Tuesday, 9 May 2017

I feel a responsibility coming on ....more blogging boaters off the cut

Sad to read two more bloggers are handing in their boat keys for yet to be detailed adventures off the cut.

Tom and Jan from NB Waiouru are returning to the penal colony after a five year adventure cruising the canal system. A blog that will be missed by many as Tom's wit is engaging and entertaining. Sadly we never met, they were 'out' when we walked past their boat moored above Shadehouse a couple of years ago now.

Doug and James also have their boat Chance up for sale. Not live-a-boards but they cover a decent spread of canals each year. Met once at Fradley but live locally to us so we should meet up in our shared city of Chichester ......

Not all sad news as my neighbour Mandy is off on her blogging travels again on NB Don't Panic and Bruce and Sheila on NB Sanity Again are off from their lodge confinement covering a decent spread of water again.

Plus there are all my other vicarious cruising suppliers over there on the right giving their details of journeys and thoughts aplenty.

Hopefully now life is settling down again for us I can get out a bit more, but not quite yet, I have a couple of European motorcycle trip I will record - not for you canally people but for my own dear diary entries to look back on when I am old(er) and infirm(er).

So keep cruising and keep blogging please .

Thursday, 4 May 2017

The newest and most precious crew member

Percy has a new crew member and I am now a grandad and I could not be more pleased !

Meet Theodore George or Teddy Wells to his friends.

He was born Saturday 29th April 2017 8.19am and weighed 7lb 3oz.

Hopefully when he is a little bigger and stronger he will be able  crew for NB Percy and many many trips will be taken.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Come for a walk with me

One of the joys of the canals is exploration of a new area, especially if you have a dog to exercise. I find the police are called a lot less often to me when I am walking and talking to Leia than when walking on my own !

So whilst not on the boat at the moment I (we) have plenty of exploration of the myriad of local footpaths  (and canal tow paths) within walking of the new cottage.

Despite the cold snap a bigger walk was requested by Leia so off we went ....

I'll save you the trip into the Valley but it takes us about 12 minutes to the river/railway/canal that all share the valley bottom. The river Churnet will be a delight to fish  - lots pf pools to explore, but I need to know who if anyone has the fishing rights.

The river being crossed by the Churnet valley railway. 

Then we arrive at the canal - a little walk up from the river as it runs as anyone who knows this stretch almost on a shelf  - I think moved there to accommodate the railway

  I quite fancy that walk - from Froghall to Etruria  - about 18 miles  - it's on the bucket list !

Looking up from where I walked from  - there is a falconry centre there

All to myself, only noise was nature

Leia was in her element  - lots to sniff and no other dogs to worry about - she does not socialise well with  other dogs. 

Now we get the railway joining the canal  - this is a great place to see the steam trains come by

There is some history here from when the railway company moved the canal to accommodate the railway. The bridge is made up from railway track !

Another wood to explore - another day. I think this is the route to Ipstones 

 This boat has a very remote and rural mooring 

This branch was a little challenge, when I walked the route in reverse the next day it was gone - well done CART

Leaving the canal here at Consall 

The pub is round that corner and a bit 

Back across the railway and river ready for the climb out of the valley through the woods 

One of the locations the trains have to whistle as they approach  - we can hear them from the cottage  - very atmospheric.

Did I mention I like woods ....all you can hear is nature, it is very peaceful

On the lane back to the cottage, looking back into the Valley and the mist rolling from the village of Ipstones.

You might be able to see the route we walked in red. 2.5 miles and we did it one night in 50 minutes and today in reverse in 45 minutes, not too shabby if you account for the steepness that gets us both a decent blow on !

Plenty more to plan and walk in the future  - cheaper than any gym 

This mornings walk was across the fields..... Leia had a decent run, I did not.


Friday, 28 April 2017

Feels like a year but its only been a part month !

The longer days are truly a blessing. It means we can achieve more and experience more. The early part of April did see us get a bit of warmth but the rest seems to be accompanied by a cool wind that is stopping the true warmth of spring being enjoyed.

It did not stop me getting a bit of fishing in on the mooring.

Getting my bikes prepped for another summer of commuting/riding meant two MOT's and as the plate on my bigger bike was an MOT fail I swapped it and took the opportunity to account for Brexit and any Scottish departures !

I also explored my possible next bike, it looks gorgeous but I did not enjoy riding it ! 

We took advantage of the South Downes and took a picnic for a walk through the woods of Stansted House, improvising a picnic table.

The next day we were up at Newlands Corner on the bike for what is called the SBC  - Southern Breakfast Club. A run out to a full English breakfast on the roads of Hampshire East/West Sussex and Kent.

We ended up at Brighton Airport , beautiful art deco building and a great if a little expensive breakfast

Back on the boat for work and it was such a lovely evening I walked to the Trent at Alrewas with Leia

The next morning the walk was as enjoyable with the mist rising off the canal from the warming sun.

At the end of the week I was off to collect the keys to the new house. This is our new back yard, I suspect their is a lot of walking in those moorlands ...

While waiting for our furniture to be delivered on the Monday (10th April) we were back on the boat and a much loved boat passed us - Sylph our ex share boat, a few exchanged greetings and she was off towards Alrewas

I took the opportunity to make up a new gasket for the hand pump that lifts fuel from the main diesel tanks to the day tank. The old ones on the left were letting in a small amount of air which stopped the lift of fuel. I brought thicker gasket material to help make an air tight joint.

When I ordered the service kits for the motorbikes I also ordered enough Morrisons oil for the next two oil changes on Percy plus three more auto greasers for the stern gland. Next time I have a few days on Percy I'll do an oil change.