Monday, 31 May 2010

Over the Top

Woke up early this morning and realised the boat didn't rock at all, we were aground. Leakage during the night had lowered the water level and meant we had settled on the bottom. I went for a walk and let some more water down from Lock 42. Above Lock 41 there wasn't any! Just in case anyone thought I was exaggerating when I said there was no water here are some photos.

Between Locks 41 & 40, the tyre isn't floating!

Lock 40

Between Locks 40 & 39
The white topped posts on the left are the mooring bollards to tie the boats to while preparing the lock! The problem isn't so much lack of water for the canal, although the reservoir is a bit low, it is that mining subsidence means this section leaks like a sieve. It didn't take BW very long to let the water through for us but it was a bit scary seeing all the junk we take our boats over. It was very windy today which added to the fun but we were fairly quickly (by narrowboating standards) up and across the summit. The views make it all worthwhile.

Going down at last!

Looking back

Across the border

After crossing the border into Yorkshire we moored up for a well deserved cuppa and biscuits then decided, in view of the wind that we would stop here for the night.

Todays journey 1.6 miles, 8 locks and 1 swing bridge.
So far we have travelled 274.4 miles, 289 locks, 12 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 7 tunnels.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Wet and Dry!

Unfortunately it was the sky which was wet and the canal which was dry! Well, not dry exactly but certainly not as wet as it should have been.
We all moved up through the two locks at Littleborough on Thursday afternoon to go to fill up with water, empty our loos and dump the rubbish. On Friday morning Kathy and I went and stocked up with food at the Co-op. We got ourselves booked for passage across the summit on Sunday morning, so the plan was to go up to Lock 37 today. Kathy cooked us all a smashing sweet and sour for dinner, I shall reciprocate with a chilli or spaghetti bolognese next week before we part company. I woke up really early this morning to a beautiful sunrise.

Within 10 minutes of taking this photo it was chucking it down with rain. Later in the morning Ray and Chris spoke to a BW man who was walking past and he told us to wait below Lock 42 for them to come and get us in the morning. About three o'clock the rain had eased off and we started to make our way up, Ray led the way with Morgana as we have the shallowest draught so were less likely to run aground. Luckily I walked between the locks because even keeping to the middle Morgana grounded but I was able to let the water down through the next lock and get her refloated. I had to run more water off to get Kathy and Chris through the locks but we all eventually made it up to Lock 42. We had to run water off through Lock 42 to make sure the boats all remained afloat overnight, we didn't want to wake up on a slope! We could see why they didn't want us going any further, you could see the bottom above lock 41. It was the sort of journey that made us all glad we were in company because we were able to laugh about it. I don't envy Kathy and Chris who will have to do this all again in the opposite direction after we part company.

Can't resist adding this photo of one of the kittens.


Thursday and today's journeys 0.9miles and 6 locks.
So far we have travelled 272.8 miles, 281 locks, 11 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 7 tunnels.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Plan B

It was so windy yesterday that it made travelling hard work. Some of the locks on this stretch are too narrow for two boats so we were having to do three fills of the lock to get all of us through. Ray was towing Almyne Too, the tender that is like a mini butty today, he found it easier than towing Scott's little cruiser. We stopped short of Littleborough and then carried on this morning. We are trying to find out from BW when we can cross the summit. It definitely won't be tomorrow because we didn't get our washing done today, and there are 11 locks between here and the top so it won't be Friday either. If BW give us the all clear it could be Saturday but we are still waiting for a call back. We don't want to move up to the summit until we know when we can cross because at least here we have all the facilities.

Unfortunately we will lose Chris and Kathy when we get to about Hebden Bridge, they had thought that Destiny would be able to do the Calder & Hebble and Leeds & Liverpool if Destiny went into the locks alone so she could be angled across the locks but at 62ft plus her fenders she is too long! They are planning to head back down, through Manchester onto the Bridgewater, up towards Liverpool then back and up to Wigan to meet us in a few weeks time.

So it looks like we won't be moving on until at least tomorrow, and only then if we can cross the summit on Saturday.

