Monday, 15 May 2017

Didnt move today

As the weather forecast was wet for today we didnt move at all.  I even lit the fire.  As promised it rained overnight and was fairly wet in the morning.  However the heavy afternoon rain just didnt happen, so we could have got back to our marina.  It wouldnt have helped though as we will need a pump out and the marina facilities are closed on Mondays.

Back home tomorrow!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

On our way home

I wanted to put some pictures here but is broken yet again!

Tomorrow the forecast is for heavy rain all day and we dont travel in heavy rain.  So we pushed ahead today so that we can still reach home on Tuesday.  After leaving our mooring just before 9am we had a straightforward journey back south on the Trent & Mersey.  We had no major hold-ups though the canal was fairly busy.  At 5 of the 6 locks there was no need to close the lock gates on leaving as there were boats waiting to ascend.

Several of the boats we met were hirers on their first full day.  One sad group had moored their boat and were waiting for the boatyard to pick them up - they had given up because they couldn't manage to steer the boat.  The guy explaied that we had 30 years experiencing of driving a car but the boat really was something quite different!

After 5 hours 45 minutes on the move we moored out in the countryside just before Rugeley.

Saturday, 13 May 2017


Densie (at the end) moored in Stone

Our new alternator proved its worth as despite the short journey yesterday the batteries were still showing a reasonably high voltage in the morning.  After breakfast we made the 45 minute cruise into Stone where, as we had hoped, there was plenty of space in the normally busy moorings. People leaving had left and new arrivals, apart from us, hadnt yet turned up. We turned the boat around and moored up for the day.

Then a walk into town to visit the supermarket where we stocked up for the next 3 days.  After a quiet afternoon we will be going out for an Indian this evening to celebrate my birtday.

Friday, 12 May 2017

A short day - we stop by at Aston Marina

We awoke in the morning to rain so stayed in the boat not we didnt moving until the weather improved at about midday.  Then a short 1:30 min cruise to Aston Marina via Sandon Lock.  Densie is being painted in the autumn at Aston so we wanted to discuss some of the details.  Everything sorted we set off again for quarter of an hour to ascend Aston Lock and moor up for the night.

4.44 miles, 2 locks.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Weston upon Trent

Waiting at Colwich Lock

Another lovely day cruising.  After shopping we set off under a blue sky at 10:15 and cruised north on the Trent & Mersey passing through Colwich Lock and Great Haywood Lock to Great Haywood Junction where the Staffs and Worcestershire Canal turns off west and south towards the Severn.  Our journey continued north through a couple more locks and the village of Weston upon Trent mooring out in the countryside half a mile further on in the mid afternoon as the weather became cooler and cloudier.

9 miles and 4 locks cruising

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

We set off on another short cruise

The Trent & Mersey on the way to Rugeley
We are out again for 6 days.  We arrived at the boat soon after lunch and by 2:30 we were on our way.  Turning left outside the marina we headed west towards Rugeley.  The weather was glorious, warm with blue skies which gave my first opportunity this year to wear shorts.  The canal looked perfect with the fresh new leaves.We passed a few herons and a nesting swan but no kingfisher yet.

We arrived in Rugeley just before 5pm.  We will stay here tonight and shop in the morning.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Back in the marina

On the Coventry Canal near Streethay
We are now moored back in our marina after a 4hour 40min voyage from Tamhorn Park Bridge, not counting the stop for lunch at Fradley Junction.  We will stay the night here and go home in the morning.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

On our way back after a couple of walks around a nature reserve

Moored near Curdworth Bottom Lock

For the second morning the fire failed to last the night so when we awoke the boat temperature was showing 10 degrees.  Easily solved - turn on the central eating and go back to bed for a hour.

After breakfast we walked around the lake next to our moorings.  It was created from gravel workings and now forms part of a water park.  There were a large number of very noisy black headed gulls and a few teal, tufted ducks and a gadwall.

Middleton Lakes RSPB Nature Reserve
Having returned to the boat we cruised a mile back towards Tamworth and moored again next to further lakes, this time an RSPB reserve.  Another walk was rather more fruitful providing good views of tufted ducks, shovellers, teal, another gadwall, various geese, shelduck, great crested grebe, little egret and best of all, a group of 4 avocets, the delightful bird used for the logo of the RSPB.

Then back to the boat and on with the cruise.  Back to Fazeley, left towards Fradley arriving in the early afternoon where we had moored on Monday night.  The wind was getting stronger and colder so we decided to call it a day.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Out again - a short 4-5 day trip

After what seems a very long winter we are out again for a short trip.  It gives us a chance to check that the new alternator fitted a couple of weeks ago performs as well as the engineer predicted and reduces the amount of time we need to run the engine in order to recharge the batteries.

Swan nesting at Hopwas

We set off yesterday from our marina, turned right at Fradley Junction onto the Coventry Canal and moored out in the countryside at Tamhorn Farm Bridge.  This morning we cruised the couple of miles to the Ventura Park shopping complex in Tamworth to stock up with groceries.  After lunch we set off again turning right at Fazeley Junction down the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal where we turned round at the winding hole at Curdworth locks and moored up for the night.

The alternator seems to be working well.  Its charging voltage rises to the maximum within a minute from starting the engine whereas the old one took two hours or so.   However we dont have any way of checking how well the batteries are charged other than checking the voltage the following morning.