Friday, October 13, 2017

Ready For A New Cratch Cover

Eric's been busy repairing and painting the cratch board and now it's refitted  and ready for its new cover.  Tony from Bethsaida Covers came to the marina today to see what we wanted and measure up if the wind eases off. It's  windy Whixall  today! He works from his boat at Shebden Wharf on the Shroppie   with the butty all kitted out.

Another week's  gone by and we've been out and about on foot and in the car. On Monday we enjoyed the mile walk at Attingham Park  in the sunshine, Ben seems to liven up a bit when we're on the way back to the coffee shop. I had a look at the lovely stuff in the National Trust shop but we've  no room for more ornaments.

We've also been enjoying our usual walks  alongside the Mere at Ellesmere and around the lake at Alderford Lake. Of course we regularly walk along the Prees Branch from the marina with Ben the dog on a go slow until we're on our way back.

The flowers in the  window box on the front of the boat have been replaced with Winter pansies hiding  daffodil bulbs planted ready for Spring which seems so far away at the moment.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Oh No A Leaky Water Pump!

The week started off with a walk around Aldersford Lake followed by a coffee and a toasted teacake. We managed to keep dry and Ben the dog was walking in front of us for a change. Lately he's not keen on this walk lark and follows behind us on his lead.

I love the dragon 

Bendigedig in Barmouth

We also had a lovely trip to Barmouth with the great mountain scenery on the way. I love the seaside and Barmouth beach was lovely  with the breaking  waves even though it was rather blowy. Ben had a little run back and for between myself and Eric on the beach. We also had some fish and chips while Ben had a sausage. 

Today  Eric's been busy putting the last coat of paint on the cratch board. He thought he'd finished for the  day but he hadn't.  I'd discovered the cause of the water pump running intermittently when I  delved underneath the   false floor of the cupboard under the sink. It's surprising how much stuff was in that cupboard. The body of the water pump was leaking but it had lasted more than four years so I couldn't complain.

Jabasco water pump

A half  hour trip to the chandlery  in Nantwich to get a replacement of the same model Jabasco  to make  things simpler. So now  Eric has  his head in the cupboard replacing the water pump. Fingers crossed  for no leaks!! All sorted and all the stuff is back in too. I'd forgotten there was a bag of  cotton rags in there from old t shirts. Now it's time for tea.

Monday, September 25, 2017

It's Autumn

A Mandarin Duck in Autumn in Llangollen

How do I know it's Autumn? Firstly  it's colder in the evenings so we've  lit the stove for the first time. My  achey hip was feeling the chill so I dug out my lovely long vests in shades of purple  and pink so not boring white. Feeing warmer already.

Nothing earth shattering happening here. We've  done the usual walks with or without rain. Done a bit of food shopping in Ellesmere  or Whitchurch. Picked up our repeat prescriptions  and made appointments for seasonal flu jabs at the doctor's.  The appointments are two minutes long so it's  definitely  a quick sharp prick.

Eric's  been rubbing down the wooden cratch as it was too tatty to put back on the  newly painted boat with the varnish discoloured by water.  A metal plate was put on it to strengthen it after the impact from a bridge while the boat was being towed. Hopefully painting it will make it look better. Then it can be refitted back to the boat once the fixing holes have been redrilled The painter's filled  them in!

We need to arrange for a new cover to be made as the old one was damaged by that same bridge and had an excess of gorilla tape keeping it together.

So we're  all ok on NB Bendigedig just nothing much to say when we're  safety tucked up in the marina ready for winter.

PS I added the photo as it's my favourite Autumn photo taken by Eric which featured in the IWA calendar a few years ago. Just looked back on my blog it was taken in 2009......unbelievable!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Back In Whixall Marina

Just a few hours cruise from Ellesmere yesterday. Not so busy back to Whixall so a pleasant cruise once we'd let the hire boats pass us as he was keen to be somewhere. Perhaps he was due back.

Just one lift bridge and a single hander left it open for us so I got off to put it down once we were through. The other bridge hasn't been replaced yet but a new concrete base awaits it's arrival.

We filled up with fuel before going into our berth.  No wind today that makes a pleasant change.

