Saturday, 26 April 2014

Friends for a visit and meeting up with a boating couple

Friday 25th April

Yesterday morning we left our mooring at Etruria and I reversed the boat out and then we were facing the first lock of the day heading for Stone. It was a lovely day and there were plenty of people making the most of the sunshine, a lot were in their gardens cutting the grass, people walking, jogging and fishing and a few boaters on the move too. It puts you in a really good mood when the sun is out and seems to make people more friendly for some reason.
These are lovely cottages but what is beyond them is a property that we think is fantastic! 

As we were moving along we heard a voice from someone shouting to another person and when we looked up we saw a man working on the pylon, rather him than me!
Sam earning his keep!

As we got through lock 29( Newcastle Road) we pulled over to empty the loo and top up with water, we was hoping to get moored after the next lock close to The Star Inn and as we were at the next lock where you drop down to the 48hour moorings another boat came up behind us the man came to help me open the gates and when I told him we were going to try to get moored here he said you will be lucky. Well we were lucky as we got moored close to the Star inn 48 hour moorings.

As I was writing this there was a couple outside the boat trying to get our attention, so Kev opened the side hatch and it was a couple who read the blog but knew us from 4EverMoore's blog too.
We chatted for a bit then Kev asked them in for a cuppa  and what a lovely couple they were.
They were moored further along the canal and their boat is called "The Rooster's Rest, they are Pam & Terry and we had a good natter, they were on their way to the shops and we were waiting for some visitors. Anyway we exchanged email addresses etc and they both left to get to the shops.

Kev with Pam & Terry
It has poured with rain all day and our visitors arrived about 2pm, what a dreadful day to come for a boat trip!
Sue,George, Tom & Sam with Kev

We had a text from Pam & Terry saying they ended up in Weatherspoons for a pint, we would have been with them if we hadn't had guests! But it was nice to have Sue & the boys to visit.

Saturday 26th April

Last night we had a take away from the pizza place next to the Swan pub as it rained non stop! This morning it was quite fine but a bit breezy, so we got everybody up and once everybody was ready we left and there was a hire boat just leaving The Star Lock so we went straight in.
As we were going along we passed NB The Rooster's Rest, so another photo was taken as camera was at the ready!
Pam what a lovely smile!!

Bye for now Pam & Terry hope to see you again.

Tom helping Kev at the tiller!!

We got to Gt Haywood Marina @ 1.30pm and moored outside the office to find out which mooring we were going to be on and we are now moored on the floating pontoons where we were before only not exactly on the same one. This was the first time I had brought a boat into a marina and it was windy too so I was quite proud of myself and also after being moored outside the office I managed to get it straight into the berth. Kev took Sue & the boys back to Stone for their car so they will head off home from there and we will go for an indian meal later on to the Shimla Palace near the 
Wolseley Arms. 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Rode Heath to Etruria

Wednesday 23rd April

We moored yesterday before bridge140 with the Broughton pub just across it, we went for a walk last night to have a drink and maybe a few games of pool only to find it was closed yet on the door it said that it had been closed for refurbishment and that it would open Tuesday 22nd April! Obviously not! Maybe they hadn't got all the work done for some reason but there seemed to be a few people walking to the pub only to find it closed. Anyway we walked down the road and found another pub I think it was called The Royal Oak which seemed to be the locals main pub and we had a few games of pool with Sam and a couple of pints too!
Up again bright and early as usual, we are always up early at home so being on the boat is no different for us and sometimes it is the best part of the day. Leaving Sam still in bed we set off and when we got to the first locks there was a boat coming down so they were all set in our favour. When we got to bridge 133 we moored so that I could pop to shop then we did the lock and went onto the Harecastle tunnel and moored behind 2 boats that were already waiting to go through. We were there about 40 minutes then a boat came through from the direction of Stoke on Trent so at 12.25pm we set off through with the other 2 boats that and been waiting.
Waiting to go through the Harecastle tunnel
A hire boat entering the tunnel
And our turn to enter
Looking back after we exited the tunnel
Very proud of myself as I did the second half of the tunnel!

