Monday, 26 September 2016
Day around the boat.
Tuesday 20 September.
Into Hazel Grove by Bus to pick up a rental car. A bit disappointed as we ordered the smallest car available and normally are given the next size up. Not this time. We drive around the corner to Visit Uncle John (Barry's uncle) for a cuppa and chat before heading off to Macclesfield to pick up the material Diana wants for the dining room curtains. A huge warehouse with a massive selection. I can see why Diana likes this place. We leave there with an extra 10kg of luggage to bring home. We take the road to Whaley Bridge which we have not been on before. Quite windy for a well used road with us stopping when we could to let the locals race past.
Wednesday 21 September. 4 miles.
Motor off past New Mills then turn around and stop to fill the diesel tank and empty the holding tank before travelling back past the marina to turn around before backing Molly into position for the winter. The afternoon is spent packing what we will travel home with. All this is put into the car and we move into the holiday let at New Mills. F & C for tea. We make use of the dryers to finish drying all of the washing.
Thursday 22 September.
I am back to the boat to finish putting Molly to bed while Diana completes drying all the washing. After I have removed all the domestic water, disconnected the batteries and vacuumed I return to pick up Diana and we put all the linen away and place the dehumidifier pots throughout the boat. This done we leave and do a couple of bits and pieces in the car. We realise we still need to return a couple of things to the boat and do this on the way to the Soldier Dick (pub) in Furnress Vale where we will have tea.
Friday 23 September.
All packed up and ready to leave. loaded the little car with cases, bolt of material, hand luggage and off we go to Manchester Airport. Drop off the car and take the shuttle bus to the terminal and walk to the railway station. We have about an hour to wait so have an early lunch which turn out to be a good choice. Went to the platform and when the train arrived we loaded all the gear in and found our seats. we had requested forward facing, a table, power and close to the luggage rack. we got 2 out of the 4 so ended up traveling backwards to Scotland. train not very full from the airport but after stopping in Manchester the train was full almost all the way. Once we settled into the journey it was announced they had a fault with the refreshments trolley so there would not be a service today. Three and a half hours later, in not that comfortable seats we arrive in Glasgow on time and just as Murray arrives on the platform. We take a cab to his place and settle in for the week.
Jim and Anne arrive at the Marina having driven down from Preston to take us on another of their tours. We head off southwest to Chapel-en-le-Frith then turn West and steadily climb through beautiful scenery to one of the high points of the Peak National Park. This area is known for it's Blue John stone which comes from one of the caves and is not found anywhere else. There are some high cliffs with many paragliders soaring along the edge. We now descend down a steep winding busy tourist road to the beautiful village/town of Castleton. There is no where to stop and continue on to Heathersage and visit the tomb of "Little John". He spent his later years here. After a bite to eat we moved on to Eyam. Eyam is known for it's actions during the plague. The town isolated itself when a villager got the plague and had no contact with the rest of the country until there were no further cases, thus stopping the spread of the disease into surrounding areas. There is a National Trust house, Eyam Hall. Owned by one family for 11 generations. They still own the house and live in the village but have leased it to The National trust for a number of years. It is well presented with a lived in feel to the house and gardens. We continue with a walk around the village and then look for a Pub, after all it is Sunday. We have our Sunday Roast in the village of Foolow on our way back to the marina via Chapel-en-le-Frith and Whaley Bridge. The Tour finishes with coffee on Molly Rose before Jim & Anne return to Preston. Thanks to you both for a Great Tour.
Friday, 16 September 2016
Saturday 17 september.
Wash the other side of the boat before we walk into New Mills to buy a bit of hardware. Diana stays to check out the charity shops while I return to the boat and set about polishing the second side. It takes all afternoon.
