Friday, 6 November 2015

Krystina on test

My boat test of Krystina by Bourne Boat Builders is in the December issue of Canal Boat.


Monday, 2 November 2015

Night on board

I came up to the boat this afternoon. I have a funeral to go to tomorrow morning in Leighton Buzzard, and concluded that driving up here today would be preferable to tackling the M25 at rush hour tomorrow. The weather was extraordinary, with periods of warm sunshine, and other places where there was thick fog; the temperature en route ranged from 10 Celsius to 17.

Highlight of the afternoon was meeting our next door neighbours on Hector for the first time. It may also be the last time, as they've reluctantly taken the decision to sell the boat. It's a very good looking Roger Farrington tug, and will soon be on with Rugby Boats.

It was pretty chilly in the murk here at the marina, so I've got the fire going well, and have had the Eberspacher going to give me some hot water. I've spent the afternoon cracking on with writing the latest boat test.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Ventnor again

For the third time this year, a trip to Ventnor marina near Calcutt for a boat test. It was pretty murky in the morning, but by midday the sun had come out and it was pleasantly warm. The only photo I took shows the lengths Andy, the photographer, goes to to get the right shot. Here he is lying across the back counter looking along the gunwale as we go along.

He'll be really disappointed if the shot doesn't make it into the magazine!


Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The alpacas of Barby

To Barby Moorings today for a boat test. And the most unusual thing about this marina is the alpacas grazing on the island in the middle.

The weather was even better than forecast, really quite warm if you could get in the sun and out of the breeze. The only annoyance during the day was that the journeys there and back were both pretty slow.


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Sheffield Keel on test

The November issue of Canal Boat is out, and includes my boat test of the Tyler Wilson widebeam Sheffield Keel.


Sunday, 4 October 2015

Going West: The Stats

For the purposes of this, I've included the weekend in August, when we took Briar Rose from our marina to Calcutt.  That means that in total the trip was 30 days, 372 miles, and 292 locks.

Waterways covered were:

  • Grand Union Canal
  • Stratford Canal
  • Birmingham and Worcester Canal
  • Droitwich Junction Canal
  • Droitwich Barge Canal
  • River Severn
  • Gloucester and Sharpness Canal
  • Staffs and Worcs Canal
  • Stourbridge Canal
  • Dudley No2 Canal
  • BCN New Main Line
  • Wyrley and Essington Canal (including Anglesey and Daw End Branches)
  • Rushall Canal
  • Tame Valley Canal
  • Walsall Canal
  • Wednesbury Old Canal
  • Birmingham and Fazeley Canal
  • Coventry Canal
  • Oxford Canal
We turned round in five places:
  • Sharpness
  • Hawne Basin
  • Black Country Museum
  • Anglesey Basin
  • Coventry Basin
  • Blisworth (3056 yards) (twice)
  • Braunston (2042 yards) (twice)
  • Shrewley (433 yards)
  • Brandwood (352 yards)
  • Wast Hill (2726 yards)
  • Shortwood (614 yards)
  • Tardebigge (580 yards)
  • Cookley (65 yards)
  • Dunsley (25 yards)
  • Gosty Hill (563 yards)
  • Netherton (3027 yards)
  • Coseley (360 yards)
  • Summit/Galton (122 yards)
  • Curdworth (57 yards)
  • Newbold (250 yards)
That means we spent 11 miles underground!

Saturday, 3 October 2015


To Newbury this morning for a boat test. While it wasn't as sunny as the rest of the week, it was still fine enough -- and the tearoom at Newbury Wharf was doing a roaring trade.