Sunday, December 31, 2006

Still here near Welford, as the weather has been less than ideal for cruising. Strong winds and heavy showers do not a happy steerer make! Call me a wimp, if you like.

Had a walk down to the village yesterday, the towpath is extremely muddy, and the wharf itself, although busy, seems to have a general air of neglect about it. Maybe I’m being unfair, but after trudging through 1½ miles of mud, I didn’t expect to see more at my destination. It’s probably very nice in the summer.

Welford Wharf

Pulled the pins this morning (they’d nearly pulled themselves in the wind last night!) and had an excursion by boat this time down to the wharf for water etc. On our return we were able to tie up to mooring rings, which will make us more secure.

This section seems to be popular, with 11 boats overnighting in the immediate vicinity, and quite a lot of passing traffic, even at this time of year. We are between Foxton and Crick Marina, though.

The wind rose again this afternoon, chasing whitecaps down the canal. We’ll stop here tomorrow and plan to move on Tuesday, heading south towards Crick.

Meg was a bit off colour yesterday, maybe something she ate. Seems a lot better today, but I’ve kept her on reduced rations till I’m sure she’s OK. She’s not impressed, she normally eats like a horse!

Miles 3½
Locks 2

Friday, December 29, 2006

A rainy start to the day, so I delayed our morning constitutional until it eased about 10:30.
Spent an enjoyable 1¼ hours mooching about the inclined plane restoration and taking photos.

The Top Arm

Part of the plane

The flight is a lot quieter today than yesterday.

Set off about 12:30, the brisk SW wind not as much as a problem as anticipated, as the towpath side is bordered with mature bushes on most of this section.
Through Husbands Bosworth tunnel and stopped at Kilworth Wharf for smokeless fuel and the Nicholson Guide #2 before arriving at the Welford Arm Junction at around 15:20.
We’ll need this volume if we head towards Birmingham. Immediate plans are dependant on the weather to an extent.

Welford Arm Junction

Miles 7½
Locks None

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A bit of a catch up entry, this. First, I hope all our readers had a good Christmas. We were quiet, tied up to the towpath as planned.

We stopped at Union Wharf until Friday, negotiating an extra night for £2.25 with Debbie in the Canaltime/BW office. Had a walk down into town on Thursday for shopping and to collect Mags’ prescription, but the form hadn’t arrived at the Post Office. (Turns out it wasn’t posted from Bentham till Wednesday night). So we moved off back down the Arm to the winding hole just past Bridge 10, on a fruitless search for a suitable mooring for a few days. We finished up on what wasn’t our first choice near Bridge 14. A bit busy with passing walkers, and a lot of diesel floating on the water, but handy for field walks for Meg.

On Saturday night at about 17:30 we were hailed by a passing Foxton Boat Services boat, who had had a brick thrown through a window at Bridge 15, just ¼ mile further on. He recommended we move. We thought about it, but decided to stay as planned, and had no trouble apart from someone kicking the side of the boat on Tuesday night.

Back down to the wharf on Wednesday to “service” the boat, and hopefully stay overnight on the visitor moorings. No chance! Spoke to Andy on NB Barlby who kindly rang Debbie for us who allowed us a mooring in the basin for 1 night, with shore power, for £4.50! Off down to MH for Mags’ prescription, and shopping at Sainsburys. Did 2 loads of washing as well while we had power. Saves using the batteries for the inverter.

Topped off the water, emptied the loo and rubbish and said goodbye to Union Wharf at 10:30. 2 Canaltime boats had already left ahead of us, so we were in no rush.

Leaving Union Wharf

BW must have been collecting some of the floating weed, there was a barge full near where they were dredging last week, so I only had to clear the prop and rudder once. The water is still as cold as it was though!

Weed Barge
Arrived at Foxton just after 13:00, and was surprised at how busy it was. Queue jumped a Canaltime boat (one of those that left the Wharf earlier) who was facing the wrong way! And set off up the flight. Arrived at the top 50 minutes later, and moored for the night just past Gumley Road Bridge, near the picnic area.

Took Meg for a walk around the restoration works, will return tomorrow morning with camera.

Saw one of my pet hates today…..

Who’s bright idea was it to put speed limit signs up in KPH? Everyone who uses the canals should know the limit is 4 MPH, and even this is often not achievable. This canal was built in the early 19th Century when Kilometers had not even been heard of in this country.
And anyway, 6.43 KPH? Why not just make it 6.5? As if the extra 7 meters per hour, if you could judge it that accurately, is going to make a difference. The signs would be cheaper.
Whinge over, but if anyone from BW would care to reply………

Locks 10 (Foxton)
Miles 6

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A cold night, but no frost. At least the cold makes the mud on the towpath a bit stiffer.
Away from Ross bridge at 10:10, in another dull overcast morning. 5 minutes took us to Saddington tunnel, but once again no bats to be seen.