Tuesday, 13 September 2016
Saturday, 10 September 2016
Friday, 9 September 2016
Wednesday, 7 September 2016
Saturday, 3 September 2016
Monday, 29 August 2016
Wednesday, 24 August 2016
Friday, 19 August 2016
Thursday, 18 August 2016
It was a foggy day to start with an eerie feeling, the trees poking through the fog and great reflections on the canal. We were almost ready to leave when a boat goes past going our way so I ask them if they would wait 5 minutes for us. They agree. We had been through a lock with them earlier. The couple and their two younger teenagers had spent a month in NZ a couple of years ago. With their help we raced up 5 locks where we were to moor up so we could walk up the last two locks to the village. No chance of a mooring up there. On the way up the locks I discussed what we were doing and they chose to do the same except they would stay the night. When we got up to the village we did the tourist side of the canal then stopped for a coffee, after which we crossed to the other side where there were just as many photo opportunities. The other boat is owned by her parents who live on it fulltime. When it is holiday time the couple and their two kids drive to where the boat is and her parents drive the car back to where it had come from. After two weeks holiday the parents drive to wherever the boat is and they swap over again. Seems like a great arrangement to me. We saw the family a couple of times in the village. So why so much about them? They were a delightful family with well balanced and mannered kids. The people that give you faith in the future of our world. I do hope they get to NZ again and meet up with them. About 1300 we set off up the last 2 locks with help from the public as this is a place where many come to see canal boats. As we approach the Blisworth tunnel I am reprimanded by the Smithy at the entrance for going too fast. Into the hole we go. It is double so the concentration is not as intense as a narrow tunnel. I have time to look around. What do you see? Brick linings, water dripping and in some cases pouring in. This has been happening for years and many interesting stalactites have developed. Not long after leaving the tunnel we pass the junction to Northampton, 17 locks down and 17 back up does not make it an attractive option to visit. We continue slowly through mainly open country with few buildings to see until mooring up for the night at Weedon next to the west coast main line with trains passing every few minutes.
The reference to Merlin's. Yesterday as I was walking down the locks I heard an aircraft with an obvious powerful engine and thought to myself, nothing special. As the Spitfire went past I looked up to see him complete a couple of barrel rolls. Today as we passed the Northampton Junction I was concentrating on taking a photo. When I put the camera down I look up to see a Lancaster disappearing in the distance.
Wednesday, 17 August 2016
Wednesday 17 August. 10 miles, 1 lock.
Looking to put in a big day. Away before 0900 traveling around the edge of Milton Keynes. Mostly amongst trees and parkland with a few clumps of houses. Many moored up boats to trickle past until we get to Wolverton where we spend 1 1/2 hours supermarket shopping. I decide not to stop for lunch to make up some time. 2 miles later we are into the first of the locks up to Bilsworth tunnel. For 5 miles there are no towns on the canal but the view and atmosphere make for a nice days boating. We reach the bottom of a flight of 7 locks but because of the heat moor up for a while. At the top of the locks is Stoke Bruerne, a well known canal centre where CRT have a museum. I walk up the locks to check it out while Diana puts her feet up. Too much walking to villages recently and her hip is playing up. I don't know what the Temperature is today but working locks with no shade doesn't seem like a good idea. I spend some time in the museum and make plan for tommorow. I wont tell you the plan I will blog what happend later.
Tuesday 16 August. 8 1/2 miles, 1 lock.
About an hour into the morning travel we go down Fenny Stratford lock. The drop is a masive 1ft 1inch and takes us to the bottom of the hill with 11 miles before we start up the other side. The Canal Guide suggests we vist Willen and Great Linford so stop for lunch at the bridge giving us access to Willen then off to find the Church of interest. 20 minues later we arrive to find the church locked and the main point of interest is inside. Wander around for a while ad then see a note with a phone number to ring for access. Shortly after we are in. The ceiling is very tall for the relitvel small church and inerior is painted pink, picked out in white and gold. Quite different. Back to the boat with less than a mile to moor up for Great Linford. We take what looks like the quickest route and end up at the top end of the interesting part with thatched, brick and stone buildings. Then down past the pub to the old Manor House and associated church and buildings. We walk back to the boat along the tow path and this isn't the quikest route. Back on the boat and move to moor up opposite where we have just been. Not a long day travelling but a lot of walking so we are left with a few miles to catch up tomorrow.
Tuesday, 16 August 2016
Monday 15 August. 5 miles, 5 locks.
