Monday, 28 September 2015

Warm and toasty


IMG_5308After 2 days of waking up to the temperature at zero outside and only 6 deg inside the boat our fire is now well and truly lit and will probably remain so until next April.  

IMG_5327The moon above Hillmorton last night.

IMG_5326The Moon over Inca with a bit of the colour red to it. Last night it was a lunar eclipse and although it wasn't that clear later in the night I did get a few pictures. During a lunar eclipse, the moon turns a deep rusty red, due to sunlight being scattered by the Earth's atmosphere. Anyway its only a few years to the next one so maybe I can get some better pictures then.

                                                                                                           Happy Days

Sunday, 27 September 2015



IMG_5218There is something missing from this picture . It is in fact the Radio masts at Hillmorton .The masts had been there since 1926 when they were used to transmit telegraph messages all around the Commonwealth .   With 6500 houses being built on the site it will certainly look a lot different around here.

IMG_5260The biggest change according to one of the Lockies on duty will be that the houses are being built right next and down to the top lock . So far it looks as though South of bridge 72 there will be no building on the couple of fields there due to the ground conditions.

IMG_5263Looking from the bridge to the top lock where the houses will be built and no doubt as soon as the houses are built then the home owners will start moaning about the boats moored opposite and they will end up taking away the moorings .One good thing I have now found out is that the building of the 6500 houses is going to be phased in over a 20 year period and not in a few years as many people seem to think. So hopefully the area around the locks will remain the same for a good few years yet.


                                                                                                          Happy Days

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Pull harder


IMG_5227After a night at Braunston and after carrying out our PRV change on our calorifier we head back to Rugby to do a shop at the Tesco store at Brownsover.The picture above shows the car park empty, but its funny how cars would come in and park next to each other. Then a package would pass from one car to the other and then something else was passed back the other way … How Bizarre !!!   I wonder what was going on….

IMG_5230It was one of those nights that you dread happening. The boat behind us ran his engine from 17.00 till 19.45 which is acceptable as its stated in the rules that engines and generators should only be run from 8 in the morning till 8 at night. The engine its self was not that noisy but the fumes it kicked out was unbelievable.We soon had to leave Inca as we couldn't breath due to the fumes and take a very long walk with Hamish to get a bit of fresh air .But then dead on 8 o'clock the person on the boat in front decided to start up his small 2 stroke JCB generator. At 9 o'clock with it still running I was ready to go and kindly ask the guy to switch it off, but Carolyn said its not worth it and there is probably a good reason why it is still running. With it still running at 10 o'clock Carolyn had to sit on the front steps to stop me from going out and chucking the generator in the canal. Eventually with Carolyn still blocking my exit at 10.27 pm the very annoying person switched off his generator.

IMG_5237After filling the cupboards from good old Mister Tesco at Brownsover we pulled pins and headed to the winding hole just past the aqueducts. The new retail park is now taking shape and it looks like it should soon be open. Lets hope that they restore the water point that has been unavailable since work on the retail park began last year.After winding (turning) we headed back towards Hillmorton

IMG_5246At least the idiot Graffiti nobs haven't yet defaced this piece of artwork on bridge 69.

IMG_5250OOPS! ..”pull harder and put your back into it”.. Well that's what I would be shouting saying to Carolyn

IMG_5262Eventually we reach our mooring at Hillmorton and Carolyn soon gets the washing out on the line and drying in glorious Autumn sunshine. Its always one of our favourite moorings as apart from the noise of the trains which you soon get used to ,we have good TV and 9 megs of Internet.

                                                                                                              Happy Days

Friday, 25 September 2015



Its plumbing time .We have been having a few problems lately with our pressure relief valve (PRV) on our calorifier. Every time we used any water the PRV would operate and start emptying all of our water out of the water tank and overboard into the canal. We found out that our water pump starts operating when the pressure drops below at 1.4 bar and switches off when it reaches a maximum pressure of 2.4 bar. Also our flojet quad 4404 water pump that we have does not require an expansion tank as there is a built in bypass valve in the pump.  The PRV we have at the moment is a 2.5 bar one ,so it leaves only 0.1 bar . After checking what pressure the pipework and fittings could take we have decided to fit a 3 bar PRV.

IMG_5199Carolyn looking a bit worried as she is ready with a bucket and towels to catch any water that leaks out. The Calorifiier is under the bed so it means dismantling that to gain access.

IMG_5201There, job done and no leaks. After heating up the hot water we tested it and it worked a treat. We are now waiting for the next thing to go wrong as it always seems there is a problem somewhere waiting to happen on a boat.

                                                                                                            Happy Days

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Boaters let down…..again !


IMG_5206We have recently been in Braunston and if you had wanted to use one of the 2 elsans in this so called centre of the canal system just forget it .The one by Midlands Chandlers has been unavailable for over 3 weeks. Also one of the taps is not working and the whole area around the taps is like a bog and overgrown. The other elsan in Braunston was also blocked with the adjacent water tap not working.There was then a queue of 4 boats waiting to use the water tap at the stop house. So if you wanted water and had a cassette to empty you were a bit up poo creek without a paddle in Braunston.

Its strange how Canal and River Trust spends millions on resurfacing Towpaths for speeding cyclists and walkers ,yet us boaters who pay a lot of money to the trust every year are left with appalling ,filthy and failing facilities all over the system.

                                                                                              Happy (peed off) Days

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Captive for a while


IMG_5098After a peaceful night at Hawkesbury junction we pulled pins at 08.10 and soon passed the old engine house.

IMG_5112We then made the turn under the bridge and left the Coventry canal and then through the stop lock and we joined the North Oxford canal.

IMG_5149A bit of a hold up at Rose Narrowboats as the boat filling with water on the right had blocked the canal.