Soon we were all plugged in with the Shoreline,  BT telephone and broadband and the TV set  up. We picked up 182 channels on Freeview with the Lab gear DVB-T signal finder lit up with three LED'S.

So this morning we weren't woken up by early morning  boaters just Ben at nine o'clock  as he wanted  to go out. It was nice to go out for a cruise but always nice to be back too.

Our family has been sharing some pictures on Facebook so here's a few for you.

Sally,Scarlett, Gwen and Lisa

Clare out on a ride to Weston super mare

Ice cream time

Gwen's off to school

Scarlett reading for her first day at Nursery

Saturday, September 16, 2017

On The Move To Ellesmere

Chaos was back on the canals as the new hirers meandered along the canal towards's changeover day. Lots of bridges for them to negotiate too.  We pulled over for a bacon sandwich for lunch to  let someone else follow the very slow boat ahead.

While I grilled the bacon Eric spotted some blackberries so we now have blackberry and apple crumble for pudding this evening with custard of course.

We moored up just before we got to Ellesmere as with all the boats out it would be difficult to find a mooring either alongside grass or concrete on the Arm.  That disgusting grey gritty stuff has been used on the towpath from the Blackwater Marina to Ellesmere Tunnel and it gets splashed up the side of the boat and makes the deck grey and gritty too, so I'm not mooring alongside that stuff if I can help it.

We'll visit Ellesmere  in the morning before we make  our way back to Whixall Marina. We've certainly had lots of wet weather since we've  been out  but luckily a lot of it was overnight when we were tucked up in bed.

We're  moored up on rings here, just as well as Eric said we've been passed by lots of boats without their skiers too. You can hear them before you see them!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Going Very Slowly To New Marton Locks

 Going down New Marton Top Lock

We left the moorings at Whitehouse and headed towards the  first tunnel of the day. Ben and I got off for a walk once we  got to the  other end mainly because Ben wouldn't  walk through the tunnel. A muddy walk but it stayed dry.

Eric was following two other  boats, the first one stopped at every bridge to make sure nothing was coming so progress was very slow. We were in luck at Chirk Tunnel just following the other two boats through and then across Chirk Aqueduct. We were travelling  mostly at tick over.  The second boat  got stuck  before Poachers so Eric overtook and reversed to send some water under it to free it.

Coming through the bridge at Poachers  the prop was touching something under the water making a ticking noise, so we floated through. Several boats got stuck going through that bridge when we moored there on Sunday.

The slow boat pulled in above New Marton Locks  but we planned to stop below the locks anyway.. No queues waiting today and a boat was leaving the top lock so we went in the open gates.

Ben and I walked to the bottom lock and topped the water level up where it had leaked out. Soon we were  moored up in the sunshine.  We did have one shower as I  walked down from the lock to where Eric was  mooring the boat. A downpour makes no difference to my hair it's  so short!


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Leaving Llangollen

After the branch of the  tree came down we decided we'd spend our second night in Llangollen in the basin. We'd  been to see if there was room when we walked Ben the dog up through the basin and into the field  and back across the canal bridge and down to the moorings. We waited   while the horse  passed us by as he pulled  the horse drawn boat with its cargo of tourists.

First of all we went shopping as it's further  to carry bags up to the basin. We stopped  for a coffee in Fouzi's before  tackling those steep steps up to the canal. Even Ben fell up them.

So we untied and I walked along ahead to check it anyone was coming along the short narrow section before the trip boats. All clear so into the basin and struggled to moor up on a pier in the wind. Getting  Ben off the boat wasn't  easy but he was lifted by his harness with accompanying growls. Growls as he was man handled back on  the  boat too.

Lots of overnight rain and still  heavy showers in the morning but we decided to put on the wet gear and boat in the rain.  We were first in a convoy of four boats to do the narrows, I'd walked ahead to check for oncoming boats. As they came through five boats  joined the queue  towards  Llangollen.

The Sun Trevor narrows were clear so that done Ben and I got back on the boat. He needed  a rub down to dry him off.

At Trevor  it was chaos  once we emerged and pulled  in to wait for Jones the boat  to come across the aqueduct.  Basically two more boats coming across the aqueduct and boats emerging from the bridge holes with nowhere  to go.

We moored at Whitehouse  and found the TV  signal. It's  been easier to find since we changed the cable to the aerial  and no problems with interference or pixel laying either.

