Friday, 21 December 2018
Monday, 17 December 2018
|Hog at Christmas Markets|
Saturday, 15 December 2018
With severe weather warnings of sleet and high winds forecast for Saturday, we arrived at Tattenhall Marina on Friday lunch time and unpacked swiftly. After a splash of diesel, we slipped out onto the tow path. We did this because it is pretty damn impossible to get out of the marina in a breeze, never mind severe winds.
We then spent Friday night opposite an industrial hangar hosting a rave party. The relentless beat eventually rocked us to sleep. We left this morning and made the two hour lock-free cruise to Christelton. We tied up at midday just before the biblical winds and rain arrived. Being just outside The Cheshire Cat, it would be rude not to pop in for refreshments. We are booked in with Mr Jones for dinner. Will the Christmas tree survive? Here is a picture. Just in case it's the last we see of it.
Sunday, 11 November 2018
Tuesday, 28 August 2018
Tuesday, 21 August 2018
The plan to get to Liverpool has been abandoned, at least for this year. We set aside just over two weeks to slip up to the top of the Shropshire Union, out onto the Manchester Ship Canal to Eastham locks, and then across the Mersey (with a Pilot). We were very excited by the prospect of cruising across such a historic estuary into Liverpool Marina via Brunswick Lock. We had planned to stay in Liverpool Marina for a night or two, and then Salthouse Dock was booked for a week. We were then to head to our new marina at Scarisbrick via the Leeds and Liverpool Canal link.
The plan fell apart due to a breach north of Liverpool. Now the breach was (and still is according to CRT) to be fixed by 24th of August, which would have been fine. However, CRT recently cancelled all passages in and out Liverpool to the end of August! This is too late for us, and although the left and right hands of CRT are a bit out of sync, it feels like the sensible idea is to leave it all for now.
So we have mooched down to Chester where we are tied up nicely in our favourite spot (apart from the rather noisy 'cohesion piling' going on across the canal), and where we plan to stay for four nights.
Friday, 20 July 2018
Yesterday, we had a steady run from Grindley Brook, impeded a bit as we followed a couple of single handers through most of the locks.
By late afternoon, we were tied up (next to fellow bloggers Amy Jo) for our last night on this trip. It was a very peaceful mooring with no roads or railways within earshot. Mr. Jones confirmed his approval, standing on his hind legs sniffing the air, cocking his head at unknown noises from wildlife, and off course he could also sense, lurking behind the hedges, the occasional monster.
This morning the canal was quiet, so after a leisurely breakfast Captain started to untie. And this is when it happened. In fact no matter what time of day you untie - it always happens: a boat came around the corner, travelling in the direction we would have been travelling in (had Captain untied just one minute earlier.)
"No worries" he muttered, "One boat won't make much difference." He tied up the boat again and the boat passed, but again, before Captain could untie, two more boats (the two single handers) came around the corner. Captain continued muttering, and muttered even more when a fourth boat went past.
This phenomenon is now to be know (for no good reason) as Jones' Law, which states "If it is quiet on the canal, and you think it is a good time to set off, then immediately you reach for any rope a small flotilla of narrowboats will pass in front of you."
Anyway we are all tied up nicely now, and no new maintenance jobs have cropped up. Next month's trip is to Liverpool. Although our route there is going to be interesting.
Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Sunday, 15 July 2018
Thursday, 12 July 2018
Tuesday, 10 July 2018
Monday, 9 July 2018
|Novelty Teapot ...spot the spout|
Saturday, 7 July 2018
Friday, 6 July 2018
We have been moored at Swanley Bridge Marina which is at the end (the English end) of the Llangollen Canal. We are moving from here after the summer, and so it is today that we begin the obligatory cruise to Llangollen
Wednesday, 4 April 2018
Saturday, 31 March 2018
I won't bore the reader with the unquestionable genius involved in finding the fault, as that is well known, I will just keep, more or less, to the details of the fault.
The story begins seven years ago in a boat building yard.
"Just finish that plumbing in the bathroom," the boss shouted through the porthole, "then you can go home."
The young aprentice looked at the scribbled drawing and the fittings in a box. After ten minutes he shouted up.
"What's this cross on the drawing?"
"Oh yes," the boss answered, "That's the by pass valve."
The apprentice shrugged his shoulders having no idea what that meant.
"They used to baffle me when I was your age. The thing is if you pipe it up like you might expect, and then if you turn all your radiators off, there is no flow at all through the coil in the hot water tank, and so you get no hot water. The by pass valve allows a little flow past the radiators so that you get hot water.
"Right," said the apprentice rummaging through the box.
"And that reminds me," the boss said, "we haven't got one."
The apprentice stopped rummaging.
"They missed it off the delivery. But connect everything and leave room for it. That way I can check it all for leaks tomorrow."
Seven years later captain found the plumbing extended slightly beyond the towel radiator to accommodate a valve - but no valve there, just an effective short circuit of the radiators.
There had been a trickle through the radiators on a good day, and a Webasto that went to half load quite quickly as it saw very hot water on the return pipe.
But all piping hot now.
Friday afternoon, after being assisted by an independent volunteer lockie down the last five locks, we arrived in Chester and parked the boat outside Waitrose.
The surprise for us was that we completed the cruise (from Swanley Bridge) in two days, where we had allowed three. I'm still a bit unclear what went wrong there. We are not known for rushing ahead, and just the thought of five hour cruising days makes us cry.
Anyway we are here and the extra day will give captain time to grapple with the central heating which is misbehaving in a very strange way.
He believes he knows the solution, but dare not tell yet.
Wednesday, 28 March 2018
A serious breach, that I expect will take 6 months or more to fix, drained the canal for a mile or so near Middlewich. The pictures are dramatic and one pinched from the BBC is shown here.
Our Easter plan B is to set off tomorrow for Chester and stay there for three nights.
The plan for moving the boat back to Macclesfield in September is still being formulated. Options are (a) The breach is fixed ... Hurrah! (b) Stay where we are. (c) Go to Ellesmere Port, then along the Manchester Ship Canal and back down via the River Weaver, Or (d) Go the long way around via Audlem, Autherley, Great Haywood, Harecastle.
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
Perhaps you imagined that the crew of Princess Lucy 2 had been coerced into joining some strange cult, and relocated to the banks of the Desaqadero River in Bolivia, where we perhaps spent the evenings soothing our souls by rubbing Brillo pads on each others cheeks.
Not so. The only Brillo pad rubbing has been on the dismantled stainless steel plug hole.
But the sink cleaning project has not taken three months. The big project that has kept captain both scratching, and knocking, his head has been the bed project.
First a bit of background. The original boat bed (as built) was a permanent small double (4 foot wide that is). Now the bed wasn't really 4 foot as the box the mattress sat in was 3' 11" and more significantly a further 4" of the mattress was effectively lost under the gunwale.
So we set about designing and building a cross-bed, where we now lie across the boat. This is achieved with two mattresses. The smaller one is two feet long and drops on to slide out slats that cross the corridor.
The bed is now finished and we have slept in it just once and we were much more comfy than before. We now have a five foot wide bed and much more room.
The improved comfort doesn't end there as previously there was nowhere to put a drink or anything. Now, that problem is solved with a decent sized side table each.
But there is a down side. With our new comfy bed and longer lie ins, we may need to reassess our typical daily cruising hours. At the moment we aim for three (hours that is) and that has been a struggle to achieve.
At Easter we are planning a cruise out to Middlewich and then down on the Anderton lift for a quick spin on the Weaver.
Well that is the plan. We might just spend the week in bed.