Walked into Leighton Buzzard for a look around. It is a Market Town with a good selection of shops in the main street. There are a few chain stores but they are generally in adjacent streets so don't detract from the Market Town Feel. Diana had a fix of Charity shops, before lunch & internet at Costa. Bought a small amount of food before going back to the boat and headed off around 2. We went past a large hire boat company before the first lock and were imediately followed by hire boats. Very pleased we didn't leave any latter as we were 2nd in the que already. We meandered through the country side for 3 miles before reaching a flight of 3 locks. Volunteers were on hand to help and organise who should do what. Interesting results some times with pairs of boats going up and down which requires a crossover in small pounds between the locks. Carried on to do one more lock and as we approached I could see it was going to be difficult to moor up with a boat on the lock mooring. When we got there the couple of the boat were pocking around in the hedge so assumed they were picking blackberries. No the were trying to catch a baby Moorhen. It was covered in green paint. There was paint stuck to tree roots and the side of the canal. Looks like a pot of paint had been dropped while painting a boat, We have past a number of boats moored up with crew out with paint brushes today. Back to the moorhen, The one in the hedge was eventually caught with a net when it came out into the open. When we left they were trying to entice another one with bread and the net at the ready. They were planing on taking them to a vet to get cleaned up. Soon after we moored up. Interestingly the bloke on the Green boat behind us was removing masking tape from his boat. I finished the day preforming an oil change.
Sunday, 14 August 2016
Sunday 14 August. 5 1/2 miles, 9 locks.
Away a bit later this morning but still at a good time. A couple of old boats had gone down the lock so I went to fill it up before we got underway, and what did I find? A windlass. Even the long time boaters can have a memory lapse. As we are following the old boats we have to fill each lock before we go down so progress is not fast. At the second lock we are pleased to see a boat catching up but alas they are travelling with another so we are still left to go down by ourselves. The locks are spaced out a bit more now so there is a sence of a rest between each one. We are in open country and in many places there are no hedge rows so we can enjoy the panaramic views. Around lunch time we see an advert for a nearby pub so phone to make a booking. Not interested in walking the 880yrds to find out they are booked up. It was a 16th century Thatched, village pub with a carvery. In the past most places with a carvery are big and very commercial, this retained its village character and provided a good range of meats and veg with a complimentary ice cream to finish. Diana had a Stem Ginger sticky pudding. No room for tea tonight! Took a few photos around the village of Slapton before walking back to the boat and continuing on through 2 more locks before mooring up just short of Leighton Buzzard. In the distance we hear a brass band playing and contemplate walking into town but, enough is enough, we have been on our feet all day.
Saturday 13 August. 7 miles, 16 locks.
Away at a reasonable hour and slowly worked our way through the first 4 locks by ourselves. Although we were still in Berkhamsted it felt like a country canal. At lock 5 Diana gives a gasp "Where's my windlass?" Yep it is at the last lock. There was a Heron there and the camera was in full flight and the usual sequence of events when we leave a lock was broken. Most of the climb so far the locks are reasonably close, this one was a good 3/4 mile behind us. Off she went at a good pace hoping that no one would have taken her most precious windlass in the collection. This gave me the chance to prove to myself that I could, if need be, take the boat through a lock solo. Well I can. Takes time and one doesn't want to rush and get something wrong. Once I was through it was about the time I expected Diana back so moored up and wandered back down the canal and found her at the first corner with a happy face. 2 locks later we are at the top of the hill. 420ft above the river. We trundeled along for about 3 miles and stopped for lunch before it is time to change the mindset and start down the otherside. There is a flight of 6 locks and while trying to get enough water into a leaky lock to open the gate another boat appears. They were a great help as their boat lives nearby and they are very familiar with the locks and they have a crew of 3. We were going so well until a boat comming up got caught by the wind and turned him right around so that he had to go into the lock backwards. This all takes time. Last lock has an ice ream shop so we managed to lick away at one of those. The other boat left us at the bottom of the flight and we continued managing to join another boat through the next 2 before they stopped for the night around a couple of corners to a swing bridge which was opened by a nearby fisherman and we stop before the next lock. Generator out and 3 woads of washing done before diner and an early night.
Friday, 12 August 2016
Thursday, 11 August 2016
Wednesday, 10 August 2016
Wednesday 10 August. 6 miles, 12 locks.