Soup for lunch and time to relax. Ben's  happy chewing his hide bone.

Ben the dog with his bone and 'ducky'

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Onwards To Llangollen

We moved on from our mooring at Poachers' all wrapped up in rain gear but we only had intermittent showers.  We followed two boats across Chirk Aqueduct and into the tunnel as it was clear. We always manage to bash the sides as the water flow seems to drag you to one side so you crab your way through. All quiet at Chirk Marina as we passed it by.

Going across the aqueduct was fun and of course  we  were flying the Welsh flag. A sharp left turn took us onto the last stretch down to Llangollen.

Slow progress with the waits for the narrows to clear. I walked ahead with Ben the dog who was not keen on this walking today. I used WhatsApp  because we had a good  data signal to call Eric  to tell him it was OK  to come through, but as he was forth in the line of boats  the message was sent ahead by shouts. But the leading boat wanted to know how he knew it was  clear!

Finally through and moored up but not looking forward  to the storm. It was incredibly noisy last night  with the  rain plops on the roof and the wind. We were  lucky a huge oak branch came down between the two  boats ahead of us but no damage to the boats. It took some getting out of the water by the hire boats crew as the canal was  blocked.

This fell from an oak tree
 I got stung by a wasp on my bottom this morning by a wasp that decided to spend the night on the furry blanket on our bed. Not knowing he was there I sat on him!! Ouch! He must have come in through the mushroom.

Another bit of contact from a leaving boat  getting too close .......who needs an alarm clock?

Can you see the horse?

There he is!

Plenty of water in the River Dee

Monday, September 11, 2017

Two Locks At New Marton

Saturday started off sunny but intermittent downpours meant we just came up the locks and moored up on the long straight. The locks weren't busy going up but three boats were waiting to come down. We arrived   as a boat was leaving the lock. Ben and I walked between the locks so we arrived windlass in hand but with all the helpers I only opened one paddle.

We didn't need to be anywhere so decided against boating in the rain. Boats coming towards us told of the chaos at Chirk Marina where they had to queue to get past the marina. We were glad we were staying put!

On Sunday we decided to put  on the wet gear and go a little further as Ben needed a walk, so the boat came too. A few boats on the move but not too hectic. A few showers but not heavy ones.

Approaching the moorings at Poachers' we looked at  each other and said "Fancy Sunday lunch?". Yes there was space for a couple of boats. We moored  away from the big oak tree as I was concerned about some of the branches.

We had a lovely roast and took Ben a doggy bag as there was loads  of meat. He didn't want us to go  but was pleased with his share of our dinner. Well done  to the Poachers' quick service, happy staff and lovely food served in lovely surroundings. We'll be back.

The fire was lit in the evening for the first time this year. Eric had to take his jumper off it was so toasty. Ben booked his place in front of it and went to sleep.

Finding a TV  signal was fun but Eric managed it. The finder  gave us two green lights which ever way we pointed and we didn't  know whether the aerial should be horizontal or vertical. We wanted BBC 1 to watch 'Strike'  The Silkworm episode one and  often the TV  channels found didn't include BBC 1. With the bad weather outside we had to put up with some interference but we were able to watch it.

It's  Monday and raining again!

Friday, September 08, 2017

Ellesmere On The Arm

We arrived at Ellesmere  to find a boat sized space at the  top end of the arm by the  bridge. Any spaces soon filled up while I did a  shop in Tesco. I think lots of boaters have thought it's a good time to go to Llangollen now the children are back in school.

This morning we were woken with a bang as a boat crashed into the side of our boat as it was reversing back up the arm to leave. Another contact happened later too as another boat reversed up the arm. So we decided we'd  move on and went  across to the services to fill and empty things.

A lovely cruise  with sunshine  and a few boats on the move. We cruised and stopped short of New Marton Locks. Far enough away so that nobody would think our moored boat was in the  queue.

So all on our own for now. Ben the dog quite likes jumping off the boat on to grassy towpaths with a little help from us. Last time he jumped without his lead  he missed and one leg ended up in the canal.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Escape To Wales By Boat

A leisurely start to the day but soon we were ready to go. As you can see from the  photo taken from the towpath we moored bow in as it's easier to get off and on the boat through the bow doors.

