Wednesday, 31 March 2010

My new neighbour(ish)

I have been remiss in not putting Sara NB Warrior on my blog roll under her new passion Chertsey. I only picked up her blog from Halfies and read she (Chertsey) has taken a mooring at Kings Bromley wharf.

I blogged about our perfect mooring last month here... but I should have put in these photo's that I also took while out walking.

This one s looking back to the wharf with the marina behind me.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Waterlily is floating no more

She is now in the dry dock waiting for the pressure sprayer to strip the paintwork back.

I called over to discuss the side doors and hinges that were fubar'd and took the opportunity to take some photos of her out of the water.

It's the first time I have been able to inspect the whole boat.... when she was out for her survey I was told the wrong time and arrived just as she was going back in. Swan line also did not give me the right info on when they were blacking her last time (seems they did a good job as far as I can tell) So this was the first time I was able to get a close up at the skeg and rudder blade etc. I was very happy with what I saw.

Some pics of her for the last time in this colour scheme.... Ralph Freeman commented a couple of times on what a good colour she was, same as Grey Nomad. I think the name of his boat gives his preference away.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Vandalism ... and we accept it?

I subscribe to BW's emergency stoppage alerts. This is useful to see what parts of the system are blocked for whatever reason.

I have just received the alert below....

Stoke Bottom Lock 36 - Trentham Lock 35

Friday 26 March 2010 - Monday 29 March 2010

Expected to be three days. BW staff are working hard to divert water resources to recharge the pound and navigation will resume as soon as levels recover sufficiently.
Loss of water to the five mile pound due to suspected vandalism at Trentham Lock.
British Waterways apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Winding above Top Lock 40 at Etruria or below Bridge 104 Old Road Bridge, North Barlaston.

Enquiries: 01827 252000

Good information - a little late.

This is a very busy pound and a very large one to have been drained by vandals. I expect there is a bit of a queue outside the Wedgewood factory and within the Stoke locks.

The point of the post is that it's vandalism again. It's almost a description like the weather - nothing we can do about it. Well I think there is.

This sort of mindless damage causes a great deal of despair and frustration. Not to mention disruption, in this case to boaters. I really think this is a nasty action against the society that surrounds the perpetrators. Its a local crime that affects local people.

So what better way to spend a Sunday than to see such imbeciles getting a beating in the local market place - then to be put onto public display as someone who care little about you and your property or your community. Then they get carted off in dayglo orange jumpsuits with their names on them to put right the damage they have done.

I'm not interested in their rights - they loose them when they offend against their community.

I really hate vandalism !!


Sunday, 28 March 2010

Sally Ash calls.....

BW's head of boating called me on Tuesday (I have a few posts lined up this week) regarding my complaint about linear moorings at Fradley, lack of consultation on moving my boat, and the BW policy of linear mooring removal.

I am impressed that she followed this complaint/rant up. I confess I am uncomfortable with making work for people like Sally as I know only too well the frustrations such extra workload brings. We agreed that I would get a response but I was happy for it to be a low priority as my new neighbour has moved in and she is a nice person and deserving of a nice mooring (even if it is part mine !)

So BW are back on the way up on my estimation - just those talking posts and lack of focus on boaters as a priority as prime users of the waterways.


Saturday, 27 March 2010


And you still clicked the link..... !!

Waterlily is in the dry dock next week. Justin from Aqua Narrowboats - the link is to their blog which should please Andrew Denny from Granny Buttons did some paint thickness tests and found she has thick paint as she has been well coated from maroon to grey he decided to get in a shot blaster to take her right back to steel.

This is how she looked on her last cruise ...

And this is how she looks now - all defrocked ready to be stripped back and given her new coat.

Hasn't she got a dumpy front end.... we did consider a stretch like Caxton had but she just does not have the bow to make it look good as well as the fact she comes in on the cabin as part of the foredeck. Never mind, we quite like the quirky look.

Hopefully next week I'll have some pics of her in the doc stripped bare !!

One thing Justin at Aqua has been great in putting up with our dithering, he has also given us access to the gate so we can pop in and get some pics for the blog.

Take care


Friday, 26 March 2010

Marina moorings a 1 hour test....

We have dropped Waterlily off at Aqua narrow boats and called back after Justin asked us to remove as much of the personal stuff as possible as it might get a bit dusty....

We were moored on the visitor moorings with a boat either side and it was horrible.... I'm sure we would get used to it but the only view would have been off the front of the boat. It certainly make us realise how lucky we are to have such a great mooring at Fradley. We have open fields views both sides and plenty of reverse gongoozling of both boats and people out for walks and those that may do a bit of Geocaching nearby us.... ;-)

Take care


Thursday, 25 March 2010

Fradley Junction is greatly improved

What great news - Ownerships have in fact taken over Swan line cruises - Ralph Freeman tells the story on NBW here

I blogged about it a little while ago here but was not expecting such a change. Reading Ralphs piece it suggests Ownerships will be making quite a difference. The pub is joining in too with a laundry next door. Fradley Junction has just gone up a few notches on the facilities scale - in fact I think it must now offer some of the best services on the cut?

I have said before I want to support my local boat yard - after being charged 20 quid for a pump out I took all my custom elsewhere. I think I'll keep a watching brief on the performance of the yard and they may get my business back if the Ownerships brand and quality of service are delivered.


Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Best type of BW talking point.....

