- After thirty years of hiring, I finally bought my own 50ft boat in 2005, which was built in 2001 by Andicraft at Debdale Wharf. I mostly cruise single handed and have no problem with that, although it does take a little longer than with a crew. My mooring is on the Wey Navigation, so I have a choice of routes on the Wey or the Thames.
Saturday, 31 May 2014
Thursday, 29 May 2014
|Wolverhampton Top Lock .|
"Stroke the Damsel and quote the Stop number."
Treasure hunt type question at Wolverhampton Top Lock, but you had to find it first!
Would I do it again? I am not sure, even though it was very enjoyable and we were able to see a lot of the BCN that is rarely cruised. I would prefer it do be done in more clement weather, as a lot of the time the steerer was on his own – no point in more than one person getting soaked at a time. I do know that both Barry and Mouse enjoyed it.
Wednesday, 28 May 2014
|Some welcome assistance at last!|
A lorra, lorra locks!
I have often wondered why the Hatton and other locks built in that era were originally made with paddle gear looking like this and then altered to the chain and square holding device. Was there originally a pin to stop the windlass in the open position?
|Original lock gear.|
|Present lock gear.|
Terry was due to leave next day and we were only a mile or so to where he could catch a bus to Victoria, so we cruised to a mooring opposite Uxbridge Boat Centre, where I wanted to fuel up. Just for a change we had wall to wall sunshine and things were looking up on the forecast.
Saturday, 17 May 2014
Eventually, we could see the O2 Arena and the Lloyds lightship moored up and knew it was time to turn around and head back to Bow Locks. It was a pity we could not do the Thames route, but the weather was promising for a trip up to Brentford the following day. After Bow Locks, we turned down Limehouse cut and moored up in the marina. We now had an afternoon to fill an Barry suggested the Docklands Museum, which was well worth a visit. Back at the boat we decided to eat out, but where? Eventually, we decided that we had passed a Wetherspoons on the way to the museum, but it was further than any of us imagined, almost at the museum, in fact. On the way back to the marina, a visit to The Grapes was not to be missed. A very satisfying end to an interesting day.
Thursday, 15 May 2014
|Chaos at the start!|
What is this, I wonder?
ArcelorMittal Orbit. The tallest sculpture in the UK.
The Aquatics Centre.
The best saved till last! (photo by Roger Squires)
Monday, 12 May 2014
Friday, 9 May 2014
It has been raining on and off since this morning and I was hoping to complete the side doors. It may improve later, but in the meantime there is plenty to read about on the web about the forthcoming BCN Challenge and to continue with this blog.
The Huawei Mobile WiFi E5332 is working really well and I don’t know why I didn’t get one sooner. The one problem is that the TS-9 aerial plug does not hold in place, like it did on the Huawei E 160 HSPDA USB Stick, which has a round hole to support the aerial plug on the outside. A retrograde step in design, I think.
|The Prince Alfred|
Wednesday, 7 May 2014
I took the side doors off to put another coat of paint over the cured rust and was making a new handle for the kettle; the previous one being thermo-plastic that had melted after leaving the kettle on the stove until it boiled dry. I found an old broom handle in the rubbish tip and already had some stainless steel strips in my ditty box – knowing that they would come in handy at some point. Thanks Jim!
While I was working at the aft end, a couple passed by and we started talking about narrow boats, as they were going to hire a boat from Worcester for a week. They had arrived from Canada that morning and lived in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, where I had been many years ago, so we had a common connection.
Tuesday, 6 May 2014
|"I know those guys, but who are you the middle?"|
|Margaret and Brian in their Sunday Best.|
|Under starter's orders behind Fulbourne.|
Monday, 5 May 2014
|An 05.30 view from the Horse Bridge.|
|All ready for the fray.|
|I wonder if all those air bubbles are there to keep the flotsam back? Hope that is cleared up later!|
|I hope they get this fixed shortly too!|
Saturday, 3 May 2014
|Following Tarn to the mooring...............|
|..............................closely followed by Zavala and Destiny .|
Thursday, 1 May 2014
This was a chance not to be missed and my application form went off first class the next day.
The Grand Tour began on Wednesday 30th April with a false start immediately. The favourite place to wind the boat after leaving the mooring is outside The Pelican pub, where it is wide and deep enough close to The Pelican piling, but at one end there is an unknown obstruction which stopped the engine dead. A weed hatch exploration was begun and whatever is was down there was not easily moved, so Dave Murray, my crew for the day, pulled the boat further down the mooring, which cleared space for the propeller to rotate. Now we were properly on our way, so we thought, but Zavala, who were our boating buddies for the trip, were waiting in Town lock with little sign of activity. There was a red board posted there and the top gate was chained up. The River Wey, below the lock seemed calm enough, so phone calls were made to the National Trust and Thames Lock and Tracy the lock keeper appeared shortly with the appropriate key to release us onto the river. On arrival at Thames Lock, the dreaded red board was again in evidence for the Thames between Shepperton Lock and Sunbury Lock, after which there were only yellow boards, “Stream Decreasing”. We decided to go, knowing that once beyond the Shepperton weir, the going would be much easier. Brian and Margaret on Zavala went first and I knew that if we lost radio contact, something had happened. All went well though, with full throttle applied through the weir stream and then more slowly into the Desborough Cut. Speed was fast in the current and through Walton and we were soon into Sunbury Lock and paying for the £10 transit licence to Teddington. It was then midday and we had until midday the following day to complete the trip, if we so wished.
|Zavala at speed on the Thames.|
|Plenty of white water over the weirs!|
|The crewman keeps a sharp lookout.|
The following day, we planned to leave Brentford about 10am to tackle the Hanwell flight of locks to Bull’s Bridge. It had rained hard in the night, which might well have affected a later trip on the Thames, so we had made it in good time. There were two Black Prince hire boats moored there and as there was some movement on board at 9.30, we decided to move earlier and make the most of our advantage, otherwise all the locks would be set against us and would make for slow going. Progress was good in the intermittent rain, with Margaret valiantly preparing the lock ahead and Brian or myself closing the top gates of the lock below. We made it to Bull’s Bridge in 3 1/2 hours and had plenty of time to dry out and take it easy.