to Tixall Wide for lunch.

2 miles, 0 locks, 1 hour engine.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Barlaston to Great Haywood

Not an early start, but weather forecast for Thursday wet and windy, so pushed on to get all the way back to the marina.

14 miles, 12 locks, 8 hours engine time

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Kidsgrove to Barlaston

Another early start. Through Harecastle tunnel.

13 miles, 7 locks, 8.5 hours engine

Monday, 18 June 2012

Wheelock to Kidsgrove

Early start just after 7. Needed a pump-out so went all the way to Kidsgrove and got it at the BW station at the Red Bull. BW cards at only £10 each from the Lock 57 shop.

6.7 miles, 25 locks, 9 hours engine.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Middlewich to Wheelock

Retrospective post

Set off around 12.30 after the Middlewich Festival Praise service. Lunch on the hoof. Tied up just beyond the water point at Wheelock.

5.5 miles,  4 locks,  4.5 hours engine

Friday, 15 June 2012

Engine time only at Middlewich

Swung round in the wind when a mooring pin came out at breakfast, so bought a new one. Now both ends are secured with a double pin. Engine run for charging and water.

2 hours engine time.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Northwich to Middlewich

Inverter complaining about low batteries, so we got under way at 8 a.m. to give them a boost and heat the water. Not sure how the routine had changed sufficiently to make this an issue. Checked the leisure batteries and the acid levels seemed OK. Up the Anderton at 12.15 nominally (long delay while the tour boat arrived). Water at Anderton services (and cleaned the boat from the Anderton's drippy muck). Then a long, windy cruise to Middlewich, with food on the hoof. Good speed when conditions allowed it. Tied up south of King's lock, right next to a fairly busy road. Rain and wind promised for tonight.

13 miles, 5 locks, 1 boat lift, 7.5 hours engine time

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Marston to Northwich

Slowly into Anderton, with NB Sanity moored at near the marina there. Down the boat lift at 13.40, then up the Weaver to Northwich. First experience of a river cruise. 1600 rpm gave about 4.7 mph, according to Garmin. Not much room on the moorings. Eventually doubled back and another boat moved a few yards so we coule moor up between the swing bridges.

4.5 miles, 0 locks, 1 boat lift, 2.5 hours engine time

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Middlewich to Marston

Some of the Middlewich locks were pretty stiff. Filled up with water just past the last, then a gentle cruise. Lunch at the delightful moorings / picnic spot created by the Broken Cross Boating Club. Then through the industrial bit to the northeast of Northwich. No Three signal where we moored up, blog posts made in the morning.

11 miles, 5 locks, 7 hours engine.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Church Minshull to Middlewich

10 a.m. start. Nice slow run through the Weaver valley on a cloudy morning. Went aground when allowing another boat to pass. Had to wait an age to get through Stanthorne Lock. Tied up between bridges 29 and 30 above Wardle Lock.

5 miles, 1 lock, 3 hours

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Bunbury to Church Minshull

Gentle cruise down to Barbridge Junction and up the Middlewich branch of the Shroppie. Called in at the Aqueduct marina. Nice café with free WiFi, but no longer has a shop. Moored up between bridges 12 and 13, overlooking the valley across to Church Minshull. Very pretty in the evening light. Downside – this is our first real experience of banging and bumping on the Shroppie's concrete shelf, so I've rigged some extra deep fenders.

7 miles, 2 locks, 5 hours engine time.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Tattenhall to Bunbury

Clearing up, laundry, water. Lunch (toastie / baguette) at the Ice Cream Farm. Got away mid-afternoon. Aim was to get through the wide (and problematic) locks, which we did. Moored up shortly before Calveley Bridge 104.

6.5 Miles, 6 Locks (including one 2-part staircase), 4 hours engine.

Friday, 8 June 2012

New SIM Card

Replacement 3Gb card bought at Christmas from Amazon did not work – the website said it had no allowance left. Three store in Chester sorted it out and gave me a replacement. Very helpful.

Preparing to move tomorrow.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Keeping warm

Weather forecast accurate – a day for staying put. Fire lit early.

