Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Delays And Hold Ups!

Today didn't quite turn out as planned but started very well. Colder this morning but soon warmed up walking the dogs and doing the locks down towards Penkridge. All going well until we met three boats ahead of us waiting at Otherton Lock, there was a problem with the single gate at the top of the wouldn't close. The CaRT man soon arrived and armed with his long thingie cleaned some debris from the depths of the lock. Soon we were on our way.

Approaching Penkridge the engine sounded rough.....according to Eric a bag of nails! As we slowed down the noise was worse so we pulled in on the Penkridge Visitor Moorings and ran RCR.......that's what we pay them for! Someone came but didn't do much last night but this morning it was a different story. By a process of elimination he found that the Travel Power Gernerator was failing and needed to be replaced.  Currently disconnected so we can cruise but can't use the Dyson so it's definitely a hairy boat.

Today Clare and Ben came to collect Poppy from us at Penkridge. She was delighted to see

Monday, April 27, 2015

Onwards To Gailey

Eric's playing ball again
Yesterday we left our mooring near Bridge 8 on the Shroppie and headed down towards Autherley Junction. The dogs and I had a lovely walk before getting back onboard.  Eric stopped at the Canal Bridge before the junction so I could go and do a Morrison's shop.....very busy too even though it was Sunday. Hot roast chickens were selling fast.

We topped up the water tank at the water point before going through the lock as I'd done a load of washing.  At Autherley Junction the lock only has a small change in water level to join the Staffs and Worcester Canal. We'd decided to turn left and head towards Great Haywood. We were lucky with the narrow section as no boats were coming through and meandered on our way stopping just after Bridge 74 for the night. Next to us was a Black Prince Boat whose crew read my blog, so hello! They were up and away before we were up this morning.

Today I walked the dogs while Eric cruised to Gailey where we did the filling and emptying as well as binning the rubbish. Poppy has continued to be a very good girl and is now house trained or should I say boat trained, we are so proud of her. Ben has been good too, he's shared his food, his toys and his hide ring which is nearly all gone......must buy another one.

We stopped after two locks for a lazy afternoon, even Ben and Poppy had an afternoon nap.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Onwards To Brewood

The last few days have been busy with walking and cruising, the dogs and I have walked a couple of miles each day.Poppy keeps Ben going and she has the sense to get out of the way when he decides to run, he seems to thunder's a good idea to sidestep as he comes towards you.

We've moored  before Norbury Junction on Thursday , a place where phone signal is very poor and of course we had a phone call with a problem we had to sort. Lisa our daughter came to our rescue so I didn't need to go down to Newport. We passed through the most photographed bridge before Norbury, the one with the telegraph pole in the upper arch. This is a photograph I took when the trees were green, the buds are bursting and the leaves are just coming out now.

Last night we stayed out in the wilds at Little Onn. We've enjoyed the long straights, the cuttings and the embankments with very  few cruising boats. Poppy has settled down and we've had two days now when the poops and pees haven't been inside the boat , so she's a very good girl......fingers crossed she keeps it up.

We stopped at Brewood for bread, milk and a steak pie for tea from the butcher before moving on to moor after Bridge 8. The moorings at Brewood are in a cutting so it's usually a dull place to moor and  muddy too, so we only stayed briefly to do the shopping. Here there's grass next to the boat and room to play ball with Poppy.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sleeping Partners......Dog Style!

Ben & Poppy sharing the sofa
For the last few nights Poppy has taken over Ben's usual sleeping place on the sofa, last night he claimed it and she joined their sleeping partners! This morning their still sharing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Another Day Out Boating

Today we woke to a cold boat, so on went the heating for an hour. It served two purposes as it heated the water for showers and warmed up the boat. Looking at the outdoor thermometer it read 0 degrees and there was still frost on the grass and the boater setting off while we finished breakfast was in shorts and tshirt. I know it warmed up later but brr it was cold.

We had the Adderley flight of five locks to work though which were all half  full due to leaky top gates, but never mind at least there weren't so many today. The dogs stayed on the boat until after the top lock, then they came off for their walk. Lovely sunshine again today and we moored up at Market Drayton. The rings seem to be badly spaced in places so it's not easy to moor up with outward ropes which stop the boat moving, but we found a space we could fit in.

