Sunday, 28 December 2008

For the record

So I can refer back to it

We have 134 hours on the electronic hours counter I fitted at the early part of 2008.

I checked the batteries yesterday

After standing for several week

Starter 12.5 volts
Leisure 12.1 volts

On charging

Starter 14.4 volts
Leisure 14.25 volts

After 2 hours under charge

Starter 13.84 volts
Leisure 13.67 volts

Unclean unclean.......

So the last time I was on Waterlily with my wife Rachel I discovered I had shingles. We got on board yesterday and last night I had a temperature and started some kind of cold, some might say man flu......

What a bugger, we were thinking of going for a short cruise today but I really don't feel up to it. It gives us a good excuse to just kick back and relax, something we do not do a lot of. I have even finished my latest book, and I take a long time to read a book !

Nev

Friday, 26 December 2008

All over bar the shouting....

Christmas day was spent in the evening with my lot - all but one (niece) was there 19 in total, and today we hosted the in laws, 22 in total including my lads girlfriends, so a very large family Christmas was the rule of thumb for this year. Tomorrow if all goes to plan we should get aboard Waterlily - the perfect antidote to a Christmas of excesses,

Nev

Monday, 22 December 2008

I'm not dead yet.......

Despite two of my family dreaming of my untimely demise (nice). The lack of postings is commensurate with a busy existence in all things non canal related. For the last three weekends the intention has been to visit Waterlily but events have kept us land bound.
We will get on board (I just hope all will be well when we get to her) just after Christmas and I'll let you have some pics them.

I the mean time 'Happy Christmas' I hope it is peaceful and accompanied by good health and family contentment.

Take care

Nev


Thursday, 27 November 2008

Excitement at Fradley

Bruce from Sanity commented about a car in the canal at Fradley junction. The story has appeared on the local papers web site. The driver must have felt like a real spanner, good job it was in late November on a wet Sunday rather than the middle of August. for sure the audience would have been a lot bigger.

The pictures give a good impression of the depth of the canal at the junction. There was no stoppage notice so I presume it was navigable

Fradley had a sunken boat last year about the same time - I only remember as the boat yard were supposed to be working on Waterlily's blacking and got delayed by having to re float a boat in Keepers lock.

Nev

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Sky +

OK, so not many canal CC'ers will have a sky plus box. My Sky + box is one (if not the best) bit of gadgetry I own. So how annoyed am I that Sky decided to upgrade my box the other weekend and now it is having problems seeing my hard drive (upgraded) when coming out of standby. For the record the upgrade seems to be affecting pace v2 boxes that have been upgraded (HD)

How do I know all this - there are many like me posting on the internet

So now my box is on all the time, so whatever Sky were trying to do with the upgrade for the standby function - it has not worked and has had the opposite effect as a lot of us Sky + users are leaving their boxes on 24/7

Rant over

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Leaves

I think leaves would make a great secret weapon, they seem to have the ability to totally disrupt forward movement of trains and boats very well.

On our trip back from Great Haywood we were having to put Waterlily in reverse every few hundred yards to clear the leaves. It is amazing how they can interfere with such power and normal reliable forward progress. As we passed the entrance to Kings Bromley marina another boater told us it was like canal soup near Woodend lock.....she was not wrong

There was no drive out of the lock so we had to bow haul Waterlily from the lock. Even after we were clear our progress was very slow due to leaves just after the lock. It made for good spectator sport for the boaters who were aboard their moored boats just after the lock.

The sun was setting as we went through Fradley - anyone who knows Fradley Junction will be aware of the popularity of the moorings opposite the cafe... this was the view as we came down junction lock. Just one boat moored up which was a Shakespeare hire boat.

These are some of the sunset photo's I just cannot resist.



I know these photo's are not in a sequence time or location wise, but this couple are of some of my favorites parts of the canal just after Rugely overlooking Cannock chase.


It is said........

.......that when group of women work or live together they all start menstruating at the same time !! I can confirm that when a group of blokes inhabit a canal boat for a period of time they all go ferrel, eat lots of steak, fart a lot, drink an unhealthy amount of Guinness and stop shaving ;-)

So yesterday we ended our cruise with a fantastic run back from bridge 70 mooring back to Hunts lock in just under five and a half hours.

But the leaves..........

