Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Holdups, hassles ect continued

Sunday 13.09.08

The moorings at Clarence Dock are superb but after 2 days we had had enough of city life so with fully charged batteries & the charging problem solved (thanks Harry!) we were keen to get moving & Sunday morning saw us heading up towards the Leeds Liverpool.

Approaching the river lock - 1st lock on the Leeds & Liverpool

Negotiating The Office lock (no 2) The BW office is the stone building in the mid of the red brick.

After St Ann's Ings Lock is the Oddy 2 at which we were pleased to find a lock keeper as being newbies we had only ever done single locks. All fairly straightforward enough, Forge 3 & Newlay 3 were also manned by lock keepers making the whole process very easy.

Being Sunday there were quite a few walkers about & on the locks with no keeper & the swing bridges there was usually the offer of a hand, always welcome! Got chatting to Shaun & Mandy at Newlay locks, they are looking into getting a narrowboat so had lots of questions. I shall look forward to seeing you on the L&L one day!

We pressed on to Rodley & by 4pm had found a spot on the visitor moorings which are adjacent to the 'Rodley Barge' so once tied up we popped in to sample the real ale & to see if any food was on offer.
No food as they had stopped serving at 3pm so we had a swift half then popped across the road to the 'Owl'. Yes, they did food until 5pm ( it was 4.50!) yes, they did a veggie option - they couldn't have been more helpful, so at 5.15ish we sat down to veggie meatballs in tomato sauce with a selection of fresh vegetables. Just hit the spot after a busy days cruising!

Monday 15.09.08

Just a short trip up to Apperly Bridge, not much point in going any further as needed to be 'home' (seems silly as the boat is home) in Bluewater by Saturday pm & wanted to have a leisurley trip back.
We winded just past Calder Valley Marine & called in for some diesel (82p) & a spare cassette for the loo, something we thought was a good idea after being stuck in Ferrybridge with no sanitation station. I was also able to exchange the voucher from Isuzu for a spares/servicing kit which had received after sending off the warranty card.

We then moved a few yards & moored by the Harrogate Rd bridge so as to stock up on a few essentials at Sainsburys ( approx 1km - uphill!)
Once fully stocked we headed back towards Rodley & moored in a pleasant rural spot just after bridge 215 ( a bridge which is usually open to canal traffic & appears to be just used by cows on their way to being milked)

The hedgerows were laden with brambles so we enjoyed a few for dessert. A lovely spot, popular with runners & cyclists but still very peaceful.

Tuesday 16.09.08

A leisurely start today as we were only going back to Rodley - a matter of half a hour or so. Now what we did with the rest of the day I have no idea! I haven't written anything in the log apart from 'raining' so I assume we just lazed about, we were on holiday after all!

Wednesday 17.09.08

An early start as we wanted to get through Leeds to Lemonroyd, misty & chilly but dry.

Leaving the Forge 3

As we approached Leeds we were tempted back into Clarence Dock to moor up for an hour or two so we could nip to the Palace pub for lunch. And it was just as good as the 1st time, by 3pm we were on our way again.
Leeds Lock
Arriving at Lemonroyd at 6.15pm we found plenty of space on the visitor moorings, in fact we were the only visitors as the boat behind us was practically derelict & looked like it had been sunk at some point so no noisy neighbours!

nb Poppy on visitor moorings Lemonroyd

Thursday 18.09.08

Misty morning at Lemonroyd

We awoke to a misty morning which soon burnt off leaving behind a warm sunny day. Deciding to make the best of the sunshine we went for a walk crossing over the canal & followed a footpath which is part of the Trans Pennine Trail & is the result of a restoration scheme turning the former colliery site into attractive landscaped wetlands and woodlands.
Our route then took us into the village in a fruitless search for a newsagent, we did find a Post Office cum village shop but no Guardian (just sticky buns!)

So back to the boat for a spot of lunch & at 1.15pm we set off for Whitley Bridge arriving at 5.45pm.

Friday 19.09.08

We were not in any rush to get up & doing as we were only going to Pollington but awoke at 7 am to the boat violently rocking & smacking the pilings, looked out to see a commercial barge going past at some speed followed shortly by another 3 barges (!) & if you haven't seen one of these close up believe me they are big, luckily no damage done apart from loose pins.
Anyway it was a lovely sunny day so we got cracking & made the short trip to Pollington

Poppy in one of her favourite cruising spots

& enjoying the sunshine at Pollington

whilst Soona prefers to stay aboard

As we arrived at the visitor moorings nb Silas was just getting ready to move on after having a lazy morning. They have rented out their house & hope to cruise most of the system & in a year have done 600 miles - so could take some time !

