Friday, 29 April 2011

Electricity - about right

I purchased a 2kw inverter last year. It was only a couple of hundred pounds (!!) nothing like some of the stuff (Sterling?) that you can spend your cash on and no doubt they are great for extended or livaboards.

We wanted to be able to watch the tv without interference, lights, pumps, plus hair dryer (not guilty) iron and maybe the little Dyson we have.

Pre new batteries we tried the Dyson that would not have it. It kept overloading the inverter. I suspected the newness of the motor was not helping adding to the start up load. On the Ashby trip I got it working by new batteries and having the engine running at over 1500 rpm - seemed to ensure the inverter did not trip out on start up. The iron and hairdryer also work ok so we now have all we need.

The Dyson was a big hit as up until now we had to get the genny out so this means we can hoover up while on the move and do not need to take the genny with us.


Thursday, 28 April 2011

Proof we made it

Ok , back to full boating and our Ashby trip.

Two years ago we only made it as far as Market Bosworth winding there. This time as we passed I was hoovering... see later post... and Rachel cruised us on past to waters new. We were undecided as to go for the end but I'm glad we did.

The tunnel is one of the best - just long enough to make it exciting but short enough not to get bored (and wet). There were very few boats moving so we had no problems even so we did the cautious approach to ensure it was clear
Rachel brought me a nice brass tunnel light to compliment the new cratch board we had when Waterlily was painted (she had a horrible port hole type before) It worked very well casting a lot of light in a great arc lighting up the tunnel sides and roof very well.

So here we are Watering up on what must be the highest pressures water point on the cut. It sounded like a jet engine whilst filling the tank.

So a complete canal done.

Not sure on the next destination. I'd like to do the Macclesfield canal to the end - but then I still have a hankering to cycle sea 2 sea??


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Ponty the quick way

For those of you who own or have owned motorbikes - this may be of interest...?

I recently traded my Honda Deauville in for a minter of a Honda Pan European. This really is the pinnacle of my bike riding/owning to date.
Its a 1300 V4 and is soooo comfortable and very quick. On Tuesday I had the day off to myself so set off on a pre planned route to Barmouth via the 'aqueduct'

It was as you might imagine quite busy but all seem to be in good spirits. It really is a marvel and I resisted the temptation to cross on the trip boat - waiting to take Waterlily there and do it on my own boat.

After a coffee the roads just got better and better. From Bala to Barmouth the road was just perfect and so few cars to overtake. I was getting drunk on the bends. Motorcycling heaven it was. On the full trip I lost how many canal towns I passed and how many times I crossed different canals.

Last pic of the new bike by Bala lake...

Now do I do Scotland at the weekend or relax on the boat ?

Monday, 25 April 2011

Insect identification?

We had a great walk to Alrewas to the Coop yesterday. Rachel was a little concerned about these buggers.....

They hover around in gangs and have what looks like a stinger hanging off them but I'm sure it is not. It would be interesting to know what they are?


Sunday, 24 April 2011

Busy early morning at Fradley

Must have had well over a dozen boats pass us already this morning. Seems many coming up from Alrewas so I expect Mercia is emptying for Easter. Good job we are staying put this visit.


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Saturday, 23 April 2011

The Ashby cruise fire and a Streethay freebie !

Ok, so now I am relaxed and able to attend to my blog a few posts about our recent Ashby cruise.

We set off on the Sunday just after lunch and had a reasonably easy passage away from the hectic Fradley spring sunny Sunday. We had a easy and surprisingly boat free trot to Streethay for supplies.