IMG_5164We passed this guy on route doing the monotonous job of pit filling. Pits are holes made by rust eating into the metal of a boats hull. They can be filled in with weld like in the picture above , but if they get too bad it may be a case of re-plating the hull.… Its a good reminder to keep your hull in good condition and always have it blacked every couple of years.

IMG_5172Approaching Hillmorton locks, and why do the dickhead Graffiti idiots have to spoil this.

IMG_5179Up through Hillmorton locks and another holdup with a hire boat in front of coming down the locks at the top. So as the lock says we are captive for a while. It was their first ever lock and according to them it was nothing like the hire company told them it would be. That sounds about right.

IMG_5183With this guy flying over us we moored up at Hillmorton for the night . In the morning we will head towards Braunston where we need to get a new Pressure relief valve for our calorifier.

                                                                                                                   Happy Days

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Dr Who


IMG_5041As we travel towards Nuneaton we have never seen so many bikes that have been pulled out if the canal and left on the towpath.

IMG_5063Didn't see the Doctor , but there could be a Dalek loitering somewhere on the towpath.

IMG_5056You cant travel on the Coventry Canal without taking a picture of this old famous telegraph post.

IMG_5067Bridge 21 in Nuneaton and Carolyn pops off to do a quick shop in the convenience shop next to the canal .There is a new small Sainsbury that is just being completed next to the canal which will be very handy for passing boaters. With all of the Graffiti and the amount of empty beer cans and burnt silver foil its not a place we would want to spend a lot of time. A bit of a shame because I'm sure Nuneaton has a lot more to offer.

IMG_5076Here we go again and as we approach Hawkesbury junction there are some new additions at Charity Dock …..

IMG_5078Not sure what this is about.

IMG_5079There's all sorts scattered all over the place

IMG_5082Clowns, There's plenty of them on the canal network.!!!

IMG_5087This has to be one of the most bizarre places on the canal network, But its always fun to pass through this dock .

We will now have a night at Hawkesbury junction before heading off in the morning down towards Rugby..

                                                                                          Happy Days

Monday, 21 September 2015

That time of year again


IMG_4987The arguing  falling out  discussions have already started about whether we should light the fire or not. Carolyn seems to feel the cold a lot more than I do and telling her to put her coat on of an evening seems to upset her and cause even more friction. Anyway, with Carolyn off giving Hamish a long walk I thought that it would be a good idea to get everything ready . The dirty job of brushing the chimney was first, burning wood we have a lot of tar inside the chimney,so after brushing it I get a steel pole and really work it hard up and down the chimney to remove most of the tar.  

IMG_4988Next it was out with the metal polish and then after some hard cleaning with metal polish it came up looking like new.

IMG_4990Job done and you might notice that I have taken the cowl coolie hat off the chimney. I have been told that if you take it off it will reduce the amount of that horrible corrosive tar running down the side of the boat. We will see what happens….

                                                                                                   Happy Days

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Heading South

IMG_5004Pulling pins from Fazeley junction at 07.15 we soon get to Glascote locks. Lock 13 on the Coventry canal has to be one of the slowest locks on the system.

IMG_5003In fact it even has a poem written about it.

IMG_5013Passing under the motorway after leaving Tamworth and Carolyn thinks that this could be a Banksy.

IMG_5027A bit of a project boat.

IMG_5031Arriving at the bottom of Atherstone locks and there are 2 boats in front of us. We are told that the flight is very busy and we should expect to take at least 4 hours to complete the flight of 11 locks.

IMG_5033After 3 and a half hours we reached the top and did think about stopping for the night on the visitor moorings. But as you exit the top lock it doesn't look that inviting.

IMG_5035Reaching the visitor moorings and after having a look around the decision is made not to stop and carry on to a mooring we enjoyed last time we were in this area.

IMG_5039This is a mooring that we have used and enjoyed before and after 9 hours of non stop cruising it was good to eventually moor up. Last time we were here there was a band practising in the barns of this farm . This time they were there again, the drummers were out in the field making one almighty noise and the rest of the band were in the barns. We sat on the roof of Inca with a couple glasses of the red stuff and had a very entertaining evening after a long and very enjoyable cruise….Just the ticket.

                                                                                 Happy Days

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Dodgy Mooring


IMG_4759This is the picture of one of our recent  moorings by this magnificent Oak tree.

IMG_4765It was only when we left the following morning that we could see how dodgy this mooring was.

IMG_4762The tree was as rotten as an old Pear and the centre of it had completely rotted away. Good job it was a calm night with not much wind.Lesson learnt..Check all trees before you moor and don't moor near a rotten old one                                                                                           

                                                                                                                    Happy Days

Friday, 18 September 2015



IMG_4957We pulled/lifted or what ever you do with nappy/Armco pins at 07.00 from our mooring at Rugeley and soon hit the narrows where Carolyn had to go ahead on foot to make sure it was clear for us to proceed.

IMG_4961Miserable looking old Sod, and he never bothered to speak to us.

IMG_4968Through Armitage the home of the sanitary ware factory and there is no way that you can pass without taking a picture of a toilet.

IMG_4975Now this is different. Normally boats will pull a small butty , but this one is on the front and is pushed along.

IMG_4977 Its only firewood…….OCD or just very organised ?

IMG_4979Our favourite and best looking lock on the system with a lovely looking boat as well . Woodend lock on The Trent and Mersey Canal near Fradley junction.

After 7 hours and 20 minutes of cruising we arrived above the very large retail park before Fazeley junction,Tamworth. With a rest from cruising tomorrow we will stay here for the day. I'm sure Carolyn will be very happy here with all of that shopping to be had and I don't suppose I will be seeing much of her.


                                                                                                                     Happy Days