Blogs

Keep up to date on the latest adventures and musings from boaters blogs.

14 July 2024

Cholmondeston Winding Hole

NB Harnser

It was drizzling first thing and quite a few boats moving about so we waited until 11 am to set off hoping to avoid queues at locks and it worked quite well. One of the canal side properties in Middlewich

A stone loo??

NB Free Spirit (Jameisons Afloat)

Friday 12th July In spite of a wind turbine almost the other side of MB, a good and peaceful night was had by us both. We left slightly later than normal, waiting for the low cloud to disappear because today

Empty. 10th July

NB Oleanna

*Fishery Lock to Sharpes Lane Bridge* The air looked like it had potential to be wet this morning, waterproofs put on over t-shirts just in case. A boat had not long gone past us when we pushed off ourselves, we’d

13 July 2024

Middlewich Branch bridge 30

NB Harnser

Last night we were undecided whether to have an Indian or Italian for dinner, in the end the weather maid our minds up, it was raining and [Barchetta][1] the Italian restaurant was closest. Mind you the meal was first class.

Various bits and bobs

NB Wakahuia

The social scene In the interests of finding a suitable time for David and I, Jim and Judy to go and visit John and Adair, given John is very poorly, I've been identifying days that we need to be at

Bye bye Gilwern Countess

NB Jannock

Saturday 13th July 2024 We were awake bright and early to get all our belongings packed, load the car and say farewell to Nigel and Sally who run Roadhouse Narrowboats. We have enjoyed our week re-visiting the Mon and Brec

The only way out and the road was closed.

NB Free Spirit (Jameisons Afloat)

Thursday 11th July Oh dear, the night was long and very noisy. As exposed as we were, all the roof furniture (satellite, solar panel, TV aerial) rattled and banged and the skylight above the cooker kept trying to take off.

Cobwebs, WD40, lardy cake and beer. All in a day's work in Banbury

NB Herbie

Phew I'm cream crackered after traipsing round Banbury for a large part of the day, It's good to be back here though as it's been a long time since our last visit and we do love the streets and alleyways

Flippin’ Fishery. 9th July

NB Oleanna

*Apsley Sainsburys to above Fishery Lock* Shopping list compiled this morning, Mick headed off with the bags, leaving me to not have to walk too far. Maybe we should have done a click and collect, it would have meant we’d

When personal tragedy strikes, can we count on our fellow humans?

Pickingupducks

Are people fundamentally good? Thomas Hobbes maintained that people were totally self-centred, while Jean-Jacques Rousseau was totally committed to the theory that people were fundamentally good. Hobbes was English and lived in the 17th century. Rousseau was French and lived

12 July 2024

Slightly more treacherous than I had anticipated

NB Free Spirit (Jameisons Afloat)

Wed 10th July The causeway started to appear much earlier than was thought. The low tide was 6.08 pm, and the receding tide showed the walkway at 3 pm. Rain still beat down but come hell or high water we

Mon & Brec - Day #7

NB Jannock

Friday 12th July 2024 We planned a late start today, but a red alarm on the loo meant that we needed to return to base to get a pump-out, otherwise staying over on the boat ready for going home tomorrow

Canal/River Ring Maps

NB Floydtilla

I like the idea of a Canal/River ring, it means I don’t have to come back the same way, everything is new (ish) but like most trips on a new canals I like to do my research before hand so

Wheelock

NB Harnser

The first boat went past at 7-30 this morning so we knew the locks would be against us, then one went about every half hour, we left at quarter to ten, we should have left it a bit later as

You’re In Our Mooring! 8th July

NB Oleanna

*The Grove Bridge to Apsley Sainsburys Mooring* A widebeam went past as we had our breakfast, then a narrowboat, I wondered if we’d catch the narrowboat up to be able to share. Today was thankfully much drier than yesterday and

11 July 2024

Mon & Brec - day #6

NB Jannock

Thursday 11th July 2024 After a very quiet night on a peaceful mooring, unusual for being moored right outside a pub, we set off at 10am to make out way to the very end of the canal. We struggled through

Mega Cruise and name-a-cat invitation.

