Friday, 21 July 2017

Boat names

A few more boat names for your perusal .


Carolyn says that’s me.





Carolyn also says that’s me .



You never guess what ????? carolyn also thinks that this sounds like me !



Nothing better than a bit of Tootling.


Thats good as the kids have gon and you can get on with your life ….or maybe not.                                                                                                         



IMG_1936That’s me most of the time .


IMG_1986Winter ‘Spring ,or Summer it all tastes good to me ,



IMG_2140It is.

IMG_2146I know a few of these …

IMG_2156It just has to be slow on the canals .. Chill out !!!!

                                                                                                     Happy Days

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Ferndale for sale


Some more of our friends are selling their boat and this time it is Ray and Diane's lovely boat Ferndale . If you are looking at buying a boat this is another one that's well worth looking at . Details are listed below.

NB Ferndale


Heron Boat builders




55 foot (16.77m)


6 foot 10 inches (2.08m)


2’ 2” (0.67m) approx.

Air Draught

5 foot 9 inches (1.75m) approx.


Isuzu 4LC38


Engine Alternators 1 x 70 amp/hr. 1 x 110 amp/hr.

Starter Battery

1 x 12 v x 110 amp/hr. starter battery                                

Domestic Batteries

4 x 6 v Trojan 395 amp/hr. domestic batteries (Linked in parallel and series to supply 12 v x 790 amp/hr.)


x 4 (2 each bow and stern)

Sterling Alternator to battery charger

AB 12210 210 amp/hr.

Sterling 3000 watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter

plus 240 volt landline

Water Tank

900 litres Stainless Steel

Diesel Tank

150 litres


2 x 13kg bottles

Heating (1)

Reflecs 3.6kW Diesel stove with own 50 litre tank; two chimney extensions; standard chimney top and ‘H’ chimney top

Heating (2)

Mikuni MX60 diesel fired, 3 radiators, 1 heated towel rail and hot water calorifier (also heated by engine)


Washer/ Dryer

Candy CMD146 Washer and combined Condenser Dryer


Vanette GG2200

Gas Hob

4 Burner Vanette 4000-2


Porta Potti 365 with 3 cassettes


All 12v LED

Rear Bedroom

In-line bed with memory foam mattresses, 4'6" x 6'3 (1 mattress)


Pullman Dinette converts to double bed when required

Saloon or lounge

2 recliner rocker chairs, 1 footstool, 2 sets drawers, 12v TV,  bookcase surrounding radiator, book shelves


Shower over bath, vanity, wall cupboard, pump out Sealand toilet


Galley style with vanette wall oven above the 2-door fridge/freezer. Washer under hob. Pull-out pantry

Rear Cover and Cratch

Black cratch cover and Black rear pram hood cover (2012)

As of 19th July 2017, nb Ferndale is on the market for sale; we are not setting a price or price range, we would like sensible offers to be made and arrangements to have a look through the boat can be made.
This is an all inclusive sale - all items on the boat (apart from personal items) will remain.

We are not in a position that we have to sell immediately.  

                                                                                              Happy Days

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Headless Woman

IMG_5323We pulled pins from our mooring below Red Bull at 06.45 as we wanted to get to Harecastle tunnel for 08.00 when it opened . On route we stopped at the services and yet again another service area that is well maintained so unlike many of the ones down South.

IMG_5335After 5 locks we arrived just after 08.00 and as you can see Harecastle comprises two separate and parallel tunnels described as "Brindley" and the later "Telford" after the engineers who constructed them. The tunnel was built to transport coal to heat the kilns in the Staffordshire Potteries. At 1.5 miles (2.4 km) it was once one of the longest canal tunnels in Britain.

Today only the Telford tunnel is navigable. The tunnel is only wide enough to carry traffic in one direction at a time and boats are sent through in groups, alternating northbound and southbound. Ventilation is handled by large fans at the south portal.

You can also see that the water here is orange .It comes from the Iron ore which leaches out of the rock .The tunnel is 2,926 yards long and as soon as we get the nod from the tunnel keeper it should take us a bout 35 minutes to get through to the other side.

IMG_5338Carolyn is not that keen on any tunnels but out of all of them she dislikes this one the most simply because of the noise of the fans and the stories about it especially the following ones .

According to legend a young woman was decapitated in the Telford Tunnel in the 1800s and her body thrown into Gilbert's Hole, a coal landing stage within the tunnel. The man had hacked the woman's head from her shoulders with a piece of slate until it was removed.

It is believed that she now haunts Harecastle Tunnel, either in the form of a headless woman, or a white horse, and her appearance used to forewarn of disaster in the local mines. Some boatmen took long detours to avoid the tunnel, and today the tunnel keepers relate tales of occasional mismatches in the number of boats going in and coming out. Such tales are, however, fanciful, as any such discrepancy would result in a major search operation.