Left our smelly mooring and went up the first two locks before we pass aTesco supermarket with moorings provide, would be sill not to stop. At the next lock we are joined by another boat. First time we have shared a lock so far. At this lock there is a Canal Centre so we plan on stopping and loosing our companion. As it turns out there are no moorings so we see them again at the next lock. After that we let them go when we stop for lunch. With lunch over we are preparing to move when a boat goes passed so we race off behind them and go through the next 8 locks with them. We had seen them several times before on the Oxford, Thames & Grand union. After the last lock they have a spot ahead where they plan to spend the night and we take the first available mooring which is behind the first boat we shared a lock with. Finised the day with a walk around the old part of Hunton Bridge.
Tuesday, 9 August 2016
Monday, 8 August 2016
Interesting point: When we left the Thames were were just 4 miles upstream from the Hammersmith bridge where I had walked along the river when visiting Richard back in 2003 also we were about 3 miles direct to where he and Mel lived. Guess I can say I have been to London in my boat and that there is very little of the Thames I havent seen when you also consider I had done the tourist boat trip to the Thames Flood Barrier back in 1990.
Tuesday, 26 July 2016
Sunday, 24 July 2016
Friday, 15 July 2016
Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Tuesday 12 July. 2 1/2 miles
Overcast morning. Walked to the co-op for milk and bread and brought crossaints back for breakfast. Had a chat with those on the boat in front and behind before moving off just as the first of the drizzel started. None forecast till late afternoon. A short time later I hear a horn tooting and presume it is a car going over a hump back bridge but the tooting continues so I look behind to where a boat has rapidly caught us up. I get no hand signals but see a kid on the boat and guess he is playing with the horn. A bit later I feel the presure wave and look around to see the boat very close so move to the edge and invite him to pass. As he goes past he asks if this is the way to Braunston! About now the dynamics of two 7ft wide boats travelling in the same direction on a narrow canal take over. As he powers passed me I almost stop with the pressure of his bow wave. When he is halfway past I ride his stern wave which means his motor is trying to pull two boats. I speed up and he slows down. Soon after there is a narrowing of the canal so I power off but we are still travelling at the same speed I ask him if he is going to make the gap. At this point it all gets too hard for him and I go through the narrow first. Soon after we have reached the spot where we are going to moor up and he goes past. I hope he found Braunston.
Drizzel has stopped and we made the 35 min walked into Rugby. It was getting cold and without a jacket I frequent a couple of Charity shops and spend 4 quid on a nice warm one. We take in some of the architechture and then a late lunch. Call into the info centre to find out what to do and what to plan for on the way back. We are given the Blue Plaques brochure and a map that she points out a couple of buildings to look at around Rugby School. We decide to do the school ones. Well when we get to the first we see some more down the road and then some more till eventually we have to turn back towards the boat or we will never get away. As we pass an open doorway Diana puts her head in and starts taking photos. From behind us a bloke on a bike says go on in if you like. Off course we did. Then he says you can go over the court yard and down those step if you like. The place had beautiful buildings and gardens. As we were about to leave he turns up again and askes if we would like to look in the Chapel. Too right we would. Well it was a couple of hours before we got to the Chapel as he gave us a guide tour through so many of the buildings that are not seen by the public. We were lucky that summer holidays started last week.
To Michael the porter, Thank you. I hope Diana will have pictures on her blog to show the magnificence of the buildings and interiors. OK it is now almost 6pm and the drizzle is back as we walk the 35 min back to the boat. I'm not happy where we are moored so don my wet weather gear and head out of town as the rain becomes continuouse. It is not too long before we find a suitable spot for the night and tie up behind the same couple we were behind last night.
Monday, 11 July 2016
Friday 8 July, 12 miles, 2 locks.
Set off watching the engine temperature gauge very closely. Sat at its normal temp all day so no conclusion on what happened yesterday. It was a bit windy, blowing the boat about and difficult to handle at times. Did the 2 locks through Tamworth and moored up to the east at the village of Polesworth. Walked into the village to a variety of architechture, black & white, thatched, stone and an Abbey dating back to the 10th Century. Found a chippy so had F & C in the park for tea before returning to the boat.
Saturday 9 July. 6 miles, 11 locks.
