Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Great Haywood – packing up

Ran out of water first thing, so filled the tank using both long hoses. After breakfast packed up and made the first trip home.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Great Haywood

Used the central heating in the morning as the Pureglow had not kept the boat warm overnight – there were a lot of partially burned briquettes in the grate. There was also more ash than I'd been led to expect.

Filled up the water tank and then turned Erin Mae round, so I could get at the bit of paintwork I'm treating under the window. Added a second coat of primer to the patch. It occurs that this may be the best orientation for the pramhood over the winter, given the prevailing wind, providing we can tie the lines to stop the boat from moving too far towards the jetty.

0 miles

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Rugeley to Great Haywood

Rain in the morning, but dried up by the time we set out. Intermittent during the day. Stopped at Rugeley to shop. Filled the diesel tank at the Taft Wharf. 169 litres @ 60p/l. Gas bottle @ £22 – result!

Got home in sunshine.

7.7 miles, 2 locks, 4.5 engine hours.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Huddlesford to Rugeley

Grey but dry day. Got going just behind the Chimney Company boat, but they quickly pulled over. Up through Fradley where there was help on the locks. Got past Kings Bromley marina just as another boat was coming out. Tied up outside The Ash Tree on the Armitage Road at Rugeley, and decided to have our evening mean there. That meant not running the engine in the evening, but we turned off the inverter while we were out.

10.3 miles, 3 locks, 1 swing bridge, 4 engine hours

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Tamworth to Huddlesford

Yet another sunny day, though a large bank of cloud keep us in shadow for a while. Got going just after nine to ensure we got first crack at the Glascote locks. Fuzzily junction was a disappointment, but we took on water. Strong, cold wind most of the time in spite of the sun. Had enough of the wind by Huddlesford, so moored just north of Brudge 83, in spite of the proximity of the railway track.

8.4 miles, 2 locks, 4 engine hours

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Coventry Canal Bridge 50 to Tamworth

Wet morning, but promised to dry up, so we planned a lazy start. Ran the engine for charging and hot water first thing, and got away around 11. Canal was shallow, and I often had to put the engine into reverse to clear the prop of leaf litter, etc.

Tied up above Glascote locks to walk into Tamworth for a prescription. That took so long to collect, because it was not complete and we had to ring the surgery, that we decided to stay above the locks for the night. Ran the engine again in the evening, because we'd had a wash-load running as we travelled.

5.7 miles, 0 locks, 5 engine hours.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Mancetter to Coventry Canal Bridge 50

Lovely sunny day. Came down the Atherstone flight just behind Vic & Sue on NB No Problem. Watered at Bradley Green and tied up out in the sticks, just after Bridge 50.

Cleared out the paint locker a bit. Rubbed down the corrosion under the dinette window and applied Exit Rust. Then did the right hand side of the boat with Showroom Shine. Results still a bit smeary.

4.5 miles, 11 locks, 4.5 engine hours

Monday, 19 October 2015

Nuneaton to Mancetter

Set out on a grey morning, just ahead of a boat which then tailgated us to Nantwich. tied up by Bridge 19 and walked into town to post a letter and do some shopping. Turned out a very long walk, and a very boring town centre.

When we got back and set out, we got a carpet round the prop. Then we got a lot of dog-dirt on our shoes from the spot where we had pulled in to get rid of the carpet..

Eventually tied up just short of Mancetter, with the railway within hearing distance, but a very nice view through the side-hatch up a sloping field to woods.

6.6 miles, 0 locks, 3.5 engine hours

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Ansty to Nuneaton

Thought about getting water at Ansty but someone else was there, and the site was messy. Near Hawkesbury we crossed with NB Auriga and bought two 25 Kg bags of PureGlow for £10.50 each. Just before the stop lock we found NB No Problem and chatted with Sue. Got water from a slow tap just round the corner onto the Coventry. Decided to moor up before getting into Nuneaton, so stopped just after Bridge 18. Ran engine in the evening for TV use.

7.7 miles, 1 lock, 5 engine hours

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Rugby to Ansty

Cool day got brighter in the afternoon. Went to Tesco first thing, and set out around noon. Did a wash on the way. Got to Ansty much earlier than CanalPlan had suggested, and were able to tie up on rings there

9.4 miles, 0 locks, 1 swing bridge, 5.5 engine hours

Friday, 16 October 2015

Barby to Rugby

Cool and cloudy but dry. Got a pump-out at Grantham Bridge Services in the middle of the Hillmorton locks (£15 with blue), and tied up at the Boughton Road picnic area just after Bridge 59. Really nice mooring.

Went to Tesco's just down the road from Bridge 58 to meet Claire, and she brought us back, plus shopping, for lunch and the afternoon on Erin Mae.

6.6 miles, 3 locks, 4.5 engine hours

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Welton Wharf to Barby

Cloudy, cold but dry day. Braunston tunnel behind NB Little Egret, slowly, passing the Coal and Diesel Boat half-way through. Shared the Braunston locks with Little Egret. Picked up water at the junction and headed north up the Oxford. Moored up on armco a mile before the M45. Ran the engine again while making the tea.

6.2 miles, 6 locks, 5 engine hours

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Yelvertoft to Welton Wharf

Brilliant sunshine early, with scarcely a cloud, though it got overcast later. Very cold out of the sun. At Crick missed getting in front of NB Conqueror by a few seconds, but fortunately they were pulling in to take on water before the tunnel. Had to pass an oncoming boat in the tunnel. Came down the Watford flight and didn't even have to queue. Saw NB Oldfield at Norton junction, turned right and tied up on rings opposite Welton Wharf.

9.6 miles, 7 locks, 4.5 engine hours

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Welford to Yelvertoft

Fine day for cruising, and we're now generally feeling like heading towards home, rather than holing up and seeing the sights or going for long walks. Straightforward run to Yelvertoft, and tied up on the 14 day moorings. Walked to the village for some bread, and met the four painters in the Reading Room.

9.9 miles, 1 lock, 5 engine hours

Monday, 12 October 2015

Theddingworth to Welford

Beautiful morning, but very chilly. Set out around 10.45. Through Husbands Bosworth tunnel, and then decided to go up the Welford arm. Winded before going to the end, and reversed to the basin, in case reversing out was too difficult.

Went for a walk through the village and across the fields to Welford reservoir – looking depleted.

6.6 miles, 1 lock, 5 engine hours

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Foxton to Theddingworth

Fine day, sunny at first. Wind got up a little. Cruised down to the winding hole at Bridge 52 to pick up Andrew & Anna and the children. After coffee, winded and went back to Foxton for lunch and a walk round the site. Then filled the water tank and went back to drop them off – about 6 p.m. eventually. Tied up 50 yards beyond Bridge 52.

7.7 miles, 0 locks, 3.5 engine hours

Saturday, 10 October 2015


Generally fine but cloudy day. Came up the Foxton flight as one of a group of three, crossing at the half-way point with a single boat descending.

Tied up at the second water point, took on water and gave the roof and the front of the boat a good scrubbing. Then moved round the corner to the visitor moorings for the night.

1.3 miles, 10 locks, 1 swing bridge, 5 engine hours

Friday, 9 October 2015

Smeeton Westerby to Market Harborough to Foxton

Fine morning, though a heavy dew. Jim came at 8.45 and replaced the leaking seal on the prop shaft lubrication unit. Then we were lowered back into the water, and settled up with Debdale.

