Monday, 28 February 2011

Prees Branch To Grindley Brook.

One incandescant me.....

Just look what I have done! 
Caught out by a blast of wind whilst passing under a lift bridge.

Two years of taking on some of the worst tunnels and bridges on the system without the faintest hint of a scratch to the topsides and I get caught out under a stupid little lift bridge. The list of tunnels includes the Standedge, The Harecastle and even the Frogall where only a few boats our size fear to tread.
Oooo I was mad, madder than mad, blood pressure raising mad.

We do have paint aboard though, I just hope it hasn't set.

Until next time...................  


Sunday, 27 February 2011

Ellesmere To The Prees Branch.

Of all the moorings. on all the canals......etc, etc.

Yesterday we left Ellesmere in our wake and started our journey to leave the Llangollen canal and onto pastures new.
First stop was the Prees branch to visit what must be one of the cheapest diesel spots on the system at the moment. 68ppl across the board. Luvverly Jubberly.

We then moved out to a mooring we had earmarked earlier as being so secluded and rural it was just the right tonic after being in such close proximity to other boats for so long. Thoughts of late night TV and games on the Wii with the genny running after eight to power it all came to the forefront of our minds.


Along they chugged and there they stopped, this was the first boat we had seen all day and of course as soon as they saw us they moored up less than a boat length in front.
No running anything into the night for us then.......could you pass that book?

Until next time.........................


Friday, 25 February 2011

Trevor To Ellesmere.....Eventually!

Noooo, It's Unbelievable

Our guests have been taken over two aqueducts, through two tunnels, under one lift bridge and dropped two locks, then the whole process was reversed. The Llangollen has a fair bit of diversity, you cannot deny that.

This lift bridge had "the gongoozler from hell" standing by it.
We passed through and as I got D back aboard he starts running off at the mouth.
Shouldn't you close that bridge?  Mr self imposed bridge controller asks.
I think you will find you have to close that bridge after you pass.
Normally, yes we would, but what about the two boats who are waiting to come through? Or words to that effect.

This did get me chuntering a bit on two points, (chuntering is not something I do any more, but this ice cream munching fool hit the spot).

Point one is what on earth has it got to do with him anyway? 
Point two is just how brain dead and so unaware of what is going on around him was he not to notice two gaily painted narrowboats waiting to pass through the bridge no more than forty feet away on the other side?  Some people! 

After leaving our guests at Trevor we set off to.......... who knows where?

The sun came out on the Chirk aqueduct as we re entered England, this didn't really help us as we were in the mood for pressing on anyway.

We plugged on - far too far - and made Ellesmere in just over six hours.

Now........... Ellesmere was absolutely packed with boats when we arrived, there was only one mooring left, and this was the exact same mooring we had spent our winter confinement on.
No way we both said, lets try the arm.
The arm was a solid line of boats with not a single chance of getting in.

We are now - as you might have guessed - back to where we started. NOoooo.

Until next time.......................


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Llangollen Canal.

Just that little bit of spring in the air.

Oh so blurry as we rushed by at two miles an hour, spring in a nutshell.

Until next time.................


Monday, 21 February 2011


Brass, rain. Rain, brass. Huh,Huh,Huh.

Here's a few brave souls out for the day.

We, on the other hand, are just marking time until tomorrow by making it rain again.

Until next time.....................


Sunday, 20 February 2011

Trevor....ish To Trevor.

A small move.

Here's another three, all uploaded in less than a minute now it's a bit quieter in broadband land.

This little inconspicuous thing is the plug to drain it.

We have moved back to Trevor now to await our guests (Sam & Ian) who will be with us for a couple of days over half term.
There are quite a few more boats on the move now but it is not as busy as you would think it should be.

We have TV signal again, joice, joice and rejoice.....Or not as the case may be.

Until next time..........................


Saturday, 19 February 2011


A little wander.

We walked into Trevor and back across the aqueduct today. This gave me a chance to take a few different pictures and also to find out that D is fine crossing it on a boat but turns into a pile of jelly when on foot.
Odd...most odd, but not without humour.

