Sunday, 31 July 2011

Willington to Kings Bromley

30th and 31st July 2011.

Well, what a day yesterday was!

We left Mercia Marina at about 9.30 am after a pump out.

The new lounge is superb, photos of all this tomorrow.

Passing Willington fine, very quiet.  All was well till about 1/2 a miel from Dallow Lane Lock then the IWA fextival moorers commenced.  It was mental!  Double breasting all the way past Shobnall.  Single file route till passed Shobnall.  I spoke to Justin from Aqua Narrowboats (they fitted the ne lounge) to thank him for a superb job, just the cushions to be measured tomorrow at Kings Bromley.  Justin was onboard Tom Kitten, a recent fit out of his, and she looked stunning as I scraped her side oops!  it was very narrow and I was exchanging info wiht him as we passed.  It did look very busy.  Lots of photos to share tomorrow.

Angus was me ship mate again by the way.

The journey was slowed by two Shakespeare Boats one in front, going very oddly as they would not move into a lock until well after the boat exiting had left, thus slowing the process, not that it bothered me much.  they also tried to drop a paddle with the windlass connected inward!
the boat behind just waited, no offer of help to speed her progress so Angus was dancing around the locks.  We moored up pass Shade House Lock at Fradley last night (7.30 pm) so we could have a pint or two, which we did!  Food was ok at the Swan too, heard some people diss it, saw no reason why, it was tasty, sufficient and delivered reaosnably quickly given they were very  busy.  they had live music and singing too, rock stuff mainly so it was right up my street.

We awoke at 06.41 (to be precise), had a full cooked breakfast (by me) and then tootled the last wee way into Kings Bromley.  Straight into the correct mooring.  So nice to be able to leave the car right next to the mooring to enable off and on loading, much easier than Mercia where our mooring was some twenty or more boats away which meant hard labour to move stuff.

The mooring, for us, is ideal, so pleased it was available.  So a new set of crusing routes now available including back to The Bridge Inn of course.

Boat behaved herself perfectly except when I tried to stop her using the middle rope and she was going to fast, rope snapped and hit me on the ankle, big bruise to prove it and lesson learned.  I even towed a wee boat up Fradley locks to the coventry.

Met Cap'n Ahab on Wandering Bark and he noted my nice painted roof by saying, "its downhill now".  Sure is.

So a long journey time and a good reminder of how delays can occur without there being a problem.  Still, the excellent weather was wonderful.  As was seeing the IWA festival for free!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Aqua Narrowboats, Boat Magicians


True to their word, the boat is scheduled for completion by Friday pm.  Discussion was had today on the carpet and that should be going down Friday morning.  I am surprised that they are making Friday given the limited time they had.  I am certain that they will not be shy with quality and will post some piccies of the finished work on Saturday.

So, if anyone is at IWA this weekend give a wave to Lola as she passes!

I reckon we will be passing at about 12 noon, obviously not stopping (save for Dallow lane Lock) given the limitations.

there will be no weighing anchor or ropes as we are on a schedule to make Fradley for a pint.

I head about NB Waiouru, such a shame to see a new boat in that condition. My heart goes out to them and I wish sincerely that we shall meet on the cut under happier circumstances.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Eh oh a lady Lola

She looks lovely

Lola the dog is settling in very well and is now eating full portions without the need for tuna to assist!

She is a lucky girl, we are having to buy a newer car to keep standards up to her expectations

Lola the boat - nothing heard.  I do hope she is being worked on so we can move her Saturday

Seems doggy photos will be interesting if the above, un-cropped and un Paintshopped picture is anything to go by!

I have been watching the just canals forum, some people do talk tosh.  I will not lower to comment but....

I do hope I can get past the IWA if we do go on saturday, I can imagine it being a tad busy but hey ho when you gotta go.

Been using ebay for the first time, selling and buying.  Not bad two sales worth £45 and three buys at £10, net £35 profit so far.

Bit off topic stuff really but hopefully normal service will resume soon.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Puppy and boaty

Puppy first,

Like having a new baby, maybe not so demanding.

The boat,

Not much really, just fed up that we cannot get on her because of the work, but it will be worthwhile.  I am really looking forward to going past the IWA if the work is completed on time.  Also looking forward to the new mooring, will be very different to that at Mercia

Hopefully, we will get 2 weekends in before our proper holiday late august, with lola puppy on her maiden holiday, not that will be interesting.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Lola and Lola!


Boat Lola is getting her new lounge from today(ish).  Been to Aqua this morning and agreed the layouit with the carpenter, also agreed a carpet floor to help with securing the wheeled lounge units, much as Aqua do for their hire fleet.  I could have asked for a different structure but I really like a more modern take.

Now, puppy Lola.

She has arrived!  I colected her earlier than planned as I was helping out the breeder with some jobs (we are nearly friends)

So, the journey home was a little fraught as she was quite worried abouot being in a car for the first time.  20 mins and I stopped to pick up my daughter who took Lola on her lap for the last 5 mins.  In that time she managed to sick all over her, depsite me warning Jo and givinh her a big old bath towel as cover.

