Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Waiting for a lift at Wrenbury!

Wednesday 17th May
On Monday morning it was quite a miserable start to the day, we left our mooring at Nantwich just after 7am and pulled over to the services to fill the water tank which took nearly an hour! It was our 28th wedding anniversary, we wanted to get onto the Llangollen Canal and to Wrenbury so we could go to the Cotton Arms pub for a meal, Yesterday was my Birthday (45 again) and last night myself and Kev had gone to a Thai Restaurant in Nantwich, excellent it was too. It was raining as we left the services but was only light rain but made it seem cool.
The well photographed Horse at bridge 92.
 Oh dear, how much stuff can you get on your boat!
I don't know how you get to the tiller! Lol!
We arrived at the visitor moorings at Wrenbury at 10 am and Kev took Jaz for a walk to make sure the pub would be open for a meal, when he got to the Cotton Arms it was open so he went in and booked a table for 7pm. By the time we went for our meal the moorings were full both sides of Wrenbury lift bridge. We got to the pub earlier than our meal had been booked for so we ate a bit earlier and had a good meal, we left the pub shortly after 8pm and as we were at the towpath we noticed that there was a key in the operating column for the lift bridge & the red lights for the traffic was on, so we walked across to have a look and found that someone had put what looked like a house key in the keyhole. We tried to get it out but it was stuck! Someone had reported it to CRT who came out later in the evening but were unable to sort it. Yesterday morning a girl from CRT said that there was someone coming to repair it as they thought there was a problem with the hydraulics and hopefully it would be sorted by lunchtime. She walked along the canal in both directions letting other boaters know and try to stop people coming up to the bridge. 
I had a walk to the bridge about 11.30am to see if anything was happening and a man pulled up in a Discovery and parked up then came over to the lift bridge. I asked if he had been told of what the problem could be and he said another man was coming and that usually it can be sorted quickly. The second man arrived a few minutes later and within about 20 minutes low and behold the lift bridge was working.
Well there was a mass of boats all getting ready to leave! There was some people on a hire boat at Alvechurch Boat  company waiting to leave and they had been on board since the day before (Tuesday) but hadn't left as it was late afternoon. There was a private hire boat moored at the lift bridge moorings and all the rest of boaters behind including us! The men who fixed the bridge told us to go through the bridge first and then they would let the boats waiting to come in the opposite direction afterwoods! 
Were off! Look at all those bloody leaves on our roof!
Boats following us to the lift bridge!
Everybody was in good spirits and having a laugh about it all, no use getting upset these things happen. We were soon at the first lock of the day, Marbury lock and as you can imagine there was quite a queue waiting to go up but it wasn't too long before we were through and by the time we had got up Poveys lock we decided to moor further along the towpath.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Weekend moored at Nantwich

Saturday 13th May
We stayed out on Thursday as Kev had some jobs he wanted to do on the engine, and so I had a good clean. It was another sunny day although not as good as Wednesday, which was glorious but still nice enough to sit outside after we had both finished what we were doing. Jaz was happy too as she absolutely loves being outside. It did cloud over about 5pm so we took the chairs in and that was that for the day.
Friday morning it started to rain and Kev walked Jaz after he had let go of the ropes and I followed on the boat. Jaz doesn't like the rain at all and didn't want too walk too far and so before we got to Hack Green locks I put the bow to the towpath & Kev put her back on board! He then went to set the lock for me and there was a boat coming up so that was good and then there was another boat coming up the second lock so we were soon on our way to Nantwich. We managed to get moored on the moorings  after the aqueduct at just after 10 am.
Moored at Nantwich
The rain eased a little after lunch so Kev & I had a walk to the train station so he could pick up his tickets for his journey to Bristol, I went into Morrisons which is close to the station and let Kev pop there while I went for some shopping. As it was quite a walk back & was quite warm we popped in to   Oddfellows pub for a drink, the landlord was very friendly and the pub was immaculate.
This morning I put another wash on but as the weather is a bit hit & miss today I have hung it at the stern to dry with the front & back of the canopy rolled up so there is a good breeze blowing through. Kev will be back tomorrow about 4.30pm so we shall leave on monday morning, and head for Hurleston junction where we will turn onto the Llangollen Canal.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Plenty of locks but sunshine too

