Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Out with the old & in with the new!

Wednesday 28th June
We have been back at home in Roos for the last couple of weeks as we had several things we wanted to do at home. While R&R is in our marina at Shardlow we will be having a new Pram canopy & Cratch cover fitted by AJ Canopies from Braunston as the present ones are starting to look quite shabby. They have done well though as they are the original ones that George & Carol had fitted when they owned R&R, so that will be done some time in July.
For quite a while now we have been having power problems  (or the lack of it) on R&R & Kev suspected that our 230v fridge was the culprit! The fridge also had been on the boat since we bought R&R and he thought the fridge must be faulty and drawing too much power as when we were getting up in a morning our Victron power monitor was showing 11.8v. Also the washing machine was showing signs of wear & tear, as it had started to make a noise when in use and we suspected that it was a bearing.
We had bought a 12v fridge to replace the 230v one and so as we had to take the roof mounted glass cabinet down to enable us to get the old fridge off the boat & the new fridge on from the stern we decide to replace the washing machine with a new one too!!
We ordered a new washer from AO.com and they delivered it to our home and the van drivers took the new washer off the lorry & put it straight into our car!
Kev had already arranged for a man called Simon (an electrician from Braunston, who had done work on our previous boat) to come to our marina @ Shardlow to wire up the new 12v fridge to the fuse board.  Kev had also arranged for his friend Nigel, (who has his boat moored next to us in the marina) to come and help him lift the old washing machine out and put the new one in!
So last week Kev drove to Shardlow with the new washing machine in the car, our new fridge was already at the marina as Nigel had got it for us from Midland chandlers at Mercia marina.
As Kev was at the boat a the day before Simon was due to come he was able to take the glass cabinet down and he managed to get the 230v fridge out and off the boat at the stern, he didn't need to take it to the tip as a man who lives on his boat in the marina & is moored not far from our boat wanted the fridge for his beer!!
Another job Kev had to do was to take out the pan drawer and the cupboard above it that has the microwave in it, these are located below the oven and it is the only way to get to the washing machine that is in the bathroom out! What a going on! Anyway once Simon had been and the new 12v fridge was installed Kev waited until Nigel arrived at the marina on Friday to help him get the old washing machine out and the new one in place. Kev wanted to make sure everything was working ok with the new washing machine i.e. no leaks etc so he put a quick wash on, and once everything was ok he put everything back into place once again!
Our new Hoover washing machine in place!
The new 12v fridge also in place!
The cabinet all back in place!!
The following morning when Kev checked the power after the new 12v fridge had been working and the 12v freezer too ( the inverter had been off) the Victron monitor was showing 12.5v and so the power consumption problem is hopefully sorted!!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Looking forward to an Indian tonight!

Monday 12th June
On Saturday we stayed in Stone, and went for a few bits of shopping but mainly a lazy day. There had been a gala week going on in Stone and on Saturday afternoon some of the roads were closed as there was a procession of floats etc. At least the rain held off for them but when we went out in the evening for a few drinks it rained!
Sunday morning the first boat came up the lock at the Star Pub just before 7am! Then there was several more and we thought we were early to leave around 8am!
Heading towards Aston bridge and Aston lock is just around the corner from it.
When we got to Aston Lock there were a couple of boats ahead of us, but it wasn't long before we were down and out of the lock and on our way.
 Yet another swan with her cygnets
Even more geese with their goslings!
We weren't going far today, only to Burston. In fact we moored a little way passed bridge 85 where it was quite open and we had a good reception on the TV, wifi, and mobile phone signal! We had a late cooked breakfast and when we had washed up etc we had a good walk with Jaz over bridge 85 into Burston village and walked up the road over the railway bridge and then came to The Greyhound pub where we stopped and had a drink. We sat outside with Jaz and didn't realise that dogs were allowed inside! 
Our mooring.
 Looking from the stern last night!
This morning once we were ready we set off and Kev walked with Jaz until he got to Sandon lock while I came along on R&R, Kev filled the lock and once we were down through the lock both Kev & Jaz got back on board.
Nearly ready to leave this morning.
First lock of the day.
Through the next 2 locks, Weston Lock & then Hoo Mill Lock and then on to the water point at Gt Haywood, there was a boat already moored there but there was enough space for us to pull onto the water point in front of the other boat. I made a cuppa while Kev waited for the water to fill, which didn't take long as it filled quite fast.
Moored on one of the water points at Anglo Welsh.
A bit busy at the junction for the Staffs & Worcester canal!
Once the water tank was full Kev let go of the ropes for me and while I headed for Haywood lock on the boat while Kev walked over the bridge and walked to the lock. When we got there , 3 boats were already waiting to go down the lock so we were there a while.
One boat was in the lock, the green one was next and the blue one ended up at the other side!
Colwich lock and a queue again! Mind you the ground paddle was out of action so there was only the gate paddle working, which made it slow to fill but not too bad once in the lock going down!
Once we were out of the lock Kev stayed on the towpath once again with Jaz and they walked as far as Wolseley bridge where there were 3 boats moored before the bridge but enough room for us to get moored too! So here we will stay and will make another visit to Shimla Palace for an Indian meal tonight! Lovely!

