....news that I have actually cruised the boat. I never wanted it to be a floating cottage, nice as it is, my aim was to use it to travel. Long term plan is to see much of the system but for now as and when we get out.
The reason for the cruise originally was to take Percy to John Sanderson on the Stourbridge to be painted. Him running a little late and the stoppages dropping in early meant we have put it back to Summer 2015 now. Not ideal but me spending more time afloat made it difficult to say the least.
So this little cruise was up to Stone and back, familiar territory but some of the nicest canal cruising out there, I especially like the run between Great Haywood and Stone.
The weather.... glorious, sunny, warm, nil wind and into October, either we are going to have another wet and mild winter or a real icy bugger to test my resolve.
HS2... not coming to Fradley now, good news but HS2 should not be done anyhow, More investment in freight on railways and better internet connectivity should be where the money is spent. Anyone travelling the motorways - I do a lot now, notices the amount to freight traffic, should be on the railways with regional hubs - rant over. I feel sorry for the residents of this place...
...took a payment to move out, did not need to now, but I know who has it now so good luck to her.
Darwin award.... goes to the couple who we held back for at a bridge hole near Armitage, he took my lead and came through but stayed close to the bank (offside) to allow me to start my approach, he went into the bushes. only then did we notice his wife was cooking with a gas camping burner on the hatch top, the trees swept the hot pan and stove towards her and the open hatch, it was by more luck than judgement that she did not spill the hot pan over her or the burner drop into the open hatch, there were not screams of pain, just panic as we passed!!
I cleaned the boat..... I had taken the lazy - its going to get painted approach, that excuse spent I washed the boat in three days - it was mucky. Whilst not the best it could be it certainly looks better for it, I need to keep on top of this.
I need a new chimney..... for the exhaust. No wind and 3mph forward momentum resulted in more diesel smoke that is good for me. We started with the titch chimney and then realised we needed the 28 incher. Much better but a keen eye for clearances was the order of the day. One blister when I realised very late we had a problem and another compliment we should be in the circus when I did a rapid clearance of the exhaust chimney (with cloth this time) and thankfully a cold rear chimney. I have made enquiries for a hinged one from Tony Redshaw - £46 plus P&P.
Fishing.... far too much and rather than the complete angler more the dispraxic, loosing far too much tackle and trumping myself by snapping off the end of my 4 week old rod..... arse !! Lots of nice fish caught even with a 10 foot very stiff action rod !!
Engine.... ran faultlessly, much commented on and admired. After a while you take for granted the slow revving thump thump thump....and forget the shouted conversations over Waterlily's eager but noisy revving Beta. (no disrespect to Beta engines, I'd have a cacooned one if I went that way again.
Tw@t(s) of the week .....were the last two boats passed us at Burston on the way back. The first a hire boat was making a breaking wash, and only slowed marginally for the tight bridge hole (those who cruise will know) and proceeded to hit is soooo hard, the sound echo'd the still country air. The second, a privateer from Newark, well he must have been red lining his engine, the wash was immense and our boat did not stop moving for a good few minutes, he could have had a waterskier behind he was moving so quickly, you understand where the bank erosion comes from when you meet idiots like him.
Everything else was lovely, happy people, nice weather, good route, good company and nice boat. A few pics for the end ....
PS.... felt sorry for Weston boat services, many a time we have passed and admired their location, now sadly surrounded by new builds...