But it also means we have to reverse out and with the wind it was really much easier to reverse to the fuel point rather than try to turn around so that's  what we did. Fuel topped up and a new gas bottle we were ready for the off.

Yes we're  heading for Wales crossing the  Chirk Aqueduct takes us into Wales with Llangollen  the ultimate prize. Just one lift bridge and a short walk with Ben the dog and we were back onboard. A slow trip as we followed a deep drafted tug style narrowboat but it's  nice to be out so we didn't  really care about the slow pace.

We moored  up at Hampton  Bank for an overnight  stop and the moorings soon filled up as the day progressed. It was very dark here last night but peaceful. The bank is quite low down here but Ben managed to get off with a lift on his harness to help his jump.

Boats have passing since seven o'clock  but we're  just getting ourselves showered and dressed before breakfast  and then we'll  go a little further. Hope you have a nice day.

Friday, September 01, 2017

It's September Again

Another week gone by and Eric's now replaced the glass and rope seals on our Aarrow Acorn multifuel stove. It's  also had a rub down and a coat of stove paint.  So one job done on the  list.

We've  been out and about this week too. On Tuesday  we  drove down to Great Haywood  to surprise Jaq on NB Valerie  at Tixall Wide.  Lovely to see her and of course  we had a lovely chat with coffee and cake. We thought we'd  missed Jaq but we met her coming back to her boat as we walked back  to the Canalside Farm Shop where we'd  parked the care.

Yesterday we went to Attingham Park owned by the National Trust  making the most of our membership giving us free entry and parking. It's  set in beautiful wooded  grounds with a river running through too. Ben the dog was on a go slow, not keen on this walking lark but on our way back he perked up a bit and was actually ahead of us rather than following behind on his lead.

Next week  we're  going out for a few weeks, hopefully it's going to be a bit quieter once school restarts on Tuesday. Chatting to some mum's last week  they were pleased the holidays were nearly over.  It's strange how the weeks seem to fly by  now, when we were kids the Summer holidays  seemed a very long time.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Just Relaxing At Whixall Marina

Just relaxing at the moment, the flowers on the bow of the boat are still going strong. Nothing much going on with us other than some  dog walking in Ellesmere, Whitchurch, Colemere and the Whixall  area. The weather has been kind to us too.

At the marina the facilities block is being revamped with five separate wet rooms each with its own shower,  handbasin and toilet. Two are finished now and looking very posh.

Phil and Darren have been busy cleaning out the very overgrown pond here at Whixall Marina, relining  it and filling it back up with water so the fountain is working again. Today's job is  mowing the lawns. I must admit I like not having to do gardening, it's one of the perks of living on a boat.

Eric's busy rubbing down the cast iron stove ready to repaint it before the cold weather comes again. It needs new seals and a replacement glass too so that's on the never ending list of little jobs.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Back In Whixall Marina

Gwen hugging me in Clearwell Caves 

We've  just come back after two weeks in Newport.  We had a good time but it's nice to be back onboard. Ben the dog has slept since we returned. I'm catching up doing a few loads while the laundry is quiet. Luckily the two machines were not being used so I could do two loads at the same time.

One day we took Gwen to Clearwell Caves and we also took a picnic for lunch. I didn't remember the caves although we had been there before when our three daughters were a lot younger. I found an old photo of Clare and Lisa but can't find one with the three of them on. I wonder where Sally was.

Looking at old photos brings back so many memories of days out when the girls were a lot younger  and I was a lot younger too.

L to R  Sophie (Westie) Lisa, Sally, myself and Clare

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dinosaur Babies In Wales

We've  been to 'The National Museum'  in Cardiff with Gwenllian to see the 'Dinosaur Babies'. We found out about the different eggs of the different types of dinosaurs. Lots of skeletons on display and a nest of eggs.  Eric's sister Paula came too and  we also looked at lots of other areas. My favourites were the rocks and fossils. We were glad of a coffee and a sit down although Gwen could have gone on for ever.

Gwen with a baby dinosaur

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Happy Anniversary To Us

We're  currently  in Newport   for a week or two.  Yesterday we went out for a meal at the local Flaming Grill to celebrate fifty years together. It's  actually our forty sixth wedding anniversary but we met when I was seventeen and Eric was nineteen at a youth club. No computer dating, mobile phones and Internet seems a long time ago.