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Back onto the Trent & Mersey Canal

Saturday 10th June.
After getting a good soaking last Monday, and the fact that the weather forecast for Tuesday was wind & rain we stayed put at Middlewich.
On Wednesday morning the weather wasn't that good but we wanted to move so we left about 8.45am.
Our mooring in Middlewich.
Looking back from our mooring just before we left.
We had a long day and we stopped at Wheelock to fill up with water, empty 2 cassettes & get rid of rubbish, we then pulled forward from the water point to have a bite to eat before we started the Wheelock flight of locks! The weather actually didn't turn out too bad after all and at least we stayed dry!
A clever use of old jeans!
Looking back at Wheelock services.
Approaching lock 58 after the M6 motorway bridge. 
We finally moored at Church Lawton after doing 26 locks and 11.5 miles. On Thursday morning we were away fairly early and headed for the Harecastle tunnel.
In lock 41
The pub next to lock 41
Here we go!

The start of the 40 minute journey through the tunnel!
After we were through the tunnel we stopped at the moorings at Westport lake to let Jaz have a run, there was no way that we wanted to stay on these moorings as there wasn't a space anywhere that didn't have goose droppings on it! So once Jaz had been for a run about we carried on through Stoke On Trent and headed for Barleston where we moored after Oldroad bridge 104.
Yesterday morning we left Barleston early in fact it was just after 7am! We wanted to get moored in Stone for the weekend.
Lovely canal side cottages.
The Boat yard, Kev's favourite property on the system!
This mother was very protective as a man walked passed after I took this, he had 2 dogs and the swan ran to them and gave one of them a peck!
Meaford top lock
Jaz keeping her eye on where Kev is!
Haven't seen one of these since we were on the Thames!
Love these old cars.
After we dropped down lock 29 at Stone, we stopped briefly so Kev could empty the cassette & I got rid of the rubbish we then carried on and dropped down what turned out to be our last lock of the day, (Yard lock) and what do you know an available mooring after the lock landing! We had a couple of boats glance off the side of us as they went onto the lock landing, Kev had spoken to the man moored ahead of us who said he was moving shorty as he had stayed 48 hours, he agreed to let us know when he was going so we could move onto his mooring, which is what we did a couple of hours later.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Moored at Middlewich