It absolutly through it down last night and still was when we woke. It is forecast to improve around lunch time so we are not moving. Late morning the rain stoppd and it looked like it would be OK for a while so went back into the village to look in the Abbey that was closed last night. It had an interesting interior but nothing different to others we have visited. A lovely Sensory garden that won a civic award in 2006. The original 10th Century Gate house is all that remains from that era and is now used as a house. Set off about 2pm. Just before Atherstone there are 3 sets of locks, 2 in each. After those 6 we have a choice of stopping or doing the remaining 5 to get to the top of the Atertone flight. We decide to go on as we should be through reasonable quickly.
Lock one, good. Lock two, A boat comming down decided to pinch our water. By the time the lock is ready we let a boat behind go through because in chatting to them earlier they have just been told they are about to have their first grandchild and need to get back to their marina. Felt a bit sorry for them. They had started down the flight when they got the call and had to contine down 6 locks before they could turn around and come back up the same six. We first meet then on the 5th one going down. Lock 3, 4 & 5 were straight forward except at the top lock and olde guy, about my age started talking and I guess it was 30 minutes later before we got away and then moored up by Hartshill for the night.
Sunday 10 July. 9 miles.
Being Sunday a Sunday roast is the plan especially as it is Diana's birthday. Asked a few people about a good pub and they all recomended The Greyhound at Hawkesbury Junction. We are booked in for 6pm. Off we go through Nuneaton, past the Ashby Canal Junction and arrive at Hawkesbury around 5pm. Tiddy up and walk to the pub for a very nice meal to finish with ice cream and a special coffee. Should have mentioned Diana's treat. I got the generator out this morning so she could use her hair dryer.
Monday 11 July. 11 1/2 miles, 1 lock, 1 swing bridge, 1 tunnel.
An overcast start to the day with wind gusting to 30mph. Not looking forward to the "U" turn required to get onto the Oxford canal. In the end it turned out OK and there were no major crashes. Spent a good portion of the day within earshot of, alongside or under the M6. Passed the spot where we had Dinner on Molly Rose as guests of the previous owners in 2010. Have moored up on the outskirts of Rugby at Newbold on Avon.
Thursday, 7 July 2016
Tuesday 5 July.
A Summers, chill out day. Moved the boat a few yards to where we will get sun in the morning overlooking the wider expanse of Tixall Wide. Farted around on and with the boat all morning. Walked into Great Haywood for a coffee and to take advantage of the cafe's power and internet.
Wednesday 6 July. 10 1/2 miles, 2 locks.
Time to get back on track. Enjoyed the scenery where we were then moved off to Great Haywood Junction. There we had a pump out, filled with water and had lunch at the top of the first lock. On our way by 1400. We decided to make sure we were through Rugeley before mooring up for the night as we had been told not to moor there last time we went through. We were surprised to see a large number of boats moored up in reasonably good neighbour hoods. Stopped to go to the supermarket as there is a good Morrisons not to far from the canal. As we left the towpath, there in front of us not more than 100 yards away was a brand spanking new Tesco superstore. It is great to have these facilities so close to the canal. A bit late away from there but the evening was pleasant enough. I was aiming to stop at a spot we had stayed on this day in 2010 with Robert & Mary. I knew we were close and as I passed the spot it looked familiar but going a bit quick to stop so went for the next good spot. It didn't come so ended under trees about a mile on.
Thursday 7 July. 7 miles, 3 locks.
Only 3 locks on the programe today. Away about 1030 and arrived at the first lock number 2 in the que. There were 4 boats comming the other way. Approaching the top lock at Fradley Junction the mind goes back to 2010 when as we approached this lock the reverse gear failed and we made a controlled crash into the approaches. Today is different. Straight in, volunteer lock keepers on duty to work the locks. At the junction turned right onto the Coventry canal and trundelled on down until the engine overheated so pulled over and moored up in front of a Pub. It was the only thing there. Had a good look to see what the problem was, talked to a couple of boaties and between us decided we couldn't figure it out. Rang, River & Canal Rescue, (AA of the waterways) who made some suggestions which I tried. In the end they sent an engineer who couldn't tell me why we had overheated and checked every thing out as OK. Late now so staying the night next to a busy railway line. Tomorrow I will watch the temperature guage like a hawk.
Monday, 4 July 2016
Monday 4 July. 6 miles 1 lock.