Nev

Monday, 17 November 2008

Just so quiet

I am on the Waterlily with a couple of friend for a few days. We loaded up on Friday and winded before waiting at Fradly or our last crew member. When we winded at Alrewas I hailed Bruce and Sheila on NB Sanity and had a pleasant chat before catching Waterlily back up. What a nice couple.

We set off Saturday lunch time (cards till 2am and some beer). Rachel did a sterling job of bringing those items I forgot to me before we got past Shadehouse lock. The weather was really nice until mid afternoon wen it started a fine drizzle. We moored up at Bridge 70 and went to the Wolsey pub for a good meal.

Another latish start after another late night 2.30 .... saw up take a wise decision to wind just before Weston on Trent and walk up to the Saracens head for some beer and a pub quiz. The days cruising was notable for the amount of leaves in the cut and how they slow the boat down until a blast of reverse clears them from the swim. We got back to the boat and drank some beer and went through one of those 'topics' card blocks - 5.30 am saw us to bed !!

Today was cold and damp - a big fry up got us sorted for the trip back to bridge 70 after watering at Great Heywood. There is hardly anything moving on the cut, mainly ownerships boats and some private boats - maybe half a dozen all day? All the favorite moorings in this area are free - just 3 boats above the lock at Great Heywood and four below the lock. There is only us and one other private boat on the bridge 70 moorings.

Tomorrow will be a cruise back to Fradley - five hours or so.

For the record Swanline at Fradley are asking for the split when diesel is brought. The guy has a very realistic approach, he knows he will miss other sales (pump outs and gas) if he forces people to falsely declare.

I see many are talking about buying white diesel from forecourts and filling themselves - I fear more pollution will be the inevitable consequence of this, but if it is cheaper?

Nev

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Mac Update

I have been using it for a few weeks now- all ok.

However to put it into perspective I have used my windows laptop today, boy does it feel top heavy and slow in comparison. I do like vista - I like the look and functionality, but the only time I have felt comfortable with it was when it was running on my (now sold on) quad core desktop pc. To to get the best out of a standard Vista install - just boot it and go and make a cup of tea !!

So in fact rather than OK above I really rate the Mac, I will keep with it and teach myself more about it as I have done with the many flavours of Windows.

Nev

For Uncle Ho.....

My favourite.....

Question is, - Decker was he a replicant??

Many thanks for your excellent hospitality, the boat is ready when you are.....

Nev

You have got to be joking....

Woke up to howling wind and driving rain - so no trip to Waterlily today. One of the benefits of owning her - we decide when we visit. I will go over one day in the week.

I enjoy boating in all weathers, but driving rain and high winds are the combination that makes it the most challenging and least rewarding.

Sanctuary ;-)

We are back from our New York trip. It was an experience, something I am glad I have done, but it does concern me over the ease of travel and the sprawling conurbation that makes up this part of America. When we were travelling to the airport it was light factories and cars as far as the eye could see. It reminded me of 'Blade Runner' very dark indeed. But non the less there was a lot of good things we saw and did.

Also I'm still running on New York time - quarter to two in the morning as I type this

But now its back to normality, work on Monday etc etc. Before that we are going to the boat to check her out and turn her around ready for my three men in a boat trip..... next weekend. Its good she is serviced and has a nice new boat safety certifcate. I am glad I did this before the trip abroad

For the weekender we will head up the Trent and Mersey, look out Sanity !!

Nev

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

So where were you when America voted for its first Black president

We were in Times square

video

It was pretty amazing - 80% of New Yorkers voted for Obama. We cam out of The Phantom of the Opera to the above. The show was also fantastic.

Today has been trips on the river, had some sad reflection at Ground zero and up all 86 floors of the Empire state building.

New York is a place like no other !


From 86 floors up the Empire State building


Like the title of my blog says - not all canal related but good for the record.....

Monday, 3 November 2008

New York welcomes the Wells's

Sue on NB No Problem has a view to die for we have a different view today


This is from our hotel room - the Chrysler building and 26 floors up.....

Times square

Central park

The Rockefeller centre, ll lit up waiting for the result of the USA presidential election.

We are at a Broadway show tomorrow night and expect to come out to some celebration !

For all of this I'd still prefer the View Sue has

Nev

Good Broadband at our hotel !