Yesterday and today's journeys 6.3 miles, 5 locks, 2 swing bridges and 1 tunnel (a very short one).
So far we have travelled 271.9 miles, 275 locks, 11 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 7 tunnels.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Upward, ever upward

We have had a relatively lazy few days. We planned to take Friday off after all our hard work on Thursday, we were debating whether to move on when Chris told Ray they were planning a barbeque on Saturday night and asked if we would like to join them. We seem to have so much in common with Chris and Kathy, it is starting to feel as if we have know them far longer than just a few days. So we have decided to travel with them for a bit longer. One of their cats, Marley, had kittens just over a week ago, we had been planning to get a couple of kittens to share the boat so that has worked out really well. It will be a few more weeks before the kittens can leave mum but as they are heading in basically the same direction as us for at least a couple of months that isn't a problem. It should be easy to arrange to meet up.

Kathy has a traders licence, which allows her to run a business from her boat. She sells jewellery, cards, rag rugs and other handicrafts. If you have a turnover below the VAT threshold it only costs a little bit more than a normal licence and you don't have to pay duty on the diesel you use for business use. So if you count the travelling you are doing as business, going from one place to another to sell your goods, it can save you lots. I think I'm going to have to investigate it.

After a very enjoyable weekend being busy doing nothing we carried on up the Rochdale to Slattocks. Not very far but there are so many locks that it can be hard to find places to moor. We have looked at the map and we think we will probably aim for Littleborough tomorrow, take a day off on Wednesday as both Kathy and I need to get some washing done and there is a launderette in Littleborough. Much easier than doing the washing on the boat especially the big stuff like bedding. Hopefully we will able to cross the summit on Thursday, although a boat that moored up by us tonight said they had come over the top and water levels are low. We will have to speak to BW and find out what the situation is. After that it is downhill all the way to Leeds, less than 30 miles now as the crow flies, 59.4 miles and 103 locks by canal. We are only about 4 hours journey time behind where I had planned to be and it is worth it for such good company.

Today's journey 2.1 miles and 10 locks.
So far we have travelled 265.6 miles, 270 locks, 9 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 6 tunnels.

Friday, 21 May 2010

And, in no particular order!

The Rochdale Canal is 'interesting'. We paired up with Chris aboard 'Almyne' for the climb out of Manchester and also towed a small fibreglass cruiser with a seized outboard belonging to Scott, a twelve year old who's mum Kathy and sister Kaia were following us up on her boat 'Destiny' with another boat. Her boat plus Scott's cruiser were too long for her to tow him and fit into the locks. 'Almyne' has a mini butty, a sort of floating garden shed, it's brilliant. It looks a bit like a chopped off narrow boat.

Having more people made working the locks easier but this canal is hard work. Chris kindly kept us supplied with coffee on the trip. The canal is very shallow, we felt our hull scrape the bottom a few times. Chris actually ran aground in a lock! Ray was following him into the lock at the time and because 'Almyne' suddenly stopped dead the butty jacknifed into Ray's path, Ray hit it and the tow bar broke so Chris had to do running repairs in the lock. We all got rubbish round our props which we had to clear, Chris got a sofa seat cushion, Cathy got a black leather jacket and Ray a tan suede coat. There was the usual complement of shopping trollies. On one stretch you can see where the canal was once concreted over, before it was restored. Ray got stuck in one set of lock gates where one gate wouldn't open fully and had to back off while Chris moved Almyne over in the lock so Morgana could go in through the gate that would open. At one lock we had to clear a wheelie bin from the lock entrance so we could close the gates. When we eventually reached the top we were greeted with this -

It is a floating pontoon to allow work on the railway bridge, Ray wandered up to talk to them and discovered that they were working until four, which gave us about three quarters of an hour to wait until the canal reopened. We moored up and Chris spent the time doing a proper repair to his towbar while I made sandwiches for everyone. I think we were all glad of the break. Kathy and Kaia had reached the top lock before the pontoon was moved so those two boats stayed it the lock until the canal was clear.

Waiting for the canal to re-open

We then carried on as a convoy of four boats for another couple of miles, through a lift bridge and another lock to reach some good moorings at Chadderton. We managed to cause a long traffic jam at the lift bridge while all four of us went through. According to the locals, most days they don't even see one boat and four at once is unheard of! After we had all relaxed and had dinner we took a stroll to the local pub for a couple of beers. We will probably take tomorrow off, the others are probably here until Monday but I don't know if we will stay that long. They are good travelling companions, so we might. They are heading on the same route as us until we start heading south again after crossing back across the Pennines on the Leeds and Liverpool so we will probably see them again more than once.

