Sunday, 30 June 2013

Kingswood to Hockley Heath

Up the Lapworth flight. Hot day, and we pulled up at Hockley Heath at (late) lunchtime. So it was into the Wharf Inn for a carvery lunch for a fiver. For a fiver, good value. Afterwards it was a very sleepy afternoon.

Lift Bridge 28 is a nightmare, with its hydraulics only working with a bit of manual assistance.

3.2 miles, 19 locks, 2 lift bridges, 4.5 hours engine time.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Kingswood to Kingswood (!)

We elected to combine running the engine and turning Erin Mae in preparation for starting up the Lapworth flight tomorrow by going 3 miles up to the winding hole just beyond the Black Buoy Cruising Club, and coming back again. Lovely sunny afternoon for cruising. This time tied up on the 48 hour moorings just south of Kingswood Bridge.

6.5 miles, 0 locks, 2.25 hours engine time.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Lowsonford to Kingswood

Left about midday, when it seemed it might be dry for a few hours – and so it transpired. Turned right at Kingswood junction, to spend an extra day before going up the Lapworth flight. Mistook the main junction with the Grand Union for the one Nicholson's indicated there would be with the branch through lock 20, so started off down to Warwick, and had to reverse. Tied up just north of Kingswood Bridge. Good TV and Three signals. Ran the engine for an hour in the evening to guarantee being able to watch Murray.

2.75 miles, 9 locks, 4 hours engine

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Wootton Wawen to Lowsonford

Debated whether to stay an extra day at Wootton Wawen, but in the end decided to move, starting about 11.30. Nice morning for cruising, but came on to rain as we tied up opposite the Fleur de Lys.

Arranged with Mr Hinchley of the Lyons Boatyard to look at our tiller swan neck damage on Tuesday. Rang Wilson's to see whether they might delay making the pram hood cover until that is sorted (make sure the measurements are accurate), but Mark didn't ring me back.

4 miles, 8 locks, 3.25 hours engine time. 13.5 volts.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Wilmcote Bottom Lock to Wootton Wawen

Really nice cruising weather. Early start, and up the Wilmcote flight by 10 a.m. Tied up at the Navigation Inn. Bad Three signal. Some TV so we could watch a bit of Andy Murray. Ran the engine in the evening to ensure the batteries stay charged, but it may not have been necessary.

5.1 miles, 12 locks, 5.5 engine hours.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Stratford to Wilmcote Bottom Lock

Went a.m. to the MAD museum. Set out about 1 p.m. up the Stratford canal. Batteries behaving nicely. Tied up just below Wilmcote Bottom Lock. Went to look at the moorings 3 locks up the flight, but the towpath side is thick with grass and nettles.

Pump-out (£15) at Valley Boat Services just past lock 52.

2.1 miles, 5 locks, 4.25 hours engine time

Monday, 24 June 2013

Stratford: Avon to Bancroft Basin

Mark from Wilson's came to pattern the pram hood, and Curtis from Evesham marina came to fit a new battery bank, both on the moorings opposite the RSC Theatre. The office accepted payment for one night's mooring there, since the free mooring up-river had never materialised. Then we went up the lock into the Basin again. Ran the engine to get the new batteries as charged up as we could.

4 Numax XV31MF 110AH sealed batteries.
Measured the diesel – about 50 or 60 cm on the stick.
Waste tank light came on this afternoon.

0.2 miles, 1 lock, 3 hours engine time.

Sunday, 23 June 2013


Stayed at the mooring on the river, ready for Curtis's call tomorrow. Serious drop in voltage during the day.

0 miles, 4 hours engine.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Stratford (Basin) to Stratford (River)

By the time I'd managed to wind in the basin to go down the lock, the restaurant boat had taken my place, so we had to wait. Nice helping hand on the gates and paddles from Martin, who'd worked with Heritage. Explored up-river. Turning was tricky, and the mooring place didn't exist. So we came back to the recreation ground area to tie up.

Having to run the engine far too much to keep the batteries topped up. Curtis should be here tomorrow with the new set.