Sunday, 2 November 2008

I really am getting younger

Clocks went back in the UK last week
Four hours gained by coming to the USA
Last night the US eastern time clocks went back a hour

So today I am 6 hours younger than I was last Saturday ;-)

Nev

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Sooooo very far away from the canal

Where......well New York to be precise. We have come over to visit friends and see the big Apple. It all very surreal, starting with the flight. We sat in the middle seat so no window view, we were fed and entertained, slept a little and then got up at we were in America !

We are in Hopewell NJ at the moment , Princeton later today for a look around then New York its self on Monday.

I am feeling a little guilty typing this as I'm piggybacking of someones broadband.....

It is a very nice areas and all the people we have met to date have been very friendly.

Its the New York Marathon this weekend so that is why we are out of New York, when we go in on Monday it should be long gone - jut the resuts of the presidential election to experience!!

I am missng the canals - Thanks Andy for my 'fix' of images from the autumn cut - loks like you had a good time, and Bruce on Sanity at one of my favourite places on the cut....

I'll drop in a some pics when have a fairer connection to the web,

Nev

Thursday, 23 October 2008

A base to build a dream off

Narrowboat Oakfield is  - well I think so as the base plate is down so that means Oakfield has been born. Bottle and Wozie say they have been getting to this stage for the last three and a half years. Respect for that amount of determination. I could not do it, I have little patience but this means I work hard in many ways to get what I want. If I think about the relative timescales between buying a good second hand boat and having one built - the former would be  my route every time. But I can understand someone wanting to spec the boat themselves, because that would give them exactly what they wanted and they would be happy with it ?

So onto my second thought for the day. Contentment with stuff ! I think I am getting old - some know it - I am now thinking it. Why, because I am contented with my stuff - in general (the Mac was an exception)  

I like my Motorbike, I like my car I like my boat I like my dog I like my house and I even like my job (and the love for my wife goes without saying) I even like my lads.....well until the leave the house in a mess. 

I think lack of hankering is a sign of old age......discuss??

P.S. If any rather rich Philanthropists are reading this I could be persuaded to upgrade most of my list :-)

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Trent and Mersey blocked


From my rather flippant post yesterday - an update

Text from the Derby Evening Telegraph

A 200-YEAR-OLD bridge could be demolished after a trailer smashed through it and plunged into the canal below.

And more than 50 holiday-makers face having to cancel their boat trips this weekend while the mess is cleaned up.

Fertiliser was dumped into the Trent and Mersey Canal at Stenson on Monday when a tractor and trailer tried to cross a brick bridge running over the waterway.

Part of the bridge, which is on a private road between two farmers' fields, collapsed as the vehicles passed over it.

This caused the trailer to swing down and disconnect from the tractor before crashing into the canal below at about 1.30pm.

Click here!

The tractor driver, thought to be a contractor, jumped from his cab and was unhurt.

The canal was blocked and British Waterways lifted the trailer from the water yesterday with a crane.

A round-the-clock clean-up operation is under way to clear the fertiliser from the canal.

British Waterways said it did not how long this would take but it was hoped the waterway could reopen by the end of the week.

The organisation also fears the bridge, which is a listed structure, may have to be knocked down if re-building it will not make it safe.

When a structure is listed, it means it is protected and any alterations respect its character. Demolition is allowed only after very careful consideration.

Caroline Killeavy, general manager for British Waterways, said: "The bridge is a listed structure, so if repair work cannot reconstruct the bridge to a safe, usable standard it may have to be knocked down entirely."

Mrs Killeavy said the fertiliser posed little threat to wildlife.

She said: "We caught the spill early and have been monitoring the water and can say there's very little chance of any risk to wildlife."

British Waterways said it would conduct a full investigation into how the accident happened.

But it did say the cause of the collapse was "due to the vehicle colliding with the parapets on the side of the bridge and the excessive load of the vehicle."

The combined weight of the tractor and trailer was 18 tonnes.

Police are not investigating further.

Marion Baldwin, company secretary for Midland Canal Centre, which runs Stenson Marina, said holiday-makers would be affected..

She said: "We get between 30 and 40 boats coming through the canal most days, so already there is quite a pile-up either side of the bridge.

"Not only that, but it doesn't look like the canal will be opened for at least a few days.

"We have over 50 people booked to use boats on the canal at the weekend and many of those will have to cancel because they just won't be able to get through.

"There's also a child's birthday party booked on one of the boats and that won't be able to go ahead, which is a real shame."

