Saturday, 3 September 2011

September Adventures

After gearing ourselves up to tackle the Leeds Liverpool canal, we discovered BW were doing maintenance on one of the locks, and had no official completion date, so we've decided to take another route to get to our Sheffield winter resting place. We're going to travel down the Bridgewater from Manchester, onto the Trent and Mersey, along the Mecclesfield, do a detour to the Peak District canal, then up the Huddersfield canals (narrow and broad), along the Calder, a detour up the Aire to Leeds, back down again, via Castleford to the South Yorkshire Navigation...down to Doncaster....then up the Tinsley flight to the top of the hill at Sheffield.

We havent done most of these canals, so it's going to be a learning curve...with hopefully lots of blog updates and photos.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

August in a nutshell.

Sorry for not blogging sooner :) Early Aug we left the boat for a week, to do some youth camp bookshop work, but very glad to be back onboard. Had a lovely time travelling through the Trent and Mersey tunnels, to the Anderton Boat Lift...we have photos, but have lost the cable that connects to the camera, thus a bit of a delay on those. One of the big differences which has come about, is the need to start collecting wood for the winter months, so I've bought a bow saw, and have started chopping up every piece of spare wood along the system, and storing logs on the boat roof. Had to reshuffle everything on the roof first, which was a mission, but it's done. Another epic project we've done, was to reroute the engine hot air vent piping, so when the boat isnt cruising, we can fold them down, put up a wooden deck above the engine, creating a chillspot, which I've covered with carpeting, cushions etc. We painted the engine room walls "fruits of the forest / purple maroon" which has change the whole feel of this area of the boat. MUCH BETTER. I'm actually lying in this deck area now, in the engine room, with the Lister SR3 tucked away under me. A creative solution thats paid off. We always felt the engine room was wasted space. No more :)

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Bridgewater canal....magical

Well...after coming over the Penines and having to do 93 locks, to get to Castlefield in Manchester, ...I can safely say I didnt want to see another lock for a while...the Penine summit trip was scenic, but physically demanding at times....but I'm really glad we did it. At first I didnt like Manchester's services...but this was when moored at the top of the Rochdale 9 locks....I've found it much better down at the Castlefield end.....much quieter...more boats, and the feeling that no one is worrying about you....the first time we didnt stop at Castlefield longer than an hour to fill up with water,...and heading down the Bridgewater canal.....and what a pleasure it locks for it's entire length, with some lovely towns along the's definately one of my favourites at the much so, that when we got to the one end, I turned around, and travelled all the way back to Castlefield ...and looking forward to exploring some of the Bridgewater towns we missed the first time...Leigh...Worsley. We took the kids to the Manchester Science and Industry museam today...was a great time out. Movies tomorrow, and a trip to Halfords...for a new gennie sparkplug. It isnt working at the moment, and the lack of sunlight has made the solar panels useless for now. I've been running the boat engine more to keep things charged up...:)
I have two rants to end this post with. First one...the lower lock of the Rochdale 9 sounds like a I know why there was no water in the Penines.... and lastly....someone bought us a new clock for the boat. It makes bird sounds every hour...and the poor cat cant sleep :) ...Ahhhh.....that reminds me....we were moored at Stockton Heath last week....shut the cat in the boat, and moved 100m to go put some diesel etc in the boat. The cat ran off without us knowing, and we only realised an hour later when we reached the next town. After a bit of stress and worry, I moved the boat back again, and the cat came strolling out of the hedges, and back onto the boat. Relief :)

Friday, 8 July 2011

Terribly sorry...latest blog

Terribly sorry for not blogging earlier...but the last week has been a little hard going....we left the comforts of the Calder valley, and made the climb up the the summit and we're now half way down the other side, on the way to Manchester. Water is extremely short on the Pennine route, and this is a pic of our boat this morning when we awoke, on the summit, waiting for our passage through to the other side..(prior to commencing descent again).

Monday, 27 June 2011

Changed our Skipton:)

Yep...being a Continuous Cruiser is a strange life. One minute you want to go left, then you decide to go right. Maybe you want to go north, and suddendly decide you'd rather go south. This is what's happened to me. Looking at the calendar, and knowing that October is approaching fast, and canals begin to ice up, I've decided to make the best of the next 3 months, by undertaking an 80day excursion. It began today...leaving Leeds, after spending some time at the Leeds Dragon Boat Races over the weekend. With an inner drive to leave the whole Castleford, Leeds area, I kept chugging all the way to Stanley 1 of 80...with a master plan to keep on going all the way to Oxford, via the Todmorden/Rochdale route...8 tunnels....should be lots of great fun....and better blogging. The sun is really hot now...suncream applied daily. Went for an evening meal with the family at the Stanley Ferry pub...a perfect end to a perfect day.......except we've just discovered the ducks are nibbling at the growth under our boat...thought it was beginning to hail...funny, but how are we going to sleep :)

Saturday, 18 June 2011

We're passing through Leeds again, but this time on the way to Skipton

Yep...Leeds again....:) This time it's not a destination, but on the way, to Skipton...a market town near the Yorkshire Dales. Here's a pic of our boat moored in Leeds tonight.

You can see our album at Photobucket showing more pics of Leeds here - Leeds Album

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Some recent pics and more

It's been a great few days travelling. We left Doncaster and headed for Thorne marina to fetch much needed diesel. 169litres. £188. Ouch. Hopefully it will last us a long time. Thought I'd put up some pics . The first is a pic of our boat cat, Rocky :) The second is me doing some artwork on the side of the boat. Quite nerve wracking.

These next 3 are various ones where we moored for the night.

2 pirates having fun in the sun.

This one was a bit of an eyesore we passed :)