Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Early Return

We returned back to Kings Bromley a little earlier than planned because of  the weather forecast.

The rain tomorrow would have spoilt an otherwise excellent break.

We left Alvecote at about 9am and returned to Kings Bromley at 5pm, no rushing, just a steady pace.

The only irritating thing was the noise from under the boat(some have been known to say the noise from above the engine!).  I have determined it was because of low water levels but as the engine is being serviced next week, I am sure any other potential will be considered (the engineer will be pre-advised).  I guessed low water levels because it is intermittent and there have been no changes to the boat and it first occurred when we hit low water, which seems pretty much the norm at present.  I did check the usual suspects, the weed hatch, prop and rudder as well as generally listening to the engine.  NB Chance had reported similar noises as we travelled behind them so I reckon my detecting is correct.  Not much hope for improvement if BW are on the case then!  And no, it is not just about how much falls from the sky, it is also about water conservation and management which BW seem particularly inept at dealing with, mind you Severn Trent Water has a similar, but published track record. 

I saw No Direction in Kings Bromley today, their blog mentions the issues at Atherstone.  The chap I spoke to laid the blame clearly at inadequate decision making by BW engineers.  The problem at Atherstone has been known about for years, tree roots penetrating the culvert drain pipes.  when the contractors cleared the culverts they merely moved the silt into the culvert drains because the side pounds were not properly cleared, just half cleared, hence the silt movement.  That aside I actually found the atherstone flight quite enjoyable. 

Streethay was its usual busy self.  a fellow boater whom I chatted with at the top of Atherstone whilst we waited for the pound to fill mentioned he was moving his boat to Streethay from Barby.   He mentioned that there were only now about 10 boaters left at Barby.  I do hope its gets sorted.  The new marina just south of Streethay is coming on well, but there seemed no action there today.  It is called Kings Orchard.

The return to King's Bromley was very enjoyable with lovely weather and excellent scenery (excusing the rail line).  The last leg to Fradley, in my opinion, is the nicest, just the last half mile, it is so natural.

Anyhow, a lovely trip out, providing many future options for next year, not least a trip to Wolverhampton, missing Birmingham.  A trip to Birmingham and many other options.  Kings Bromley is turning into a winner for me - so far.

Have you seen one of these?   We were asked by a fellow boater to let a few more know about it and how we use it.

We use it for peace of mind (occasionally) when we moor in a place we are not sure of. Between £18 and £25, depending on where you shop.  We just loop through the armco/ mooring ring and return the cable through our mid section door, locking it inside the boat.  We have not used it often but its nice to have around.

So, our next boaty stuff will be Jo to rowing training tomorrow and the narrowboat in maybe a couple of weeks or so, perhaps sooner!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Atherstone Top Lock


Trying Windows Live writer for this post at the suggestion of Doug – hope it works Doug or am chasing after you!

Nice wee drinkie was had with Doug and James and we decided to class the meet up as a banter.  Strange how we have similar views on many boaty things!


What a beautiful morning sky





Ok so we left with Chance in front of us and headed for the Atherstone Locks.

Quite a windy day and the water levels were also quite low.

We were passing a boat going round a bend so I slowed down, me being the kind considerate type, the other boat passed and waved and carried on at full speed!

Now my dander is up about this.  How many boaters are ignorant to issues re water displacement?  So, around we went, hit the cavitation areas and steering was bolloxed, straight toward the bank we headed.  Because I had slowed down I managed to make reasonable stop so we could push off the bank.

A pleading:  Please, please remember/learn to slow down past your fellow boater.  If you must act like an ignorant bloater (hehe), just keep away from where I travel!

We climbed the Atherstone Locks, with no real delay or issues to present.  In fact it was a very nice day as the sun escaped from the cloud/haze.

A few photos of our jaunt along, including a shy Johanna!





Nice Hat Missus!


Is that my daughter giving the one fingered salute!


I see James and Doug are having a rest after their two hour ordeal!  Probably gone to Buy some Wheetabix for their struggle up the locks



Such a nice colour blue, I wonder what colour number it is lol (in joke)


Once at the top I noticed the fish and chip sign I decided to plan an early turn around so we could enjoy them.  We turned just after Bridge 34 and meandered back to the top lock 48 hour moorings.  A quick walk into Atherstone found quite an agreeable town centre.  I am tempted to enjoy a real ale but my self imposed diet and drink fast may cause some issues until I get to the bar!

Only a few phone calls from work, much better than in the past and I was worried that my email was down the pinging which meant “you’ve got mail master” was so rare.

Chance passed us heading the other way, a wave and pleasantries and off they went.  Enjoy your adventures guys  - such nice people we meet, except for speed merchants that is!. 

Kath thought the varnishing was becoming a job for another day because the tin i provided had thoroughly separated and was xx years old too.  Ha ha, she was trumped.  I found another tin and we have now varnished all window bottoms for the winter.  Excellent!

It is now fast becoming fish (and ale) and chip time.


Sarah and Lola enjoying some carpet time

We popped to the pub next to the chippy for a quick pint 9just one and I/we are on holiday!).

Chippy was fine but never ask for large chips, there was far, far too many.