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Oh dear I do hope common sense prevails

Sue of NB No problem comments about a canal blockage quite near to where I live in Derby. Seems this farmer (or farm worker) took the bend on this notorious bit of canal too fast.
 One comment from the web pages of the Derbyshire evening telegraph read........

Can't read....can't wroight, but oi can droive a traaaac.... ARRRGHHHH!!! Splash! Glub! Glub!
Steve, Derby
commented on 20-Oct-2008 14:58

Made me laugh.....

There will no doubt be an H&S enquiry and follow up review - I hope they don't commit BW money (our money) on some expensive protection scheme for all canal bridges like they did after the rail crash when the Landrover driver fell asleep and crashed onto the train line?

For the full story and some video go to the BBC web site

Nev

Monday, 20 October 2008

Three men in a boat

Plus maybe a dog or two......

A plan is being hatched for a jolly lads cruise. A similar cruise was undertaken about 18 months ago on our share boat Sylph - in fact the last time I was ever on her. John Mick Tony and yours truly cruised up and down the Shroppie constrained by the stoppages. It was a great few days with copious amount of alcohol and much amusement.

The details are still in the planning stage but it may even unfold around a hire boat !

Watch this space


Nev 

Do you need a Macintosh for the canals

Well, based on my first few days of ownership I think it may be an essential bit of kit. That'll be the Apple Macbook of course.........


The one I have is the black 2.4ghz (for those that are interested) and it is a very fine piece of kit, looks wise and performance wise. 

You may recall I commented on Maffie's woes with Vista Well being a life long Microsoft user (I did dabble with DR Dos once) I am very pleased and impressed with OSX (Leopard) However as I cannot make a simple migration I had to invest in Parallels for mac
as I used OneNote on my tablet PC at work for meeting notes. I have managed to completely replicate my tablet pc - complete with all its apps including OneNote and it runs just as fast - or faster than on the original. It is a fantastic piece of software. However I hope to migrate away over time to Evernote

This has much of what one note has but it also has a web link so it synchronises all notes on the web, my phone and also the mac - truly fantastic bit of software.

Maybe Bruce on Sanity could be tempted to run his GPS software under Parallels ? On a related note Bruce is investigating Geocaching - I can fully recommend it having just started myself. We found a cache at the bottom of Bosley locks on the Macclesfield when we were that way over the summer. It is a great way to add interest to a walk or even a cruise.

I'll let you know how I get on with the Mac, 

Nev

Should have said this post came via the Mac and Safari



Thursday, 16 October 2008

Caxton gets wet?

NB Caxton should by now be officially part of the floating boat community. So come on peeps give us a bloggy type wave to know all is well.


Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Woodend walk and another blogger spotted

Last post today ;-)

We went up the Trent & Mersey for Leia's (and my) walk rather than off down the Coventry as I could let Leia off with less chance of her meeting a suitor (she is in season) There are still a steady movement of boats, no doubt due in some part to the fact this area seems to have few restrictions under the stoppages.

I like autumn on the canals, most probably more than the other three seasons. The slow down of traffic and the type of traffic (more owners who do not have to be anywhere in a hurry compared to hire boaters who seem always to plan a much bigger journey than is necessary, but I'm sure we have all done it ). Plus the scenery is truly beautiful and humbling, nature has so much control and organisation. Nature seems so happy with the routine of the seasons.


We spotted Sanity mooring up at the junction, well Sheila seems to be working hard - no sign of Bruce. So I can now add them to bloggers boats seen on the cut.


Nev

My changes to the boat

Plenty of blog posts at the moment - taking note of Andrews (Granny Buttons) advice in his post here......

I purchased a pipe thermostat off Ebay some while ago and as we have not had the need for the stove it has sat in my on board 'Shed'

I like to see the inners of other peoples boats so get posting .

Anyhow last time I was on Waterlily overnight I wired in the thermostat. I set it as best I could but to a hottish pipe. Today I lit the fire after the boat safety check and left it to see if the thermostat switched on the pump at a reasonable temp - it worked perfectly. It has switched on and off about half a dozen times today with a smallish fire going so it it working as I expected. It means we can leave the system to look after itself overnight.

Another little job done.

Nev

I think a dog needs a boat.......

In May I posted our introduction of Leia to the world see here I thought you may like to see her now she is a little more grown up.

She loves the boat and relaxes very quickly when we come aboard - she has certainly found her place in front of the fire !