Chris on NB Belle has blogged again about the outstanding(sic) jobs BW are responsible for. I found this latest post particularly interesting and ironic...

Just about every time I have watered up at the now taped off water point outside the Fradley visitor centre I have spoken to the visitors and answered their questions about many things to do with the canals and my boat. I'm sure I am not alone. So why oh why have BW put in a talking post..... are they really trying to wind up boaters till they snap. No repair on the real live talking point.... the watering area but an expensive install and no doubt maintenance loaded talking post.

I might ask it to tell me when the water point will be brought back into action....??


PS Chris keep up the good work.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Colours chosen - your comments please before we commit

OK, after much discussion we have decided to go for something based on this combination....

We have some questions regarding the roof....

1. Cream as per the coach lines
2. Green as per the side panels
3. Follow the red off the hand rails over the roof.

At present I prefer 2. There is an issue of reflecting heat but as we use the boat all year there may be times we want to collect the heat?

One other question is green on the gunwales or black. I prefer black as it will touch up easier and keep a tidier look.

Any other comments?


Monday, 22 March 2010

14 minutes or 8 hours....

To get from Fradley to Willington. Waterlily is now sitting at Aqua Narrow boats for her repaint. We moved her yesterday, it took us 14 minutes to get from Willington to Fradley by car. It then took us just short of 8 hours to get from Fradley to Willington by boat.

I know which trip I preferred.

This is the last photo of Waterlily on her home moorings in her old colours

It was a misty morning when we arrived for an early start

This is looking back at the Hunts lock mooring as we approached common lock.

The sun was out by the time we got to Alrewas lock

The Trent was very kind to us. We had the anchor out just in case as we always do when we cross this bit of River. We had carried a few worries that our trip to Willington would be blocked by a flooding Trent when we booked the paint job autumn last year !

This was a sad sight as Barton turns lock. No doubt someone had removed this fine Pike to protect the silver fish stocks. I do not agree with removing such predatory fish... I remember the fox and the hares story when I was at school.

My boot is there to show the size of the fish.

Interestingly we met an angler at the bottom of the lock (not saying he was guilty) We exchanged a few words about what he had caught. Surprisingly he commented it was just nice to get some peace and quiet. As he was about 10 yards from a very noisy A38 I had to presume he was talking about his wife !!

This was at Dallows lock in Burton. Such a shame some idiot had defaced such a fine statement of what Burton is all about.

We were photographing boats as we went along to get inspiration for the paint job.....We still have not decided/agreed.....

A perfect cruise that we will have to hang on to for about a month while Waterlily gets her new colours - whatever they will be !!


Saturday, 13 March 2010

AArgghh missed it !!

One of our favorite cruising routes is between our moorings at Fradley and Stone. Indeed Stone is still one of the places along with Alrewas, Willington and Burston we would like to retire to. Andrew on Ganny Buttons has not quite retired to Willington but he sings the villages praises here and I can see why

For the last couple of years we have cruised passed a small lock side cottage at Sandon lock. Every time it has looked deserted. I took the trouble to ask our property agents to see if they could find who owns it so I could make some enquiries. They came back with a request for more information.

Last weekend I took the bike over to get a photo to help identify it and to my excitement then horror I first saw a for sale board then realised it was a converted to sold for sale board. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was.

I phoned the agents up there and then and they said it was on for offers around 95k and went for between 110 and 1120k It needs plenty of work but when done it will be a beautiful house at a fine location. Buggerations , why was I not more proactive and why did I not use common sense and try BW myself.... aargghhhh

So my best hope is that someone has brought it as a development opportunity. So next time I am out that way I will drop a note or call and leave my details - on the off chance.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Help needed on the colour of our boat

Waterlily is booked in for a complete paint job on the 22nd March. Only problem is we don't know what colours to have her done in. She is not the easiest on the eye so we have to account for that in her new colours. I like Jim's paint job on Starcross but Rachel is not so keen.

Any suggestions or pics of boats that have a colour scheme you think would work??


Thursday, 11 March 2010

Boaters update

I'm sorry I seem to be in a BW bashing stage of boat ownership, but the latest Boaters update from BW here has a lovely picture of a family of cyclists.....they don't pay just short of 2 grand to use the waterways like I do !!!!!!

I think this is a real statement from BW - the canals were built for boats so in my humble opinion boaters should get priority for all things BW do - end of!


Just thought of another very local example of everything else before boaters.... Chris from NB Belle recently blogged about BW spending money and prioritizing road markings before repairing a very much used water point on one of the busiest parts of the canal....

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Not quite the cut....

This is part of my daily early morning walk with Leia. The water at the bottom of the hill is the river Derwent just after it has passed Darley Abbey mills and on its way past the silk mill in Derby.

The light at this time of year is very welcome, I'm sure our bodies react to it the same way as all the other animals - we know summer and all good things are on the way!

It's the best park in Derby in my opinion. But I'd still rather be on the canal.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Snap - or should that be split...?

I blogged about the impact the harsh winter had had on Waterlily here....

This is the damage I repaired, well one bit that got the frost treatment.

It seems we were not the only ones to have that dreaded running water sound accompanied by a busy water pump. Jim on Starcross suffered even though he drained down his system. I'm worried now after this latest cold snap we will find another split when we next return to Waterlily.

The solution is to live aboard when it gets really cold... and maybe have an excuse as to why I can't get to work !!

From Jims Starcross blog.....