Stowe Hill Marine open weekend May 2004

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

I was sorting out my picture files the other day and found some photographs of the first Stowe Hill open weekend we attended with Black Bess - we had taken her over two weeks before. Pete & Julie Hill  held the open weekends during the weekend of  the Crick Boat Show and was supported by as many owners as possible. We had been to the Boat Show in 2003 to have a final look around some other builders and then visited Stowe on the Sunday. We placed our order for BB about 7 days later - a huge decision at the time but one we have never regretted.

The following pictures are of the 2004 weekend meeting and show what a great sight it was. The 2005 meeting was the last open weekend as the business had then been sold.














Cryo Ablation and then a trip to Market Harborough

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Another  post I'm afraid after our trip out last month to Market Harborough on the lovely rural Leicester Arm of the Grand Union Canal. Although that may change as another marina at North Kilworth is nearing completion. The problem is that I use an EE pay as you go dongle to do my blog posts when we are out cruising. I went to activate it before our trip but could not access it and no time to sort out an alternative arrangement! Again our trip was delayed as I had a cryo ablation,at the end of May, to stop the additional electrical signals that cause the atrial fibrillation. The NHS team who performed the procedure in Eastbourne were absolutely brilliant again and it seems to have worked as my blood pressure monitor does not show that I have AF-long may it last. 

Our trip was in the first heat wave when the temperature hit 34 degrees- although the following week it rained all day and we had the fire alight- a typical English summer then. A few pictures of the trip follow

A hot day at the start of our trip with even the cows taking to the shade


We had two helpers for a few days -Dusty and Krysha. Dusty usually does offshore sailing and they were both experencing ditch creawling for the first time up Watford flight

We had a lovely mooring made for a 50 footer just before bridge 39 near the Welford Arm.

I just love this view of the Leicestershire countryside as you plunge down the escarpment  at Foxton. This flight is a staircase flight of two groups of 5 locks with side ponds and a lot of gongoozlers. Next stop Market Harborough primarily to see Anne's aunt 



We stayed at Union Wharf for 3 nights as we wanted to go into Leicester by bus to see King Richard III's grave in the cathedral and visit the excellent visitor centre The above  is a 3D model of his skeleton as found.



Going back up Foxton flight this Robin followed up through 2 of the staircase locks, I assume looking for any bugs on the lock gates.

Our mooring after leaving the top lock at Foxton just before bridge 50- who says you cannot get away from people in this country!
This most unusual boat was outside North Kilworth boat yard 

The new marina just south of North Kilworth bridge nearly ready to take its first boats.

These boats are just past bridge 16 going north and  on the start of a tight right turn- we had to make an emergency stop on the way up as a boat came round the bend rather fast- who said canal boating was easy!!

This and the next picture is of a rather unusual boat. It seems to be a modern copy in steel of  an early canal hire boat/river cruiser.


Working in the cratch back at the marina these two ducks refused to move obviously waiting to be fed. The one on the left has menacing eyes

Into Braunston and hull painting

Monday, 15 May 2017


We had a few days free last week and the weather looked promising so a quick trip to the boat to do a bit of tlc to the hull. I thought it looked alright last year but obviously our trip to the Basingstoke Canal and River Wey  in 2015 had taken its toll. Its always much nicer to do the work out on the cut so a nice cruise into Braunston was definitely on the cards.

Even though you travel the same piece of canal' each time you do it there is always something new to do or see- the trip was no exception.

Our first stop was just before bridge 100 near Wolfhampcote where I was able to rub down and prime the worst of the chips and scratches. After this was completed I decided a walk in the sunshine was in order. As you go into Braunston from Napton you pass the remains of the old Great Central Railway bridge (easily seen with  Pink Floyd painted on it) between bridges 98 and 97. Nature has taken over the cutting leading up to the bridge from the site and an old bridge has been demolished and filled in for access.


The old GCR looking south-the  remains of the Pink Floyd bridge is behind me.
From the above spot you do get a different view of the Braunston church spire and the old windmill
We had to turn the boat so a trip into the winding hole outside the marina was required plus a trip into the butchers in the village for two pies, pork pie and some of his lovely sausages.

Coming out of Braunston  a lot of tree felling has been carried out which really does open up the junction area


The old butty at Wolfhampcote has now sunk and is probably  beyond salvage



Rain was forecast so this sheep has taken appropriate action to be ready for it.

I noticed this Great Dane by one of the residential moorings on the way in. On the way back it was still in the same position- the penny finally dropped that it was a statue and very realistic too!!!!

Bird on a hot felt roof.

We stopped  just before bridge 103 to enable me to do the other side again in sunshine although it did rain overnight.