Beautiful summers day. well it started that way. I went into the "Hough Retail Park" to get a replacement toilet seat for the one that had been holding on by two, then one and eventually no screws. The shop was about a 20 minute walk towards Stafford. Managed to get one that was all the right measurements except its length that was a bit longer than the broken one. Fits but only just. It will have to do. Caught up with Diana at another retail centre where she looked in most shops and bought very little. Back on board for lunch then up the canal to turn around. I was expecting to go 3 miles and 1 lock to turn then back throuh the lock and 3 miles back to where we started from. As it turned out there was a boat club a mile up the canal and before the lock. Their entrance was just big enough to turn in. We also filled with water as the tank was getting very low. Trundled down the canal under an overcast sky and a cool wind to end the day in the Tixall Wide. The canal widens out into a bit of a lake and the bird wife is meant to be good here. As it turned out our summers day had left us by now and the birds were all hidding out of the rain.
Wednesday, 29 June 2016
We have outstayed our welcome above the locks so time to move. Off back up the canal for 10 minutes where we could turn and then head back down, through 3 locks to the centre of Stone. Managed to moor up in the spot vacated by the Kiwi boat. The morning was spent cleaning up the guest cabin which is normally my workshop and storage space. After lunch we walk to the station to meet Ray & Rosemary. It has been a pleasant morning with sunshine and cloud. Shortly after we leave the station the predicted rain arrives, light at first but before we make it to the boat coats are on and brollies up. Settled into the boat then to keep awake it is into town for a look around and a coffee at Costa where power and wifi are available. Rain comes back again so we wait on board for a break in the weather before we walk the 200 yds to the pub for dinner. Rain is back by the time we finish which means a damp dash back to the boat. We have achieved the visitors aim to stay awake till late to reset their body clocks.
Saturday, 25 June 2016
Walked to the station the long way to avoid crossing the railway twice. There we no ramps so I didn't like the idea of carrying the 24kg up and down more than I had too. After she had left it was into town to check out a few places and buy some bits and pieces. I called into all the Charity shops looking for a large scale road map. It can be difficult getting some perspective of where we are when our canal map only shows 1 mile each side of the canal. Stone is not that big so it didn't take long. Lunch on the boat followed by some maintenance. Hope to make some improvements during the few days here. Scraped down some areas of rust and put some rust inhibitor where necessary.
Thursday, 23 June 2016
Tuesday, 21 June 2016
Decided not to move and have a catch up day. I dried out the back of the boat and talked to the engineer about why the bilge pump might not be working. We hope to get it looked at over the weekend. It was wash day so the generator came out onto the towpath and after fiddling for a while it leaped into life and purred away for some time. With the generator running we have 230 volts so the vacuum cleaner came out and the electronics were charged up. We looked a bit like a Gypsy camp with the engine boards leaning against the fence, the generator running, clothes line tied to a mooring ring and other paraphernalia beside the boat. Mid afternoon the washing is almost dry so we need a walk and Wedgwood world is about 30min away. They have changed the entrance since last year so within 15 minutes we are having coffee and cake there. Wander through the free bits to see if anything has changed. I'm a bit disappointed in the style they are making at the moment. Only thing that had "class" was a brown and gold pattern. Tempted? No. The espresso cup and saucer were available at $90.00. Nice day in the sun. There is a vintage boat rally further down the track and during the day saw many old boats chugging past us.
Monday, 20 June 2016
Monday 20 June, 5 miles, 6 locks
What a misserable start to the longest day of the year. Woke to steady rain so turned over and fulled the duvet up for an extra hour. The forcast expects a brief improvement around 11, so we wait. At 11 it brightened up a bit, at least the rain had stopped so we walked up to Tesco's extra about 15 minutes away. 2 hours later we head back to the boat for lunch. Rain starts again and the forcast is talking about an improvement around 1500 and once again they we right. It has stoped raining and looking more promising so we fill with water and head off down the first flight of 3 locks with patches of warm sunshine. Stop in Stoke to pick up some rail tickets for Diana to go to Glasgow to do her Florence Nightengale bit for Murray who is having an op this weekend. The time now is 1800, the sun is out and it is a pleasure to be out on the canal. We keep heading south to clear Stoke before we stop. After one more lock we moor up opposite the Wedgwood factory. Visited last year so no need to return this year. Sat on the back of the boat for wine, cheese and bickies.