Bat box in Saddington Tunnel

On to Debdale wharf where we both took on fuel, diesel at 45p can’t be passed by. How long for, I wonder now that we have lost the “tax break” for red diesel.

Debdale Wharf

Arrived at the bottom of Foxton Locks at 13:30, and turned on to the Market Harborough arm. With just 5½ miles to go to MH, we expected to be at Union Wharf not long after 15:30.
However BW had other ideas, and the dredging operation between bridges 7 & 8 held us up, not because of restriction on the waterway, but because of the amount of weed disturbed and floating on the surface. I’m sure I saw a duck WALKING across the channel, without getting his a**e wet! Anyway, the debris caused 4 trips down the weed hatch to clear the prop. The water is bl**dy cold!


Floating Weed

We finally reached the wharf at about 16:00, and secured a couple of adjacent moorings. It’s pretty busy here, but we’ll only be staying till Thursday lunchtime, when we’ll move part way back down the Arm, and then return for the weekend.

Union Wharf - In fog

Had a chat with Mo and Vanessa on Balmaha, who we’d last seen at Thurmaston before the protest weekend.

Apart from the problem with the weed, the Arm is very attractive and rural. Lots of kingfishers to be seen. We’ll probably return in the summer, but away from Canaltime changeover days.

Locks none, miles 10

Monday, December 18, 2006

Took Sunday off. A fine sunny day so I took Meg for a couple of long walks. No murder attempts today though.
Managed to “womble” a discarded folding chair near Double Rail lock that will yield some useful tubing and brackets for new table mountings.
Is spring coming early this year? This primula was on a bank alongside Kilby Bridge bridge.

Today got off a little later than planned after filling (and emptying) both boats at the service point. Left at 10:40, in a dull, damp sort of wintery morning.

Ready to leave Kilby Bridge
Followed a wide beam boat from the mooring, so I expected to have all the locks against us today. Not disappointed! The day brightened but got colder in the afternoon.
A very pleasant run, climbing steadily up from the Leicester plain, with the views getting wider with every lock passed.

Good job the last week’s wind has stopped though, as the route is mostly exposed, a penalty you pay for the view.

Arrived at Ross bridge at about 15:30.

12 locks, 5 miles.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A very wet and windy night broke to a beautiful morning. Took Meg for a good walk, and she succeeded in embarrassing me by sending another dog into the cut! She only wanted to play, honest! But she is a little high-powered, sometimes.

Butter wouldn't melt.....

Or would it?......

Travelling with Carol on Corbiere again today, followed her away from Gee’s through a smoke screen. Turned out she was burning house coal as that was all she could get. It looked like she was steam driven!

We set off at 10:00, in a sunny and windless morning. The canal steadily improves as you get further away from Leicester. Less debris in the water, and more rural in appearance. The locks kept us busy today, 6 in 4 miles means that there is no more than 15 minutes between each.

Leaving Lock 29

Arrived at Kilby Bridge at about 13:20, took on water and emptied the loo and rubbish, and were eating bacon butties by 2 o’clock. Staying here for Sunday, leaving on Monday morning.
This is a handy mooring, but not so good for walking Meg, with only a muddy towpath or a busy main road. But she’d had a good run around in a large field next to Double Rail lock.
Upset to see the body of a labrador floating in the cut. This is the first large animal we’ve seen drowned.

6 Locks, 4 miles.

Just been adding up, since we left Northwich in August, we’ve covered 513 miles, and passed through 373 locks.

Friday, December 15, 2006

We’re off at last!

Ready to go….

After what seems like ages, the water levels on the Soar are now in the amber, and we can get on with heading south.
Set off from Birstall at about 09:50 in company with Carol on NB Corbiere. A steady run down through Leicester, no showers as forecast and the wind easing.

St Mary’s Mill Lock.

Taking it in turns to set the locks broke up the work and made for a very enjoyable day.
This was the first proper run for Meg, and on the whole she did well. Quite happy to sit or lie down on the counter and watch the world go by. I tried a short lead and chest harness initially, but she kept tangling herself up, so we dispensed with them and she was far more relaxed. She was keen to get off at every lock, though.