Blacking for sides and base = £12 / foot = £720, inc VAT.
Replacement seal + an hour's labour = £114.50, inc VAT.

Arranged last night to see Andrew and Anna & family on Sunday, so went on a shopping trip to Market Harborough, before coming back to Foxton and tying up on the 7 days moorings before the swing bridge at the basin.

12 miles, 0 locks, 3 swing bridges, 4 engine hours

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Smeeton Westerby

Ran the engine first thing, then took Erin Mae 200 yards to Debdale Wharf for the blacking. Walked to Foxton for most of the day.

Asked Steve on our return about the greatly reduced times they use for the Rytex – website says 24 hours to overcoat, and 48 before returning the boat to the water. He said they're going on their experience, and if it comes off I can go back to have it done again.

No time to do the prop shaft seal, so they'll do it in the morning.

On a hook-up for the night.

0 miles, 2 engine hours

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Market Harborough to Smeeton Westerby

Went down into Market Harborough to the supermarket. Coffee in baker's tea-shop / restaurant, back up the hill by bus. Mgt got two pairs of gloves from Peacocks.

Set out after mid-day, with the weather still a bit drizzly but better than what it had been. Easy run through to Foxton, and the first swing bridge was much easier than on the way down. Stopped on the visitor moorings at Foxton for lunch, but then moved on to be nearer the marina for the morning. Stopped on some Armco in a nicely isolated spot.

6.6 miles, 0 locks, 2 swing bridges, 3 engine hours

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Foxton to Market Harborough

Started out fine, but came on to rain, as promised, around midday. Came up the Market Harborough arm and tied up just before the basin.

Fell getting off the stern in the rain, and tore the dodger's top eyelet.

5.6 miles, 0 locks, 2 swing bridges, 3 engine hours

Monday, 5 October 2015

Kilby Bridge to Foxton

Ran the engine first thing because the batteries were down to 50% after last night's Downton Abbey. Drizzly day, but we needed to get to Debdale, so Steve could see what part he needed for the leaking propellor shaft seal. Got held up at the last lock by a CRT boat pressure cleaning the gates.

Steve came and saw the shaft, and then we moved on to Foxton – went to the basin and then reversed back out of it to moor up.

10.5 miles, 12 locks, 9 engine hours

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Leicester to Kilby Bridge

Fine day for cruising, though it was a very long day. Had to do the weed hatch after the first lock. Gave a ride to a family with the twins doing some steering in a very low pound. Tied up opposite the CRT station at Kilby Bridge. Excellent moorings – 14 day on armco and 48 hour on bollards.

8.2 miles, 15 locks, 7.5 engine hours

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Birstall to Leicester

Dry but cool day. Got to Castle Gardens moorings at about 12 noon, and there was room for us at one end. Later two boats double-breasted further along the mooring.

Explored Leicester in the afternoon.

4.3 miles, 3 locks, 5 engine hours

Friday, 2 October 2015

Mountsorrel to Birstall

Gareth and Yuko came for coffee. Then, some time after 1, we set out as the day was beginning to get quite hot. Fine cruising and a few rather tough locks. Stopped at Sileby Mill Boatyard for kindling, Supatherm and a floating keyring. Took on water at Leicester Marina – no problem at all with us asking. Ran into Maffi as we were looking for space to tie up. He helped us through Birstall lock.

Moored just above the lock, on Armco.

7 miles, 5 locks, 6 engine hours

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Zouch to Mountsorrel

Cloudy day at first, but cheered up and became sunny after lunch.

Called in at Pillings Lock Marina Engineering, and they were able to do the 250 hour service. Didn't need to change the air filter. £100 all in. Used a PelaPump to extract the oil through the dipstick tube.

Tied up just above Mountsorrel Lock.

10.3 miles, 5 locks (inc 1 flood lock open), 8 engine hours

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Trent Lock to Zouch

Nice sunny day again. Called in at Kegworth Marine to see if they could do a service, but they were too busy. However they supplied 164 litres of diesel @ 61p/l, so can't complain.

Some of the locks on the Soar are very stiff, but we had occasional help. Tied up just above Zouch Lock, effectively just one day behind CanalPlan's schedule for us.

6.2 miles, 6 locks (inc 2 flood locks left open), 3.5 engine hours

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Nottingham to Trent Lock

Another sunny day. Stopped at Beeston to meet up with Andrew Chard, who came for a coffee. Then filled up with water at Beeston Lock, and went up on to the river section.

Arranged with Debdale to do the blacking next week, probably Thursday / Friday. They agreed to have a look at the seal on the propellor drive lubrication at the same time, but indicated there may be a wait for parts.

Tried to visit Mills boatyard on the Erewash to get the 250 hour service, but the mechanic was elsewhere. On the phone he recommended a yard in Kegworth, though it wasn't entirely clear which one.

Continued up the Erewash to the first winding hole, then came back and tied up just above Trent Lock.

10.4 miles, 4 locks, 6 engine hours

Monday, 28 September 2015

Gunthorpe to Nottingham

Set out, once the mist had cleared about 10.30. Late morning after getting up to watch the eclipse of the moon in the middle of the night. Lovely sunny morning. Explored the navigable bit of the Trent down to the County Hall moorings, before coming back and going up Meadow Lane Lock.

Went into Castle marina for a pump-out – DIY for £12.50 without Blue. Bought a new chain and a new windlass from the chandlery.

Reversed back up the cut a bit for a shop in Sainsbury's, and tied up facing the right direction for the morning.

13.2 miles, 4 locks, 8 engine hours

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Newark to Gunthorpe

Set off around 11 a.m., once the mist had cleared. Very nice section of the river – far more interesting than any other part so far. The sunny weather really helped. Lots of family groups and fishermen out on this Sunday.

Tied up on a floating pontoon above Gunthorpe Lock. Very good mooring, and so far very peaceful.

13.6 miles, 3 locks, 5.5 engine hours.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Torksey to Newark

Fine but foggy morning. Cruising on the tide up to Cromwell was difficult – the visibility could have been dangerous if there was more traffic or worse weather. As it was, it cleared after an hour or so, and we cruised in bright sunshine.

Through Cromwell Lock and Nether Lock, and tied up on the wall before Town Bridge. Moorings very bad – very difficult for Mgt to get off the boat and up the wall.

21.9 miles, 3 locks, 6.5 engine hours

Friday, 25 September 2015

Lincoln to Torksey

Another fine day, clouding over and getting a chilly during the morning.

Winded in Brayford Basin, took on water at the Lincoln services, and made good time back to Torksey. Investigated whether we could tie up nearer the lock, but in the end came back to the 72 hour visitor moorings.

11.2 miles, 0 locks, 4 engine hours.

Thursday, 24 September 2015


Had a day exploring Lincoln.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Saxilby to Lincoln

Fine day. Ran engine for showers first thing. Set out for Lincoln around coffee time. Found a space on the visitor moorings just before the bridge – though it was all pretty full.

Walked up to the Cathedral around tea time, and joined in the Evening Prayer service. Ran the engine again in the evening.

5 miles, 0 locks, 5 engine hours

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Keadby to Saxilby

Bright, generally sunny with some cloud. Warm without being hot, especially on the river. Went down Keadby lock at about 11 a.m. to catch the tide. Smoother exit than at Selby. No problems at all with the navigation, and did 6 - 7 mph on 1400 rpm most of the way up.