I have a few more pictures but the Internet tonight is..........well lets just say it would be quicker to post them to you.
It's amazing how this technology falls to pieces when more than six people try to log on at the same time, they must know when it is going to be busy by now.

But then they do, and unless you pay more money for superfast fatter broadband you will keep getting squeezed off the net until you do.

Then it all starts again.

Until next time......................... 


Thursday, 17 February 2011

Trevor To Rhoswiel And Nearly Back.

A long day for a gallon of petrol....... 

What shall we do today then?
Well..... we are nearly out of petrol for the genny and could nip to the garage.
Four and a half hours of "nipping" later we are heavier by a gallon and lighter by pounds.

These BW houses on the English side of the Chirk aqueduct have proper bridge number plates as their house numbers, quirky!

One thing you definitely do not need around here is something that makes the bridge holes even lower. This is a real duck and cover type.
At the moment we have our winter chimney fixed which is considerably taller than our summer "steaming about showing off the brass bands etc" chimney, with coolie hat it just makes it under this one, and I do mean "just".

 This is - I am reliably told - I cant do it, it must be a wind up.
Ok.... she is sure
This is ....Pussy Willow.
You have to look carefully at a bad picture but those buds look like Cotton wool balls and have this amazing name.

I really hope this is not a wind up.

Until next time.......................


Wednesday, 16 February 2011


If it rains it's not my fault.......

How about this Taxidermi shop in Llangollen? they really do look like they have been frozen in real time.
Not for us but still pretty impressive.

Lets polish that brass says I.
No! you will make it rain again says D.
Guests are on the way says I.

So..... if it does rain it is all our daughters fault.

Jumping in on the great bow thruster/girlie button/that's not boating debate..... when we went to pick up Ubique - who is fitted with a thruster - the man hit three boats in the confines of the marina just because he was to pig headed to use it.

If you need that you cannot handle your boat was his rather stupid excuse.

Today was a bit of a classic though, imagine a beautifully painted and blacked hire boat leaving the dry dock here at Trevor.
The man at the tiller was of the old school - full throttle and what do you need a bow thruster for? -  boat handling style.
He smacked the newly painted boat into the side taking that new paint off all along one side, bounced off and scraped all down the other side before practically tearing the gearbox out of the poor thing as he tried to reverse it back to its mooring.

It does make me wonder how we ever got out of the caves sometimes.

Until next time...................


Tuesday, 15 February 2011


A chancer comes  a-calling.

Do you want to buy some logs mate? asks the man knocking on the roof - that is covered in logs - Err no thanks we are fine.

Off he goes then.
As a business opportunist he might be missing a vital point, there are so many trees down around here due to the past gales, every boater who lives aboard and moves even  a little bit is overloaded with wood. 

I must admit though that the way the subbies deal with the fallen trees by carving them into lumps and dumping them on the towpath seems a bit dubious.

We are not allowed to use boats to remove the wood due to health and safety rules says the man with the chainsaw - who is decidedly lacking in a life jacket, ear defenders and goggles - so we leave the wood for the boaters to clear.

Those boaters would be us CC'ers then.
Unpaid clearers for the subbies we might be,  but there is no way we are going to turn down free fuel.
Catch 22 springs to mind.

Until next time......................


Monday, 14 February 2011

Froncysylite To Trevor.

Time to go........

After coming back down through all this fantastic scenery on Saturday, we decided to moor for the night at Froncysylite.
This turned out to be a bit of a mistake as we got ourselves pelted with stones just after dark by the local future mailbag stitchers.
It then went from bad to worse as the resident loonies in their tin boxes hurtled around the streets well into the early hours.
"La Cuca Racha" played over and over again on an air horn gets a bit wearing at one am.

Sunday morning found us up and about in the rain topping up with water before we re crossed the aqueduct.
The water pressure here was so great the hose shot out of the tank and positively soaked someone before I could turn it off.
O.... how one of us laughed!

Things are a bit more tranquil around here and there is a lot of spring cleaning going on to clear away the ravages of that winter.

Until next time.......................


Sunday, 13 February 2011

 Whitehouses To Llangollen, Then back to Froncysylite. 1 Aqueduct Each Way.