Wednesday 10th May
Well what a lovely morning it was when we got up today, although first thing it was quite cool.
Moored below the bottom of Adderley Locks
We had company across from our mooring
As we were getting ready to leave this morning I got Jaz off the boat and Kev let go of the ropes and I walked along the towpath with her while Kev stayed on board following behind. 
When we arrived at the top of the flight of Audlem locks, 2 CRT men came to the lock and one of them was stencilling the word Cill on the lock while the other man was oiling the paddles etc. We put Jaz on board and swapped places so Kev worked the locks while I stayed aboard. There were 2 boats ahead of us going down but it wasn't too bad a one of the CRT men was helping with the gates as they followed us down about 5 locks!

Waiting for Kev to set the lock near the Shroppie Fly pub
Looking back at the Shroppie Fly
Passing Overwater Marina
This is were we have pulled over to moor at Cool Pilates
Washing on and kebabs made for our first BBQ this year, while the weather is good!

Meeting up with the Roosters

Tuesday 9th May
On Saturday morning we moved from our mooring at Wheaton Aston, through the bridge across the canal to fill up with fuel from Turners, 58.9 per litre. Once we were done we headed off along the canal until we got to bridge 30 where our friends Pam & Terry on Nb Roosters Rest were moored, Terry had seen us coming and came to help Kev tie up. It was lovely to see them both and once were all secured we went on board Roosters Rest for a cuppa and a catch up! After we had finished chatting and had a bite to eat Kev & Terry took Jaz for a walk to the Boat Inn at Gnosall while Pam & I had a few glasses of wine.
Sunday was lovely and we all sat out on the towpath with a few drinks in the sunshine.
on Monday morning both boats left the moorings to move the short distance to the moorings at bridge 34 close to the Boat Inn. I had a walk with Pam & Terry to the shop for a few groceries and then we all sat aboard Rock & Roll for a cuppa , then about 5pm Kev & Terry walked to the fish shop and I must admit the fish & chips were very good.
Proof, we were drinking tea, at one point anyway!
This morning we said our goodbyes to Pam & Terry and we left Gnosall at about 9.40 am, Pam had an appointment to have her hair cut & blow-dried at the hairdressers in Gnosall so they were staying but we wanted to get on our way as we want to be in Nantwich for Friday as Kev has to get a train to Bristol to go to a party for Colette & Ryan. It is for all the friends & relatives who weren't able to be at their wedding. I am not going as I will stay with Jaz on board R&R, and Kev will be back on Sunday.
It was quite a cold start to today and both Kev & myself had our coats on as we travelled along the canal, when we arrived at Norbury Wharf the mooring for the water point was empty so we decided to top up the water tank and get rid of rubbish etc. By the time we got through bridge 47 we pulled over and stopped for a bite to eat and then we carried on to Tyrely Locks.
We decide that we would carry on and do the locks at Adderley and as we were in the first lock there was home made produce for sale, so we bought some sausages, pork pie & half a dozen bread cakes and left the money in the honesty box. Once we were down the last lock we moored for the night. I got the camera & took the memory card out to download the photos but there wasn't any to download, so I don't know what had happened so I didn't have any photos apart from the ones on my phone!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Now moored at Wheaton Aston

Friday 5th May
When we left our mooring at Taft bridge it was breezy and when we reached Gt. Haywood the turn onto the Staffordshire & Worcester canal was ok as the wind actually worked in our favour,  Kev jumped off the boat to get rid of our rubbish as I entered under the bridge & there were 3 boats coming so I had to wait alongside Anglo Welsh hire boats. As the 3 boats passed the wind took me across to the towpath just as Kev was coming back to get on the boat so he was able to push the boat off and we were on our way.
Love this property(Tixall bridge)
Lot of work going on after Tixall bridge
One of several swans we have seen nesting