So you see it's not all gloom and doom.
Sunday, 19 June 2016
Sunday 19 June. 3 miles.
We set off with two plans. The number 1 plan falls into place as we round the corner and a mooring is available outside Middleport Pottery. There was a craft fair on so toured the 10 or so stands 50% a waste of time with a couple of interesting ones. Then to lunch and the days special was the same as 8 months ago. Back pudding & cheddar oakcakes, yum. Diana did a couple more rooms of Burleigh pottery while I had the chance to see the first days running of the steam engine that ran the factory in the past. The engine had been restored some time ago and they often demonstrated it using electricity. They now have a new boiler to run it on steam. Great to talk to a bunch of enthusiastic guys who had worked to make it happen. Mid afternoon we leave and set off the short distance to Etruria. Not long after we move we realise that Yesterday was summer and are now moored up testing if I have fixed the leaks.
Saturday 18 June. 7 miles, 1 lock, 1 tunnel.
Overcast morning. Worth the risk so put some gunk around the window. On the move by 1030 at a leisurely pace and at times in sunshine. Stopped for water at the not vert deep stop lock, in fact the drop would have been less than a foot. It was there to stop one canal company from pinching the water of anothers. Just before joining the Trent & Mersey canal we moor up for lunch. 30 minutes after we set off again we are waiting at the entrance to the one way Harecastle tunnel. About an hour later we go through by our selves popping out the other end in 35 minutes, just 1 mile short of The Poteries. Moored up at Westport Lake for the 5th time. So ends a day without rain and we spent some of it underground.
Friday, 17 June 2016
Need to hang around for a while. The sealant that John left me is a bit old and won't flow so he will pick up a new tube on his way back from Liverpool today. Dried out and prepared the area that needs the gunk in preparation for later in the day. Weather is not too bad with a short showing of the sun around midday. The Gunk is due to arrive just after 1500 and guess what the rain arrived just before 1500 so I need to dry out the area again and then have a window of an hour for it to dry before the next rain. About 1700 it is looking like it might be OK but every time I think I will try, black clouds appear. Good old hindsight say I could have done the job. There is always tomorrow! I need to do the job in Congleton as the towpath is on the right side. As soon as we go under the next bridge the towpath changes sides and will be on the wrong side for about 3 days. We have overstayed the time allowed on this mooring but I don't have any option. I looked at shifting the boat 100yds or so where the boat can be left longer but there is not enough room before the bridge.
Thursday 16 June.
Emptied the bulges after heavy rain last night. We're invited out for tea & scones. Very nice too. Alan took us to town and dropped us at the Antique Centre. Some nice stuff, could have been tempted if I didn't have to get them home. Did a bit of shopping and stared to walk back up to the canal. It just through it down. We had coats but still got back looking like drowned rats. Too wet to try and seal up the leaks.
Took Alan & Marian to the Young Pretender. Best pub for pies that I have come across. Compulsory stop in Congleton. Back for a cuppa and bed.
Wednesday, 15 June 2016
Weather was overcast with the likely hood of rain but today we will set off. First lock was set so straight in and down. Second lock caught Diana out. It needed filling. I watched her go to the wrong end, look puzzled then return to the top end, lift the paddle and fill the lock. It has been a while but it wasn't to long before the old routines came back. A good run down with a number of boats comming up which meant most of the locks were full for us to go into. 2 1/2 hours later we are at the bottom and stop for lunch. There is a boat flying the union and NZ flag so we make ourselves know. They are in their 5th year doing the same as us with the southern summer based in their Nelson home where they also have a yacht. The discussions continued and it turns out that both of the males have the same item on their bucket list. Sailing our narrow boats under Tower Bridge. I think next years plan is in the making. Pity they were travelling in the other direction as I'm sure we would have had good traveling companions. Motored the 4 miles into Colgenton where we were meet by Marion who had sorted a mooring spot close to their home. After a bit of boat tidying it was around to their place for a cuppa before we were taken out to diner at a pub in Astbury. A quick tour to Barthomly to view the church before home to bed.
Sunday, 12 June 2016
Not a pub in site so no Sunday Roast. Never mind Diana is cooking a meat and veg substitute. Pork chops, spuds, cauliflower and cheese sauce.