We arrived at Etruria at 2.30pm and moored opposite the statue of Mr James Brindley who built the first Harecastle tunnel which took 11 years to complete and was finished in 1777! 
Kev is doing a few maintenance checks while we are here and we will head to Stone tomorrow and hopefully get a mooring near the Star so we can meet up with my friend Sue & her 2 boys George & Tom, they will spend Friday night with us and on Saturday will cruise to Great Haywood Marina.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Not a nice day for cruising very wet at times

Tuesday 22nd April
Well what a miserable day weatherise that is, we left our mooring this morning just after 7.30 am with our wet gear on but it was quite warm, we dropped down through Wardle lock then a sharp right turn to Kings lock and as we were through there we moored up to have breakfast. I know we hadn't gone far but we wanted to get through these 2 locks before it got busy but Kev needed to go back into the town to a DIY shop to buy an adapter for the water hose as we found that when we went to fill with water that our adapter had been left behind at the water point just before  Grindley locks! So once we had finished breakfast  Kev went for the adapter whilst I washed up etc.

He came back to the boat with 2 adapters in case we left another one anywhere!! We had some heavy showers on the way but in between it was quite fine &the sun even managed to poke through the clouds We stopped at Wheelock to fill with water then worked through the several locks heading to our present mooring before bridge 140 at Rodes Heath, but not far after Pierpoint locks i saw a boat that looked very familiar and said to Kev as we were almost passing it, that's Seyella! typical no camera (due to all the rain left it below) I managed to sound the horn as were just at their bow & Geoff popped out in time for us to shout a quick hello-goodbye. Sorry we didn't stop but we needed to crack on a little bit as we have to meet friends in Stone. Catch you both another time.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Out with the old crew & on with the new

Monday 21st April

On Saturday morning we left our mooring @ Whitchurch and turned back in the direction of Hurleston junction. After we got through Marbury lock we moored up and had a walk into the village and went into the Swan pub for a pint, Lee & myself had a few games of pool while Kev & Nigel sat watching Formula 1 racing. The pub had a couple behind the bar who said that they had only taken over the pub 3 weeks ago and had been very busy, so we were pleased for them and hope they do well  as we would hate to see yet another village pub close. We walked back to the boat and set off for Wrenbury and managed to get moored just through Wrenbury lift bridge, about 7pm we went to the Cotton Arms to have something to eat and it was very busy so we had to wait for a table and I must say it was well worth the wait, the food was excellent and we will certainly go back if we are on the Llangollen in the future!!

Yesterday morning we set off shortly after 8am as we wanted to get back to Nantwich so that Nigel & Lee could get their cars. Lee was going to do us a big favour by going to Liverpool airport to pick Sam & Helen up (Helen is Kirsty's friend) as they had been to Majorca to visit Sam's mum Kirsty (my daughter) and her partner Phil. Sam has lived with Kev & myself since last June as he wanted to come back to the UK to finish his education. Lee would drop Sam at the boat with us and then take Helen back to Hull with him.  We managed to get moored ok in Nantwich just after lunch, there were still a lot of boats moored and plenty of boats on the move. There was a festival on in Nantwich and it was very busy in the town as Lee & myself left Kev & Nigel on the boat while we had a walk there. all the pubs had security men on the doors, there were bands playing at a lot of the pubs, BBq's outside a couple of them so it was a good atmosphere. We decided to get pizzas & chips & took them back for all of us to have. Nigel left about 5.30pm, and later on Kev went with Lee to Liverpool airport while I stayed and chilled out on the boat. Kev returned with Sam at 9.30pm and after a natter & a drink we went to bed.
This morning it was lovely the sun was shining & so after some breakfast Kev & I left the mooring and left Sam in bed, we had to go through the aqueduct and passed all the moored boats to get to the winding hole so we could turn to head to go to Middlewich.
Leaving the mooring at Nantwich
Approaching the aqueduct
Sam got up and joined us 
Buster being very relaxed!
Sam at the tiller concentrating hard
We had passed Aqueduct marina and then along came a boat that we recognised and yes no camera at the ready, it was Balmaha with Mo & Ness who said congratulations to us on buying Rock & Roll, I grabbed the camera in time to catch them going away from us. We hadn't got much further when we got to a bridge where there was a boat coming so as we got through and were passing them they were bloggers Nb Lois Jane. 
We carried on to Barbridge junction and turned onto the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union canal and we stopped for a sandwich opposite Venetian marina and took Buster for a quick walk then set off again towards Middlewich where we moored on the visitors moorings.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Onto the Llangollen canal