Internet connection working quite well, and did some college work. But then the 3Gb SIM ran out and I to replace it with another.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Beeston Castle

Walking day: 8 miles, 4.5 hours leg time, though Garmin showed most of the walking being done around 3 mph.

In the morning at Tattenhall marina: pump out; new bottle of gas.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Long Day Trip

Started from Tattenhall at 7.15. Winded at Christleton, and back to Waverton to wait for David & Jo, Lewis and Charis. Down through Wharton's lock, winded, back through the lock. Managed to wind at Waverton before we dropped them off. Back to Tattenhall by about 9.15 p.m. Great day out.

25 miles, 2 locks, 11 hours engine

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Bunbury to Tattenhall Marina

Yet another hot day. Early start to get through the difficult locks. The staircase locks were interesting but no especially. We went down with NB Esther, passing another 60 footer during the descent, who could just squeeze by on the crossover with Esther being only 40 foot or so. At the Iron lock, following the notice, I took a rope onto the side, only to find, once the lock had emptied that there was no ladder and Erin Mae's roof was far too low to get down. I was also on the off-side so pulling her through required the help of another boater to get the rope around and through. Otherwise, a good day' boating. Stopped at The Shady Oak for some refreshment at lunch-time, and had a good chat with a couple of non-boaters.

Tattenhall was very windy, so getting to the service wharf to book in and then to the visitor's mooring was bit tricky. Found one with £5 on the meter! Having backed in, had to connect the old hose to the new one to get the length from tap to filler. Lots of spray! Also had to wash down the jetty.

6 miles, 6 locks, 5 hours engine.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Nantwich to Bunbury

Pleasant morning exploring some of Nantwich. Too hot to travel until about 4 p.m. Filled up with water at Nantwich service wharf, then made reasonable time, considering the number of moored boats, past the junctions with the Llangollen Canal and the Middlewich branch. Tied up for the night one corner before Bunbury staircase locks.

6 miles, 0 locks, 3.5 hours engine time

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Audlem to Nantwich

Bought one or two things in the canal and craft shop in Audlem Mill and filled up with water before heading off mid-morning. George the sausage-man was looking for a way to get a 7-foot freezer down to his shop at the bottom lock, but it was too big for our stern. Bought some Stilton and asparagus sausages from him and 6 huge double-yolked eggs.

So hot that we tied up for three hours in the middle of the day. At 4 started out for Nantwich and moored before the aqueduct. Walked into town and eventually brought a few things back from Morrisons.

6 miles, 5 locks, 5 hours engine time

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Market Drayton to Audlem

Grey start which cleared into another sunburn day. Coffee just before the 5 locks at Adderley. Then pulled up for lunch just before the Audlem flight. Fresh bread and soup, with the remaining Scotch egg. Down twelve of the fifteen and moored at Audlem wharf. This was the day Mgt began to operate the lock gates.

Walked into Audlem village and sat in the church for a bit. Bought some treacle tart for pudding! Used the Shroppie Fly's free wi-fi to download the episodes of Silk and New Tricks that we'd missed.

6 miles, 17 locks, 5 hours engine

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Knighton to Market Drayton

Fairly prompt start so as not to get into a queue at the Tyrley locks. Beautiful morning through the cuttings. Stopped for water at the unexpected point just after Goldstone Bridge, so we could get a wash going. As we started to go down the Tyrley flight, we were caught up by Sharon and Dan from Florida, who had also followed us through the set at Penkridge.

Tied up to investigate pump-outs at Market Drayton, and found Mike and Diane in nb Epitome 2. Mike had a BW card two years old, which he sold to me, and it worked fine in the BW DIY pump-out. So that was a first. We were almost out of Blue, so have to buy some very soon.

Walked half a mile into Market Drayton to the Asda. It was now getting a bit late so we have stayed – opposite the green where they had the narrowboat festival when we were here five years ago, just looking.