Monday 5th June.
We had a change of plan when we were moored below Willeymoor lock, we were going to stay a few days and go to the pub for a meal but we changed our minds. We did pop to the pub on Friday evening for a couple of drinks. On Saturday morning we left our mooring in lovely sunshine and Kev walked with Jaz to Quoisley Lock while I followed on R&R.
Looking back at Willeymoor lock
Up Quoisley Lock.
When we getting close to Marbury Lock we moored and we were going to stay put for the day and have a walk into the lovely village of Marbury and go to the Swan pub, we sat in the sun for a while and then thought we would go for a walk to the pub, but as we were leaving the boat with Jaz there was a man walking on the towpath who told us that the Swan was under renovations and he didn't think it was open yet. As it was a bit of a walk we decided to leave this mooring and head off to Wrenbury. Once back on board I took the windlass and walked to Marbury Lock to set it for Kev, and we were soon down the lock and on our way to Wrenbury.
Not sure what I think of the colour of the canvass on this boat!
This female only had one chick, and quite a young one too.
We managed to get moored at Wrenbury ok on the 48hour moorings, and didn't go through the lift bridge as it is a bit brighter this side of the bridge and stayed here overnight. We took Jaz for a walk shortly after we moored and we sat with her in the beer garden at the Cotton Arms. We went back in the evening for a few drinks, firstly we went into The Dusty Miller pub for one and then went to the Cotton Arms and I had a few games of pool, managing to win a couple of games!
New homes being built in Wrenbury.
On Sunday morning we were away before 9am and I walked to work the lift bridge, fortunately not a lot of traffic on the road so we didn't hold people up! Only one car had to stop & wait for Kev to go through the lift bridge and then I walked ahead to go and get the next lift bridge ready, but as I got there a man was already working the lift bridge and a boat was going through with a woman on the tiller, he was with the lady on the boat that was going through but had his own boat that was tied at the bridge landing, so when she got through she moored her boat on the other landing. Meanwhile another boat was coming towards Wrenbury and so the man working the bridge let them go through and then let Kev come through! So he was there a while as the woman he was travelling with walked back to get on his boat to take it through the bridge, we were quite happy as at least we would be ahead of them at the locks!
We wanted to stop at the services at the flight of locks at Hurleston to empty the cassette, fill with water & get rid of our rubbish and while we were filling the water tank Kev went to get rid of the rubbish and he took the cassette but he was unable to empty it as the facilities were out of order. When the water tank was full we headed to go down the flight of locks and when we were at the 3rd one the heavens opened up and it poured with rain! When we at the last lock a couple of boats were waiting to come up, the rain continued and I managed to get back on board after Kev had turned left at Hurleston junction. I went down into the boat while Kev stayed on the tiller and when he got to Barbridge junction he turned right onto the Middlewich section of the Shropshire Union canal and he moored after the winding hole before Cholmondeston Lock.
This morning it started to rain before we left our mooring about 8.15 am, I walked to the lock and filled it ready for Kev to bring R&R in. Once we had dropped down the lock Kev moored outside Venetion Marina and we waited for the shop to open at 8.30am. 
We needed a bottle of gas & diesel, the gas was £26.50 and the diesel was 69pence per litre, once we were sorted we set off heading for Middlewich, the rain stayed with us all the way and was quite heavy at times! We moored after bridge 29 and that was us for the day! 

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Staying put for a couple of days.

Thursday 1st June
Yesterday was another lovely day, just before we were about to leave our mooring a man & woman came around the bend towards us towing a small boat behind them! Kev spoke to them and the man told Kev they had been to Chester, the Leicester ring & the 4 counties! Why? Well just to say they did it, they sounded like Americans although they may well have been Canadian.
Here they come.
The woman got on board and brought the boat passed us.
She then got the rope and passed it back to her husband.
He pulled the boat in and she got off and they carried on towing the boat behind them!
We were then on our way to Ellesmere for some shopping and we turned the boat around and managed to get moored at the basin close to Tesco.  Once we had done our shopping and got it all packed away, we had a cuppa and a bite to eat and then I took Jaz with me and went around the other side of the basin where there is a field that I walked her through and it then comes out onto the bowling green. I crossed the green and went onto a small footpath which led me to the canal again at bridge 58 (Red Bridge) where I waited to be picked up. Kev left the basin just after I had set off with Jaz and he picked us both up at the bridge and we were on our way again. Not far was Ellesmere tunnel and as we approached it a boat was coming through so we had to wait a few minutes for him to exit the short tunnel (87yards) and then we were able to go through.
Waiting for the other boat to exit the tunnel.
In we go.
We had a pleasant cruise and finally we moored on the 48 hour moorings at Whitchurch that are before the lift bridge.
Our mooring at Whitchurch.
Having a moment together😀
This morning was yet another lovely start so we had a leisurely breakfast, showers & I did a wash before we left just after 10.15 am. Kev walked Jaz to the lift bridge and it was in the up position as a boat had gone through and another boat was waiting to come through from the other way. He asked if we could come through too and the young lad said yes and went off to get on his boat and left the bride open but Kev was unable to get across! Fortunately there was a woman with her dog at the bridge and so Kev asked if she could drop the bridge for us and he threw our windlass over to her. I took the boat through the bridge, the woman apparently wasn't with any boat she just happened to be walking her dog! The people on the hire boat that was waiting to come through the other way then went through so I had to wait in the middle of the canal for Kev to get the windlass back and catch me up! He wasn't going to get back on board as he was going to walk with Jaz to the water points at Grindley Brook which wasn't very far. When we got to the water points the first water point had nobody on it so we were able to tie up and fill with water, while the tank was filling Kev took the cassette to empty and when he got back and the tank was full I got the windlass and walked to see the lockie at the staircase flight. There was a boat already in the top lock and the lockie told me I could fill it again once the boat was in the next lock down and so Kev brought the boat in and we were soon down all 3 of the staircase locks and onto the next lock after the staircase.
In Grindley lock No.5
By the time we had got through Willeymoor lock we thought that we would moor below the lock and will stay here a couple of days,  it is forecast to rain tomorrow so thats a cleaning day for me! We will probably go in the pub on Saturday night and may have a bite to eat there 😋

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

A short trip on the Montgomery Canal!