She still has ears that belong to another dog.

She is waiting for a walk at the moment - the weather is trying to brighten up - I think a walk down the Coventry might be in order this afternoon, it'll help me walk off my dinner.

Nev

Four more years........She passed

Well that is another tick in the box of boat ownership.Waterlily has passed her boat safety exam with flying colours today.

All in all a very easy and interesting process. Jeff Greatwood did the examination, I would certainly recommend him, he was very friendly and informative. He answered my many questions and took me through what he was doing and looking for. He commented my gas install was very good, which was what I wanted to hear as I had had Whilton marina replace the gas pipes when Waterlily was purchased.

In fact, on reflection, choosing Waterlily on her specification - not too technical system wise but enough for all year cruising in comfort was a wise decision, well done us !

So she got a clean bill of health on her engine service and inspection and the same for her boat safety. Don't you just know something is lurking, or it that me being too pessimistic?

So now its just cruising we have to do - that and getting her repainted, but that is as much down to a strict savings regime as getting the right person to do it - any recommendations?

Nev

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

3g

The only small issue with my mooring is the lack of wireless or 3g for browsing while on board. If I look at the coverage maps its hard to gauge if I should be getting 3g. According to 3 I should and Vodafone is not sure... I am on Vodaphone so I can reliably say there is no 3g at Hunts lock on Vodafone.

It got me thinking that we (boaters) should share our knowledge of signals on mobile broadband on the canal. if I was any good I'd write a web site detailing it but I'm not so I won't.

Anyhow for the record Vodafone is not good at Hunts lock - anyone got a 3 mobile or modem to let me know if it's worth me spending 50 quid to get a back up 3 3g dongle??

Nev

To Mac and beyond.....

Maffi is having problems with computers - or rather the operating system on computers . I have some sympathy as I've been mucking about with Vista/xp/linux/OSX (yes the Mac system) on my ultra portable Sony TZ I have tried all - except the OSX version would not start on the Sony - but I really did not fiddle enough with it. I do actually like messing with computers it's the way I have taught myself. However I share the frustration of Maffi over Vista, it really feels top heavy. Also moving between Vista and XP is a trial due to drivers for the specific functions of the laptop.

I have messed until I got frustrated to the point I am waiting for a Mac as I'm reliably informed these are the dogs danglies. Bruce on NB Sanity seems to get by on one very well,

I'll let you know when the posts come from the Mac

Nev

Sunday, 12 October 2008

One down one to go

Waterlily's yearly service and inspection has just been completed by RCR (River Canal Rescue) Very pleasant and friendly engineer did it and answered all of my questions. I have subsequently took some photos of the parts he used to complete the service (bleed points for fuel etc) as I think I'll do it next year. The cost should have been £160 but as I supplied a fuel filter it was £150. It is piece of mind but I think it is something I want o do to make me even more self sufficient and judging by what I watched it should be something I can do.

I would recommend RCR, very friendly and efficient.

For the record the engine had 111 hours on the clock, I'll use this to look back this time next year (all being well) to see how many hours we managed. I put the engine counter on earlier this year so its not a bad guide to the cruising we have done in 2008.

I booked the inspection with the service as I have the boat safety exam on Wednesday. This is the 4 year MOT. The RCR engineer said the engine and fuel system should pass. The gas system was replaced when we brought the boat as the survey said it was a poor install, so I am hopeful the exam should be OK and by his time next week we will be OK for servicng and other systems for the next year - always a good feeling.

The longer I own Waterllily the more I feel I know her which is confidence inspiring.

I'll post some details on the exam next week........

Nev

It is a beautiful day shame I have to return home to 'garden' !!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Diesel

I recently read about a boat yard planning on not selling diesel to pleasure craft after the 1st November on Jo's Hadar blog I think this is short sighted. I can understand that it may be more paperwork, but I tend to plan my fill ups with pump out and gas. I also always seem to buy something from the chandlery when paying for my diesel. So Canal Cruising at Stone (no link on purpose) I hope you realise over time your decision is a little short sighted. If all boat yards or hire fleets followed the same approach our only option would be to buy remotely and bring it to the boat, just think of the mishaps and the pollution as we try and do our own fill ups ??

Nev

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Another beautiful morning

Leia lets us know when it is time for a walk, I don't mind as it gets me out into the beautiful countryside at Fradley.