Today's journey 7.3 miles, 20 locks and 1 lift bridge.
So far we have travelled 263.5 miles, 260 locks, 9 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 6 tunnels.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

I hate cities!

After a day off yesterday we today had the delights of travelling down into the centre of Manchester! Eighteen locks and two swing bridges accompanied by quite a lot of plastic bottles and general debris. Six of the eighteen locks had at least one set of winding gear that wasn't working properly. These eighteen locks all have anti-vandal locks which you have to unlock and re-lock on each set of gear (four per lock). We cheated, we were being followed by another boat just one lock behind us, so we left the anti-vandal locks unlocked ready for them. At one lock we met up with a boat who had a carpet caught round their prop. When I got told this at the lock before we reached them by the crew of a boat coming up the flight I imagined a rug or piece of carpet, but it was a carpet, big enough for the average lounge! Two locks after that Ray and I had to haul a 6ft long beam of wood about 12 inches by 6 inches out of the canal!

Eventually we made it to the moorings in Manchester, ready for the climb through, probably, 20 locks tomorrow.

Today's journey 6.4 miles, 18 locks and 2 swing bridges.
So far we have travelled 256.2 miles, 240 locks, 9 swing bridges, 3 lift bridges and 6 tunnels.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Cheaper than gym membership

First thing this morning I rang British Waterways to book passage through the Rochdale 18 on Thursday morning. I thought the weather was conspiring against me, it started to rain just as we left our mooring. By the time we got to Marple it had stopped and after a quick shop, dumping the rubbish, emptying the loo and topping up the water tank we turned onto the Peak Forest Canal and started off down the flight.

The locks are very deep, they lower the canal through 214 feet over the 16 locks. We were lucky that some of the locks were in our favour which made the journey down quicker, at least I wasn't having to fill them before we could get the boat in. Some of the paddle gear was very stiff which made it hard work and one lock leaks so badly that it took an age to fill. I did get a rest at the lock before last as we met a boat with six on board coming up the flight and they did all the work to get us down so they could come up! When we had completed the lock flight, in only 3 hours and 40 minutes, Ray decided on plan B. As it was only a couple of hours cruise to the junction with the Ashton Canal we carried on to allow ourselves a day off tomorrow.

Just after the bottom of the flight there is an aqueduct which takes you across the River Goyt far below you, with the railway viaduct towering above you, spectacular! My photo doesn't really do it justice but it gives you an idea.

The canal passes through a couple of miles of countryside before it reaches Hyde and suburban Manchester where it passes through 2 short tunnels.  The town doesn't encroach too much on the canal and apart from some industry and a sewage works it remains a pleasant cruise.We were going to moor before the lift bridge on the approach to the Ashton but a local dog-walker told us there were other boats moored the other side of the bridge and I always consider there is safety in numbers when mooring in built up areas. After we had moored up I went for a stroll and found a very nice mooring with picnic tables and a view down into the Tame Valley, it was occupied but if they move tomorrow we might sneak onto that mooring for the night. I feel as if I have done about 4 major workouts today and might have a few aches in the morning.

Today's journey 10 miles, 16 locks, 1 lift bridge and 2 tunnels.
So far we have travelled 249.8 miles, 222 locks, 7 swing bridges, 3 lift bridges and 6 tunnels.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

More Macclesfield Canal

Our morning checks of everything revealed that our overheating was probably due to some weed partially clogging the water intake, as this is below the waterline clearing it involved removing the end of the pipe inside the boat and poking and blowing down it until it was clear.

 We carried on our Manchester bound journey this morning. We considered stopping in Macclesfield but visitors moorings there are few and far between with the rest of the canal bank looking very dodgy. We did get a surprise as we saw narrowboat Scarlett moored at the boatyard there. Scarlett used to belong to Tony, our neighbour at Nottingham Castle Marina. Unfortunately there was no one on board so we don't know if he has sold her or has ventured this far from home. The weekend seems, as usual, to have brought more people out on the water so progress was a bit slow but after a short stop in Bollington to buy a loaf of bread we carried on to the Bull's Head at High Lane, where we moored for the night. As it was still warm and sunny we went and sat in the pub garden where Ray enjoyed a couple of pints of Boddingtons and I indulged in a pint of Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer.