Torksey lockie informed us that tomorrow's tide for Cromwell would be late afternoon, so we decided to go up on to the Fossdyke and visit Lincoln. Tied up in Sexily.

33.3 miles, 2 locks, 7 engine hours

Monday, 21 September 2015


Drizzly day, at times raining harder. Went to see boats go down Keadby Lock at around 10 a.m., then spent the day mostly inside, apart from a walk late afternoon, once the sun came out.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Stainforth to Keadby

Generally fine day, though got a bit cloudy and cool later on. Rang Keadby lock to postpone our move on to the Trent until Tuesday, in view of Monday's weather forecast.

First up was Thorne Lock and swing bridge. CRT's Brian appeared as we were working the system out, having been called from Rotherham because a boat was apparently stuck in the lock. He helped us through, and I mentioned yesterday's experience with Bramwith lock, which he said he would report.

Stopped in Thorne for water, and visited Sainsbury's for a few things. Chatted with the couple on NB Two Can, and then went with them through the bridges down to Keadby. However the second bridge, Moores Swing Bridge, closed very slowly, and then reported an error. We couldn't get the key out. Rang CRT, and within a few minutes Brian reappeared. By this time I'd pressed the emergency shutdown button – and was then able to retrieve the key.

Meanwhile the other couple had gone down to work the next bridge, but must have got fed up waiting for us. However, we caught them up later, and went on together. This included the sliding railway bridge just before Keadby.

12 miles, 1 lock, 1 lift bridge, 6 swing bridges, 1 sliding railway bridge (!), 7.5 engine hours

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Whitley Lock to Stainforth

Bright, sunny day. Are & Calder / New Junction Canal / Stainforth & Keadby Canal.

Nearly came to grief in Bramwith Lock, when the back left corner of Erin Mae got caught on the lock wall as we went down – I was pulling her in with the stern line to stay clear of the cill in this short lock. She was tipping well over to the right. Dropped bottom paddles. She dropped clear before we could get back to let more water in to the lock. Big scary moment.

Didn't like the moorings just through the bridge in Stainforth, so tied up just beyond the winding hole a mile further on.

14.5 miles, 2 locks, 3 swing bridges, 3 lift bridges, 5 engine hours.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Selby to Whitley Lock

Came through the swing bridge first thing, then tried to find Tesco's to buy anti-freeze and some milk. Turned out to be a very long walk. No anti-freeze, so bought 2 litres of pre-diluted stuff from a motoring shop.

Day was fine and sunny later until a touch of drizzle at 5.30. Made good time down the Selby Canal,  though we had to work the flood lock, and on to the A&C main line. Moored up below Whiteley Lock.

15.8 miles, 4 locks, 1 swing bridge, 8 engine hours

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

York to Naburn

Decided to move to Naburn in the morning, in view of the Met Office weather warning. Lovely, fine day when the mist had cleared. River had risen 9 inches in the night – a reminder to be careful at Naburn where, again, we won't be on a floating pontoon.

Got a bottle of gas at York marina (£27.75), but their solid fuel was very expensive. A boater at Naburn gave the number of Coopers, who deliver to Selby basin on Thursdays, so I ordered a couple of bags of Excel, to await our arrival.

After lunch at Naburn, I re-fitted the air intake for the Webasto, and topped up the header tank too much. Had to disconnect a pipe to get the liquid out, and lost the contents of the header. So we need to buy some more anti-freeze.

6.3 miles, 0 locks, 4.5 engine hours

Tuesday, 15 September 2015


Raining quite heavily first thing, but cleared up later. Took the bus to Ripon and back. Then went to choral evensong the Minster, and out for a pizza after running the engine for a while.

0 miles, 2 engine hours.

Monday, 14 September 2015


Quite a lot of drizzle during the day, and the overcast sky meant the solar panel did nothing to stop the batteries dropping. But I ran the engine only from about 4.30.

Wandered again, a bit aimlessly, around some of the city, and walked down The Shambles.

Got in touch with Keadby lock keeper, who was helpful in thinking about tides and times.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Selby to York

Lock keeper Nigel had said 7.30 a.m. for going down the lock. It was actually a little earlier. I'd already checked the weed hatch. Had a plate of breakfast going down. Day was fine but chilly at first.

The tide was flowing but not too bad. Erin Mae tilted to the right as she got caught in the flow – makes sense but I'd expected a tilt to the left. There was a lot of debris in the flood, some of which we had to be careful to avoid. Once we left Selby it was all rather uninteresting because of the high banks.

Got diesel at 73p from York Marina. 100 litre cut-off, so that's what I got, for convenience. It was nearly full. Good place.

Tied up above Lendal Bridge. They were still doing repair work on the moorings, but we breasted up against NB Isobel, since they suggested it and were going to stay only a couple of hours.

19.8 miles, 2 locks, 4.5 engine hours

Saturday, 12 September 2015


Early rain dried up, and we went to find the lock keeper at 11.30, but he wasn't around. Brought Erin Mae up to the water point, and then back to a slightly different mooring.

Went to visit the Abbey in the afternoon. After a cuppa got the anchor out, and checked the weed-hatch. Ran the engine plenty.

0 miles, 4 engine hours.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Castleford to Selby

Set out around 10. Weather generally fine but windy. Warm end to the day.

Wind caused a problem at West Haddlesey Flood Lock – the junction between the river section and the Selby Canal proper. Thought we had to go to the pontoon to see what the lock was doing, but another boat was there. Tried to nudge up to let Margaret off the front, but the wind started to blow me on to the bank. Reversed hard back into the river, but too shallow for much traction. Meanwhile wind continued to blow me on to the bank. Eventually got just enough clearance to swing round and head for the lock, which was completely open anyway.

Good run through – did it in about 50 minutes less than CanalPlan suggested. But this must be the longest distance we've ever done in one day.

18.2 miles, 5 locks, 1 swing bridge, 6 engine hours

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Leeds to Castleford

Fine day, warm when the sun was out. Ran the engine first thing, did a small shop in the Tesco Express, and slipped the mooring at around 9.45, to come down River Lock and onto the Aire & Calder. Filled up with water in Clarence Dock.

First lock on the A & C didn't seem to be working, unless it was just that we weren't reading the signals. CRT sent Andy over to help. After that it was straightforward cruising to Castleford. Two of the locks had CRT staff or volunteers who helped us through.

Tied up in Castleford, on the last after the first bridge. Numbers of boats moored there, including some big ones, though the official visitor mooring seemed to be on the other bank.

11 miles, 8 locks, 7.5 engine hours.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015


SG on 63 this morning after another night with the inverter off. Lower than the day before, but probably because of watching the football during the evening. Ran the engine first thing and for an hour in the evening. Dull day – not much solar. Breakfast at Philpott's. On to the Armouries Museum, which failed to inspire. Walked around Clarence Lock / Leeds Lock and investigated the first lock on the A & C to see how it worked. Then walked in to the town, and visited the Henry Moore Institute Paul Neagu exhibition, then the art gallery next door.

Rang Selby lock-keeper to check the system. Booked in for Sunday morning – 7 a.m. will catch the tide. Back on Thursday – Naburn lock at 10.30 a.m. looks good.