4 miles, 0 locks, 5 hours engine time.

Friday, 21 June 2013


Stayed in Bancroft Basin. Rang Steve at Evesham marina, and he's agreed that Curtis will call in on Monday with a new set of batteries since he's over here anyway. Great that this avoids us having to do the return trip to Evesham. Clear from (a) the amount of engine time we need when moored up for a day and (b) the amount of charge they hold and (c) the rate of discharge with very little load, that the batteries really do need to be replaced. But they probably are 6½ years old.

0 miles, 4 hours engine time.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Weir Brake to Stratford-upon-Avon

Just one lock on the Avon, and then the turn through the first CaRT lock into Bancroft Basin. Where the 48 hour mooring will be free. Very strong currents at the entrance to the lock make turning in tricky.

Tied up in Bancroft Basin – really nice place to stop. Running the engine from 5 - 7.

1 mile, 2 locks, 4.5 hours engine time.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Bidford-on-Avon to Weir Brake

Ran Webasto and engine first thing. Fine, sunny day for cruising.

Emergency at W A Cadbury lock with the tiller bar rising under the steel walkway across the bottom gates and jamming. Managed to get the top paddles down and the bottom paddles up in time to prevent the disaster. Not a good experience. Swan neck bent down, and will need attention from a boatyard. Tiller function seems OK.

8.9 miles, 5 locks, 5.5 hours engine time.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Patterning at Bidford-on-Avon

Mark from Wilson's came to do the patterning for the pram cover, though in the event he was short of one or two parts for the frame and will have to return later. So we stayed put in Bidford-on-Avon.

Had to run the engine first thing and then in the evening for charging.

0 miles, 4 hours engine.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Evesham to Bidford-on-Avon

Curtis turned up at 8.30 instead on lunch-time to do the header tank. With the bad news that it would cost £105 instead of £65. And that's before VAT and his time. Gulp and take the medicine. Used the time while still hooked up to vacuum the inside of the boat and wash the floor.

Trailed Chris and Sue on NB Krystyna to the first lock, and shared it with them. They use a 120 watt solar panel with an MTTP controller, from MidSummer, and are very happy with it.

Tied up on the Avon Navigation moorings by The Big Meadow in Bidford-on-Avon. They were empty at 2 except for a Viking boat arriving as we did, but have now filled up a bit.

Sun came out, so I rubbed down the back rail and varnished it. Wanted to get at least one fresh coat on before Wilson's come to fit the pram hood frame. Used the orbital sander a little, which worked well off the inverter.

7.5 miles, 3 locks, 3.5 hours engine time

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Still Evesham

Stayed put in Evesham marina. Wind mostly dropped. Ran the engine for hot water this morning for showers. Interesting to see that there was not enough left by lunch time for the washing, so had to boil a kettle.

0 miles, 1 hour engine time

Saturday, 15 June 2013


Stopped in the marina. Ran the engine for an hour for hot water. Mistake. Should have run it later to have water for showers in the morning.

0 miles, 1 hour engine time.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Wyre Piddle to Evesham

Strictly speaking, it was Wyre lock rather than Wyre Piddle, but the name was too good to miss. Left about 8.30 and reached Evesham marina by 12.30. They were too busy to change the Webasto header tank there and then but will do it Monday. Negotiated a mooring with a hook-up for the weekend. Reasonable Three signal but no TV.

Went to see the battery section, who suggested getting Curtis to check the battery bank when he does the header tank. Numax batteries about the price of Midland's Lucas, with no maintenance type slighter cheaper than bog standard.

Cloudy morning, with some rain. Downpour early afternoon. Brighter evening.

12.4 miles, 2 locks, 5 hours engine time.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Comberton Quay to Wyre Piddle

Not much distance travelled. Lunch in The Angel at Pershore. We were going to move up to Craycombe, or at least Wyre Lock, but the wind got very strong, and we decided to stay on the visitor moorings at Pershore overnight. Left the engine running p.m. to charge.

Addendum: wind dropped a little and so we went up Wyre Lock, to speed our getaway in the morning. Tied up on the visitor mooring at the exit to the lock.

