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.


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


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..........


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?


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.


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.....


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 !!


Wednesday, 5 November 2008

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

We were in Times square

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


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 ;-)


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,