Eric's started his post Winter job of polishing the  boat and done half of one side but it's not the side facing the towpath now. After some Craftmaster Carnuba  Polish it always looks so much better.....a different colour.The unwritten list if jobs is endless but we plan to tackle the roof paintwork this Summer.

We left the dogs onboard and went to the Market in Market Drayton as I wanted some plants for my pot now the daffodils were just leaves. All  planted in my pot now but I'll had to bring it inside at night while we're still having frosts. Also had a haircut in a salon called Lush who were kind enough to fit me in without an appointment.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Up, Up, Up Audlem To Adderley Locks

White water locking
We set off from Audlem after filling up with water outside The Shroppie Fly, the first lock of the day was like white water boating. We were in luck today as every lock bar one was ready for us and many had a boat coming out of so gates could be left open. If the lock gates ahead were closed I walked ahead to get them opened while Eric came up in the lock below. Ben and Poppy had a bit of a walk before getting back on the boat, where they watched all that was going on.
Ben's turn to look way
I think they like each other!
We decided to complete the flight and then I could walk the dogs to the moorings below Adderley Locks, where the tow path is a wide grassy area. Here's some boaty pictures on the way up, up, up.

In a pound between two locks at Audlem
The dogs enjoyed their walk and Eric pulled in and moored up on Adderley Visitor Moorings. We had a healthy salad followed by a cream tea from the kitchen of Kynsal Farmhouse at Audlem Top Lock........very nice too!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Visitors With Poppy

Poppy  our four legged visitor

Ok I'll sit for you but what's going on over there?
Yesterday Clare and Ben came to visit at Hack Green Visitor Moorings to bring Poppy their border collie to stay for a week with us on the boat. We gave them the post code for Hack Green Secret Bunker which is sign posted so no secret.....but it used to be.

When they arrived later than planned due to the a diversion on the motorwy, Ben and Eric went to visit the Secret Bunker while Clare and I had a good catch up. Curry for lunch and  lots of chat. Poppy was pleased to see Ben the dog.....lots of licks! Eric had some ball throwing practiceinterrupted as

We wondered how Poppy would be as she hasn't stayed with us on the boat, although she'd stayed with us in her house when Clare and Ben had their honeymoon. A quiet night was had by all, the dogs took turns on the sofa and Ben's fleece mat......Poppy's bed was ignored.

Today she had a long walk along the towpath to Audlem with Ben the dog and nobody fell in, just wet feet from the melted frost. It was 0 degrees first thing but now it's lovely and sunny and so much warmer. Poppy did manage to find something smelly but it was soon washed off.

Just two locks today to moor at the Visitor Moorings,  very quiet today occasionally interrupted by two barkng collies......somebody has come past their boat!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Hurleston And Beyond

Locking down the Hurleston Locks
Ben waiting patiently

Going down!
On Thursday we left Wrenbury, first of all negotiating the electrically powered lift bridge. Before we left Ben and I went for a walk to the shop for bread and milk to keep us going. One more lift bridge and we were away with Ben and I onboard as I remembered the next stretch of towpath was like a bog. We continued our walk at Baddiley Locks, working through the lock and walking to the next one. We just had the pair of Swanley Locks and we were moored up for the  night just after bridge 5, where the bridge is finally being rebuilt.

This morning we didn't start off til about eleven in the morning, with quite a few boats going our way. One boat with a seized up engine was being towed by another so just as well we we weren't in any hurry. At the services at the top of the locks we topped up the water tank, got rid of the rubbish and emptied cassettes. One boater told Eric the men get this job because they pee more!