Played the piano outside Sainsburys in Leeds Railway Station.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Apperley Bridge to Leeds

Got away well, knowing this would be a long day. Two triple staircase locks had seasonal lock-keepers, and we had help from oncoming boaters at Kirkstall lock. Day was grey, and even threatened drizzle at one point.

Tied up on Granary Wharf,  just below Office Lock. There had been some talk of a charge being levied, but nothing has happened so far.

Extracted three bucket-fills of water from the engine compartment, and cleared the weed-hatch.

8.9 miles, 12 locks, 5 swing bridges, 6.5 engine hours.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Dowley Gap to Apperley Bridge

Generally fine day, with some good late afternoon sun. Started out in the company of NB Deolali for a 2-chamber staircase lock and a single on, before they left us while we stopped at Saltaire for a visit.

Worked the remaining locks and bridges on our own, including the final one at Apperley Bridge during rush hour.

Tied up opposite the marina, to see whether they might look at the Webasto connections, but they are shut tomorrow.

Will try turning off the inverter tonight to see what happens. Last night SG dropped from 70 to 30 during the night, having been at 100 when we stopped for the day.

6.2 miles, 8 locks, 6 swing bridges, 7 engine hours

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Riddlesden to Dowley Gap

Had thought about stopping at a boatyard before the 5-rise locks to see if they could locate a leak from the Webasto, but they didn't look like anywhere I wanted to stop. So we pulled up for water above the locks, and waited to go down. Had to wait about 2 hours while a wide beam and then a narrowboat came up. So we ran a wash while we waited. Went down with NB Deolali – very wet in places.

Tied up at the Fisherman's pub at Dowley Gap, just above the final staircase locks.

4.6 miles, 8 locks, 3 swing bridges, 8 engine hours

Saturday, 5 September 2015


Visited East Riddlesden Hall. Walked down to B&Q to buy a new big torch.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Friday, 4 September 2015


Bus to Keighley to see if Screwfix had a screw for the back door lock cover – no. Caught the bus to Oakworth, walked down to the state and back, and ate lunch in Holden Park.

SG a.m. 48%, ran engine 2 hours a.m and 2 hours p.m. Some sunshine in the afternoon.

0 miles, 4 engine hours

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Kildwick to Riddlesden

New territory at last! Got a pump-out at Silsden (£15 with blue, but not sure he rinsed out very well).

Countryside much the same, but the Riddlesden moorings are pretty much on a building site.

5.5 miles, 0 locks, 9 swing bridges, 7 engine hours

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Skipton to Kildwick

Moved up to the water point. Got some manuscript paper from Smith's while it was filling, then did a final small shop in Morrisons. Started travelling about 10.30, and got to Kildwick in time for a slightly late lunch. Tied up a bit further beyond the winding hole than usual.

5.1 miles, 6 swing bridges, 3.5 engine hours

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


Big launderette visit in the morning.

0 miles, 1.5 engine hours

Monday, 31 August 2015


This being Bank Holiday, the launderettes weren't open, so we had to stay an extra day. Last visit to the folk club in the evening.

0 miles, 4 engine hours

Sunday, 30 August 2015


Baptist church in the morning, lunch at the White Rose on Coach Street.

0 miles, 4 engine hours

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Gargrave to Skipton

Set out early to get Simon and Sarah back to Skipton, to continue their journey. Winded about 7.30 a.m.

5.2 miles, 3 locks, 5 swing bridges, 3 engine hours

Friday, 28 August 2015


Went for a walk out of Gargrave, round to the Bank Newton flight and back along the towpath. This time we walked up to the top lock, before heading back home.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Skipton to Gargrave

Simon and Sarah arrived, and we cruised to the visitor moorings at Gargrave after a late lunch.

5.2 miles, 3 locks, 5 swing bridges, 6.5 engine hours

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


Re-located off the 24-hour moorings. Did a big clean-through, including a bit of Osmo polish on the floor. This necessitated running the engine a lot for both washing machine and Dyson.

Failed to get a replacement machine screw for the lock. Found the magnetic catches I have are too big for the bathroom dirty linen cupboard door.

0 miles, 6 engine hours.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015


Pulled across to Pennine Cruisers for diesel – 160 litres (73.5p). Spoke with Wayne about the batteries and he came over to check them. They seemed a bit down on new, but basically OK. The battery tester he used seemed to be checking basically CCA, especially the EN version. So what the check meant, I'm not entirely sure. He certainly wasn't pulling 700 Amps from the batteries.

Stayed on the 24 hour mooring overnight as it was late to move, and there was a large space anyway.

0 miles, 5 engine hours.

Monday, 24 August 2015


SG reading 59% in the morning. Ran the engine for 2 hours, which SH calculated as up to 80%.

Went to Hebden Bridge on buses 66 / 500. Sun came out during the day, and when we got back around 5.50, SG was reading 100. So did not bother with the engine. After folk club it has come down to 99, but voltage was still 12.8. Will have to see what it is like after a night.

0 miles, 2 engine hours.

Sunday, 23 August 2015


SmartGauge showing in the 20s this a.m. Engine for two hours before church. Coffee and then lunch at Forage, but beef a bit tough in parts. Good wifi for keeping an eye on cricket, athletics, F1.

Checking the batteries in the afternoon showed that the magic eye in three of them was green, but the status of the fourth was not clear. I decided to remove it, and see whether three apparently good batteries would hold charge better. However, once it was removed, its magic eye was also showing green, so I replaced it. SG initially complained at having been disconnected, but seemed to recover. Heavy thunderstorm late afternoon as I was completing this work.

Ran the engine from 5.30 to try to recover from last night's low.

0 miles, 4.5 engine hours

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Kildwick to Skipton

Got the car back to Enterprise in the morning. An email back from Cotswold gave hope for exchanging the damaged trainers, but the promised rain made us wait till after coffee before setting out. Tied up on the 24 hour mooring opposite Pennine. Got the shoes changed, bought some trousers for Margaret, then went to Morrisons.

This meant the only specific charging had been morning for 2 hours, plus the 2.5 hours of cruising. However, we'd been doing a wash during that time.

4.9 miles, 0 locks, 6 swing bridges, 4.5 engine hours

Thursday, 20 August 2015


Clearing, cleaning, checked weed hatch. Returned car to Enterprise and booked for Friday. Washed fleece on Sports setting.

0 miles, 4 engine hours.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Kildwick to Silsden to Kildwick

Poo tank light came on last night, so we went down to Silsden for a pump-out (£15 with blue), and to fill up with water. Also answered the question from the children as to what we were going to do during the extra day. After lunch, drove to Skipton so all three could visit the museum, before driving over to the airport for the evening flight.

3.7 miles, 0 locks, 8 swing bridges, 4 engine hours.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015


Drove to the airport to fly the children home, but found we'd forgotten their passports. Had to book new flights, come back to the boat for the night and extend the Enterprise car hire.

Watched "Home Alone" after tea. Poo tank light came on.

0 miles, 3.5 engine hours

Monday, 17 August 2015

Skipton to Kildwick

Fine day to come down to Kildwick. Tied up just before the winding hole. Phoned Enterprise and found they weren't expecting to pick me up, so arranged that they did, at 5 p.m.