We knew from a previous visit that the George & Dragon no longer do food so we decided to try the Kings Head but on arrival at the pub (at5pm) it was closed so back to the boat to raid the fridge.
It was a lovely evening & very pleasant sitting outside - until the midges started to bite !

Saturday 20.09.08

Another lazy start for our last day setting off at 10.30 am on yet another warm sunny day.
We arrived at Stainforth at 3pm & as we had planned to have our evening meal at the New Inn we lazed about for a couple of hours before enjoying a superb meal. This is an excellent canal side pub, real ale, great food & moorings in front of the beer garden.

Then it was just a short cruise back to Bluewater arriving back just as it was getting dark at 7.15.

So role on next spring when hopefully we will actually get to Skipton - it will be the 3rd try!

Monday, 22 September 2008

Holdups, hassles & headaches but still a great trip!

Poppy & Soona enjoying the view from the cratch

I set off on our Autumn cruise with every intention of updating this blog, if not daily at least every couple of days. Mmmm........ The best laid plans & all that. Ah well.

As friends & family know only too well I do have a problem with headaches & migraines, one of the reasons I retired early & when they strike I can't look at a computer screen.
Just before the trip I decided to change some of the medication I was on - it seemed to be working okay but the weight was (is) piling on so blaming the medication I decided to lay off it for a while but I ended up having alot of headaches & a few migraines . Needless to say I am now back on the tablets & having a good day today will attempt to bring us up to date.

Monday 8-09-08

We left Bluewater at 9am stopping just past Kirkhouse Green on the New Junction for lunch in warm sunshine & arrived at Whitley visitor moorings at 4pm. We couldn't find a space on the visitor moorings so we moored up a few hundred yards further along the towpath but not before a chat to the lock keeper informed us that the flood lock at Ferrybridge was closed.

Kirkhouse Green
Tuesday 8.09.08

Woke up to the sound of rain so a leisurely breakfast before donning wet weather gear & making the short trip to Ferrybridge- found plenty of space on the visitor moorings although we were soon joined by three other narrowboats. After a walk up to Morrisons to get some supplies & a paper we settled in for the afternoon. The sat signal was poor but we had quite a few programmes saved on sky plus so watched an episode of Rebus.
Just before bed we noticed that the cabin lights were dim & the waterpump seemed to be struggling. We assumed the batteries were low as we had only done a couple of hours cruising & decided to run the engines am if still unable to get up to Castleford.

Wednesday 9.09.08

After running the engine for an hour or so giving us lots of hot water but doing nothing to enliven the batteries we decided that as the flood lock was still closed for at least another 24hours & we were in need of a sanitary station ( no facilities at Ferrybridge) we'd go back to Whitley lock, use the facilities then cruise back to Ferrybridge & that would surely charge the batteries.

No it didn't. b****r.

At this point our ignorance of boat electric systems was all too apparent & we were considering buying a generator but to be able to do this you need to know were the generator 'shops' are & we didn't have the power to use the laptop to do a search & my phone battery was almost flat so I rang Hannah to see if she can find us a dealer via google but no joy. They all seemed to be suppliers of industrial gennys.

But good news on the flood lock , we were told the lock would be open at 8.30am Thursday :)

Ferrybridge Visitor Moorings

Spotted this on the walk back from Morrisons in Ferrybridge - Note the broken seat in the background.

Thursday 10.09.08

We were at the lockgates 8.30 sharp somewhat relieved to be on our way again.

Leaving Ferrybridge (hurray!)

Dwarfed by tanker Rix Owl at Bulholme lock

We joined 5 other boats to go through Castleford flood lock (it is huge!) & got chatting to a couple on nb Luna Tiara. They were pushing on to Clarence Dock in Leeds & as the moorings have shore power we decided to to the same.
Castleford lock

We arrived in Leeds at 4pm & were soon hooked up to the mains & then wandered of in search of tea. 1st place we came to was the Palace pub & enjoyed a excellent meal & then back to the boat to enjoy watching some TV, messing about on the laptop etc etc. Anything that required electricity really!

Clarence Dock

Friday 11.09.08

Shopping & washing day, took advantage of shore power to put the washer on & then went into Leeds in search of some sealskinz gloves as handling wet ropes was making my hands sore.
Found just what I wanted in Millets, they are now on a long piece of elastic to thread through my coat sleeves, without this precaution I will surely lose one & at £25 I'm not taking any chances!
Also got a folding trolley from maplins for carrying the thetford cassette that has already been earning its keep.
On passing a pet shop we decided to treat the cats to a new scratching post as the old one was definitely shabby,

old scratching post

Poppy trying out new one

'this will do nicely, thanks'

Saturday 12.09.08

Having still not resolved the charging problem we decided to spend another day in Clarence Dock leaving the batteries to get topped up via the battery charger on shore power whilst we had a wander round Leeds.