Down the Hurleston Locks and turn right, we're going down the Shroppie. Moored upon the visitor moorings after the junction......out came the wheelbarrow wheels to stop the banging.....the Shroppie shelf is with us.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Locking On The Llangollen

 NB Bendigedig entering a lock

Willymoor Lock with the pub closed until midday

Ben patiently waiting

Today we've worked through just four locks, much easier with other boats taking it in turns to go through. At Quoisely lock the gate paddle gear definitely needed a little was a case of squeaks as you wound them up and down. The ferocious side weirs didn't get us going down these locks, they are always worse going up towards Llangollen. Just a few boaty pictures and Ben the dog of course, tied up for safety while I am locking the boat through.....don't want him following me across the lock gates!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Walk In The Sunshine......Eric Cruised

Today Ben and I walked to Grindley Brook working through three lift bridges on the way. At the first one we found the Llangollen fuel boat NB Mountbatten mooring up delivering coal to the moored boats. We stopped and bought a couple of bags of Excel  to keep us going.....don't know how long the sunshine will last.

At Grindley Brook I popped to the garage as the CafĂ© no longer sells bread, milk and papers.Eric was wondering where I was!  Down the Grindley Brook staircase locks with Amy, a very happy lockkeeper helping. In front of us was a single handed boater who exited the lock leaving me to shut his gates! Only got away with it at the first of the three locks, but we had to refill every lock as there was no boat traffic coming the other way.

We decided to stop just off the visitor moorings at the bottom of Grindley Brook....I needed  lunch and a rest for the rest of the afternoon.......I am really not used to all this exercise at the locks.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Our Four Legged Visitor

Poppy posing at Dog Company Replicas
Poppy the pup is having a holiday with us, arriving next weekend. She can usually we found at Dog Company Replicas, where she makes sure she gets in the photos. Dog Company Replicas made replica WW2 jeeps and  can be found at

Hopefully Out For A Few Months......Day One

a view from the sidehatch
Today we left Whixall Marina for a big cruise, we have some plans but we'll see where we end up as our plans always seem to change. Arm muscles exercised with four lift bridges to raise and lower, we're moored up opposite a familiar old tree of our nice quiet spots.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Family Time In Sunny South Wales

Happy on her 7th birthday
Blowin out her number 7 candle

Scarlett pinching her mum's chips
Walking the dog in Porthcawl

Gwen in Porthcawl

Gwen a little closer

Our selfie

Fun at the fair....flying


On the dodgems with grandad
Happy Scarlett on the swing

Picnic time for Scarlett

Scarlett went to Barry Island
The pictures tell the story.....weve been having some family time in South Wales. We stayed with Clare and hubby Ben, Poppy their young border collie was delighted to see Ben the dog and greeted him with licks to his face. Eric and I got jumped on....she calmed down eventually.

On Wednesday we went for a meal for Gwen's 7th birthday and the children enjoyed the Wacky Warehouse. Scarlett had fun with the slide and the balls in the toddler soft play. Gwen played  in the section for older children with some of her friends.  We had food before they played, Scarlett fancied  a few of her mum's chips to go with her pasta and cheese. The grown ups had a good catch up. Clare popped In with hubby Ben after work. One of Gwen's presents was some dressing up clothes......she loved the Egyptian princess.

On Thursday we took on the grandparent role and had a day out with Gwen as mum   was working. We had a lovely time in Porthcawl in sunshine. Gwen had a good time and Ben the dog was very good and quite happy as long as he could see me. Gwen and grandad did the rock pools, while Ben and I stayed off the rocks. Luckily dog's are banned from May to September on this beach......good job it's April. Before we came away we went to the fair. I don't really like fairs but went on a ride with Gwen as I didn't want to let her go on her own, as it was quite speedy as it cornered on different levels. Eric took her on the was had by all!

Scarlett had her first time on the beach at Barry Island with her mum and dad this week, so I've included some of her mum's pictures.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Happy Easter Everyone

ne hole doing a service on our Beta 43 engine,changing the oil in the engine and gearbox as well as replacing the air, fuel and oil filters. We bought the oil and filters at Wrenbury as the chandlery sells Beta filters. Soon nearly finished but the priming of the fuel filter wasn't working. Question...what's that little nut for on the side by the fuel filter......loosened it and continued to prime the fuel filter...air came out and problem solved. First time we've had an air lock in the fuel system.   Nearly ready to go cruising!!

Happy Easter Everyone