Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Journey Home

So, back from Bristol on Tuesday, ready for the trip back to Kings Bromley Marina on Wednesday morning.

Myself and Angus are the return crew.  We pick her up from Paul Barber at Wyvern Marine.  Paul has also done some steel work which will make the bow seats more stable.  He has also filled my greaser with his "special grease", let's see if it lasts as long as he suggests.


Leaving Wyvern at Sawley onto the Erewash Canal. A lovely Wednesday morning, still a tad chilly


The marina at Wyvern is just by the furthest bridge in the picture above.  The water on the Erewash was very clear.  From the Erewash we turned onto the River Trent, flow was fine.

We them motored up to Sawley hydraulic lock which was very busy and I managed to cock up going into the lock because I could not offload my mucker due to the number of boats.  Never mind, we were soon out and off to the pump out at Sawley Marina.  Pump out done we pegged it to the Trent and Mersey at Derwent Lock.

Here's us leaving Sawley for the last bit of Trent before Derwent.
You will notice the broken hose reel, that hose has been retired, useless.

The journey became easier as we doubled up with NB Serendipity.

At Weston, a boat coming into the lock to go down came in fast and will slow down, it will slow down, Please slow down!  Bugger it did not and crashed into the gates, person driving forgot where she was, numpty.  Anyhow, no damage seen and we locked up.

Swarkstone beckoned and our locking friends said goodbye after we locked up, they were stopping for lunch, we were heading for Branston!

We arrived at Stensons at 3pm.  I have decided that the ground paddles there should only be used after we have let some water in from the top paddles as the lock is too shallow to maintain reverse thus keeping away from the leaky top gates. Success, it worked well.


One odd event was after Tattenhill lock.  As usual, I slowed right down as a boat passed us going tother way.  As we passed the muppet shouted where did we get our speedboat from.  We were going very slow and I can only guess that Mr idiots Mrs could not control the boat very well, she seemed to be struggling before we passed.  Anyhow he provided a few expletives and we laughed.  His face was bright red and he just did not get it, sad.

Overnight was at Branston, as planned and we took advantage of the Bruige Inn.  Next morning an easy run to KB even if I was taking a conference call for a good part.

A few odds n sods photos, next trip in a couple of weeks, I hope!  But with work being so busy, I just don't know.



Sunday, 12 April 2015

Kings Bromley to Erewash

Bottom blacking, some work on the bow seating area (only discovered during the trip) and a check of the stern gland packing were the required jobs.

We left KB at about 10 am, heading for Fradley junction.  Not far for the first day but we were not in a hurry as the Trent was in flood and dropping.  We decided to moor up near the cafe after the junction on the T and M.  So, slow down and Kath got off the boat noticing how slippy the mooring point was  and letting all know to be careful.  Shortly after I heard a shout to see Kath slipping and falling between boat and side of towpath.  Straight into the water and stuck, heart in hands I ran to her and suspected she had hit her head and was unconscious as there was no movement.  I heaved and pulled her the right way round and with some help from daughter no.2 got her on the bank with her feet in the water by which time she was coming round from the shock rather than being out for the count.  Getting her the right way was hard work, mainly because she was wearing a padded coat, which held the water.  Insisting she was fine she made. It indoors to remove clothes and shower.  I kept an eye and apart from clear shock, she was ok.  It was a horrific event which shook us all to the core.  These kind of accidents do happen, no matter how much care you take.  

Lessons learned, particularly about not wearing padded coats and we are very much more aware in general as a result.

After mooring and settling we were glad we stopped as the heavens opened and it poured down for a good part of the afternoon.

Next day, Saturday  we, carefully, got under way and decided to head for the Bridge Inn which we like because of the quality of food.  We arrived just after 2pm and booked a table for 6:30pm.  I had pizza marinara.  Kath had salmon ravioli in a rich tomato sauce and Sarah had carbonara.  The girls then had pud, I refrained.  Sarah had ice cream and Kath had tiramisu, her favourite.  Settling back on the boat we had a glass of wine then settled for bed.  No sooner had we lain down then Kath complained of stomach cramps, very rare as Kath does not get ill.  5 mins later and she had lost her dinner.  We concluded later that it was mixing rich tomato sauce with cream, not the events of the previous day.

Next morning, Sunday  we got underway, heading for the Clock Wharehouse at Shardlow.  We met up with two plastic boats, one a wee boat, the other more substantial.  The wee boat was called a name related to drinking on the water, they were clearly identifying themselves with their boat name, all four of them were enjoying some alcohol, after Stensons we decided to not share with the tubs as the wee one was not in control.  However, Swarkestone came up and the bigger boat was behind us so we shared.  They were fine and we shared all the way to Shardlow.  Once at Shardlow we passed Millar Marine, looking for a mooring on Bank Holiday Sunday - no chance.  Instead we moored just shy of Derwent Lock which was cool, quiet and not smelly, despite the sewage treatment plant being over the other side of the canal.

Monday am saw us on the short hop along theTrent to Sawley where we moored opposite the marina shop.  Taking our rubbish to the waste facility we noticed the police and SOCO teams investigating what we later discovered to be a murder sometime over the weekend. 

We booked a table at the Harrington Arms and met friends at the boat then wandered to meet more at the pub for dinner.  Food was ok, but not anymore than that.

Tuesday morning I decided to go to the marina shop to find it closed all day.  So, what can a guy do at 10am with a rumbling stomach? Off to the cafe for a full English.  It was delicious and I wholly recommend it.

We moved the boat down the Trent onto the Erewash at Trent lock.  Flow was quite fast but I am used to making the turn and easily negotiated it into Trent lock with gongoozlers all over it.

We moored just after the lock and I took some business calls and dialled into a meeting.  Some holiday huh?  Wednesday am off to Wyvern Marine for the handover to Paul Barber who was inspecting the steel, blacking the boat and putting some steel cross members onto the front of the boat to strengthen the seating area on each side.  I had put my foot through these earlier in the week.  Paul also checked the stern gland.  Off home we went and instead of a couple of days off I had to drive to Bristol Wednesday pm, coming back Thursday pm ready for another urgent meeting all day Friday.

Back to the office in Bristol on Monday, yes I am supposed to still be on holiday.  I will drive back home Tuesday pm ready to pick up the boat with my mate Angus for the return trip on Wednesday morning.  Photos to follow, of both trips!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Good Friday

So, plans for this years blacking have been laid.  Good Friday signals our trip to Paul Barber and Wyvern Marine on the Erewash.

We will take our time. Watching the weather will inform progress as we have to negotiate the Trent and have previously been held up at Sawley.  The current forecast show changeable weather so we will probably go as far as we can if we suspect lock closure.  If not, then we will go slower and enjoy the journey even more than usual.  A week after drop off, we will head back up.

If you see us shout out.