I spent some time this evening working out our next few days' journeys. We are a couple of miles from the Marple fight which is 16 locks, after that I won't want to do many more locks the day we go down them, and it will take us between 4 and 5 hours anyway. It is then about 3 hours cruising to the lop of the locks which go down into Manchester on the Ashton Canal. It is recommended that you do the 18 locks in one go, early in the morning, to avoid the local yobs. After that we have the 18 locks up the Rochdale Canal out of Manchester, passage through these has to be booked with British Waterways and you have to leave at 8.30 in the morning. Luckily there are secure moorings at Piccadilly Basin in Manchester. As you cannot go up the Rochdale 18 on a Wednesday our plan is to stay here tomorrow, go down Marple flight on Monday, do a short hop to the junction with the Ashton Canal on Tuesday then go into Piccadilly Basin on Wednesday, stop overnight and head up the Rochdale on Thursday morning. I wonder if it will all work?

As the crow flies we are only 39 miles from Leeds, by canal we are nearly 100 miles with 166 locks to negotiate.

Today's journey 13.3 miles and 2 swing bridges.
So far we have travelled 239.8 miles, 206 locks, 7 swing bridges, 2 lift bridges and 4 tunnels.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Getting high!


On our way up the flight

No, we are not indulging in illegal substances!

We are now moored at the top of Bosley Flight. Morgana does not like lock flights, she again threatened to overheat. Ray was so concerned about the engine temperature that he didn't notice he was trailing one of our mooring ropes in the water. I had walked on ahead to prepare the next lock, as I looked back I could see he had problems with the way the boat was handling. Then I noticed our centre rope in the water, not drifting but tight against the boat! I frantically rushed back but it was too late, the rope was wound round the prop shaft! After about half an hour up to his armpits in cold water, Ray managed to free it and we were back underway. The locks here are rather pretty and at the top we were rewarded with views across the Cheshire countryside and a spectacular sunset.

Tomorrow we will head towards Macclesfield and beyond towards the Marple flight, where we have 16 locks going down towards Manchester.

Today's journey 5.1 miles and 12 locks.
So far we have travelled 226.5 miles, 206 locks, 5 swing bridges, 2 lift bridges and 4 tunnels.

Friday, 14 May 2010

To the tunnel and beyond

South entrance to Harecastle Tunnel

Got up fairly early this morning, had a chat with the friendly tunnel keeper and made ready to go through the Harecastle Tunnel. Just as we were about ready he got a call from the north end to say they had a boat ready to come through, I said to let them go first. As there is one-way traffic on this tunnel it meant a delay of about 40 minutes for them to clear the tunnel. By the time they were through another boat had joined us and as they had been through before we let them be the lead boat. Unlike the other tunnels we have been through this one doesn't have any ventilation shafts so at the south end there are doors which they close behind you, then they turn on massive fans which force fresh air through the tunnel to stop you choking on your exhaust fumes. I always like to look back as well as forwards in tunnels to judge how far through we are but that doesn't work on this one. At least it doesn't drip as much as some tunnels, but it does get very low in places. The chains hanging down in the photo above show the curve and height of the tunnel.

The view along the top of Morgana, this isn't the lowest bit

Is it a surprise that I don't like tunnels?

Looking back as the next boats enter

The colour of the water isn't mud it is the iron from the rocks. After the tunnel we soon left the Trent and Mersey Canal for the Macclesfield. An interesting junction where you leave the canal to the left, run parallel to the T&M which goes down through a couple of locks, then you turn right on to an aqueduct to cross the T&M, which is now several feet below you. Why they couldn't just have a right turn is beyond me!

The Macclesfield has some nice views across the Cheshire countryside. We passed Ramsdell Hall, which has lovely views across the valley.


Pity about the uncouth bargees spoiling the view! The canal runs between the hall and the valley.

We stopped for the night at Congleton, tomorrow we have about four miles to the bottom of Bosley Flight which raises us 118 feet through 12 locks. That should keep me busy!

Today's journey 7.6 miles, 1 lock and 1 tunnel.
So far we have travelled 221.4 miles, 194 locks, 5 swing bridges, 2 lift bridges and 4 tunnels.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Pottering past the Potteries

A wet and windy morning gave way to a fairly pleasant but cold afternoon. We travelled up to Stoke where we stopped for some shopping and lunch. After an unsuccessful trip to B&Q in search of new wheels for our sack barrow, a new generator and some hinges saw us with just the hinges we carried on to the mouth of the Harecastle Tunnel. Luckily the wheels and generator aren't urgent, the wheels haven't fallen off and the genny still runs, stopping it is the problem. If we can get one a genny from B&Q is about half the price of one from a chandlery.