On returning from a potter round The Royal Armouries Museum we spotted a boat I thought I recognised moored up a couple of pontoons down. It was nb Marbeck Phoenix & I certainly recognised the couple sat in the front deck enjoying a glass of wine as I had seen them around Bluewater Marina. We paused to say hello & introduced ourselves & before long the sorry tale of the batteries was mentioned at which point Harry let on he is an electrician & without much ado was in our engine compartment checking the batteries & it didn't take hin long to find a loose connection. Problem solved!! Thanks Harry ;)

So that was our 1st week, only got to Leeds as held up 2 days because of the floods & another 2 days because of the batteries not charging....

Week 2 tomorrow, hopefully

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Showers & showers.

The grouting between the tiles in the shower has been cracking & I assume it must be caused by the flexing & movement of the boat so it seemed a good idea to scrape out the 'old' ( all of a few months old) grout & replace it with flexible silicone.
Therefore I have been stuck in the shower most of today, it was fairly tedious & messy- it gets everywhere! But it is done now so hopefully it will be watertight.

Whilst we are on about water the weather is giving some cause for concern as we are due to head off on Monday up via the Aire & Calder onto the Leeds Liverpool. I am playing close attention to the Environment Agency web site so we can be forewarned about any closures due to flooding.

Also regarding the b****y rain thank you to anj.p. who left a comment re the umbrella holder, had a look through a couple of old WW world but not found the ad yet.....

The view from our stern at 6pm tonight after the rain.

So, a few chores tomorrow - washing & shopping, then off bright (!!) & early Monday morning :-)

Just had to post this pic of Katie (4 & a half) my youngest granddaughter, showing off her new school uniform for her start at school last week.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Sheffield again!

Chris & Astrid keeping out of the rain in the cratch

pic 6- A very excited Finlay

pic 7 - Brolly coming in useful ( taken nr Thorne swing footbridge)

I had one of my (8!!) grandchildren, Astrid, staying last week. She was keen to go to Sheffield as she had seen what Eric got up to on his visit back in July. We had a really nice day, visiting the Weston Park Museum.....
& enjoying an ice cream in the Peace Garden.

Can I have a '99' please

This is a lovely spot on a sunny day ( which it was) & Astrid soon made a couple of friends to splash about with. Alot of the kids had come prepared & had their cossies on or at least dry clothes to change into but we weren't so organised so she had to make do with a paddle.

Wish I'd brought my cossie!

Cooling off

' Toulouse Lautrec' impression?

Astrid's Mum & Dad -Daughter Hannah & husband Chris & little brother Finlay came to pick her up on Sunday & we took Poppy out for a short trip, an event which Finlay was very excited about.
see pic 6

We went up to just outside Stainforth & moored up for a picnic lunch. The weather let us down on the return journey & it poured down. I had bought a large umbrella a couple of weeks ago which came in very handy!
see pic 7

I had seen some time ago somewhere a 'thing' which fitted onto the tiller arm to hold a brolley & spent some time on google trying to find it or something similar - I did find a reference on Granny Buttons Blog where Andrew Denny had also been trying to track one down, one of the comments gives an address but no phone number.... if anyone knows where to get hold of such a device I'd appreciate the info.

When I upload pics onto the blog they usually appear at the top of the page & I cut & paste them into their final position & when I last blogged I managed to place some okay& then when I tried to paste the rest for some reason the whole of the blog became highlighted & if I then clicked 'paste' I lost a chunk of text.. & its just started doing it again, Arrgghh!!
So..... I've put a number where the pic should be but left the pic at the top of page ( hope that makes sense!)

You may notice on pic 7 that we've finally got Poppy's name on the bow - it was a bit fiddly but looks okay ( you can only see the odd wrinkle if you look really close !)

Only 6 days now before our Summer ( Autumn!) cruise which should have been back at beginning of July but was postponed due to a bereavement. We are sort of heading up towards Skipton, whether we actually get there depends on the cats, well Poppy really. If she goes walkabout we could be held up so our plans are flexible but it would be nice to see the Dales ( one of my favourite places)

I am hoping to blog more frequently whilst away as hopefully we will have lots of interesting experiences to write about so watch this space.......