5 miles, 0 locks, 6 swing bridges, 4.5 engine hours

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Gargrave to Skipton

Late getting up. Set out after coffee. Stopped for lunch after the third lock. Theo worked locks and bridges, and did some steering. Met Peter and Stephanie on NB Maggie May. Tied up just before the Aireville Park bridge, which was ideal for the children.

5.1 miles, 3 locks, 4 swing bridges, 6 engine hours

Saturday, 15 August 2015


Did a circular walk out from Gargrave along the Pennine Way south for a bit, then cut across to the Bank Newton locks, and back along the towpath. Fine day with some sun.

Got back early afternoon, so went down to the recreation area by the the River Aire and had a very good time chilling.

Watched The Railway Children when we got back, either side of tea.

0 miles, 4 engine hours

Friday, 14 August 2015

Skipton to Gargrave

Very wet day, so the start was delayed until after lunch. Reversed back to Pennine Boats for an emergency pump-out. Did some shopping. Got to Gargrave about 6.45, but found a good mooring just past the winding hole. Too wet for much.

5.3 miles, 3 locks, 5 swing bridges, 6 engine hours

Thursday, 13 August 2015


Took the Embsay Railway out to Bolton Abbey, and spent the day in the grounds near the stepping stone. Went up the Welly Walk with the children.

Missed the bus both directions and had to take taxis.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Wednesday, 12 August 2015


Went to the castle in the morning, and then to the Corn Mill. Ran into John and Jan Halford on the way back.  Morrison's and Airedale Park in the afternoon.

0 miles, 4 engine hours

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Kildwick to Skipton

Fine day. Up to Skipton, took on water at the station, and tied up just past the junction.

4.8 miles, 0 locks, 5 swing bridges, 5 engine hours

Monday, 10 August 2015


Enterprise picked us up from the White Lion car park in Kildwick. Got over to the airport in time to have a coffee before the children arrived.

Rainy start to the journey back, but it soon cleared. Stopped for a McDonald's.  Took the car back to Enterprise that afternoon. 

Took the children to the playing field in Kildwick late afternoon.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Sunday, 9 August 2015


Day spent getting Erin Mae ready for the children's arrival.

0 miles, 4.5 engine hours

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Silsden to Kildwick

Sunny day, so didn't bother running the engine first thing. Listened to the cricket and then, after lunch, went to do some initial shopping for the kids in the Co-op.

At 4 p.m. reversed to Silsden Boats to pick up water, and then followed one of their boats with a newbie family, working some of the swing bridges with them. Tied up at Kildwick just before the winding hole. Left the engine running for some hoovering, and then kept it going, especially to watch the highlights of the Ashes victory.

2 miles, 4 swing bridges (2 open), 4.5 engine hours.

Friday, 7 August 2015


Sunny day, cloudier in the afternoon. Checked out the Co-op and wandered round the town taking photos.

Silsden Boats say it is fine to come for water – after 4 p.m. is best.

0 miles, 2.5 engine hours

Thursday, 6 August 2015


Cloudy morning, Fine afternoon. Went walking up from Silsden and over the top round to Kildwick. 6.5 mile walk.

Engine 2 hours morning and 1 hour evening.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Skipton to Silsden

Less windy than yesterday, and it was time to go. Water in Skipton first thing. Generally fine until the evening – just a few spots through the day. Pump-out (£15 with blue) at Silsden Boats – friendly bunch and a better P/O than at Pennine. Bottle of gas for standard price (£26.25).

Helped German family through a swing bridge when parents got caught on the wrong side.

Winded at the boatyard with some help from Steve, and tied up overlooking the valley opposite the residential row. Silsden could be good (better than I'd thought) for a few days, and we may even think about being here rather than Kildwick when the children come.

7 miles, 0 locks, 10 swing bridges (2 permanently open), 4.5 engine hours

Sunday, 2 August 2015


Mostly fine. Church at Skipton Baptist – last session of their holiday club. Coffee at BeanLoved, Lunch at Forage. Found there is a BT hotspot accessible from inside the boat at this mooring.

Loo tank light on in the evening.

0 miles, 3.5 engine hours.

Saturday, 1 August 2015


Rainy – did little till the afternoon, but fish and chips for tea! Caught up on quite a lot of BCF website stuff.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Friday, 31 July 2015


Generally fine. Water in the morning early, to get back on the mooring.

Bus to Gargrave to explore possibilities for the children. Met Richard Parry and Steve Haywood at Gargrave locks.

0 miles, 2.5 engine hours.

Thursday, 30 July 2015


Rain in the morning, but cleared up. Bus trip to Keighley in the afternoon.

0 miles, 4 engine hours.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015


Weather OK before lunch, so we went out to pick up prescriptions from Boots, but really miserable afterwards. No sun for the solar.

0 miles, 3.5 engine hours

Tuesday, 28 July 2015


Rainy day. Caught the bus from Skipton to Grassington and back.

0 miles, 2.5 engine hours

Sunday, 26 July 2015


Another rowdy night on the mooring. Gloomy day. Went to Champions Church a.m. Rain came on as we walked to the Black Horse for lunch. 6/10.

0 miles, 3.5 engine hours

Friday, 24 July 2015


Batteries good overnight, and then some sun during the day. SG around 64% by the evening, so ran the engine for a couple of hours.

Mick left to catch the train back to Edinburgh in the afternoon.

0 miles, 2 engine hours

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Gargrave to Skipton

Cloudy to start with, but cheered up later on, and got sunny late afternoon. Reversed, winded and filled up with water at Gargrave, then came through to Skipton in one hop. Tied up on the visitor moorings opposite the CRT station.

Went for a walk through Skipton Castle woods late afternoon.

5.2 miles, 3 locks, 5 lift bridges, 3.3 engine hours

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Caught the bus to Malham so we could walk up to Malham Cove and then back to Gargrave. Weather started cloudy but fine, but began to drizzle around coffee time.

0 miles, 3.5 engine hours

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Skipton to Gargrave

Dull day with some drizzle. Ran the engine for an hour from 8 a.m. Got going about 11 a.m. Worked through the swing bridges with some wide beam hirers. Met a day boat with some friends of Mick's on board. Decided to come through the locks and have a late lunch – around 3.40 in the end. Plenty of space on the visitor moorings at Gargrave.

5.3 miles, 3 locks, 5 swing bridges, 5 engine hours.

Monday, 20 July 2015


Ran in the engine in the morning. Margaret Michie came on the train just after  2 p.m. Went on a stroll round Skipton in the afternoon, and then to the folk club in the Narrowboat in the evening.

0 miles, 2 engine hours

Sunday, 19 July 2015


This a.m. voltmeter said 12.1, SG said 49. Ran the engine for two hours for charge and shower water.

Late afternoon started fitting the sound insulation panels, which seemed to go pretty well.

0 miles, 2 engine hours.

Saturday, 18 July 2015


Moved across to the Pennine Cruisers wharf once there was a space, about 10 a.m. Wayne did the 500 hour engine service. Then we got a pump-out (£15 with blue, but no rinsing at all), and filled up with diesel (111 litres).

A space cleared on the visitor moorings on the curve going back towards Gargrave, so we named to get in there for the weekend.

0 miles, 1 hour engine time

Friday, 17 July 2015

Skipton (Pennine)

The SmartGauge was registering under 40 this morning, so the engine went on, as well as the diesel heater for showers. We'd watched a video for about 40 minutes, which surely should not have discharged the batteries that much. I hope they're not deteriorating faster than they should.