5.3 miles, 1 lock, 5 hours engine.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Tewkesbury to Comberton Quay

Morning stroll around Tewkesbury. Set out after lunch. First two river locks very different to anything else we've encountered so far. Comberton Quay mooring was empty, and idyllic. But the day was grey and the evening was squally. No sun. Tended to bump the mooring during the night.

10.2 miles, 2 locks, 6.5 engine hours.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Worcester to Tewkesbury

Early rain cleared quite quickly, so we set out at 10.30 and made it to Upton just after 1 p.m. Rang Evesham about the Webasto header tank, and it was clear we had to get there by Friday lunch time, or leave it till Monday. So we pushed on to Tewkesbury, mooring just above the lock. Really good speed throughout the day.

17.7 miles, 2 locks, 4.5 hours engine time.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Astley Burf to Worcester

Up before our kind neighbours. Got going as soon as we could to get to Worcester in good time. Cold, dry day, with very little traffic on the river. Locks were already set, so we made good time. Ran the engine again in the evening.

10 miles, 2 locks, 5 hours engine time.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Stourport to Astley Burf

Stourport Baptist a.m. Lunch and water-tank in the basin, and then on to the Severn down the two staircase locks. Tied up at the Hampstall Inn – good mooring.

2.8 miles, 5 locks, 5 hours engine time.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Kidderminster to Stourport

Started the engine early for power. Trip took longer than expected – even longer that CanalPlan suggested. The paddles on the top gates of all the locks have anti-vandal locks. The canal is very shallow in places, which made picking up Margaret quite tricky in places. However, another beautiful day.

Tied up for lunch at the 5 day moorings after Bridge 5A, and went off to find a capo. After walking down to inspect Stourport basin, we took Erin Mae down, and tied up outside the old office building.

60 litres diesel from Limekiln Chandlers. (Pump-out would have been only £12, but we don't need one)

4 miles, 4 locks, 5 hours engine time.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Wolverley to Kidderminster

Intended to be a short stop in Kidderminster for Wilson's to come and start the pram cover fixing, but they were too busy, and in the end we did a saunter round the centre and a Sainsbury's shop – right by the 5 day moorings above the lock.

2 miles, 2 locks, 3.5 hours engine time.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Kinver to Wolverley

Two hours engine in the morning. Went to see Wilson's about a pram cover for Erin Mae – with Craig we had the first really sensible conversation we've had with anyone about how to do it in a way that would suit. Ended up ordering it.

After lunch went up to the Holy Austin stone houses. After concluding the deal with Wilson's we set out, and tied up in Wolverley, just before the 48 hour moorings above the lock.

4.5 miles, 2 locks, 4 hours engine time.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Kinver to Kinver visitor moorings

After a walk up Kinver Edge, took Erin Mae down to the visitor moorings, filling up with water on the way. Ran the engine first thing, and left it running for a while after the move.

1 mile, 2 locks, 4 hours engine.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Kinver Day 3

Another sunny day staying put.

3 hours engine time.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Kinver Day 2

Stayed put. Walked down to inspect the village and the visitor moorings, and do some shopping. Ran the engine in the afternoon while the sun shone.

0 miles, 0 locks, 2 hours engine time

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Bratch to Kinver

Long day today, in part because towards the end it was hard to find somewhere suitable to moor up. Stewponey moorings were full, and a great deal of the towpath edge was still uncut. In the end came through Dunsley Tunnel and tied up just round the corner before Hyde Lock.

10.2 miles, 13 locks, including 1 staircase (Botterham), 7.5 hours engine time.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Wightwick to The Bratch

Ran the engine early for showers and charging, though the battery voltage was better than usual, at about 12.3. Morning visit to Wightwick Manor. Travelled after a late lunch. Beautifully sunny. Very little traffic. Tied up around 5.50 in an isolated stretch between Awbridge lock and The Bratch, overlooking fields. Ran the engine for an extra hour.

3 miles, 3 locks, 5 hours engine time.