The scenery through Stoke is uninspiring but there is evidence of the canal's past commercial use with disused wharfs with the cranes still on them.
The Harecastle Tunnel has low headroom in the middle so we have had to take most of the stuff, like my plant pots and the roof-box, off of the roof ready for the morning so the lounge and cratch are a bit crowded.

Today's journey 9.6 miles and 6 locks.
So far we have travelled 213.8 miles, 193 locks, swing bridges, 2 lift bridges and 3 tunnels.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

"Hung" Weather, Coalition Clouds?

There was no clear mandate for any type of weather today, some rain, mixed with a bit of sun. Overcast with fairly strong winds and just when it looked as if the rain and wind would combine to beat the sunshine we had a glorious rainbow breakthrough followed by a beautiful sunset.

The rain was never heavy enough to make us decide to moor up so we just kept going. The Staffordshire countryside is pleasant but unspectacular, we did pass a farm which had chickens, pigs and llamas. No, I was not drunk, they were definitely llamas. It was a very uneventful day,  a stop in Stone gave us a chance to replace our gas cylinder, top up with diesel and buy. the glowplugs Ray has been looking for.

We are definitely in "the Potteries" now. A big clue is the building opposite where we are moored which has Wedgwood in four foot high letters on its roof. I feel no inclination to rush over, even if it was open, I'm not really a Wedgwood fan.

Tomorrow will only be a short trip to Stoke, then some shopping, we may move on to the southern end of the Harecastle Tunnel for the night so we can tackle the tunnel first thing in the morning on Thursday.

Today's journey 18.2 miles and 14 locks.
So far we have travelled 204.2 miles, 187 locks, 5 swing bridges, 2 lift bridges and 3 tunnels.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Into the unknown

I didn't manage to blog yesterday, whatever pollens I react to must be about and by the time we stopped my eyes were so itchy the thought of looking at a computer screen didn't appeal.

There wasn't really much to say. We didn't travel far, just up through Tamworth to stop for shopping at the Asda on the far side. We were following Da Vinci and Lowry, a pair of boats that belong to canal artists which meant that there was a delay at Glascote Locks as they went through. After that we had a further delay at the second lock because the boat coming up didn't have the good sense to realise that when your boat is only about eight inches narrower than the lock you aren't going to get out if the lock gate won't open fully!
A bit of wood had drifted behind the gate stopping it from opening and they got stuck! Instead of being sensible and backing off they kept trying to push their way out. I walked down, showed them the problem and hopefully they won't make that mistake again.

Today we had a good day's cruising, up the rest of the Coventry Canal and onto the Trent and Mersey, but onto a bit we have never travelled before. The canal was busy so there was a wait at each of the locks, but not too much of a problem. At Shadehouse Lock there was a sunken narrowboat, quite sad really, it was obviously an old one as it had a wooden hull. I hope someone raises it and and repairs it, I hate to see all the old boats disappearing and being replaced by shiny new ones. I'd love to have a historic boat, I wanted to buy a 1929 boat when we bought Morgana but Ray wasn't keen. Well, he liked the idea but not the work involved!

Anyway, we stopped for the night at Rugeley, very quiet for a town mooring. Ray went on an unsuccessful mission to try and get spare glowplugs for the engine. He is getting paranoid about what could go wrong!
Tomorrow we hope to cover a fair distance as we hope to make Stoke-on-Trent by Wednesday. Ray wants to use his old codgers discount at B & Q.

Yesterday's journey 5.5 miles and 2 locks.
Today's journey 17.1 miles, 3 locks and 1 swing bridge.
So far we have travelled 186 miles, 173 locks, 5 swing bridges, 2 lift bridges and 3 tunnels.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Lots of Locks

We made a late start today hoping, unsucessfully, that it would stop raining. By midday we decided that getting wet was the only option. I think the rain had addled peoples' brains. Coming through Lock 1 we spotted that the boaters at Lock 2 were emptying the lock with the top gate open! This would have meant that all the water from the pound ( the bit of canal between the two locks) would have flowed out through Lock 2 leaving us stuck in Lock 1 with nowhere to go. Ray ran down to alert them before it became a serious problem. These things happen sometimes but not very often. Except for today, as we exited Lock 3 I saw the boater from a boat in Lock 4 running back to Lock 5. My first instinct was that he had left something behind. No, the boaters at Lock 5 were emptying the lock with the top gate still open! Twice in one day, on the same lock flight!