Ian re-installed the mended alternator, and we ran the engine for a couple of hours in evening. Although it was a sunny evening, a lot of the day had been too cloudy to rely much on solar, and the SG is clearly not accurate during the charging part of a cycle.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Skipton (Pennine)

Stayed on the mooring, Ian from Pennine Cruisers checked the alternator, and then removed it for testing at an auto-electrical engineer's in Keighley. He reported at the end of the day that the guy had phoned him to say it was sorted.

Agreed with Zoe that they would do a service and a pump-out. Schedule depends on what Ian is doing.

Solar panel seems to have done well today, but ran the engine for an hour for hot water and a charge boost with just the engine alternator.

0 miles, 1 engine hour

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Gargrave to Skipton

Sunny day – very nice for cruising. The three locks were't too bad, but some of the swing bridges were difficult.

Tied up on the visitor moorings in Skipton opposite the Pennine Cruisers office. Ian came over late afternoon for an initial assessment of the alternator issue. He's not convinced that the alternator is faulty – thins it may be the way Isuzu engine alternators behave. Will test more in the morning.

Bought a new tiller pin from Pennine Cruisers chandlery. Checked out the main visitor moorings to see how we might manage the weekend, and the days when the children are here.

Fish and chips from Busy Lizzie's for tea.

5.3 miles, 3 locks, 5 swing bridges, 3.5 engine hours

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Barrowford Top Lock to Gargrave

Started out cloudy and a bit cold, but nice and sunny by the end of the day.

Intended to stop just before Bank Newton top lock, but there were some CRT volunteers so we took the opportunity of going down the flight. After that there were no moorings before the Gargrave locks, so we went down them as well. Tied up on the visitor moorings at Gargrave, and went for a walk through the village.

Had a call from Pennine Cruisers, so they're expecting us tomorrow.

12.8 miles, 12 locks, 8 engine hours.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Barrowford Bottom Lock to Barrowford Top Lock

Alternator issue convinced us to get going early, as the promised rain seemed to be holding off. In the event, the rain got us wet, but we came up the seven Barrowford locks in reasonable order. Tied up on the moorings above the top lock.

Rang Lower Park Marina. They couldn't look at anything tomorrow, but gave 07970 341010 as the number for Charlie Stevens. Decided to go to RCR's CanalContracting first. They got back to me quickly, and promised to arrange for a local engineer to arrange to come out.

1 mile, 7 locks, 3.5 engine hours (+ whatever it looks as though I should do p.m.).

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Hapton to Barrowford

Pleasant day for coming through Burnley. Stopped at the wharf to visit Tesco and see the Weavers' Triangle museum. Encountered some kids with water bombs later on and were glad to get to Barrowford locks Tied up below the bottom lock.

Dropped the tiller pin, which bounced off the dodger into the canal. Couldn't retrieve it.

Auxiliary battery light was showing on intermittently. Don't know what that means. May ring RCR tomorrow, especially if we don't move on because of the weather. But don't know if it will be covered by them. Rang the engine a bit extra before 8 just in case.

10.8 miles, 0 locks, 4.5 engine hours

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Hapton to Church to Hapton

Day with Andy and Wendy. Some sunny intervals, but got a bit drizzly towards the end. Went back to Church, winded and came back to Hapton. Winding holes pretty difficult to negotiate.

10.7 miles, 0 locks, 2 swing bridges (+ 2 permanently open), 6 engine hours (with the 2 charging in the morning).

Friday, 10 July 2015

Hapton to Rose Grove to Hapton

Went up to Rose Grove services for water, and found a CRT barge blocking our approach. Went on and found a place to wind just after Bridge 127, and picked up water on the way back. Tied up in the same place. Ran the engine in the evening to cover vacuum cleaner and TV.

4.5 miles, 0 locks, 5 engine hours

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Rishton to Hapton

Fine, sunny day. Decided not to stop for the co-op in Rishton because of the prospect of an Asda in Church. However there was nowhere obvious to tie up, so we went on to Clayton-le-Moors and found a Co-op there.

Tied up on the first of the visitor moorings in Hapton – has bollards rather than rings, and their spacing is rather odd. The moorings through the bridge have some rings, though some appeared to have been sawn off.

Ran a wash after we left Clayton-le-Moors, so kept the engine running once we arrived, until the washing machine had stopped. Two of the four swing bridges on this stretch are permanently open.

9.5 miles, 0 locks, 4 engine hours

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Riley Green to Rishton

Waited to mid morning to depart, hoping the rain would go away. In the end, the weather was pretty mixed but not too bad.

Up the six locks of the Blackburn flight – only one or two really difficult bits, but not pleasant. Picked up a lot of stuff on the prop and stopped at Eanam Wharf to clear it. No real opportunity to tie up to go shopping.

Got grounded a few hundred yards after Eanam, though it felt like more round the prop. Took 10 minutes to work clear. Tied up just before Bridge 106.

8.6 miles, 6 locks, 6 engine hours.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Wheelton to Riley Green

Batteries had been on 53% when we went to bed so no surprise they were down to 37% in the morning. Began charging at 8 – very cloudy and nothing available from the solar. Started out about 10.30, but the rain came earlier than expected and we got very wet. So no attempt at Blackburn – tied up on the visitor moorings at Riley Green. Very nice spot part from the constant rumble from the M65  half a mile away.

Played safe and ran the engine in the evening

3 miles, 0 locks, 5.5 engine hours

Monday, 6 July 2015

Chorley to Wheelton

Took the boat to Botany Bay, to walk down to B&Q to return some washers. Caught the bus to Adlington and back to pick up the package of washers from the Post Office, and to post the library book and a birthday present. Began to rain as we walked back up the hill to the bridge over the motorway.

After lunch came up the Johnson's Hill flight with Peter and Janet on NB Firefox – much easier as a pair. Filled the water tank at the top of the flight, and moved across to the 48 hour moorings for the night.

3.2 miles, 7 locks, 4 engine hours.

Sunday, 5 July 2015


47% in the morning. So ran the engine early to charge and for a shower. Down, and up, to St James for church, then a barbie before the rain. Dull day, so engine again in the evening

0 miles, 3 engine hours.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Haigh Hall to Chorley

SmartGauge reading 44% this morning after no engine yesterday – not sure whether the solar panel controller is always putting in all it could, or whether it gets a bit confused about the SOC. It's supposed to respond to voltage. So ran the engine first thing.

Sunny intervals sort of day. Canal very shallow, especially as we tried to moor up in Chorley.

Bought two anti-vandal keys from the White Bear Marina.

6.7 miles, 0 locks, 6 engine hours.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Haigh Hall

Stayed put. Sunny day, and we strolled around the grounds of Haigh Hall.

Hopefully the solar panel will have provided all the energy we need.

0 miles, 0 engine hours

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Scotsman's Flash to Haigh Hall

Up early, and away by 8.15, along with NB Narrow Escape. First two locks were difficult, so it was later than planned when we finally got into the Wigan Flight.

Rain started around lunch time, and didn't let up before we were moored for the night. Tied up between bridges 60 and 61, opposite Haigh Hall Country Park.

1 hour of charging in the evening.