We went to the seaside too and I accompanied Gwen on the dodgems. Not easy to get in or out of but she enjoyed it. We renamed them 'crashems' as we did a fair bit of crashing. She's practising driving for when she's older as driving in Newport is an experience all on its own. Signals not existent and just I'm  going whether you like it or not on round abouts.

Here's  a few photos of Gwenllian in Porthcawl.

Today we're going to the National Museum  in Cardiff there's  an special exhibition of dinosaur babies.  First of all we need to walk the dog as he's not allowed on this outing.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Off To Newport Very Soon

Our granddaughters having fun!

We're  enjoying being back home in Whixall. Eric has missed driving his car so we've been out and about by car.  We went to Shrewsbury and had a walk at the Quarry by the River Severn. There's  lots of work going on there getting ready for the  Shrewsbury flower show.

We headed for  McDonald's  but it's  been revamped so tried Burger king at Battlefield roundabout..... but never again! The double cheeseburger was so tiny (it tasted ok), chips ok and the coke was undrinkable! They did ask if we wanted the extra large one but we didn't know the normal  size was so small. Much better quarter pounder cheeseburgers at McDonald's.

At the weekend we're off to Wales to visit our family. Our daughter  Sally  took this photo of her daughter Scarlett  having fun with foam in her garden with Gwenllian. Looking forward to seeing them. See you soon.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Back To Whixall Marina

We set off  from the  Whitchurch Arm after Eric had run a line of sealant along the  top edge of one of the front windows. Rain found it's way  in the torrential  rain.

Six lift bridges of todays plan but I only had to open  and close two. The second  bridge on the Prees Branch hasn't  been put back yet and the rest were opened and closed by an oncoming boat. My lucky day!

The lack of wind made getting onto our berth easy too.  So we're  back on shoreline  with a home phone and broadband from BT at a fairly slow speed but it works. It's  nice to be home.

Friday, July 28, 2017

A Walk In The Rain To Whitchurch

Going up Grindley Brook

Eric in the staircase locks

Today we had an early start with breakfast at the top of the locks from the CafĂ© as they do takeout as well. bacon and sausage baguettes went down a treat. We cruised as far as the Whitchurch Arm as we fancied a walk along the footpath into town. It  stopped raining but started again so Ben the dog got pretty wet but he didn't seem to mind enjoying a rub down with a towel when we got back. He's having an afternoon nap now!                           

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Cruising To Grindley Brook

We started off in the rain but it soon stopped. We started off with the two locks at Swanley the first one we came to (Lock 2) had a stream coming out of the  tow path side lock wall which didn't stop so the canal water has found it's  way probably making a void behind the lock wall so a problem in the making.

Ben and I walked between the  locks and hopped back on board for a ride to the bottom of Baddiley Locks. Three locks this time going up with lots of boats on the move it was nice not having to shut the gates behind us.

Just two lift bridges at Wrenbury and on the first we were waved through. But  of course I held up the traffic on the electric one by the time the two boats had gone through. I showed a holidaymaker how to use the panel as she hadn't used it before.

We decided not to moor up at Wrenbury but carry on in the sunshine to the bottom of Grindley Brook  locks. The wind picked up as we did the four locks making pulling  in for the locks hard work as the wind was taking the boats away from the towpath side of the canal. It was causing problems for some inexperienced crew who found themselves stuck on the wrong side of the canal.  Lots of help on hand though to get them free.

So we're  moored now with Grindley Brook Locks ahead of us tomorrow.  Let's  hope it stays dry.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Back On Home Waters

At the bottom of Hurleston Locks

Coming up in Lock 1

We decided to get as far as we could today just because  we wanted to get back on the Llangollen Canal and the weather forecast isn't good for tomorrow.  A lovely day for cruising on a boat with just three locks on the Middlewich branch  taking up to Barbridge Junction, then a left turn taking us to Hurleston Junction. Climbing Hurleston Locks we felt like we were back on home waters.