NB Herbie

Never in all the 18 years we've had Herbie has she laid so long unused. This year, things have conspired against us. Every time we made a plan, something got in the way. Until now that is. Today we climbed

Strange place to put a wall!

NB Free Spirit (Jameisons Afloat)

10th July Sunset over Marwick Head last night. Last night, the car park started to fill again with camper vans and motor homes. Next to us came a converted van with a sliddy door. We hate sliddy doors, although we

Rode Heath

NB Harnser

An early start for us, the tunnel keep was outside about twenty to eight seeing if we were ready to set off, checked the light and horn, safety briefing and leaflet, as far as he was concerned we were ready

Watching The Radar. 7th July

NB Oleanna

*Iron Bridge Lock to The Grove Bridge* Bacon Butties before zoom. Subjects included, who has sat in Pauls chair, Jet 2 Man, The Pigeon Society and plastic free Beetle Drives. Everyone was present and in jolly mood. Time to make

10 July 2024

Out of the Soar and onto the Trent

NB What A Lark

The next day we left Loughborough. We had moored on our own fairly centrally to make it easy for Geoff to collect us. Last evening our locking buddies of yesterday had moored up before Loughborough in the countryside. As we

Mon & Brec - day #5

NB Jannock

Wednesday 10th July 2024 Having spent a quiet night just around the corner from our hire base, this morning Graham set us off at 9am and we went under the bridge and past the base. The weather all day ahs

Yea at last. T-Shirt weather!

NB Free Spirit (Jameisons Afloat)

My goodness coaches started arriving very early. Well before 8 am, we assumed a cruise ship must be in and one of the attractions for those on the cruise was the Ring of Brodgar. We thought it might be a

Mid Warks YC to Hockley Heath Wharf

NB Sonflower

We had to leave the wonderful hospitality of MWYC at 0900 in the morning. This was the arranged time even though it was raining we had to leave. We said a gratefuk goodbye and The Best Mate took the tiller

Harecastle Tunnel

NB Harnser

It felt like it was going to rain as we set off at 10am this morning, a couple of boats had gone by but they were well ahead so hopefully no queues at the locks. The housing development opposite last

Giving Up. 6th July

NB Oleanna

*Above Iron Bridge Lock* We went to bed with it raining, it carried on all night and we woke to it raining, it was cold too! Whilst still in bed it didn’t take us long to decided to give up

9 July 2024

There's a boat coming QUICK!

NB What A Lark

So by way of a recap, we are back from a sweltering French Boating holiday in the south west France and back to Leicester where I left off. I am all behind like a dogs tail of course but this

Mon & Brec - day #4

NB Jannock

Tuesday 9th July 2024 Welsh drizzle has an amazing capacity to wet as much as a deluge. After a very wet night, which started raining heavily on our return from the river, we awoke to a very damp morning which

Burial chambers, archaeological digs and henges

NB Free Spirit (Jameisons Afloat)

6.30 am I opened the curtains and watched as the Hares and Curlews scattered in all directions. This place was a haven for wildlife. I even saw a grouse in the distance. Of course, there are no photos. I was

Trentham

NB Harnser

Well it rained most of the night and was still chucking it down this morning so a late star a little before mid day when it finally stopped. A few boats had been by before we set off but not

A Right Soaking. 5th July

NB Oleanna

*Below Black Jack’s Lock 85 to above Iron Bridge Lock 77* Waking up on the hour just about every hour last night, phone checked, seats racking up for Labour all the time. So it was a slow start this morning.

8 July 2024

Mon & Brec - day #3

NB Jannock

Monday 8th July 2024 Dinner in the Royal Oak last night was excellent! They also had a good selection of real ales so definitely worth a visit. Today we have had a pleasant day cruising through woodland for the most

Stone (North end)

NB Harnser

We set off just before ten expecting to find Great Haywood packed, we were wrong with very few boats moored between where we were and Haywood Lock. We arrived at the lock just as a boat was coming down and

Groan, MB damaged again!