Having not received my nipple from Stuart - black mark there, I asked Ray if he had one. He got his nipple box out and offered me to select but nothing seemed to fit. He was noticeably frustrated and did comment 'we normally can supply anything.. ! ' He took me into the back where all the bearing cases were but it seemed they were sold nippleless. I set about paying for my gas, loo blue and a decent second hand double skinned chimney he had whilst he went downstairs in search of the right sized nipple. Just before we left he came out of the workshop with the right sized threaded nipple but it was an angled type.... I took it, screwed it in and it nipped up perfectly pointing upwards as you would expect...;-) ready to take the grease into the new bearing. I asked the cost and he shook his head so that is my clain to fame with some thanks to Ray for a free supply from Streethay (he has had enough of my folding before s I don't feel bad)

Once serviced we cruised to our first nights mooring just past Hopwas - that was until one of the two boats offside (there are two cruisers who moor, no doubt quite legitimately, off side just after Hopwas in a little copse) started a very noisy clack clack type generator until about 9.30 pm !

Next day saw us past the two Glascote locks and up the Atherstone flight without passing a boat - lovely.

Our second night mooring was in a small cutting just a few bridges away from Valley cruises. Perfect mooring apart from about 10pm I heard cracking and looked out to see a massive and I mean massive fire raging above us and blowing directly over Waterlily dropping all sorts of sh!t sorry soot onto us. So at 10 pm we were bow hauling her away from the fire to safety about half a mile away.

Look at the roof !!

Take care



That did not take long did it...? We we back from our Ashby odyssey last Saturday at about 6pm and now we are back aboard for a general laze about over the bank holiday weekend.

If you are thinking of owning your own boat this is what is is all about !!

We will not move the boat just relax and watch the world go by, there may be alcohol involved certainly food and other enjoyments.

One thing to comment on is how we are now sorted electricity wise. Since installing the 3 new batteries and using my cheap (200 quid) 2kw inverter we can use the iron, hairdryer (not for me of course) and finally and perhaphs most importantly the little Dyson we recently brought. Previously we have had to use the generator which means effort in getting it out and started etc. I have found by running the engine at 2000 rpm the Dyson does not trip the inverter and stays running and the batteries just about keep up.

This means we can KISS - which is the principal of our boat ownership !


Sunday, 17 April 2011

The little doggie that found Waterlily

Like Halfie we are back from our Ashby adventure. There will be a few stories and pics to come but for tonight I have to tell you about a little chap who came into our lives briefly.

Meet 'little dog'

You can see Leia is doing the pack hierarchy bit of not being interested!

We were by bridge 33 on the Coventry (between Nuneaton and Atherstone) on Thursday night. Friday just as we were getting set to depart a boater came along and asked if we had lost a Jack Russell, when we got to their boat they said they had two Wippets so could not keep him aboard. He had been outside their boat since the early hours looking very lost/abandoned. We agreed to take him aboard as we could not cruise on by. We had plans to ask passing boaters and generally see if we could find his owners.

Bottom line was no one had any ideas so he overnighted with us as we got to Hopwas. He is a lovely little dog very friendly very funny. Rachel had spoken to the local pubs and they spoke by phone to Ian on Ghosty Hill to see if he knew of anyone missing a dog. He had a few suggestions but no leads to the owner.

Saturday morning saw us act on the plan drawn up the night before in the Tame Otter (Callum our son had joined us at Hopwas) He and Rachel drove to a vets in Atherstone to see if he was chipped - no, so it was a agreed walk back to bridge 33 from Vally cruisers talking to boaters.

As it happens they met Ian off Ghosty Hill who agreed to take him in case he met with the owners.... bit he did also say he was aware of dogs being drowned in the cut locally !!

So the little dog is with Ian helping him deliver his coal and diesel at the moment. He seems to be well looked after and we were/are tempted to keep him ourselves. So if you know of anyone in that area who may have lost him. Please get in touch, he is worth the effort.


Friday, 1 April 2011


I am not good at refusing - just ask Rachel. Another post will follow with other transport related this space??

Anyhow whilst at Mercia Marina getting my batteries yesterday I was having a sandwich and cup of tea whilst overlooking the brokerage boats. Ian came over from the brokerage and said he had a nice boat for me !!

Never refusing the option to get aboard I went for a look at this Clicky....

A really excellent boat. A little too much wood and the dinette was the wrong side of the kitchen and no bath otherwise I'd have been extracting one of my kidneys as a deposit.

Now where is that Apollo Duck advert for Warrior !!