Saturday 19th April

What a lovely day it was yesterday, once we were all up and about we soon were on our way to Hurleston  junction where we turned towards the Llangollen canal and were soon in the first lock, which is a flight of 4 locks, Kev & Nigel were doing the locks & Lee stayed on the boat with me, as I started to leave the first lock the boat stopped and I was stuck then we noticed the pound was quite low so Kev & Nigel had to go to the next lock & open the paddles to let some more water in the pound, then I was able to move forward into the 2nd lock. I have never had that happen before but its all experience!! Anyway once we were clear of the flight of locks I went down into the galley to start cooking breakfast and soon Kev found somewhere to moor and we all sat down to a fried breakfast! Well you have to look after your crew don't you!!
Looking down the flight towards Hurleston Junction

Nigel doing his turn at the tiller
My crew!
Lee enjoying his turn at the tiller & telling us "this is how you do it"

There was a steady flow of boats about which was good as it meant that we were getting through the locks quite quick.
As we got to the lift bridge at Whitchurch, Kev got off to lift it whilst I went on to the winding hole to turn so that I could get into the basin as you can't turn into it from the lift bridge as it is too tight.
We moored up then had a walk into the town to have some food & a couple of pints, we had something to eat in The White Bear pub & then walked to Tesco for some odds & ends then into the Bulls Head for a pint and then walked back to the boat and sat with a glass of wine & some cheese & crackers then it was off to bed!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Taking on 2 deliveries

Thursday 17th April

We left Norbury wharf yesterday morning about 11am after taking delivery of our new sofa bed!

We passed one of our favourite pubs on the canal, it has a caravan site on the premises & we have stayed on it in our motorhome.

The Anchor @ High Offley
This is quite a handful for mum!

Woodseave narrow cutting

We moored at Market Drayton & went for some shopping as our next delivery would be today as we were expecting Lee (Kev's Son)& friend Nigel! Once back aboard we left Market Drayton and worked through Adderly locks and finally moored up for the night after bridge72, but had no wifi signal there.
We were up early this morning as we wanted to get to Nantwich where we would meet up with Nigel & Lee, we left early @ 6.45am as we were up and about and we went through the flight of locks at Audlem.
Looking across to the Shroppie Fly pub from the lock.

We have passed quite a few boats today and when we arrived at Nantwich we went over the aqueduct only to find that there were no moorings and we were stopped on the bend wondering what to do. Kev left me on the boat to go see if there were any moorings further on. Meanwhile Nigel had already got parked up and was waiting for us and he caught up with Kev who was asking a couple if they were leaving and if so could we have their mooring. They said yes they would be leaving so he rang my phone and asked if I could start coming so I managed to get set off with quite a few boats coming in the opposite direction & it was very breezy but I finally got to Kev where the boat was going to pull across to the services so I could then just pull into their mooring. Nigel & Kev took over tying up so I left them to it. Lee will gate here tonight as he is working today so that will be our final delivery for today. 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Minor changes that makes a boat your own!

Tuesday 15th April

Before we left Wheaton Aston we filled up with diesel at Turners 72.9 per litre!! We cruised to Norbury junction & passed quite a few boats and when we arrived at Norbury Junction we found it easy to get moored not far from the water point only about 3 boats back.