A trip to North Wales including the "Monty" Canal and a date for an ablation procedure

Friday, 5 May 2017

No spring cruise again this year as the saga of atrial fibrillation continues to impose itself on what we can do. Whilst my last cardioversion in January has me still in normal rhythm its also due to medication. The tablet has some major side effects and is not suitable for long term use. Therefore an ablation procedure is to be carried out at the end of May. It  is non surgical and should be done in a day 

 We are therefore waiting for this now but in the meantime have been up to North Wales to help a very good friend downsize to a flat in Llandudno. It was hard work but it did allow us to do a few other things including a visit to the isolated section of the Montgomery Canal through Welshpool.


Welshpool town lock-its a bye wash on the right which used to power a watermill of an old corn mill. This is an isolated section of the Montgomery Canal which leaves the Llangollen Canal at Frankton Junction onto a section of the canal which is navigable.

The impressive warehouse now a museum



Another view of the warehouse which shows its size-it must have been a busy place
                                   



The old bridge which was used by Welshpool & Llanfair narrow gauge railway

A view from the top of the Great Orme with a tram coming up from Llandudno

We had to have a trip on one of the Great Little Trains of Wales.This is the Talyllyn  and the loco is Edward Thomas,only built in 1921. The two oldest on the line are Talyllyn- 1864 and Dolgoch-1866.

A view from the train as we climb the valley towards Abergynolwyn



Hull blacking and a trip to the "new" end of the Ashby Canal

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Yes we are still boating but since Sept last year I have been awaiting another cardioversion my 3rd and for a small operation on a trigger finger. This getting older lark is a pain in the everything! As I had said that I would come in for the ops whenever required we couldn't go on long trips. So a 2 week trip to the Ashby Canal in September, back home for an appointment and then a trip to the US in October. The US trip was to New England to see the New England autumn colours which were fabulous. I eventually had the trigger finger done in mid December and the cardioversion in Jan 2017.


It is 2 1/2 years since BB was painted and she now needed her hull blacked.Coming onto the trolley at Calcutt Boats after we had taken all loose items off the shelves and taped over the heating exhaust. She comes out at a bit of an angle and as we sit low in the water it could enter the heater exhaust pipe. 

Safely on the trolley and now on dry land and it clearly shows how the hull has been built to sit in the water

The power end not looking too bad but does show the size of the rudder which makes the tiller a little heavy but she does hold a course well

A few photographs of our trip to the Ashby Canal last September.
Whenever you muck up a manoeuvre there is always a large crowed around -  never when you do it flawlessly!! 

Our very pleasant overnight mooring on the Ashby just before Burton Hastings and the very sharp bend

The new last navigable bridge on the Ashby Canal is now Br 62. The canal finishes at a 50ft winding hole just past this bridge which we didn't use as we had been warned that because of little use its a bit shallow. It was still good to walk along the new length of the canal from its existing terminus and look forward to future possibilities.

This lovely classic tug went past us as we moored up in Rugby for Tesco's

I had a bit of deja vue as we approached nb Yavas , from a distance it looked just like BB- you do not see many black boats on the waterways.

How about this for a different bird house

and finally one picture of the colours in New England
The Conway Railroad which goes through part of the White Mountain National Forest towards Mount Washington

Oxford Canal to Banbury and a visit to the Rochdale Canal

Friday, 9 September 2016

The cardioversion for my atrial fibrillation seems to be working as I appear to be in sinous rhythm - hopefully it will continue. We have been home for July and August as we had some race officer/timekeeper commitments at the sailing club. Unfortunately the weather worked against us and in the end we only had to do one race, the others being blown off!!! Other family commitments including a christening in Manchester mean we will only manage a short trip to the Ashby Canal.

A few pictures follow of a visit we made to Hebden Bridge-by car- which is recovering from the terrible flooding they had last Boxing Day. We also managed a short trip down the Oxford canal to Banbury and back again. One of the best things about our canal network is that no matter how long or short you are on it or near it you will always see something of interest or unusual.



The wharf at Hebden Bridge which flooded over the bank by the dry dock and flooded the town.

A rather nice tug 
I think this is lock 11 in the centre of Hebden Bridge
                                 

The lovely Grade 2  listed LNWR  Hebden Bridge station




Our mooring on the Oxford canal past Marston Dole and just before bridge 125

A baby Water Buffalo seen as we went up Napton flight

Anne trying to persuade a couple of swans not to go into the lock- after a good talking to they eventually went out

Sometimes its difficult to get a mooring in Croperdy. CRT have put arrmco in just before bridge 156 - going south.

This lot put their heads over the wall to see what all the noise was about as we went down  Claydon top lock

Even for animals its always greener just that bit further on!

The house at Marston Dole always has something of interest-this time its a BMW Isetta bubble car. I got trapped in one of these when a friend who was driving stopped too near a wall. They have no reverse gear but open from the front. We had to shout until somebody came along and very kindly pushed us back so we could get out. Those were the days of fun motoring!