When we stopped at Gee’s Lock at about 15:20, I took Meg for a walk south along the towpath, and turned on to the line of the old Great Central railway. Came across a viaduct over the river Sence that the local “wall artists” had used as a canvas. Pretty impressive, and not offending anyone.

10 locks, 7½ miles.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sorry it’s been a while again, but we’ve not got a lot to report.
We’ve had to stay in the area so that Meg could have her post-op stitches out, and then to have her 2nd stage vaccinations.
We moved out of Raynsway on Saturday, just 20 minutes upstream to Birstall so we are in easy walking distance of the vet for the last visit on Tuesday. We had intended to move straight afterwards but the river levels are too high for safety so we’re stuck here for a bit. Still, it’s handy for the shops, and the mooring is secure, if a little variable in height!
I’ve taken the opportunity of being in the same place for a while to spend a lot of time with Meg, on a crash training course, as she knew almost nothing when she first arrived. She’s coming along well.
In between we’ve had visits from the family, I’ve been pottering about doing bits and pieces on the boat, and we’ve got just about all of the Christmas shopping done.
We’ve had invitations for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but we’ve decided to move south as originally planned. We’ll probably be somewhere around Market Harborough for the festivities.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Thanks to everyone who sent messages of sympathy during this last week.
Sorry I’ve not been posting for a while, we’ve not moved out of Raynsway Marina yet, so we’ve no travel news to impart, I had trouble continuing on from the last one, and when I started to “get it together”, time was at a premium. The reason for the latter is MEG.
She is a 7 month old Bearded Collie cross, and has moved in with us. After Bruno’s loss we both felt that we had a huge gap in our lives, and that we could offer a lot to another dog. So we visited the local RSPCA kennels, and that is where we met Meg (at the time, known as Twinkle!) last Sunday.
After filling in the appropriate forms and explaining that we lived on a boat and would this affect the application? we left them to organise a “home” visit to judge if we would be suitable “parents”.
We didn’t expect to hear anything for a week or so, then were amazed when they rang to say she had been spayed and chipped and was ready for collection on Thursday! They had decided not to proceed with the visit after all.
When we collected her, we found out that she had been spayed by the vet who looked after Bruno, and it is possible that our attitude towards looking after him may have influenced the RSPCA’s decision.
So here we are, with an unhousebroken older pup, having to re-learn all the old training tricks we last used (with good effect) 10 years ago.

Meg, fitting in to her new home.

Other news, we had a walk up to Thurmaston lock on Sunday to sign the SOW petition, but there were only 2 local boats there due to the high water levels on the river. But apparently a lot of interest was shown by local people out walking, so the group of organisers didn’t endure the appalling weather for nothing. See the reports on

We were invited to tea by Andy and Nyree on Monday, and really enjoyed the evening. Been down and fed the swans and geese on Watermead a few times. The ducks don’t get a look in!

I’ve done a few bits and pieces on the boat, like panelling the insides of the side doors and making a new shelf.



We’re here till the middle of next week, Meg has to have her stitches out next weekend, so we will stay local till then.

I don’t think we’ll be venturing far from the boat for the next 48 hours, judging by the forecast.

I always thought that having a phone with a camera was a needless fad. Well, I stand corrected. The pics on this entry were all taken using my new Nokia N73

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of Bruno-dog yesterday evening.

Those who knew him will remember his immense enthusiasm for new experiences, exploring new places and meeting new people and dogs. He was a well travelled dog, having walked in the Scottish highlands, Welsh mountains, Dartmoor and many places in between.
His love of life was a joy to see.

Bruno "chilling"

As previously reported, he had contracted a tummy bug, and had a swollen prostate. As these cleared up, however, he started to have seizures. Whether the two problems were related or coincidental we don’t know.
Medication prescribed by the vet kept the severity of the fits in check, but could do nothing for the frequency. Finally he was having so many he was unable to recover in between. By yesterday he hadn’t eaten for 2 days, couldn’t stand and had lost the sight in his right eye. We had to make the decision to let him go with dignity.
He will be sorely missed.

We would like to thank Hayes and Borrajo at Birstall for doing all they could for him.

If Bruno had recovered, we were intending to head down to Foxton on Thursday, to join the protest there against the DEFRA cuts ( Unfortunately this was not possible. There is a local event organised for today here at Thurmaston. We’ll probably go down.
We can’t move south yet, Pywells lock just past Leicester is closing for a fortnight starting on Monday.
Our only alternative would be back up to Fradley and down the Coventry canal. We’ve not made any decision yet.