When we left Droitwich on our first cruise as the proud new owners of R&R, we still never thought that the boat was ours and so made the decision to change some things so that it would feel like ours. I am sure that most women will understand where I am coming from when I say that you need to put your own stamp on a place you will call home be it a house or a boat. So we decided to change the curtains to blinds, have new upholstery on the pullman & order a new sofa bed, this is in no way meant to offend Carol & George as the boat had nothing wrong with it but we felt that the way it was it still felt as though it was Carol & George's boat.
We are now waiting for delivery of the new sofa bed from Wilsons which will be tomorrow morning! our friend Nigel has got the other sofa bed as his boat is the same colour scheme & he had 2 chairs but was thrilled to get a sofa bed  instead that went well in his boat, so we are pleased for him!
new upholstery & Kev has been busy varnishing table

He also varnished worktops too

This morning I had a clean up & Kev washed boat & polished it & we think it looks great

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Penkridge to Wheaton Aston

Sunday 13th March
Firstly I have to say a happy Birthday to Lee (Kevs son) hope you had a good day!
We left Penkridge this morning and it was a nice bright sunny morning although it was still breezy & cool in the shade. When we got to Gailey we realised that the last time that we were there we were moored ahead of Rock & Roll with George & Carol & we were on 4EverMoore and we were iced in!
What a difference today

Gailey Round House

We passed the Fox & Anchor & we call this bend "Busters Bend" as this is where we once came round in the opposite direction and we decided to pull across & moor & Kev jumped off the boat followed by Buster! Unfortunately Buster didn't make it onto the towpath with Kev & ended up in the canal! He is not a water baby & was heading towards the opposite side of the canal so Kev had to jump in after him and pull him out as he wasn't doing well and I can only say he swims like a brick!!

I was allowed to take R&R through the narrow cutting & never met any boats coming the other way Phew!!

This Heron had a good catch!

Autherley Junction

Onto the shropshire Union Canal

Brewood Church Spire

After a good days cruising we moored at Wheaton Aston before the Tavern Bridge19

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Back on board

Saturday 12th March

Kev got home on Tuesday teatime & he decided that he would  get to Great Haywood on his bike on Thursday as he had a few things he wanted to do before we left Great Haywood Marina. Samuel was going to Majorca yesterday (Friday) accompanied by his mums friend Helen, so I was taking them to Liverpool airport for their check in @ 4pm, they will be flying back on Sunday 20th. I got to Great Haywood about 6pm after travelling on the M6 which was absolutely horrendous as traffic was crawling at times!! Oh to get on the canal! Anyway when I arrived to the entrance of the marina Kev was there to meet me and got Buster out of the car and walked him to the boat while I drove down to the berth and started unloading the car. We went to the Shamla Indian restaurant for something to eat, and once again it was lovely (if you like Indian food that is) the staff are so friendly and very helpful there. It had been a fantastic day weatherise, just a pity I had spent a lot of it in the car.

What difference this morning as it was cloudy, cool and breezy! Kev went to the office to get our keys and to see if we could return in 2 weeks and also get some gas, we have decided to do a circular trip and Kevs friend Nigel and Kevs son Lee will join us next Thursday to spend a few days with us. Lee will go to Liverpool airport on Sunday 20th to pick Sam & Helen up then he will drop Sam off with us and take Helen home to Hull as he will be going home to Hull that day. So we are looking forward to having people with us.
We left Great Haywood about 11am this morning and headed to the junction for the Staffs & Worcs canal.

The staffs and Worcs canal with the junction behind us

We passed this boat on the way obviously not going very far!

Kev had mentioned that a fellow blogger was at Penkridge and that we may either see them there or pass them today, well not long after we had got through Deptmore lock we came through Roseford bridge and there was a boat coming towards us and low and behold it was Parisian Star with Mick & Ellie! unfortunately Kev was down below making tea ( where he should be) and I only realised who it was as they were passing us, so sorry we never got a chance to have a natter.
Another female busy housekeeping
We arrived at Penkridge 48hour moorings at about 4pm and moored up for the night