In fact there is no record of any such murder, and the story seems to have been inspired by the murder of Christina Collins in similar circumstances near Rugeley.

The association with another canal ghost 'Kit Crewbucket', who haunts the Crick Tunnel, would also seem to be spurious. Locally the Kidsgrove boggart is known as the Kickrew buggart because of the local dialect in which Kidsgrove is called Kickroo or Kickrew. (As The dialect is not written down, the spelling is optional.)

IMG_5356Out the other side and it’s now a cruise through Stoke which should take about 5 hours .

IMG_5360Passing Middleport pottery which was described as ‘The Model Pottery of the Staffordshire Pottery Industry’ when it was first built. It was designed to make all production processes more efficient and to improve conditions for the workforce.They still make pottery here and it also has a visitor centre with tea rooms.

IMG_5374A fine looking pair.

IMG_5377There are 5 locks that take you through Stoke with the first being at Etruria but I just love this one which is number 37. It’s not for the Graffiti but I just think it’s so good how the railway bridge had to be built around the lock balance beam.

IMG_5393After a good 8 hour cruise we picked up this mooring next to the Wedgewood factory for the night .

IMG_5398Pulling pins the following morning at 07.15 we were soon passing through Barlaston and passing the Plume of Feathers pub which is part owned by Actor Neil Morrissey who is famed for Bob the Builder, Boon and Men Behaving badly.

IMG_5401Well that's a shock . Every time I look in one of these information boxes they are empty . Well done people of Stone for filling this one up.

IMG_5411We had wanted to spend a night in Stone but the moorings were full although I did manage to drop Carolyn off to do a quick shop and then pick her up at the end of the town heading South.

The picture above is at Aston Lock and it marks the halfway point of The Trent and Mersey canal between Preston Brook and Shardlow

IMG_5414Just along from the lock and past Aston marina we picked up this mooring, Carolyn is checking the Internet and we have 10 megs which is just the ticket . With the Cows and Sheep as our nearest neighbours and the grass having just been cut this will do us for the night.

                                                                                              Happy Days

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Roosters Rest


Our friends and fellow Devonians Terry and Pam have put their beautiful and cared for boat The Roosters Rest up for sale .This is a quality boat and has been maintained to a very high standard . It’s well worth a look if you are looking at buying a Narrowboat . Click on link for details

                                                                                                 Happy Days

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Back again

IMG_5105Well it seems like open live writer is working for us again so it looks like we are now Alive and Kicking once more .I just don't understand how something is working perfectly and then for no reason it stops working .Open live writer is a programme that allows you to write a blog offline and then post it to blogger when ever you want unlike blogger where you have to upload the pictures then write the blog around them . This is so handy for us because we often have times when we have very little Internet and it can take hours to upload the pictures. I still can’t find out what happened to the pictures from our previous blogs . The pictures are still on my computer so maybe there is a way to get them back ,just wish I knew how to do it..

IMG_5128So it’s now catch up time from our last post 2 weeks ago and it will take a few posts to catch up. We pulled pins from our mooring at Lymm at 07.05 and headed towards the end of The Bridgewater canal and then onto The Trent and Mersey canal . Arriving at Preston Brook tunnel we had to wait for half an hour as we slightly mistimed getting there .

IMG_5136Leaving The Bridgewater canal  and joining The Trent an Mersey we pass though this lock which was just built to stop the rival canal companies from stealing each others water.

IMG_5177After a long days cruise we picked up this mooring on a Flash which was a couple of miles short of Middlewich .With trees for shade we will have a day or two here to chill out with a glass or three of the red stuff of course.

IMG_5195Sunset over the Flash . Just the ticket.

IMG_5206We hadn't bought any diesel for over 6 weeks so when coal boat Halsall came past we stopped him and got him to fill us up, as always we try to use the fuel boats when possible as it’s these guys that break the ice to get to us in the Winter . We had used 135 litres and in that time had done The ribble link up to The Lancaster canal so that wasn't that bad and at 68p per litre it was a good price

IMG_5252After a couple of days chilling we pressed on pulling pins at 08.10 and were soon in Middlewich . After doing a shop in the town we headed up the locks and passed this piece of excellent mooring. I guess he was a little bit on the long side to fit in the gap.

IMG_5244Why on earth would you have this on the front of your boat ?. Carolyn said he might be a retired sheep farmer who was missing his Sheep.

IMG_5299After another longish day we moored below Wheelock locks which is the start of what's known as heartbreak hill . In total there are 24 locks which will take us up to Harecastle tunnel . As you can see many of these locks are duplicated so there are two single locks next to each other to speed things up . There are similar locks at Hillmorton.