Can’t move for a while anyway, the flood warnings are up on the river.

Birstall Lock this morning

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Monday 13th to Thursday 16th November 2006

Traumatic times!
Bruno was OK in the morning, but started to go downhill in the afternoon. He seemed unable to get comfortable, was occasionally sick and very restless. On Andy’s recommendation I made an appointment at Borrajo’s, the vet in Birstall (of TV fame, apparently) as we intended to move there on Tuesday.
But Bruno wasn’t waiting till then, so we called out an emergency ambulance for him and took him into the PDSA clinic in Leicester, where Vetcall operate from out-of-hours. He spent the night there sedated and on a drip, and was transferred to Borrajos on Tuesday morning.
Many thanks to Brad the driver, and the staff at Vetcall.
We collected the old chap from the vet on Tuesday evening, a lot brighter, but still sleepy from the medication. He had a good nights sleep, and improved steadily through the day, eating well and taking regular short walks. Dad has lent us his car again (what would we do without him?) so it was easy to get back to Birstall for a follow up appointment on Wednesday evening. John Borrajo was happy with progress but wants to see him again in about a week. He prescribed a course of antibiotics and agreed to give him his annual MOT next week if he has recovered. As we’re staying here for a few more days, I’ve arranged a berth at Raynsway Marina in Thurmaston. This gives us easier access to facilities, and secure parking for the car.
While Bruno was ill, I also had the same symptoms, unable to keep anything down. Maybe a combination of worry and my unplanned swim on Sunday.
We moved off to Thurmaston on Thursday at about 11:00, arriving around 13:30 The marina is very pleasant, with good facilities and company. We’re moored next to NB BALMAHA ( for a few days.

The navigation is suffering from an infection of Floating Pennywort.

Bruno continues to improve, eating well and taking an interest in what’s going on again. Me too.

Locks 4
Miles 4½

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th November 2006.
Quiet days Thursday and Friday, then on Saturday went across to the boatyard to fill with diesel, top up coal bunkers and gas, and spend money in the chandlery! OK on the way across the cut, the wind just blew us over, but getting back was a different matter entirely!

We’d decided to empty the loo and fill with water on Sunday, so combined this with a trip into Loughborough to B&Q to get some timber to line the inside of the cabin doors. We took along Andy and family.

Met Andrew Denny on NB Granny Buttons ( at Mountsorrel, and followed him down to Barrow where he was filling with water. He’s heading north to Shardlow later in the week.

I’d misjudged how long it was to take us to get back to Sileby, and consequently we finished the last mile or so from Mountsorrel in the dark. While tying up I took a wrong step and got my first bath! Not recommended, the water here is cold and pretty deep! Still, no harm done, I even kept my cap and glasses on! I’ve no doubt the kids will be talking about it for days. I’m glad Nyree and Andy were on board though, else I’d have had to paddle my way to the stern to climb back on. As it was they hauled me over the gunwale onto the foredeck.

Bruno hadn’t been so good on Saturday, listless and not eating, but brightened up again on Sunday.

Locks 6
Miles 13
Swim 1

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Waited for an early shower to clear, so didn’t set off till 10:30. We had to empty all of today’s locks before use, and didn’t see another moving boat all day.
Used the BW service point at Bishops Meadow,

and shopped at Somerfield in Barrow, before arriving at Sileby Mill at 16:15.
We’re going to wait here for Reg to confirm that we can collect the cratch cover from Redhill. It’s handy to fill up with diesel, solid fuel etc.

Locks 5
Miles 9½

Just off up to Dad’s to see Sue before she jets off back to NZ tomorrow…

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A very enjoyable day on Sunday, a family meal at the Chard Restaurant near Nottingham, followed by “a bit of a do” at brother Andy’s place. It was good to catch up with everyone, especially my older brother Pete and his daughter Hannah down from Scotland, and sister Sue who lives in New Zealand and recently got married over there. We stayed the night at Andy’s and came back to the boat on Monday morning. Sue hadn’t seen Seyella, so we took her and Andy and Nyree for a short cruise into Loughborough and back, stopping for an excellent lunch at The Plough at Normanton on the way back. The rest of the afternoon was quiet, recovering from the exertions of the weekend.

We had heard through the grapevine that the planned closure of Kegworth Deep lock on Monday had been postponed till Friday, so this gave us the opportunity to get up to Redhill and ask Reg at Boat Hoods Direct to do some mods on the cratch cover he made for us a month or so ago.