There were a lot of boats on the move today so it took us about three and a half hours to get through the eleven locks, but at least it stopped raining around Lock 4. We carried on towards Tamworth but decided to stop short as I'm always a bit dubious about mooring in built up areas particularly on a Saturday night. It's OK if someone has recommended a mooring or you get there early enough to move on it it looks dodgy. We found a nice spot just north of the M42 bridge, far enough from it to avoid the traffic noise. I might add a photo tomorrow morning, the light this evening is awful, very grey and overcast.

Not a bad view to wake up to!
Today's journey 5.3 miles and 11 locks
So far we have travelled 163.4 miles, 168 locks, 4 swing bridges, 2 lift bridges and 3 tunnels.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Carry on boating

On Wednesday Ray ended up talking to the manufacturers of our gearbox, thought we were going to have to have the gearbox removed and fixed, had a bit more of a fiddle with it and now (at no cost) we have a properly functioning gearbox again.

We decided to stay at Sutton Stop for Thursday as we had good internet, TV and radio connections. I remembered from previous trips on the Coventry Canal that the signal is rubbish on a lot of it. I couldn't bear the thought of election night with no info, although the way things went I wish I hadn't bothered.

We are now at the top of Atherstone Locks, hopefully we will make it through the locks and up to Tamworth tomorrow but the weather forecast is not nice.

Today's journey 11.5 miles and 1 lock.
So far we have travelled 158.1 miles, 157 locks, 4 swing bridges, 2 lift bridges and 3 tunnels.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Non-stop to Sutton Stop

On a lovely sunny, if a bit chilly, morning we were back on our way. We are about five days behind my original plan but as I only planned for three hours cruising per day to allow for days off etc that isn't a problem.

However, we do have an "interesting" problem. I will give a bit of explanation for the uninitiated. Narrowboats, like cars, have gearboxes. They are much simpler than cars, forward, reverse or neutral. These are selected by a lever which is pushed forwards, backwards or positioned straight up. No prizes for guessing the system. There is also a button which can be pulled out when in neutral to make sure you dont accidentally knock the lever into gear.

About an hour into our trip Ray wanted to stop to make sure all was well with the cooling system, and that nothing was vibrating loose. So he attempted to moor, gear lever into neutral and "why are we still moving forward?". At the moment we have one gear - forward. It could be worse, it could be reverse. It does make life interesting as the normal system for stopping a boat is, slow down, get to your mooring spot, quick bit of reverse, which stops you, step off and moor up. I now have to step off a moving boat, with mooring line and be a human brake! Luckily at our slowest engine speed there isn't enough power to put a strain on our mooring lines when we do moor. However it does mean we can't really leave the engine running whilst moored.

Today's trip wasn't too much of a problem because there were no locks and only one swing bridge but I wouldn't fancy attempting a lock flight with the gearbox like this. So it looks like another day off to get this sorted, unless we need parts. We are virtually at Coventry which, I think, is where our gearbox was made so we might be lucky if we do need any bits. I have been doing a bit of internet searching to try and find the likely cause of the problem.

We are now at Sutton Stop, officially Hawkesbury Junction, but it's always been called Sutton Stop by boaters. When we carry on we have to go through the shallowest lock, about six inches! This is the dividing line between the Oxford Canal and the Coventry Canal. In the days of canals being operated by independant companies there was a toll office here, it also stopped the Coventry Canal from stealing the Oxford Canal's water!

Today's journey 12.6 miles, 1 swing bridge and 1 tunnel.
So far we have travelled 147.6 miles, 156 locks, 4 swing bridges, 2 lift bridges and 3 tunnels.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Looking good!

This morning I went off to Tesco's leaving Ray checking everything he had done re-assembling the engine and came back to the beautiful sound of our engine running! We are so grateful to Dave at Willow Wren for all his help. We still seem to have a problem with oil in the exhaust system but Dave thinks that may just be residual oil from our previous problems. If not we may need to replace the oil cooler but that's not a long job and Dave reckons he can get one tomorrow if we need it.

All being well we should be on our way tomorrow or Tuesday. That gives us four weeks to get to Leeds for half-term week and six weeks today till Nicholas's baptism.

Happy Birthday to Keith if he reads this today, I must be getting old to have a 37 year old son!