Over night the mooring was fine except when we took Lola out for her last wee.  it appears a dog living in the adjoining house got wind and this dog created such a racket that the neighbours were shouting across fences at the owner – oh dear.  Kath beat a hasty retreat having not been exposed as part culprit.

We awoke in good time to hit the locks at Atherstone at 9am.  into the lock we went closed the gates , opened the paddles and, and, the gates were still locked which was odd because we both swore a boat had passed us heading for the locks.  Kath duly called the 01827 252000 no for the regional centre.  We then found our that the pound between 5 and 6 had emptied because the paddle was not shut by the last boat passing through.  So we waited about an hour and 20 mins stuck in the lock, just as well it was a lovely day I say.

BW did an fine job and we went down.  As we did so a BW workperson commented upon the waste of money BW spend (yet again) on paying for contractors when a permanent staffing of capable drainage guys would save them pounds year in year out.


T’was a lively day



I took the same picture earlier this year of this house when it was covered in poppies



A speed camera on the rail line?


Hello Oakfield, a quick wave from the port hole sufficed.

And here we are at Alvecote, good job, lovely day.


More laters

Sunday, 23 October 2011

How remiss of me! - We are out!


Apologies, we left Kings Bromley yesterday at 10 am, heading to the Ashby (ish).  Reasonable start and we joined the madding crowd (far from - get it?) at Shade House.  Just  a couple of boats in front of us, one of which was, wait for it,

wait for it

Go for It!

Erm, yes it was NB Go For It, heading for Fradley so only a couple of locks for them, nice to meet you guys!

So, we passed down Fradley to the Mucky Duck (The Swan), turned right after finding that the coal and diesel boat had no coal.  Onto the Coventry we ventured.  I do like the Coventry, not too built up and quite relaxing, apart from Glascote Locks, for some reason me and them just do not get on, except for meeting Chance!  We have been trying to find quality time with these guys for ages as I enjoy their blog and quite like the coach paintwork too.

So Hello To Doug and James whom we are now moored next to.

This could be a boozy night, having already quaffed a botttle with them, and that was just after 4pm, lovely!

Tea time soon so more photos to be added tomorrow, including that new marina just down from Fradley.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Odds n sods, bits n bobs

Went to the allotment this morning to plant the shallots and more garlic.  Was going to cut more wood but decided to leave it as we have plenty for next week.  Will need to buy some coal but thats not a problem.

Oldest daughter Johanna is at the Nottingham Heads , their home race route down the Trent.  Dropped her off at 9.20 am and it was getting busy with registrations and what not, lots of rules in rowing.

Not many boats moored at county hall, couple of narrowboats, a wide beam and some ice cream tubs (cruisers). 

Lovely day for rowing, the water looked perfect.  I guess when we arrive at the boat next week it will be much cooler and some prospects for snow if you would believe it!.  Just checked temp for Thursday night and it is currently forecasting 2c brrrrr.

Still planning to go down the coventry and back before the lock works start at Fradley.

Was at Nottingham Beer Festival Friday last, ticket only this time as it was sold out and much better than last year, not as full.  Superb variety of beers and food.  I lasted from 5pm till 9.30 pm when tiredness set in and a free lift was offered.

Hopefully next blog will ba accompanied by boaty pictures.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Getting ready for the next outing

Fed up with the car resembling the Hill Billy's van so I went to the boat yesterday to take clothing and doggy stuff and logs which seem to be the most space taking stuff.  It get me every time.  Soon as I am on board I want to stay on board, addictive or what!

Marina seemed quite full as our winter moorers join us.  Nice to see it so popular, I just hope they invest in some more services.  I would like to see a larger range of goods at affordable prices (wouldn't we all!).  But it is easy to do and such a captive audience too.

I now have a plentiful supply of wood thanks to a kindly person with too many trees, and, with my new sawhorse and chainsaw (training undergone) I am making the best of whats available.  It will be interesting to see how different woods burn.  I may keep a record if I can be bothered.  I would so love a diesel heater but cannot see how it will work with our layout unless I fit the rads above the gunwhale and as hot air rises I question the impact.

So, no boaty this weekend or next but holiday at half term looks promising so long as it is not torrential rain (famous last words) as my locking crew do not like it too wet.

Latest idea is to go to the Ashby and back, just 30 or so locks in total, lets see.

the new green enzyme stuff seems to be working.  We added it just after our last trip and having primed it shall we say.  No smell, but the shower seemed to have an interesting growth.  Time for some weakened bleach next time, as we just cleaned it up this visit.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

The next trip out, or in?

So, the weather turns in the next couple of days and here I was hoping to take Lola the boat out next weekend, I somehow think not, we may likely just stay over for the night which allows us to move some clothes on board ready for the late October half term holiday.  We were going to do the Black Country Ring but I think it is too much so I reckon it will be down the Coventry Canal and some way up the Ashby, fewer locks which will please the girls and if the weather is poo we can shorten the holiday.  In any case I have things to do both weekends around the half term week.  We also need to do some varnishing and a bit of touching up so a short break should facilitate this.

We took Lola the dog for a 2 mile walk today, very enjoyable but a rare event as she is still too young for a long walk/run.

Still keen on a cratch and cover but it will have to wait as it is not a necessity as Lola now has her home in the space between the engine ole and the back cabin.