4.6 miles, 23 locks, 9 engine hours.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Boothstown to Scotsman's Flash

Sunny and hot early before clouding over. A couple of hired boats opened the Plank Lane Bridge as we were approaching, so we got straight through.

Police divers stopped us for a while on the approach to Leigh, looking for weapons / evidence in the water by a bridge.

10.6 miles, 0 locks, 1 lift bridge, 3.5 engine hours.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Castlefield to Boothstown

Very hot, sunny day. John Rylands in the morning. Then reversed out of Castlefield basin. Saw Emmeline Pankhurst going down the lock on to the MSC.

Pump out (£15 inc blue) and water at Stratford Marine, and stopped at Trafford Park for screws and washers for the insulation. Annoying that B&Q didn't have exactly what I needed. May order off the internet and get a refund.

Tied up on the rings by the Fayre and Square pub at Boothstown. Pudding in the pub!

9.9 miles, 0 locks, 4 engine hours.

Monday, 29 June 2015


Cloudy day with some sunny intervals in the afternoon. Solar panel kept the batteries at the same level, but we needed to run the engine in the evening.

Visit to Salford Quays.

0 miles, 2.5 engine hours.

Sunday, 28 June 2015


Stayed put. Went to Christ Central church a.m. in the Comedy Store. SmartGauge read 44% in the morning, so ran engine for about an hour and a half, and again in the evening.

0 miles, 3.5 engine hours

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Dunham Woodhouses to Castlefield

Bright and sunny as we got under way shortly after 8.30. As ever, the long haul up through Sale must be one of the most dreary parts of the network. Got to Castlefield mid-morning, and found there was very little room. Tied up at first on the southern side, but were able to move across to the northern side for the sake of the solar panel when the Fender Boat (our pigtailed friend) left.

Did a wash in the YHA launderette. They're busy setting up the open-air theatre area for a music event next Thursday. Posted the blog from the pub up from the YHA.

10.3 miles, 0 locks, 3 engine hours.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Runcorn to Dunham Woodhouses

APC van arrived early with our sound insulation panels, and fortunately the BMBC guy had just gone up to open the gate. So we were able to leave before 10. Weather dull, with occasional very light shower. Stopped in Lymm for a quick Sainsbury shop, using (for just 30 minutes) one of the mooring reserved for a boat coming to the Historic Boats weekend there. Also got diesel from the diesel boat Ariel, who was tied up opposite. 95.5 litres @ 72p.

Then came on through to Dunham Woodhouses and tied up nearest to the Bridge – several boats already here. Heavy rain shower shortly after arriving, but cleared up for a fine evening.

17.5 miles, 0 locks, 5.5 engine hours.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Dutton Bank to Runcorn

Ordered the sound insulation panels from T W Marine. Got them sent to the BMBC, so came to Runcorn to wait overnight for them to be delivered, hopefully in the morning. Stopped at Preston Brook Midland Chandlers for a new centre line.

Plenty of room at BMBC when we arrived at 1 p.m., but the gaffer was relieved we only wanted to stay one night as they have some sort of Commodore's festival with boats arriving tomorrow.

Fitted the fuse for the shower pump, and renewed the PTFE tape at the shower / pump junction.

7.1 miles, 0 locks, 3 engine hours.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Bramble Cuttings to Dutton Bank

Set out at about 8.30 – fine and sunny at first, a bit overcast later. Got the second wash through in two days, and still ended up on nominal 97% SOC by the time the sun went in.

In touch with TW Marine by phone and measured up the deck for insulation. Bridgwater Motor Boat Club at Rincorn said I could get the panels delivered there, and CanalPlan suggests I can get from there to Castlefields in the time available before Saturday night.

First time we've got a mooring on the rings at Dutton.

12.9 miles, 0 locks, 5 hours engine.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Middlewich to Bramble Cuttings

Did some shopping at Morrison's before setting out. Very sunny and hot. Ran a wash on the way down, so kept the engine going after we tied up. Got a mooring in the sun at Bramble Cuttings, and at 2 p.m. the solar was putting about 20 amps in.

1.5 miles, 0 locks, 3 engine hours

Monday, 22 June 2015

Middlewich (Shroppie) to Middlewich Big Lock

Reversed from our mooring half a mile back to Wardle Lock, because of the queue going up the canal which would have resulted in several hours delay before we could wind.

Tied up a couple of hundred yards below Big Lock, on the first corner.

1 mile, 4 locks (1 backwards), 2.5 hours engine

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Friday, 19 June 2015

Thursday, 18 June 2015


SmartGauge showing about 60% this morning. Day was rather cloudy in the morning, but a bit sunnier in the afternoon, and it had built up to 65 by the end of the day, which included 45 minutes of watching Andy Murray.

Bought a cylinder of gas for £26.25 from a floating trader who passed as we came back from the shops. It smelled a little, and the top screw was slightly undone so hope it hasn't lost too much of its contents.

0 miles

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Wheelock to Middlewich

Another early (ish) start, with a trip to the water point first because we'll be nearly 5 days on the next mooring. Much chillier day than yesterday. Only 5 locks down to Middlewich, and we'd have been tempted to moor well above Kings Lock where the boats started, if it weren't for needing a pump-out. Got that at Middlewich Narrowboats (£15 including blue) and in the end that served us well as we reversed back to the junction, went up Wardle lock onto the Shroppie and got a space about half a mile out of town. Middlewich is already lotado for the festival.

6.7 miles, 6 locks, 5.5 hours engine

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Westport Lake to Wheelock

Got going at 7.30 to get to the front of the Harecastle queue. Sunny day for travelling, quite hot, and very long before of the target we had set ourselves. Came down the Cheshire locks in convoy. Got a mooring just before the water points in Wheelock – with a plastic-bag-flagged chain round the gate post to hold the stern mooring line.

Italian restaurant in Wheelock still functioning, and a table-full of boaters seems to have had a good meal.

10.1 miles, 25 locks, 8.5 engine hours

Monday, 15 June 2015

Caldon Canal Bridge 21 to Westport Lake

Very quiet night above Engine Lock. No hurry in the morning – got going about 11. Sunny day, with some cloud later on. Solar panel worked in tandem with the engine on the slower sections, but dropped back to zero when the alternator was giving more.

Tied up at Westport Lake,  and sat out in the sun. Used the umbrella attachment for the tiller to put up the whirligig. Worked well – not enough wind to give any alarms with washing getting detached.

8.3 miles, 4 locks, 1 lift bridge (auto), 4.5 hours engine.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Leek to Caldon Canal Bridge 21

Nice late start from Leek. Weather cloudy, with a touch of drizzle later, but not too cold. Tied up above Engine Lock, just past the second the two lift bridges. Very quiet mooring.

6.7 miles, 4 locks, 2 lift bridges, 4.5 hours engine.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Caldon Canal Bridge 49 to Leek

Decided to try floating slowly across the slight breach in the obstruction – with a good result. Weather continued to be drizzly as we came up to the junction and turned right. Moored up at the end of the Armco in Leek. Shopped at Morrison's – but it's an awful hike into town from the moorings.

Discovered that this is still the River Churnet, so it obviously doesn't start where I thought it did, somewhere just below the Hollybush.

7.8 miles, 7 locks, 5 hours engine.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Caldon Canal Bridge 49

Stopped the whole day and for a second night because of the obstruction.