Tomorrow  is going to be a lazy day.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cruising To Middlewich

The last of the duplicate locks before Wheelock

Back to single locks at Booth Lane Locks

Leaving our mooring after a quiet night above Wheelock (the water in the pound went up  not down so the boat stayed level), then down the last two pairs of  duplicated locks to get some water and  do the other things at the services. 

Then we were on our way towards Middlewich. The site of Northwich Boats/ Carefree Cruising had a big sold sign on it as they are now trading from King's Lock. Lots of new housing along this stretch of the canal too often sandwiched between the railway and the canal.

Four locks to work through  on the Trent and Mersey Canal and then Wardle Lock taking us onto the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal. We found a space and moored up as Eric wanted new weed hatch sealing tape to replace the damaged one. I popped to Tesco's for some fresh stuff to keep us going until we get back to Whixall Marina. 

Lots of people walking their dogs along the canal earlier but it's quieter now.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Nearly Done 'Heartbreak Hill'

A quiet night at Rode Heath and up and away with twelve locks planned for today as we wanted to get them done. Duplicate narrow locks  have an advantage in that one lock of the pair is usually ready for an oncoming boat. I think we seemed to work quicker in going down locks.

It  was just as well  I was walking with Ben the dog  because some of the pounds between the Wheelock Locks were low and  Eric had to stay in the middle until I opened the lock gates.

Tired after heavy gates and paddle gear I did steer the boat and let Eric do some of the locks. The gunnel's will need some touch up paint once we've  gone up Grindley Brook on the Llangollen Canal as the side weirs get us every time.

We're  moored on pins in the long pound two locks up from Wheelock. Here you can't  hear the noisy A road as much  as you can on the Wheelock  Visitor Moorings. As you can see on the pictures  we're  low down as this pound is down too, let's hope  we don't  fall out of bed in the night if the water level goes down any more and tilts the boat.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Can't Get In The Weed Hatch!

The Broughton  Arms at Rode Heath
We  started off going well down the locks from Red Bull to Church Locks, then something got around the prop. No problem  you would think but the weed hatch cover had been painted by Aqueduct Marina and was sealed solid. It took 20 minute to break the seal.

But more surprises when we opened it, we paid for the whole boat to be shot blasted and painted or blacked  including the bottom and have just found  out that the weed hatch itself hadn't been touched  while it was out of the water, so something  else they missed which we assumed would be done.

They  also forgot to  shot blast and paint the gas locker too but we noticed that and it was then treated  with Comastic while  we stayed  a few extra days in the marina.  We also found the water filler cap painted shut and the air vent hole blocked for the water tank which was sorted before we left.

I must say we love our paint job but it's the little things missed  that we find particularly annoying!

Our day did get better as we climbed down the duplicated locks to Rode Heath and found a space to  stop and go and have a late lunch in The  Broughton  Arms. I had steak and chips  and my friend  Ben the dog enjoyed it too!  He wasn't  interested in Eric's  fish and chips.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Through Harecastle Tunnel To Kidsgrove

Harecastle Tunnel southern portal

Harecastle Tunnel northern portal

Approaching a duplicate lock
This morning we left Westport lake behind and headed for Harecastle Tunnel. A much cooler day to start and decidedly cold in underground delights of the tunnel. We were lucky as we arrived to no queue and went straight in the tunnel after the safety briefing, When the doors closed and the fan came on drawing out the fumes  it was like being in a fog and incredibly noisy. Soon we were going through at a good speed and looking out for the lower roof sections where Eric needed to duck.

Ben the dog wasn't bothered about tunnels he just settled down to sleep at the bottom of the steps. Forty minutes later we emerged into the light. the difference in the colour of the water never ceases to amaze me with the orange colour due to minute particles of ironstone rock according to Pearson's Canal Companion.

Duplicate narrow locks  with the occasional single narrow locks are the feature of the Cheshire locks  known as Heartbreak Hill  probably because they come thick and fast. Usually one chamber is ready for you but you don't know until you get there which one. Just after the junction with the Macclesfield Canal  we met the start of the locks taking us down to Wheelock. 

We pulled in at the Red Bull Visitor Moorings in the last available space ready for our appointment with Chris Jones a Beta engineer as it's service time again. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Up The Locks To Westport Lake

At the top of Stoke Locks 
Today we climbed the locks up to Stoke on Trent  and it was unbelievable hot. The gates were heavy as they are deep locks and the paddle gear was stiff so I'm melting!