NB Free Spirit (Jameisons Afloat)

July 7th After another quiet night in Kirkwall car park, we planned to head for Hobbister Hill and an RSPB site. Rain was once again in the air but this time very intermittent, with more dry periods than wet. First

Crick boats — the winners

NB Briar Rose

The August Canal Boat is out, and includes the first part of my Crick Boats review. This one features the winning boats: narrowboats from Kingsground, Stone Bespoke, Braidbar and Boating Leisure Services; and the widebeam by Bespoke Boats. Somehow, they

Not A Day For A Thumbs Down! 4th July

NB Oleanna

*River Colne Aqueducts to below Black Jack’s Lock 85, Grand Union* **Goodbye Slough Arm, maybe we’ll give you another go sometime** A boat whizzed past us this morning, they were aiming for the end of the arm. They apparently made

7 July 2024

Great Haywood

NB Harnser

Not the most peaceful of moorings last night, a generator running until 10pm and a boat going by at about 6am this morning, With the boat movements this morning we decided to set off slightly earlier, needles to say as

Mon and Brec - day#2

NB Jannock

Sunday 7th July 2024 Union bridge, where we moored overnight, is so named as it was leading to Crickhowell workhouse, well out of the way. # We set off at 09:30 after the morning's rain had ceased - or so

The Cathedral and Palace's of Kirkwell

NB Free Spirit (Jameisons Afloat)

July 5th/6th We settled down for the 6 hour cruise to Kirkwell. The ferry had left early which meant our arrival on Orkney would be early too. Time intially would have been 11.30 pm, our estimated arrival was now 11

What You Waiting For?

The Sumpners Afloat

**1st – 7th July pottering about, killing time** We left Packet Boat late morning, after a grocery delivery which I’d managed to book, to see us through the week. It was a lock free section so I could move the

We’d Better Turn At Bridge Nine! 3rd July

NB Oleanna

*River Colne Aqueducts to River Colne Aqueducts* After breakfast and spending time convincing Tilly that she didn’t need to go out this morning we got ourselves ready to venture onto new waters. The Slough Arm has only been cruised a

6 July 2024

Mon and Brec - day #1

NB Jannock

Saturday 6th July 2024 Exactly one year and one day after delivering Powys (formerly known as Jannock) to Rugby Boats brokerage we are hiring Gilwern Countess from Roadhouse Narrowboats for a week to rediscover the Brecon and Abergavenny canal. We

Will we be lucky?

NB Free Spirit (Jameisons Afloat)

More rain overnight, gosh Shetland was having some crap weather! Didn't bode well for another look at the Puffins at Sumburgh Head. It was either abandoning the idea and drive back to Lerwick wondering what to do for 8 hours

Fradley Junction

NB Harnser

The weather was better than forecast and we were on the move just before ten, but there were already several boats on the move, it turned out to be a busy day meeting probably over 20 boats. As we were

New Sofabed from Sofabed Barn

NB Floydtilla

**When we purchased Floydtilla, she came with two swivel reclining chairs with some foot stools, very comfy but not very practical when you have 3-4 people onboard.** We had been on the lookout for a sofa, but had not found

BCN EXPLORING

NB Sonflower

26 June 2024 Refueling We had returned to the Quay to refuel Sonflower. I had 240 litres of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) delivered to the Quays and ALex heloed me to put 160litres into the tanks. 80 litres are stored

Free The Paddington One! 2nd July

NB Oleanna

*Ballot Box Bridge to River *Colne* Aqueducts, Slough Arm, Grand Union Canal* The diesel tank hasn’t been filled since Pyrford Marina, the gauge showing quarter full. Mick doesn’t like the tank to be so low, in fact it may only

Be the change

Pickingupducks

There’s been what feels like a meteoric change in the UK this week, one I hope we can be part of bringing onto the waterways. This week we’ve had the pleasure and privilege of spending time with those who count,

5 July 2024

Fazeley Junction

NB Harnser

Tomtom took us for bit of a ride to get here due to delays on the A14 at Newmarket junction, after that we diverted to Barby to look round the marina before continuing on our way. Luckily the services were

Right then, France.

NB What A Lark

Bonjour reader. Fresh back from our trip of some hot boating. The holiday was to south west France, where we all picked the boat up from Le Mas-d' Agenais, which is about 63 miles south east of Bordeaux. This trip