Saturday, August 09, 2014

Back Home

Another great day and the final leg home. Through familiar territory to our home mooring. We arrived at the end of the first day of the Blisworth Canal Festival so the canal was very busy. I passed up the chance to turn around with a huge audience and moored nose inward.

Moored at Blisworth Mill.

Total distance is 14 miles, 1 furlong and 7 locks

Friday, August 08, 2014

Fish and Chips

The bow thruster failed today. After a little head scratching we decided to check the mega-fuse between the thruster and the battery. The 250A fuse had blown. Probably because of excessive use - the thruster is only supposed to be used for seconds at  a time.

Calcutt Boats chandlery rose to the occasion and I bought two new fuses, fitting one and kept the other as spare.

We stopped in Braunston for fish and chips from the Admiral Nelson for tea. Expensive for fish and chips (£8 each) but excellent and wrapped in newspaper for takeaway.

Moored at Lords Bridge

Total distance is 14 miles, 5¼ furlongs and 19 locks

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Still on the Way Back

Moored above Bascote Staircase locks.

Total distance is 9 miles, ½ furlongs and 12 locks

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Much Better This Time

The weather was far more clement today for our descent of the Hatton flight than it was when we ascended last week.
Enjoyed a glorious sunset:

Moored near Hatton Lock No 28

Total distance is 8 miles, 6½ furlongs and 26 locks

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Retracing Our Steps

Back up the Stratford, several tight lock gates.

Half the lock cottages are up for sale, it seems.

Moored above Rowington Lock No 30

Total distance is 9 miles, ½ furlongs and 17 locks

Monday, August 04, 2014


On the way into Straford a boater passing in the opposite direction commented that "They're all swingers down there!". Rather than passing judgement on the sexual mores of the inhabitants, he was warning of the propensity of the lock gates to swing open, refusing to remain closed.

We found a number of boaters trying to clear debris from behind the lower gate of Stratford bottom lock as a boat had jammed in the gate trying to enter the lock. Nothing was found and a few sturdy shoves opened it enough for the next boat to get in. Having seen the boat that wedged I suspect the fenders he had left hanging were his downfall rather than the lock itself.

We made it to Bancroft Basin, with plenty of time to go shopping in the town centre.

It's very busy in the centre of Stratford and the family decided to turn back so we could spend the night in peace in the countryside.

Moored above Wilmcote lock No 48

Total distance is 4 miles, 2½ furlongs and 14 locks

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Diesel and Aqueducts

Today we found a diesel supplier (Anglo Welsh at Wooton Wawen) open on Sunday so filled up; just in time as the tank was close to dry.

Anglo Welsh are on the Wooton Wawen aqueduct and there are three of these iron trunk aqueducts in a few miles of each other (Yarningale, Wooton Wawen and the more spectacular Edstone).

All three are the same design, with the towpath at the canal bed level, giving walkers a duck's eye view.

Moored above Wilmcote lock No 28

Total distance is 9 miles, 3¾ furlongs and 18 locks

Saturday, August 02, 2014


Up the Hatton flight in torrential rain. We were again soaked through. I forgot to bring my army surplus Goretex with me this week and the waterproof in the boat cupboard leaked after about 30  minutes.

However, the rain stopped and the evening on the South Stratford was a fitting reward for the work earlier in the day.

We awarded ourselves a brass plaque for completing the Hatton flight.

Moored below Rowington Lock 29

Total distance is 8 miles, 3¼ furlongs and 25 locks

Friday, August 01, 2014

In Search Of Diesel

We spent most of today making slow progress to Leamington Spa and then back to Hatton locks. We left Saltisford having decided more diesel was required to feed the engine as by a rough calculation it's been running at least 7 days since the last top-up. The nearest supplier on the cut was Kate Boats below Cape locks, so back we went. Unfortunately they are closed in Fridays. "No problem" I thought, on to Delta Marine, next door; diesel suppliers according to the Nicholson guide. Not any more. So we continued to Leamington as I'd hatched a plan. I bought two 5 litre diesel cans from Homebase, turned at the winding hole and moored next to Tesco in Leamington. Dominic and I then made three trips to the Tesco filling station to buy 30 litres of road diesel and transfer it to Syncopation's tank. It's the same stuff these days as red diesel sold on the cut but more expensive, of course. Several hours after leaving we passed Saltisford again and moved two locks up the Hatton flight.

Moored above Hatton Lock No 28

Total distance is 8 miles, 6 furlongs and 6 locks

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Medieval Day

We spent most of the day at Warwick castle. Not a cheap day out as it's in private hands and run for profit but there's a lot going on, with regular shows by reenactors with jousting, archery, dungeon tours and more.

Alas, it poured with rain for a couple of hours in the afternoon and Dominic and I could not visible the ramparts but ended up taking shelter in the Princess Tower. I had to admire the welcoming princess as she stayed in character "Welcome your Majesties!" as more and more dripping wet definitely not 3-8 year olds crammed into the almost-Disney princess themed tower. Bought dinner at Sainsbury's on the way back to the boat; put all our clothes in the washing machine to spin dry.

Moored at Saltisford.

Distance 0 Miles, 0 locks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Excellent Moorings

We're at the Saltisford Canal Centre. There are excellent moorings here; free for 24 hours (5 ppd after that) with all facilities available and only 10 minutes walk from Warwick city centre.

The original plan was to visit Warwick castle this afternoon but the kind people here advised us to devote a whole day to the castle (it's expensive and we'd also like to get our money's worth). So we decided to stay until Friday and make use of the electrical hook-up facilities.

Moored in Saltisford Arm.

Total distance is 5 miles, 7¼ furlongs and 2 locks

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Day 3

We went down Bascote locks today. This flight contains a staircase lock, where there are two chambers with no intervening pound. You empty the top lock directly into the bottom lock, making sure you've emptied the bottom lock first.

Moored near Radford Bottom lock.

Total distance 7 miles, 4¼ furlongs of broad canals; 19 broad locks.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 2

Moored Near Ventnor Farm Marina.

Following some expensive engine repairs in the last two weeks the Travelpower generator appears to be performing well.

Total distance 10 miles, ¾ furlongs of broad canals; 9 broad locks.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Back on the Cut

First day - Gayton to Norton Junction. Moored near Lords Lane Bridge No 8.

The dog fell into Buckby lock number 9. Unfortunately he wasn't wearing his lifejacket. We'd just started filling the lock and the boat was swinging around. He was swirling around like a spider in the bath as the lock filled and was saved in the nick of time by the children from being crushed against the lock wall by the boat.

Since then he's been rather cautious about crossing lock gates.

No satellite signal here. Hedge too tall.

 12 miles, 3¼ furlongs and 7 lock

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Too Late!

The car is broken. Went over a large stone in the road at over 50 mph (saw it too late). The front wheel kicked it up enough that it hit the underside of the car, shattering the plastic undershield and smashing the sump that holds the bag containing the fuel borne catalyst for the diesel particulate filter. The DPF oil quickly drained out of the punctured bag, spraying all over the back of the car.

The plastic bits will cost around £75 to replace and the catalyst itself is £114 + VAT so we're looking at a total bill over £250 if labour is included.

DPF technology is quite interesting, and I've been boring everybody about it, but it's a rather extreme solution to increasingly stringent anti-emission laws.