Deptmore Lock
We moored near Stafford boat club for a bite to eat and then set off again and made our way to Penkridge where we moored for the night above Longford lock.
Yesterday morning we moved from our mooring a short distance, and once we had got through Penkridge Lock we moored again so I could pop to the shop, Kev stayed on the boat with Jaz and we had a quick cuppa when I got back before setting off again, I walked to Filance Lock to get it set & Kev brought the boat into the lock. There hasn't been a lot of boats on the move so we have had the canal to ourselves most of the time! We decided to call it a day when we reached the Fox & Anchor at Cross Green and moored for the day.
Kev was curious to find out what was wrong with the bow thruster, so once we were moored he removed the bow thruster motor from the gearbox & then tested the motor which seemed fine. He was then able to spin the propeller using the spline sticking up from the gearbox, so after reinstalling the motor he checked all the wiring connections & hey presto it worked!! So thankfully it seems that it was a loose connection.
What a good girl
This morning I put a wash on and once it was finished we left Cross Green, Kev walked Jaz for a while and I followed on R&R.
Fox & Anchor Inn
 Not that way Jaz
It wasn't too long before we were turning onto The Shropshire Union canal, & once through the stop lock we were on our way.
 Dirty Cows! 

 Anybody lost a bike?
Going over Stretton Aqueduct
It has been a good cruise, the sun was lovely but spoilt once again by the wind, but we are now moored for the day at Wheaton Aston where we have filled with water, emptied the cassette & got rid of the rubbish

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

A couple of good day's cruising

Wednesday 3rd May
On Monday morning as we set off a hire boat which was moored behind us set off in front of us so we knew we had someone to share Stenson lock with.
The first duckling I have seen this year.

Moored at Swarkestone
When we arrived at Stenson lock there were quite a few people at the lock and they opened the lock gates so we were able to go straight in, Kev went up the ladder to help work the lock and the jumped back aboard as I was leaving the lock. There was a few boats waiting to go down so that was a result.
We moored for a short time close to Mercia Marina and had a bite to eat before heading off again, and the weather wasn't too bad although a bit cool, not a lot of boaters on the move though. While moored here outside Mercia Marina Kev tried to use the Bow Thruster as he suspected the prop was fouled (when leaving our marina Kev thought that the bow thruster batteries may have been a bit low as the noise from the thruster had indicated this) but after going in though the weed hatch the prop was clear. In October last year Kev took a friend out with him for a week and his friend (without exaggeration ) used the bow thruster more in one week then it had probably been used since installation and he thinks this has resulted in gearbox failure, so now we are looking at replacing the unit but unfortunately that won't be until spring next year when the boat is booked in to Dry Dock for blacking, fortunately we don't use the thruster much, mainly for manoeuvring in Marina's.
This black swan on his own just after Willington.
Not far from Willington we got caught in some rain which was quite heavy for a while and then soon stopped, Kev got off the boat with Jaz once it stopped raining and walked her to Dallow lock while I followed on the boat. As I approached Dallow lock there was a boat about to leave so that was good so I could go straight in. Kev & Jaz got back on board here and we carried on and we decided to call it a day & moored before Branston Lock.
Yesterday morning once we were ready I set off walking with Jaz to set Branston lock while Kev let go and followed me on the boat. Once he was clear of the lock I carried on walking on the towpath with Jaz.
The new road bridge at Branston
The work on the new road bridge looks about complete and the surrounding area has had trees planted so it won't be long now before they start building all the new houses.
It was a lovely morning and a lovely walk up to our next lock with Jaz, Tatenhill lock was full so I emptied it ready for Kev to bring R&R in. I then got back on board with Jaz and we carried on once again.
Jaz keeping her eye on Kev in Barton Turn lock!
By the time we were approaching Alrewas we could see people at the lock and once again there was a boat leaving so once again we were able to head straight into the lock! Kev got off as I was going into the lock and there was another boat waiting to come down. I stayed aboard once again and I came out of the lock while Kev walked to the next lock at Alrewas. It started to be slightly busier now as there was a boat going in the next lock as I got there but there was a hire boat also waiting ahead of me. Kev came to take the centre line while we were waiting, but he asked the people on the hire boat if they would move along the lock landing as they were far back and if another boat came they would think that the hire boat was not waiting for the lock and would possibly jump the queue. They must have misheard him and the man at the tiller moved to the doors of the lock! It was quite funny watching him manoeuvre as he backed up into the bushes.