Saturday was just a silly day.

Moving up to the aqueduct on a lovely sunny day with the hills/mountains in the distance was a tonic for the soul.

Here we go again across the puddle in the sky

Two and a half hours later of a will we make this? won't we make this? trip,
where we seemed to spend more time scraping along the bottom and clearing leaves from the prop than actually getting anywhere, we made Llangollen......eventually.

The river Dee was in a bit of a hurry to get wherever it was going and looked spectacular in it's haste.

The grown ups were playing steam trains again.... all adding to the holiday feel of this place!

Why put ourselves through all that trouble of the trip just to turn and come back?
Let me explain.....
I needed to buy a valentines day card for my beloved, and nipping into Tesco's is not quite the same as fighting my way by boat to the end of the world and back just to get it!
I think a few million brownie points are in order......don't you? 

Until next time...................


Friday, 11 February 2011

The Middle Of Nowhere To Whitehouses, 2 Tunnels And 1 Aqueduct.

A chainsaw and lambs kind of day.

 The morning started with an hours worth of chainsawing to clear some of our windfalls from the roof, we do this regularly just in case the government decide to tax these as well.

Then, there was the strangest of things, on the way to this lock there was a boat moored alongside the bank, we both saw it, i saw it twice as we meandered around the bends. It was a light green colour with a deep coloured cratch. 
I/we don't really know what happened but....... it disappeared!..... there was no boat either in front of us or going past us, the lock was at the end of a half mile straight and was empty of water when we arrived.
This is just plain weird! 

The over falls are quite something at the moment as the canal is as full as it is going to get.

I thought I would put this picture up as these boats have been here since the beginning of November that I know about. This is not an allocated winter mooring but a bona fide water point.
Where is the little man with the moustache now? 
He has been around turfing boats out of the arm at Ellesmere recently but I suppose this might be that little bit too far to drive/walk for him.
This is just a couple of the many boats that are still holed up in this area, one rule for one..... another for the rest of us.

The man in the water here is doing an heroic job of lining the front edge of those cages with a slate type material and he is doing it in the fashion of a dry stone wall. It is then back filled with hardcore and topped off with lovely mud.......nice.


Hire boat alert!.... Hire boat alert!
Call me cynical if you must, but what is the point of hiring a narrow boat on the Llangollen - or any other canal come to that - and tying it up to the bank outside of the pub by eleven o'clock?
These boats are not cheap to hire and it just seems such an awful waste to me.

Well, we are now back in Wales and have moored opposite a field full of baaing lambs,
O for the silence of those lambs.

Until next time.........................


Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Tree To The Middle Of Nowhere.

A prickly start.......

Having picked something up around the prop a quick visit to the weedhatch was required.
The water is so cold at the moment it makes you wonder just how long you might last should you fall in.
Anyway, plunging my arm in, grabbing what was there and tugging I soon realised that it was a length of vicious bramble.


Today was a day that you just did not want to come to an end.
After a quick stop at Ellesmere for liquid/solid supplies and a tank full of water we were off.
The day was so still and quiet with just a nip in the air, chugging was an absolute pleasure meaning that we went far to far again.

There is nothing - and I do mean nothing in this context -  like getting yourself back inside when the fire is in full flow and you realise that you are just that little bit chilled, then - and this is the important bit -  there is the distinctive sound of a cork releasing itself from its confinement.
You can feel your eyelids drooping just at the thought. 

Tranquility......  achieved/personified/reached....... you choose.

Until next time...................


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Bettisfield To.......... A Tree.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!

Sue on No Problem could not have realised just how prophetic her comment was yesterday.
Even as I typed plan "A" and published the post, events were already in place to make sure that there had to be a plan "B".
Plan "B" is to stay put here awhile as the men with the chainsaws - who are on a sub contract to BW - arrive to clear the tree from......Burnley of all places!

Talking to them, they are going home tonight and then coming back tomorrow to clear another one.
What madness is this?
It is not exactly rocket science is it?
Where are the BW men?

Moving on.... plan "C" is the same as plan "A", lets see what the fates have to do with that one then. 

Until next time........................