Tuesday 27 August 2013

The End of the Season

Unusually for us, there will be no boating during the autumn of 2013 - so after the cancellation of our Spring trip due to a reluctance to suffer the cold, we've had a very short boating season.

Our final journey was a short sprint from the Llangollen to the painter at Dadford's Wharf where (if we can decide on the colour scheme) NB Honey will be repainted.

Next time you see her she will be dark blue & red. Or blue & grey. Or black & grey. Or turquoise & blue. Or (if John loses his patience with us) "Hammerite black with logs on the roof."

Saturday 17 August 2013

The Numbers

The closure of Barrowford Flight added 114 miles and 55 locks to our three week holiday - taking it to 226 miles and 230 locks in total.

NB Honey is now safely tucked up in her new home on the beautiful Llangollen Canal, where she can have a week of rest before she gets a thorough cleaning & servicing and then will be delivered to John Sanderson for her new frock.

Meanwhile, we are now back on dry land - which is nauseatingly solid and still.

Friday 16 August 2013

Different Worlds

We were a bit disappointed with Manchester: unlike Leeds & Birmingham there were no Champagne bars with moorings. 

The Ashton & Rochdale Canals were also very urban, not always pretty to look at, and full of locks. 

Castlefield, in Manchester, is a fabulous place to moor, surrounded by some very nice places to eat (I recommend the barbecue bar next to the bottom lock on the Rochdale.)

But heading West out of Manchester involves the very pretty and completely lock-free Bridgewater Canal - the oldest on the network and easily one of the nicest. 

Sunday 11 August 2013

The Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Yes, we're back on our favourite waterway.

There are hazards here caused by low water levels, leaks and loads of silt - as you can see here.

But it is also surrounded by spectacularly beautiful countryside and lovely, easy-to-fill narrow locks.

Saturday 10 August 2013

27 Miles & 20 locks in ten hours.

According to Pearson & the waterways navigation software, it's a 13 hour journey - but that assumes 3mph on all waterways (who does 3mph on a river?) and every lock set against you. 

NB Honey loves rivers. In deep water, there is no bounce-back of her wake from canal walls & beds to slow her down, so a throttle setting that pulls 3mph on a canal results on 5mph on a river.

And we we met some very friendly, happy & helpful boaters at almost every lock. 

It's been a good day. This evening, nice wine, steak & chips and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

Friday 9 August 2013

Don't Upset the CRT Staff

If you're going to run aground on a river, don't spend the previous two days upsetting the people who have the keys to the only tug in the county that can tow you off.

I think they were rushing to find a spot in Clarence Dock. Sadly, they missed it. 

Tuesday 6 August 2013


This is a broken lock:

The triangular piece of concrete is the cill, and the foundations under that have worn away. Without it, the lock leaks and won't fill. 

So now we have to divert and take another, longer route. 

Monday 5 August 2013

That was Yorkshire.

The minute we reach Lancashire, the fine weather ends and we get stopped by a broken lock. 

It's going to take a couple of days to fix, so meanwhile we're going to drink gin and play cards with the other boat crews. 

Friday 2 August 2013