Tuesday 30th May
Yesterday morning we left our mooring at bridge 7(llangollen canal) just after 10 am and it was quite a miserable start with fine rain, we didn't have far to go until we turned right onto the moorings for the locks at the start of the Montgomery Canal, where there were a few boats waiting, and then another boat came but had to moor across from us as there wasn't enough room, that boat was NB Harnser. When the lockie arrived just before noon Kev went to see him, we had booked to go onto the Montgomery as they only allow a small amount onto it at a time. There was a boat moored at the front ahead of us and they hadn't booked and so the lockie said they would have to ring up and book their passage as he wasn't allowed to let them go down. The man wasn't very happy but agreed to ring and book his place for today. When the lockie had set the locks we told Harnser to go first as they were closer to the lock and we weren't in any particular hurry.
Looking back at our mooring near bridge 7.
Passing these 3 lovely bays.
Waiting for the lockie at the start of the Montgomery canal, nb Harnser moored across from us.

There were about 8 boats waiting to come up the locks, the lockie let a couple start coming up and then started letting the us & the other 2 boats down, Harnser being the first and then the second one was a hire boat and lastly it was us. After we were down through the 4 locks we didn't have to go very far before we came to the small junction at Lockgate bridge 71 where there is the disused Weston Branch. This is where the water point is and a little brick building for emptying the cassettes, Kev said it was immaculately clean. The rain had stopped by the time we stared down the locks and stayed dry for the rest of the day!
Moored at the water point.
We had a bite to eat before we left the water point as there wasn't anybody waiting to use it and there was another one ahead of us, but we could easily have moved back if someone had needed the water point. We were then on our way and I walked the short distance to the next lock, which was Graham Palmer Lock

Next it was the small Perry Aqueduct.
Passing the unnavigable Rednal basin.
Approaching the railway bridge & ahead is a restored warehouse.
Very shallow here.

The canal was a bit shallow in places but not as bad as we were expecting, and we finally moored before bridge 79 Maersbury Marsh, where we stayed overnight. We had planned to leave the Montgomery canal on  Thursday as we didn't know what it was like as this was our first time on it, but as the navigation is only open for a 7 mile stretch we decided to ring up and book the locks to go back up for tomorrow instead.
This morning after breakfast etc we were ready to leave about 9.30 am. We needed to turn around and the winding hole was about half a mile ahead of us and also there was a lift bridge to open, so Kev said he would take Jaz for a walk and open the lift bridge for me while I went and turned the boat around and then once I was turned and back through the lift bridge Kev got on board the boat with Jaz.
Looking back at Crofts Lift Bridge.
There is a small horse drawn  trip boat at bridge 80.
Approaching the services at Maersbury Wharf
They look quite new, no rubbish emptying that we could see.
This is The Navigation Inn & Wharehouse  restaurant( Closed so we didn't get to try it)

We had a nice slow journey along the Montgomery and when we were through bridge 71 where the water points are there are a few 48 hour moorings so we tied up there. We were going to move later today and moor at the bottom of the Frankton locks ready for tomorrow, Kev spoke to a man on a hire boat who had just come down the locks and he tole Kev there were only another 2 or 3 boats coming down. We then decided to go and moor at the lock landing and see maybe if we could possibly get up today instead, but if not we would be able to stay on the lock landing overnight. We wouldnt usually moor on a lock landing but as the locks are locked once the lockie has got all the booked boats up & down the locks, we knew we would be the first boat up tomorrow. As we moored at the bottom lock a boat was just leaving and Kev went up to help them with the lock gates and spoke to a volunteer lockie who told Kev to come up the locks and he would tell the Lockie he had said it was ok. We were lucky as it was nearly 2pm and the Lockie was at the top lock setting & locking it until tomorrow!
At the bottom of the Frankton flight.
In the top lock.
All done nearly ready to leave the top lock.
As we left the Montgomery Canal I was back on board and went to the bow to see if it was clear for us to turn right back onto the Llangollen canal, there were several boats going both ways mainly hire boats but we were soon on our way but we didn't go too far and found a lovely mooring between Bridges 66 & 65.
Lovely view & sun too!!
Wonderful!