Heading for West port Lake to moor up.....hope there's room to moor  up. Yes there was and another boat moved up a bit so the solar panels  were in the sun

Monday, July 17, 2017

Up The Locks To Barlaston

The Star Inn alongside Lock 27 (Stone Locks)

First  job of the day was topping up the  water tank  then it was up the first of eight locks planned for today.  The Star Inn was shut so we didn't have an audience as we did the lock. Ben  waited patiently for his walk tied to a bench as there were lots of cyclists on the towpath today.

We stopped for diesel at Stone Boat Building Chandlery. Leaving with an A4 piece of paper confirming the split I chose  as well as a receipt. I noticed  the boat's name was spelt   incorrectly  despite repeatedly spelling it letter by letter, but it didn't matter the number was correct. Next job the cassettes needed emptying so we were  soon moored up below the next lock  to  use the Elsan.

Ben and I walked up to the Meaford Locks and worked  through those. Lock 33 was unbelievable slow to fill but had a notice that C&RT were aware. Boats coming down the locks as we came up them so time to have a chat to the crew.

We moored up on the outskirts of Barlaston, you can't really get away  from the noise of the trains with the Stafford to Stoke line running  alongside the canal. Never mind the sun is shining , the sky is blue and all is well onboard NB Bendigedig

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Weekend In Stone

Welcome to Stone
On a mission this morning to moor at Stone so we left a little bit  earlier  than usual at 9.30 am. By eleven we were moored up at the end of the visitor moorings.  The first place we came too.

Just Aston Lock to work through so a leisurely morning. Ben  had his walk when we walked into town to have a look at the shops in the town and do a food  shop in Morrisons.  I should have said look at the charity shops as there were more charity  shops than anything else.

Food shopping done while Eric had a coffee and a sausage roll in the cafe with Ben the dog. They have seats and tables outside which was good. Ben enjoyed  a bit of Eric's sausage roll. He's  now fast asleep on his furry mat.

We're  staying put tomorrow  as we don't  need to be the other side of Harecastle  Tunnel until Friday when the engine is being serviced by Chris  our friendly Beta  engineer  hopefully  at Red Bull.

Friday, July 14, 2017

On The Trent And Mersey Canal.....Towards Stone

A nice quiet spot near Burston

We decided not to stay another night at Tixall Wide because Ben was finding it difficult to get on and off the boat as the towpath is low. A good place to touch up the battered rubbing strips on one side at least because we won't have a towpath on this side for a while.

Getting to the services at Great Haywood at the junction was the usual chaos so we had to queue. We really needed to get rid of the rubbish and recycling. I don't know why I bother to separate recycling as there was nowhere for it to go. Some places you can recycle but it's not easy to find room to keep it on a boat.

A right turn at the junction and we're heading towards Stone with a few stops on the way. By the number of boats that have passed up today we'll be lucky to find a space tomorrow.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Just Two Hours To Tixall Wide

Tixall Lock Cottage

Approaching Tixall Lock

Moored at Tixall Wide
Up bright and early ......well 9 o'clock! We  took Ben for a walk as far as B & Q and on the way back I did the shopping at Aldi  as it's close to the canal.  I had a lot of shopping for my money so you can see why it's a busy store. Eric and Ben the dog walked back to the boat while I did the shopping rather than stand and wait an age for me.

Back onboard I filled the fridge and put some ice-cream in the freezer compartment for those hot times when an ice-cream cornet would go down a treat. We do have a freezer under our bed but I haven't used it for a while as the noise drives me nuts. I  like peace and quiet not a constant hum and the thermostat clicking on and off.

Just one lock today and we were soon moored at Tixall Wide. Ben the dog wasn't too keen on jumping off as it's quite a jump to the ground, I got growled at but that's nothing new. He's a grump at times! He's currently stretched out fast asleep as it was quite a long walk for him this morning.

I took my boots off as my feet were hot and a cheeky horsefly bit my little toe as I stood on the back of the boat. Antihistamine cream to the rescue as I bought a new tube in Stafford.

I must make a mention to the boaters' who passed  us as we travel telling us they read my blog......Thank you for reading it.