Friday 8 December 2023

Stargazer on test

The January Canal Boat is out, and includes my boat test on Stargazer, by Knights Narrowboats.

Friday 24 November 2023

Mercia Marina

Up to Mercia Marina today for a boat test — in fact we did two. Sunny, but rather breezy and pretty cold!  At least there are always good toasted sandwiches in the Willow Tree Cafe afterwards. 

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Prees branch

A long drive today up to Whixall Marina for a boat test. The weather was kind, and the lift bridges are picturesque. And we won’t talk about the incident with Andy’s drone!  On the way back, a horse came along and had to wait to cross the bridge. He’ll probably end up in the magazine too. 

We had lunch in the marina cafe, then I carried on north to see my dad in his new flat in Chester. 

Monday 6 November 2023

Wednesday 11 October 2023

Electric Dragon on test

The November Canal Boat is out, and includes my boat test on Electric Dragon by Ortomarine.

Saturday 7 October 2023

Wending to Wales: stats

Some stats from our trip to Llangollen and back.

385 miles, 314 locks (223 narrow locks and 91 wide ones)

Canals travelled on:

  • Grand Union
  • North Oxford
  • Coventry
  • Birmingham and Fazeley
  • Trent and Mersey
  • Middlewich Arm
  • Shropshire Union main line 
  • Llangollen
  • Montgomery
  • Prees Arm
  • Whitchurch Arm
  • BCN Old Main Line
  • BCN New Main Line
  • BCN Titford Canal
  • B&F Digbeth Branch
  • GU Digbeth Branch

The Llangollen was new water for Briar Rose but not for us, and the Titford Canal and Titford Pools was new water for all of us.

We went through the following tunnels:

  • Blisworth (twice)
  • Braunston (twice)
  • Newbold
  • Harecastle
  • Ellesmere (twice)
  • Chirk (twice)
  • Whitehouses (twice)
  • Cowley
  • Wolverhampton (really more like a long bridge)
  • Coseley
  • Summit
  • Ashted
  • Curzon Street (another bridge-like one)
  • Shrewley
In total, they add up to just over nine miles underground.

We did two major aqueducts, Chirk and Pontcysyllte, plus lots of small ones.

We went through the following counties:

  • Northamptonshire
  • Warwickshire
  • Staffordshire
  • Cheshire
  • Shropshire
  • Wrexham
  • Denbighshire
  • West Midlands

Tuesday 3 October 2023

Back to the marina

There was lots of thunder and lightning last night, and rain so heavy that once or twice I couldn’t hear the tv!  This morning things were much quieter.  I packed, made a trip down to the Elsan, and set off a bit after 8am.  CRT are currently shoring up the bank on one of the corners.  When I walked past on Sunday, some of these posts hadn’t been cut down to size.  They’ve got rolls of sticks in between, and from what’s on the workboat will be having coir sausages on top.

At the marina, our neighbours are currently out so I had a double sized space to aim at.  Sometimes I find this makes things more difficult, but actually I ended up right alongside our jetty.

I went through the leaving procedure, loaded up the car, and was on the road to my dad’s by 9.15.

1 mile, 0 locks.  (2 miles, 0 locks)