I went up to the lock to help the hire boaters, and it wasn't long before we were through the lock and we pulled over to moor and have a bite to eat. When were getting close to Fradley there was a man laid on the floor on the towpath with a woman stood over him and also a volunteer lock keeper there too. We asked if we could help but they said there was an ambulance on its way, which arrived and as the ambulance could get down the towpath they had to get a stretcher and walk down to the man, who it turns out was Diabetic. Hope he was ok, we stopped briefly at the services in Fradley to empty the cassette and then were on our way again, it had been a lovely day weatherise and quite warm when the sun was out. We got to Rugeley at about 4.30pm and moored where the Tesco is, we walked across to Morrisons as I am not keen on Tesco and got some shopping. We were on our way once again and finally moored at Taft bridge for the night. It had been quite a long day for us and we had done 17 miles and 13 locks

Lovely view across the fields

Kev out with Jaz 

Monday, 1 May 2017

From cruising the Caribbean to cruising the cut!

Monday 1st May
Well we are a bit late starting cruising, as we had a wedding to go to. Kev's daughter Colette was getting married to Ryan aboard Royal Caribbean cruise liner "Allure of the Seas" which would sail from Fort Lauderdale. We decided to fly a week early along with Kev's son Lee & his girlfriend Vicky to San Francisco for a couple of days, then onto Las vegas for a couple of days and finally we flew to Miami, where we had a couple of days there too. We then had a car to take us to join the liner at Fort Lauderdale on Sunday 9th April. The wedding was on Tuesday 11th April and the ceremony was performed by the ships captain. Unfortunately Ryan's father suffered a stroke on the Monday morning and had to stay in the ships hospital so missed the wedding. He was taken off the ship when we docked at St Martin and fortunately he was fine and returned to the vessel later that day.
Newly weds Colette & Ryan

Lee, Vicky & Colette's son Joseph
Docked in Nassau for a few hours.
The ship was amazing, our cabin was on the 14th floor and there was a total of 17 floors! All the crew were all very good and friendly. It was the first cruise Kev & I had been on and we are not sure if we would do another but if so we would probably go on a smaller one, OOPS, we are on a smaller one now 😊
Anyway when we got back home on the 17th April we couldn't start our cruise on R&R for another couple of weeks as my mam & sister were going to Majorca for a week on 22nd April and we were looking after her dog. Kev went to Shardlow to the boat a few days to take some things  & put fridge & freezer on, he washed the boat both sides and got the water topped up,and so he then had to pick my mam & my sister up from Leeds airport on Saturday. 
We were up early yesterday morning and once we had breakfast & had walked Jaz we headed for Shardlow and were on board R&R about 9am! I went to get some shopping from Asda in Long Eaton and when I returned to the boat we had a sandwich & a cuppa and finally left the marina about 12.20pm. 
It was a fine day although breezy at times and we called it a day once we were up through Swarkestone lock we moored past the water point, a few minutes later we had a good signal on the TV and watched the snooker & later watched the final episode of  In the line of duty! Think there could be another series as we think there was a bit more to it. If you watched it "H"