IMG_5301Going up the locks we had another boat using the lock next to us . It worked out very well because if we were ahead of them we would set their lock for them and vice versa . It’s so good when boaters work together and with a bit of a chat and some banter on the way it makes life so much more enjoyable.

IMG_5320We had intended to stop after 12 locks but as usual we decided to carry on and picked up a mooring above lock 46 which would leave us just 5 locks to do in the morning to get to Harecastle tunnel . Another first for me was catching this little tiddler of a Fish . Its one that I have never caught before in a canal and I’m pretty sure that it’s a Barbel which is normally found in rivers but are being introduced in to some canals.

Tomorrow I want to be left here early so we can be at the tunnel entrance for when they open at 08.00 and try and get through Stoke without stopping.

                                                                                                       Happy Days

Testing open live writer


Saturday, 1 July 2017

Seeing Double

Well I have not got a clue what has happened to our blog . But here is what was meant to be posted next.
We pulled pins from Plank Lane at 07.40 with a 7 or 8 hour cruise in front of us . We will try and get down to somewhere near Lymm for the night. We will be passing through the outskirts of Greater Manchester and we have been told that there are not a great number of safe moorings so we have decided to do the trip in one hit.

We stopped at this pub in Leigh not for a drink but for the Aldi Supermarket that was right next to it . Needless to stay we stocked up with the most important essentials ,wine and a bit more wine. It’s not that often we get a Supermarket next to the canal so we always stop and take full advantage of it

On the move again and this is where we leave The Leigh branch of The Leeds and Liverpool canal and join the privately owned Bridgewater canal. As you can see they are a bit slow at taking down their signs as the Vickers Hall Bridge is now open , well I hope it is.

We have heard so much about The Bridgewater Canal and I can say that most of it has been bad . It is owned/run by Peel holdings who as far as I understand are only interested in the land beside the canal and not the canal itself . We have also heard that they are very heavy handed with enforcement with one particular enforcement officer being a nasty piece of work. Anyway I guess we will find out for ourselves as we cruise the canal.

Leaving Leigh and it’s good to see some of the old Mills and factories still standing.

After over 4 years of travelling I think this is the first Pit Head we have ever seen.

We then cruised on and thought we were seeing double as we came across nb Sandoy as we entered Lymm. Of course it was friends Jack and Tina on their Sabre built boat which looks identical to Inca . We had a chat and then went on and tried to moor in Lymm ,but it was rammed full so we carried on for a couple of miles before picking up a nice peaceful mooring for the night at Pickering bridge after an 8 hour lock free cruise.

One of the few places to moor on this section is Worsley and although the moorings are next to a busy a road we have marked it in our guide book as a place to stop the next time we are up this way.

We were soon to come upon this Lighthouse next to Parrin Lane bridge and being so far from the sea we wondered why it was here .
It seem’s that a local man was given the opportunity to buy a mooring for his narrowboat on the Bridgewater Canal in Salford. There was space to build something on the land so he approached the local planning department and they said that he could build anything as long as it was made of stone. He sold his narrowboat and started building a lighthouse 30 miles from the sea. I’m not sure if it has a flashing light or not ,but what a strange thing to build if you could have built anything you wanted to.

After about an hours cruise we got to the Barton Swing Aqueduct Bridge. I must admit that I was a bit excited as I have always wanted to go over it . The bridge crosses The Manchester Ship canal and along with an adjacent road bridge swings open to allow large ships to go in to Manchester.

Crossing the bridge and looking to the right you can see the road swing bridge .

And looking to the left you can see the city centre of Manchester. In the end although it was a good crossing it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I think I just expected something bigger and more imposing.

I wonder what she is doing under that tree

Nearly at Lymm and we got a shout from this guy who we have never met before . He said “I remember that boat well” . We stopped and reversed back to talk to him and it turned out that it was Paul who fitted out Inca when he used to run Sabre Narrowboats . We had a good chat and complemented him on his excellent work, although I did have a bit of a moan (like I do) about the paintwork which has a nasty habit of oxidising.  It seems from what Paul said that there is some sort of polish with a resin in it that stops the oxidation . If anyone knows what it’s called I would love to know.

We then cruised on and thought we were seeing double as we came across nb Sandoy as we entered Lymm. Of course it was friends Jack and Tina on their Sabre built boat which looks identical to Inca . We had a chat and then went on and tried to moor in Lymm ,but it was rammed full so we carried on for a couple of miles before picking up a nice peaceful mooring for the night at Pickering bridge after an 8 hour lock free cruise.

                                                            Happyish Days