New gates for Kegworth Deep

When we got to Kegworth, BW guys told us that they were just waiting for the delivery of the balance beams, and then would start with the replacement of the gates in the morning. So we dropped off the cover at Redhill, and came back down to Zouch so we didn’t get stuck on the wrong side of Kegworth. Dad will run me back up by car when the cover is ready, then I’ll refit the clips on the boat as required.

Arrived back at Zouch about 15:30, after a beautiful sunny day on the water.

Saw this brand new Dutch Barge coming up through Ratcliffe Lock. £180k and it’s yours!

Over the 2 days, locks 10, miles 16½.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Last day to get as close to Sileby as possible. Off at 08:00 with Ian and Gillian on “Little Lady” as arranged. Through Stenson lock then set off towards Swarkestone. Arrived after about an hour, but had had no sign of the other boat for the last 30 minutes. Helped a boat up the lock, then waited another 15 minutes or so but still no show, so we pressed on on our own. I wonder what happened. I hope they are OK.

Autumn Colours

Solo’d the locks until Derwent Mouth, which we shared with a cruiser. Traffic going in the opposite direction meant that most of the locks were full ready for us. Dredging operations near Swarkestone had been suspended for the weekend.


Through Sawley, shared with the same cruiser, and then onto the Soar.

Sawley Marina and Ratcliffe Power Station

A boater at Sawley told us that they had heard that Kegworth Deep lock was being closed on Monday for new gates. This would limit us as we had intended to stop just north of this lock. As it happened, there was no room anyway, most of the mooring taken up by workboats ready for Monday.
We decided to press on and stop at Zouch lock. Arrived at just before 17:00.

Locks T&M 6, Trent 1, Soar 3 = 10
Miles 17

Friday, November 03, 2006

Another beautiful, clear frosty morning. How long can this weather last? On the move just before 08:00, stopped at the services in the Fradley flight, but had to wait to fill up with water. By the time we had finished, other folk were on the move so we had to queue to go down the last 2 locks, and caught up with a boat at every lock up to Stenson. This meant we had to empty almost all of the locks we came to, which slowed us a little, but we arrived at Stenson lock at 16:30.
We’d met a couple at Fradley who were going through to Nottingham, and made a tentative arrangement to share the broad locks down to the Trent tomorrow. Saw them at Stenson and confirmed the arrangement.
Starting to feel a little weary, now. Up at 06:30, and travelling for 8-9 hours a day takes it’s toll after a while. Only 1 more day of this, then we can relax.

Locks 13
Miles 16

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Another frosty morning, colder than yesterday. High cloud made the sun hazy until lunchtime, which made seeing the route ahead rather easier.

Leaving a frosty Aston Lock

A day of long runs punctuated by the occasional lock gave Margaret a chance to put her feet up. We had hoped to get through Fradley, but a stop at Rugeley for essentials meant that we didn’t arrive at Woodend lock till 16:00, so called it a day shortly after. Will do the Fradley locks first thing, and use the services in the flight.
The last couple of overnight frosts have really hit the trees, a lot of leaves have turned suddenly. If we get another brisk wind, they'll be stripped pretty quickly.
We’ve got Friday and Saturday to get as close as possible to Sileby on the Soar, at the worst case we’ll get to Redhill. I need to have a chat with Reg at Boat Hoods Direct about the cratch cover. Nothing he has done wrong, just some modifications required. The weather looks to be holding fair for us.

7 locks, 20 miles

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Well, November started autumn for us, frost on the cabin roof, mist on the water and not a breath of wind.
We moved off at 08:00, after clearing out the stove ready for Harecastle. Through the remaining 3 locks of the Red Bull flight and waved straight into the tunnel.

Under Poole Aqueduct

Out into sunlight by 09:40, the only drawback being not being able to see where to go! The low sun, directly ahead, and the smoke from the relit stove made the view forward very difficult. As the sun rose higher it became less of a problem, but was still an issue all the way through Stoke.
We cleared the last of the Stoke locks by about 13:00, and pressed on down to Meaford, getting through these by 15:00. At this point we made the decision to carry on and get through Stone before stopping for the night just before Aston lock. We tied up at 16:30 after a long but satisfying day. Another cold night in the offing, but we’ll be toasty on board.

18 locks, 16½ miles.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Early start today with a lot of ground (water!) to cover. Off at 07:35 in a grey damp sort of morning, with a brisk wind from the north-west. The day brightened, but still punctuated by the odd drizzly shower blowing in the wind. We only saw 3 other moving boats all day, which meant that we could crack on through the Cheshire locks. We are moving like a well oiled machine now, Margaret never ceases to amaze me, how well she has taken to this major upheaval in her life.