6.5 miles, 5 locks, 5 hours engine time.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Cowley to Knighton

Beautiful day – sun at last. Idled slowly along for the most part. 44 litres of diesel at Norbury Junction, two bags of Taybrite and a check of the front fender which has slipped. Stopped to check the near the Anchor Bridge to check out a boat with a cruiser stern and a pram hood. Moored at 48 hour moorings just past Bridge 47

8.5 miles, 0 locks, 1 tunnel, 4.5 hours

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Brewood to Cowley

Lunch at The Bridge Inn, Brewood, and set out at 3 p.m. Moored up just south of Bridge 31. Water at Wheaton Ashton. Two tyres from a helpful farm at Little Onn.

7 miles, 1 lock, 4 hours

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Laches Bridge to Brewood

Dull, overcast, chilly. Down to Autherley junction and up the Shroppie. Even with this weather, you can see why people love this canal. Tied up between bridges 13 and 14 at Brewood. Chatted briefly with Sandra on nb Maranatha.

9 miles,  1 lock, 4.5 hours

Friday, 18 May 2012

Penkridge to Laches Bridge

Early rain dried up, but remained overcast and quite cold. Set out at 11.  Followed through the locks by a couple from Florida who boat over here three times a year. Lunch at Gailey Wharf, above the lock. Set a washing machine load going as we started again – still going when we arrived at Laches Bridge, but seemed to do the wash well. Raining again tonight. We're snug with a fire.

6.25 miles, 5 locks, 4 hours

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Through Penkridge

Rain early, but cleared by 10. Bought a second centre line and a litre of hull blacking paint from Midland Chandlers. Sauntered through Penkridge and filled up with water at the BW point. Moored just above Filance Lock.

Shopping in Penkridge – Jaspers the baker for tea-time goodies, butcher's for two pork steaks and Co-op for the rest.

New Roberts solar DAB radio bringing in the test match loud and clear.

1.5 miles, 3 locks, 1.5 hours

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Great Haywood to Penkridge

Filled up with diesel: 92 litres declared at 60/40. Set out at about 12.45. Stopped for lunch at Tixall Wide. Easy journey with hardly any traffic. S&W seemed not quite so shallow at crucial points. Around 3 mph or even more possible for the most part when not passing moored boats.

Temperature, oil and charge readings normal

10 miles, 4 locks, 5 hours

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Hailstones, work inside and a cruise booked

Huge hailstones bouncing on the roof, up into the ventilators and down into the cabin!

Finished adapting the supporting frame of the TV, and connected the optical audio and HDMI links. Neet cables' HDMI auto / manual switch worked well, first time. Disconnected the yellow video led to the TV as it would now seem redundant.

Mgt made a fresh batch of bread and soup – very good. Tonight it's turkey breast in the Morphy-Richards gadget.  Then we have to decide between watching Silk and going out to the session at the Spittal Brook. Which will set us up best for travelling tomorrow?

Today we booked our 40th anniversary cruise next February to see the northern lights in Arctic Norway.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Setting up for summer

16/04/12  Engine serviced. Paid 08/05/12

5th - 9th May on board. TV hung on the frame, but needs extra piece to bring it forward 15 mm. Locker covers treated with preservative.  Pump-out on 9th.

Returned home on 9th May for dental check on the 10th. Came back up on 12th. Today fitted the retaining struts under the two side covers. Rang Coverit to start the process of getting the pram cover made. Gary will ring me when they have a space when the weather is good enough for making the template.

Went into Stafford to try to get a charger for Mgt's phone. No joy.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Settling in again

Set out from home about 3.15. Amazing what we managed to get in the car. About 30 minute delay on the M40 for a vehicle that seemed to have lost a wheel. Stopped for tea at the Harvester, but they were going to keep us waiting half an hour, so we had a McDonald's instead.

Plenty of electricity on the meter when we arrived, so presumably a bill to settle with the marina tomorrow.

Everything on board seems OK. The temporary water-proofing of the window seems to have kept out most of the rain. Significant reflux in the toilet, in spite of the new valve we fitted. Ran the central heating all evening – the boat soon warmed up.

New SIM in the dongle worked straight away.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


Paid Engineering for de-winterising. Weather looks appalling at the marina, and the temperature down to 1 or 2º.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Ready for Spring

Engineering have done the de-winterising. £60 to pay. The marina want to see the boat licence and insurance certificate.