First photos

Welcome to the garden

 Jo with Lola, settling in already
 Ok guys nap time!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

New Mooring sorted

So, our new mooring at Kings Bromley is berth 212, next door to Sixpence.

The mooring is at the back to the site but that suits us.

The work on Lola is due to start Monday or so and I am popping up on Thursday to speak to the carpenter to make our requirements clear.  Its simple really, Lyndon let him know (ps the cheshire ring is a definite)!  We want a L shaped layout like on the aqua fleet which acts as seating area, eating area, acts as 2 singles or one double with as much storage as possible.  I expect that there may need to be some stealing from the current sitting area near the stove but that is of no concern.  Oh and all complete, with cushions by 29 July! I suspect the cushions may be delayed so don't throw the current ones out.

Doggy delivery is still scheduled for a week today, I am going over on Thursday to do some apex cladding of a stable unit so I will have plenty of time to fuss Lola the puppy, and her brothers/sisters.
So may people have warned about the biting that its getting boring, of course we know what will happen, we have done all the reading and taken much advice.  Crate has been purchased, dog bed to collect today, food paid for and toys on way.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Odds n sods

So, the roof is done (painted that is), next the fore and stern deck areas.  This we will hold back on until the interior is finished by Aqua.  Plan is work to finish by 29/7, allowing us to move her to Kings Bromley.  We will go this Saturday am to check on fabrics.  I am guessing we will have to make do with regard to cushions - if the interior is finished on time.  I seem to recall original job was set for June.

It will be fun delivering her back to Mercia for servicing etc, kind of a good excuse really.

After the lounge area will follow, in October a new Bathroom, that should be fun.  I am inclined to keep the pump out.

Puppy crate has been ordered.  It is sad we cannot buy from our local pet shop but simple economics are hard to argue with.  Local Shop - £79 amazon £44, exactly same product.  Arden and Grange puppy food also ordered.

Thats it for now.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Lovely Weather for....

Well, lovely rain.  Off to Mercia Saturday for more painting I hope.  We need to paint the hand rails, probably using epitane.  But first, its chainsaw lesson number 1 prior to some serious log cutting.  We are starting to think about selling these logs once they have seasoned, so 12 months should set the birch and oak up fine then we can test burn rates etc in the morso.  After this we will look at selling to various outlets if we decide we want to.  Otherwise its a lot of seasoned wood to hang around with.  The trick is to season effectively so we might try the german round approach and see what comes.

Talking about round approach I am also going to paint the boats sliding hatch with the same colour used for the roof, for now.

Off to see puppy tomorrow as poart of my chainsaw morning

Lola with a Leaf looking guilty at 6 weeks

Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Cheshire Ring and other stuff

So, two undercoats on and gloss to follow tomorrow.  Lola is 57 ft long and by the time we had finished a coat the start of the job had taken and was near dry such was the good weather.

Mercia Marina had their festival which allowed a break to be taken with the girls.  An enjoyable event.

Somewhere in this picture is a Carp
 Just a wee few pictures of the Festival

My favourite, I am sure you can guess why

So, to the Cheshire Ring.  We are going around 19 August and am planning around 13 days to complete, travelling from Kings Bromley, doing the Ring anti-clockwise.  Canal Planner has been used and I am averaging 6-7 hours per day.  I have added 4 days tolerance for problems.  Canal Planner seems to have not paid for the domain name and the google mapping no longer works properly, you cannot transfer the map to a google representation.

The route plan at present is

Day 1

Kings Bromley to the Greyhound Bridge 86

Day 2
Aston Lock (26) to Stoke bottom Lock (36)

Day 3
Cockshutts Lock (oh err missus) - Stoke On Trent still on the Trent and Mersey to Bosley Lock (10) on the Macclesfield

Day 4

Bosley Lock (9) to the Bulls Head at Bridge 11

Day 5
Mamotts Bridge (10) to Bottom Lock - Bridge 16 on the Peak Forest

Day 6
Turning point Bridge 15-16 to Ashton New Road Bridge 10 (Ashton Canal)

Day 7
Mill Street Bridge 9a meeting Rochdale canal and then Bridgewater Canal (need to check permissions here), finishing at Throstle Nest Bridge 95B

Day 8
Trafford Road Bridge 95a to Bardley Meadow Bridge 206 on the Trent and Mersey

Day 9

Saltersford Tunnel West to Crows Nest Lock 67

Day 10
Elton Moss Bridge 160 to Rode Heath

Day 11
Broughton Arms (Nr Lock 52) to Johnson's Lock no 39

Day 12
Twyford Lock (38) to Aston Bridge no 90

Day 13
Aston Lock no 26 to Kings Bromley

Now all of the above is subject to our timings, gongoozlers, hire boats (no offence) and, of course, stoppages.  Quite a challenge and I know at least one person who is thinking about doing the same route in September.  Total trip distance is 163.3 miles with an expected duration of 85 hours over 13 days, meeting 132 locks, according to Canal planner.

Pearson Guide will be used.

Any advice on the trip from previous expeditions much appreciated.

Saturday, 2 July 2011


1st undercoat on and dried very quickly in this lovely sunshine.

2nd coat tomorrow. I am also wondering about gloss for the roof, we shall see.

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Location:Monsom Ln,,United Kingdom