Peter and Jane were taken to Leek by an extremely kind and thoughtful native.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Hollybush Inn to Caldon Canal Bridge 49

Another very sunny day. Went down to Froghall where we winded and tied up for lunch. Then back up to Consall Forge and moored up by the lime kiln.

In the evening discovered that a tree had come down and was completely blocking the navigation about 500 yards north of our mooring. A local angel volunteered to take Peter and Jane back to Sheffield if we were still stuck the following the day.

BBQ on the tow path – first time we've used the Weber on Erin Mae.

8.5 miles, 6 locks, 5 hours engine.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Milton to the Hollybush Inn

5.4 miles, 8 locks, 2 lift bridges (manual), 4.5 hours

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

T&M Trentham lock to Milton Bridge 18

Dry weather. Went past the Etruria junction to get a pump-out (£15 without Blue) at the Festival Park Marina (Black Prince Yard). Stopped for water and lunch at the CRT services by the museum. Then headed up the Caldon – pleasantly surprised by the new housing developments along the early section after Hanley Park.

Milton seemed OK so we tied up there in spite of the warning from the guy at the marina. We were joined by two other boats, and had a safe night.

10.2 miles, 8 locks, 1 lift bridge (auto), 6 hours engine.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Stone to T&M Trentham Lock

Moved Erin Mae to the 48 hour mooring just below Stone's bottom lock, and picked up Peter and Jane at the bus stop outside Morrison's. Lunch when they arrived, then straight on with the journey.

Tried to get a pump-out at Stone Boatbuilders, but the person who does that was "on holiday". Seems it's a truck service, so only one person does it. So we pushed on north and tied up on the moorings just below Trentham lock. No other boats there.

4.5 miles, 8 locks, 3.5 hours engine.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Great Haywood to Stone

Sorted out what we want to leave in the car and got going about 9.30. Weather fine and generally sunny, but still pretty windy. Big hold-up at Weston Lock with someone who allowed a line to foul prop and bottom gates and nearly sank his boat.

Got to Stone mid-afternoon and tied up about 400 yards below the bottom lock.

9.3 miles, 4 locks, 6 hours engine.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Kings Bromley to Great Haywood

With a reasonably early start we made it to Rugeley by coffee time. Very windy, though with sunshine most of the time. Shopping in Rugeley, then stopped off for diesel from Dave Freeman – 88.5 litres. Much more traffic in the afternoon with queues at locks. Home by about 4.30.

12.4 miles, 2 locks, 6 engine hours.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Mercia Marina to Kings Bromley

Longest ever day's cruising – first of the three legs from Mercia to Stone. Mostly ideal weather, with just a touch of drizzle under dark clouds for 10 minutes in the afternoon. Tied up just north of Wood End Lock (20), the stern on Armco with a sprung line, the bows a long way off the bank but held tight with a long line.

16 miles, 14 locks, 8.5 hours engine

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Mercia Marina

Three windows re-seated by Aqua (2 bedroom, 1 in the living area). 6½ hours total: 4 for Ian and 2.5 for Lyndon.

Looked at sound insulation in Midland Chandlers. 1000 x 600 panels, self-adhesive, for £35 is a bit cheaper than TW. however, the TW catalogue implies theirs are 5 Kg each, which MC's certainly are not. More research needed.

Bought a padlock for the BBQ, a tin of International Yacht Primer and 10 metres of window tape.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Mercia Marina

Fine day with the wind steadily dropping. Got up late. Walked into Willington in the afternoon.

Watched a new Collingwood (Liverpool) Boats boat being craned from a lorry into the water, and learned that New & Used are agents for them as for Aqualine.

Phoned Wesley windows to chat about possibilities for replacement. They do 75mm, 85mm and 100mm radii. They only supply, don't fit. Aqua's Ian confirmed ChannelGlaze's gripe that Aqualine's Polish window manufacturers simply chose their own (non-standard) radius, so nothing standard is likely to fit.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Mercia Marina

Wet nearly all day long, so work on the windows was not possible. Justin advised us that it would probably be Thursday since they had a busy day planned for Wednesday.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Branston to Mercia Marina

Still cool enough for wet weathers. Set out in time to get to Mercia for a late lunch.

Checked in with the Aqua Boats office, and got a hook-up.

7.9 miles, 2 locks, 3 hours engine.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Kings Bromley to Branston

Weather clearing by lunch-time. Some help from volunteers on the first two Fradley locks.

A boat came far too fast towards us round the corner at the River Trent weir, forcing us against it. We collided pretty heavily with a submerged tree trunk

8.2 miles   12 locks    4.5 hours engine

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Great Haywood to Kings Bromley

Got anything redundant into the car. Need to check whether we've got an inflatable mattress on board – can pick it up on our way back in a few days if we've left the only one in the car. Picked up a couple of packages (E-mop) from the PO. Got a card for the new electricity meter from Doug. Zeroed the meter – the reading was 4232 – need to check how that corresponds with the ~£7 that I thought was on the meter.

Stopped at Rugeley for a Morrisons shop. Day was good for travel, though chilly at times.

CanalPlan said to stop at Kings Bromley wharf. Where that was indicated in Nicholson's was horrible bank. There was some Armco a bit earlier which would have done, though rather shady. Eventually tied up on the bollarded section just before Lock 20. Seemed OK since there's virtually no traffic and we'l be away early.

12 miles, 2 locks, 5.5 hours engine.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Thursday, 30 April 2015

GH Marina / SmartGauge

Following yesterday's installation of the solar gear, I connected up the SmartGauge, using 1.5 mm squared 3-core flex from B&Q.  Running the electrics on the batteries tonight to start the synchronisation process.

Took Erin Mae across for a self-operated pump-out once the wind had dropped a little. Only 6 minutes on the pump, and since this was the first one since November it's possible not all the sludge was rinsed out. Engine started and ran sweetly.

Rang RCR to chase up the welcome pack.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015


Travelled to GH yesterday (Monday 30th) and went through the boat re-commissioning the water system. Very straightforward, because:

• Keith had pointed out that Jabasco water pumps have hose attachments that click on and off. After emptying the system he had clicked them back in position. I just needed to open the stop cock from the tank.

• After pumping out the calorifier he had screwed the pressure device back in place. All I had to was check it.

Very strong winds were freeing the pram cover window curtain velcro fastenings. Had to get up in the night to roll two of them to stop them thrashing around. Noted in the morning that there is now a small tear in the fabric where the rear curtain was under tension from the wind.

Measured up for the solar panel. Weather was appalling so we came back home today instead of staying an extra day.

Thursday, 19 February 2015


Finally received the BSS certificate from Dave Freeman, and renewed the CRT licence on-line.

Meanwhile Midsummer Energy confirmed that a 6 metre cable run from the panel to the controller should be fine.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

BSS Examination

Dave Freeman came over to do the BSS exam. No problems. He also helped ease the position of a cable within the battery compartment to allow the lid to sit properly.

Left the Bambino heater on the frost setting. Put £20 in the meter.

Drove home at midday.

Monday, 16 February 2015


Travelled to GH for the BSS examination tomorrow. Called in at Evesham Battery Centre and picked up four new Numax sealed batteries, as promised by Simon. Fitted them on arrival.

Stayed at Travelodge in Rugeley, rather than on Erin Mae. Food at the Ash Tree.