Once again I'll drop in some photos to show it rather than try to describe it. Anyhow we took a longish walk up to Woodend lock, I was surprised how many boats were moving so early, then again it is Sunday and a beautiful day in store.


This is looking down the Coventry from the junction

This one is up by the turn to Woodend lock, you can see the mist rising with the sun shining through it.

Yesterday was a success in that we got the grass strimmed - a bigger task than it sounds, plus I cleared out the engine bay of all the previous owners stuff - he really was a hoarder. I have put what needs to be kept in the 'shed' and only kept the essential in the engine bay. I am sure it would have failed the boat safety with so many combustible items next to the engine.

While I was doing the strimming Rachel was giving the boat a good vac out with the Dyson and them she rubbed down the areas near the windows that needed a paint and masked and painted them up. This is really just a holding position to get Waterlily through the winter as she really needs a full repaint sooner rather than later. Anyone with recommendations I'd be happy to hear from you.

So off back home shortly to do some pottering there, well as much as I can with the aches the shingles s giving me at the moment.....

Nev

Well as it happens we got a text from Rachels sister Sharon asking if we wanted to go for a walk (she dod not know we were on the boat) so we invited Sharon and the family for lunch and a walk from Fradley.


Saturday, 20 September 2008

First autumnal visit

Well I suppose it is technically still summer and we are expecting a couple of nice days, but this morning at 6.45 it was distinctly autumnal. As this is via a GPRS link I'll add in 09,16,17 and 23 (to remind me of the photo's I have selected) when in contact with a faster connection.

This was late Friday night, a lovely still night when we took Leia for her walk



For the record we were on the boat last week 14th September but just for the day - or rather afternoon to check her after the holiday - I'm pleased to report she was fine.


This is the junction early the next day - 7ish It was a nice walk down the Coventry canal
The Coventry is not a canal we have done much cruising on. It will be a route we use for some of our winter cruising so I need to the books out and plan some routes.


This one shows the beauty of the area as the sun comes up.

So this weekend is for some R&R. I'm typing this after a lovely early morning walk and the fire is on now as I eat my breakfast in absolute tranquility.

Today is boat jobs to get her ready for the boat safety inspection and just prepare her for the winter. We do not leave her over the winter - We enjoy time aboard so its important to have her tip top ready.

Nev

Oh and I have just realised I have Shingles !!

Monday, 25 August 2008

Trip details and some photo's

So it was 120 miles and 76 locks from Hunts lock to Fourlane ends on the Macclesfield and back. We were out for 10 days and it felt like it rained for most of them at some point.


Images are worth a thousand words - and easier to put onto the blog.....


On the way to pick up our crew, just after we have done the Fradley locks









Leia taking an early nap





We were waiting at Sandon lock as the thunderstorm demonstrated the weather to come....





This was the thunderstorm after it had passed us





Colwich lock was not very busy at all - which if you know the route is a good thing





We timed our arrival at Harcastle tunnel perfectly as we were able to water up before we went through. The police helicopter buzzed us most of the way from Festival marina, we found out they were looking for a flasher !






My mum helping us moor up after day three (Leia is standing by waiting to help)






This Rachel taking Waterlily up the Bosley 12 locks, on the tight turn between locks 1 and 2







This shows how stunning the scenery is on the Macc...





There is a Heron in this picture somewhere...




Another nice pic and some blue sky






Some more of the same lovely countryside






This is a moon shot from our moorings above Bosley locks - I still cannot get anywhere close to Andrew Denny's fantastic night shots







My birthday dinner....in the Fools Nook - very apt and nice meal in a friendly pub





Then back off towards the Trent and Mersey but via this electric swing bridge - following a hen party day boat !





Rachel took this much better photo of Mr (or Mrs) Heron, spot its plastic mate in the reeds






This is one of the Maccs 'snake bridges' designed so the horse does not have to be unhitched when the tow path swaps over






Yours truly looking typically miserable




We were the last boat (just made it) through the Harcastle tunnel. Looking back to the entrance






The Tuesday was very wet. You can see the lock leaking top middle right, normally these leaks stop as the lock empties this one was still running as we left the lock
Tom and Lucy braving the crap weather I think this was Aston lock (half way on the Trent and Mersey) For the record there is a new Marina to be built here - surely they have reached saturation point ?

The rain did stop on the last Tuesday, just in time for a little fishing in the late evening.