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!

No long cruise but visits to Monmouthshire and Shrewsbury Canals

Monday, 11 July 2016

Sorry for the long gap between posts but we have not been able to go on a long cruises this year as I have been waiting for consultants and follow up hospital appointments which also involved changes to medication which complicated it all. During a routine visit to the doctors they found that I had Atrial Fibrillation. I have just had a 2nd cardioversion procedure which has reset  my heart rate and hopefully this one will be successful. The cardiology unit staff at our local hospital have been fantastic. Will take it easy in July and August enjoying the summer!!!!! and with luck we will be able to cruise BB in September. We have been on a few visits by car to some canals -pictures below- and have had  a few days out on BB when we knew dates had been arranged.

We had a road trip to Wales which included some watery sites. If you have not been to the Ironbridge Gorge Museum it is well worth the effort but to fully appreciate it you do need 2 days.


The famous Iron bridge over the River Severn-1779- you can see where the graceful lines of the iron bridges on the Oxford Canal came from
The terminus of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal in the centre of Brecon

Looking towards the terminus at Brecon

The Ironbridge site is huge but for those interested in canals the area around Coalport is fascinating as the Shropshire Union Canal makes an appearance.  It is linked via the Shrewsbury & Newport Canal that left the Shroppie at Norbury Junction. The canal and tramways connected the site of the Blist Hill Blast Furnaces around Coalport and was connected by the Hay Inclined Plane with a vertical change of 213ft.


Looking down the Hay Inclined Plane in which tub boats were winched up  from Coalport Wharf by the River Severn-last used in the 1890's

The end of the Shroppie by the old blast furnaces in Coalport.
Not in Wales this time but a short distance from our marina at Calcutt  is the Willow Wren  new training site where they are restoring the old entrance to the Nelson Cement Works.

Repairs to BB and a quick trip into Braunston

Friday, 28 August 2015


A delayed post to cover our trip up to BB the week before last. We needed to do two things-one sort out the scrapes and scratches below the gunwale from our spring/summer trip.Secondly reseal the front cratch table board following the six times it had to be lowered for the bridges on the Basingstoke Canal.. She also required a 250 hour service and a change of  the engine anti freeze. 

We eventually got to the boat late Sunday afternoon on the 16 August after spending some time with Simon and Debs erecting new fencing and having Sunday lunch with my nephew Andrew's family in Berkhamsted.

Work started on Monday on the cratch and paintwork in the marina during which time we were buzzed by a couple of microlights which were using a field next to the Grand Union Canal towards Stockton.

On the way back to Calcutt after the service we were moored out near bridge 103 finishing the painting when we received a text from Stan and Sheila on nb Friendship. We last saw them when we took BB into their private marina at Milton Keynes. They are out for 4 weeks heading for the Rivers Severn and Avon and were moored in Braunston. They therefore came to join us for a lovely evening and dinner the next evening at The Blue Lias at Stockton.




The cratch table board fits in a steel A frame and is sealed to the hull behind the gas locker hatch. If this isn't done completely water  gets through and then goes down into the bow and floods the bow thruster locker. We found out about this when BB was 18 months old and the bow thruster stopped working. There was about a foot of water in the bow-luckily it had not reached the motor.

The fold down table is cut from a piece of marine ply and shows Pete Hills great painting skills. We had to take off the perspex to clear out all the flies we collected on the Thames and repaint the black edging

On the Tuesday evening we moved into Braunston ready for Justin  from JG Marine to do the service etc on Wednesday morning. A lovely shot of the Grand Junction Canal's pumping station at the Bottom lock- which is now replaced by electric pumps to move water around the lock flight.

BB moored outside JG Marine

Nb Nuneaton and butty Brighton of The Narrowboat Trust setting off on the coal run

Replica Steam narrowboat Adamant in full flight!

Another picture of the clean line of snb Adamant

Boat name -not sure why its not a blue boat

I assume they are into cats