Nun impressions!

From Wheelock through to Harecastle the locks are all paired, but not all are in use!

Derelict lock chamber at Church Lawton.

We intended to stop near Church Lawton, but were doing so well decided to press on, although we had no chance of reaching Harecastle tunnel in time for the 15:00 deadline.
Finally stopped at just after 15:00 near Red Bull. About 1 mile and 3 locks to Harecastle, must remember not to stoke to stove in the morning, naked flames are not allowed in the tunnel. Pity there’s going to be a frost tonight! It’s going to be a cold 2926 yards through there tomorrow.

BW Yard at Red Bull

23 locks, 8½ miles.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Orchard Marina

Our stay at OML did not start well. The first berth allocated to us was too shallow, the second was only available till Sunday night, and the third was on the services dock, which meant we spent Monday breasting customers boats alongside for diesel, water etc.
Work started on Tuesday on the inverter, but was frequently interrupted. The carpentry to repair the damp damage was finished Saturday morning. After some more wiring mods, the inverter and remote control/battery monitor was up and running on Monday morning.

Inverter installation under way

We had a visit from George and Christine on Saturday 22nd, with the latest batch of mail. Included was my entry number and details for the Worksop ½ marathon. I had forgotten I had entered this one, so it was a bit of a surprise, especially as I hadn’t trained since the GNR a month before!
Any way, we hired a car and set off for Worksop early last Sunday. With road closures and traffic hold ups we only just arrived in time for me to jog down to the start and get into the pack. So a combination of poor preparation on the day, inadequate training and being wound up from the 2½ hr drive led to an abysmal performance. I usually enjoy this run, through Clumber Park, but this year was no fun. Ah well, there’s always next year I guess.

We got some pictures of the resident heron

We had an enjoyable visit from Margaret’s sister Dot, husband John and son Paul on Saturday 29th. They hadn’t seen Seyella before, and were suitably impressed with the difference between this boat and the hire boat we shared some years ago on the Shroppie.

After filling with water, emptying the loo and filling the coal bunkers, we were off back down the Trent and Mersey at 12:30. We’re going to have to go some to get back down the Soar to Sileby by next Saturday! 98 miles and 85 locks to go!

Busy than we expected today, with a few boats heading south. A fine sunny afternoon, but with a cool breeze. Reached Middlewich not long after 14:00, and shared Big Lock with a family of swans! They didn’t give me a hand with the gates, though.

Swans in Big Lock

The next 3 locks were against us, but the boat we kept seeing in front of us must have set off down the Middlewich branch to the Shropshire Union, so we had Kings Lock in our favour.
We pushed on up through Rumps, Booth Lane and Crows Nest locks, and stopped for the night near Elton Moss bridge (160) just at dusk at 17:00. It’s amazing what a difference putting the clocks back 1 hour makes!

Margaret is really confident now, manouvering into locks. We have developed a different method when going uphill, which should avoid any more broken glasses!
It’s good to be moving again, after an enforced 10 day lay-up.

9 Locks, 8½ miles. A good run in 4½ hours.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Rain through the night and rain in the morning. It got better, however as the day progressed. We locked through 4 of the 5 Middlewich flight, and stopped next to bridge 172 so I could walk up to the Somerfield supermarket t o top up the stores. Bruno and I had already had a walk earlier to locate it.
Through Middlewich Big Lock, and then just 4 miles to go before arriving back at Orchard. Spent an enjoyable 5 minutes watching a duck (sorry, haven’t a clue what it was) diving in front of the boat, then surfacing after 15 or 20 seconds, still in front of the boat. I wasn’t quick enough for a photo, though.
Quite busy with boats heading south, I reckon we passed about 8 today.

I don’t think this one’s going far for a while, though.

Arrived at Orchard Marina at 13:10, and were directed to a berth. We are in illustrious company; J Peg, exhibited at Crick and featured in Canal Boat magazine, is moored about 30 feet away.

We have arranged for the new inverter to be installed early next week, and the work on the bulkheads should start this weekend. We need to be away from here by next Thursday to have a chance of getting back down to Sileby for the 5th November, when we are meeting up with my sister, Sue, home from New Zealand.

On the way past I’m going to leave the cratch cover with Reg at Boat Hoods Direct at Redhill, for some mods to make it less vulnerable to damage in narrow locks.

Back to where we started, Orchard Marina just south of Northwich.

5 Locks, 5½ miles.