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

Moored below Buckby Top lock

Monday, 20 July 2015

Sorry for the lack of posts, I had started but the signal was so bad I gave up in frustration trying to complete the post at Buckby. We are now back home after a fantastic trip and thought I had better finish off the postings for the trip.

This is the entry I started but was unable to finish the other day-

Progress has been good in that we have been knocking off the miles and locks since the last post at Milton Keynes and now only have 10 locks and 9 miles to get us back to Calcutt Marina. To date we have done 265 locks( of which Anne has done the lions share!!!) and 338 miles.

When we saw Stan and Sheila on Wednesday they invited us to take the boat to their house in Pennyland Private Marina for coffee as we left MK on Wednesday-it was like entering a secret world-Stan had to advise fellow members to expect a visiting narrowboat- it was a very quiet sanctuary in the heart of MK. 

When we arrived at the bottom of Stoke Bruerne locks on Thursday we met up with a fellow boater who had an excellent crew with which we flew up the locks as Janet and Ray had decided/felt pity on us and had come along to help. 

Entry into the secret Pennyland Private Marina

Heading towards Stan & Sheila's mooring at the end on the left

Our mooring for Wednesday evening just past Cosgrove at Bridge 62

Our mooring on Friday night was just past Bridge 27 opposite the camp site just before Stowe Hill Wharf
Men in a playground at Milton Keynes

Going through Milton Keynes is a real pleasure,its clean and tidy with some nice old buildings

Modern sculpture at Wolverton

A pair of working boats I assume making their way to the Cosgrove Canal Festival

Entering the bottom lock at Stoke Bruerne with another boat to share the flight - a rare event since starting the journey from Brentford

Looking back at the top lock at Stoke Bruerne from our mooring- its a village with loads of canal atmosphere
A sign near the entrance to Blisworth Tunnel

Anne and Janet enjoying a rest in the sunshine after working the locks

The north portal of Blisworth Tunnel

The old warehouse at Blisworth now flats

Strange place to keep a horse- we then realised it was stuffed!!!!
Another shot of the stuffed horse!