Friday, October 13, 2017

Ready For A New Cratch Cover


Eric's been busy repairing and painting the cratch board and now it's refitted  and ready for its new cover.  Tony from Bethsaida Covers came to the marina today to see what we wanted and measure up if the wind eases off. It's  windy Whixall  today! He works from his boat at Shebden Wharf on the Shroppie   with the butty all kitted out.

Another week's  gone by and we've been out and about on foot and in the car. On Monday we enjoyed the mile walk at Attingham Park  in the sunshine, Ben seems to liven up a bit when we're on the way back to the coffee shop. I had a look at the lovely stuff in the National Trust shop but we've  no room for more ornaments.

We've also been enjoying our usual walks  alongside the Mere at Ellesmere and around the lake at Alderford Lake. Of course we regularly walk along the Prees Branch from the marina with Ben the dog on a go slow until we're on our way back.

The flowers in the  window box on the front of the boat have been replaced with Winter pansies hiding  daffodil bulbs planted ready for Spring which seems so far away at the moment.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Oh No A Leaky Water Pump!

The week started off with a walk around Aldersford Lake followed by a coffee and a toasted teacake. We managed to keep dry and Ben the dog was walking in front of us for a change. Lately he's not keen on this walk lark and follows behind us on his lead.

I love the dragon 

Bendigedig in Barmouth

We also had a lovely trip to Barmouth with the great mountain scenery on the way. I love the seaside and Barmouth beach was lovely  with the breaking  waves even though it was rather blowy. Ben had a little run back and for between myself and Eric on the beach. We also had some fish and chips while Ben had a sausage. 




Today  Eric's been busy putting the last coat of paint on the cratch board. He thought he'd finished for the  day but he hadn't.  I'd discovered the cause of the water pump running intermittently when I  delved underneath the   false floor of the cupboard under the sink. It's surprising how much stuff was in that cupboard. The body of the water pump was leaking but it had lasted more than four years so I couldn't complain.

Jabasco water pump

A half  hour trip to the chandlery  in Nantwich to get a replacement of the same model Jabasco  to make  things simpler. So now  Eric has  his head in the cupboard replacing the water pump. Fingers crossed  for no leaks!! All sorted and all the stuff is back in too. I'd forgotten there was a bag of  cotton rags in there from old t shirts. Now it's time for tea.

Monday, September 25, 2017

It's Autumn

A Mandarin Duck in Autumn in Llangollen

How do I know it's Autumn? Firstly  it's colder in the evenings so we've  lit the stove for the first time. My  achey hip was feeling the chill so I dug out my lovely long vests in shades of purple  and pink so not boring white. Feeing warmer already.

Nothing earth shattering happening here. We've  done the usual walks with or without rain. Done a bit of food shopping in Ellesmere  or Whitchurch. Picked up our repeat prescriptions  and made appointments for seasonal flu jabs at the doctor's.  The appointments are two minutes long so it's  definitely  a quick sharp prick.

Eric's  been rubbing down the wooden cratch as it was too tatty to put back on the  newly painted boat with the varnish discoloured by water.  A metal plate was put on it to strengthen it after the impact from a bridge while the boat was being towed. Hopefully painting it will make it look better. Then it can be refitted back to the boat once the fixing holes have been redrilled The painter's filled  them in!

We need to arrange for a new cover to be made as the old one was damaged by that same bridge and had an excess of gorilla tape keeping it together.

So we're  all ok on NB Bendigedig just nothing much to say when we're  safety tucked up in the marina ready for winter.

PS I added the photo as it's my favourite Autumn photo taken by Eric which featured in the IWA calendar a few years ago. Just looked back on my blog it was taken in 2009......unbelievable!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Back In Whixall Marina

Just a few hours cruise from Ellesmere yesterday. Not so busy back to Whixall so a pleasant cruise once we'd let the hire boats pass us as he was keen to be somewhere. Perhaps he was due back.

Just one lift bridge and a single hander left it open for us so I got off to put it down once we were through. The other bridge hasn't been replaced yet but a new concrete base awaits it's arrival.

We filled up with fuel before going into our berth.  No wind today that makes a pleasant change.

Soon we were all plugged in with the Shoreline,  BT telephone and broadband and the TV set  up. We picked up 182 channels on Freeview with the Lab gear DVB-T signal finder lit up with three LED'S.

So this morning we weren't woken up by early morning  boaters just Ben at nine o'clock  as he wanted  to go out. It was nice to go out for a cruise but always nice to be back too.

Our family has been sharing some pictures on Facebook so here's a few for you.


Sally,Scarlett, Gwen and Lisa

Clare out on a ride to Weston super mare

Ice cream time

Gwen's off to school

Scarlett reading for her first day at Nursery

Saturday, September 16, 2017

On The Move To Ellesmere

Chaos was back on the canals as the new hirers meandered along the canal towards Ellesmere.....it's changeover day. Lots of bridges for them to negotiate too.  We pulled over for a bacon sandwich for lunch to  let someone else follow the very slow boat ahead.

While I grilled the bacon Eric spotted some blackberries so we now have blackberry and apple crumble for pudding this evening with custard of course.


We moored up just before we got to Ellesmere as with all the boats out it would be difficult to find a mooring either alongside grass or concrete on the Arm.  That disgusting grey gritty stuff has been used on the towpath from the Blackwater Marina to Ellesmere Tunnel and it gets splashed up the side of the boat and makes the deck grey and gritty too, so I'm not mooring alongside that stuff if I can help it.

We'll visit Ellesmere  in the morning before we make  our way back to Whixall Marina. We've certainly had lots of wet weather since we've  been out  but luckily a lot of it was overnight when we were tucked up in bed.

We're  moored up on rings here, just as well as Eric said we've been passed by lots of boats without their skiers too. You can hear them before you see them!




Friday, September 15, 2017

Going Very Slowly To New Marton Locks

 Going down New Marton Top Lock

We left the moorings at Whitehouse and headed towards the  first tunnel of the day. Ben and I got off for a walk once we  got to the  other end mainly because Ben wouldn't  walk through the tunnel. A muddy walk but it stayed dry.

Eric was following two other  boats, the first one stopped at every bridge to make sure nothing was coming so progress was very slow. We were in luck at Chirk Tunnel just following the other two boats through and then across Chirk Aqueduct. We were travelling  mostly at tick over.  The second boat  got stuck  before Poachers so Eric overtook and reversed to send some water under it to free it.

Coming through the bridge at Poachers  the prop was touching something under the water making a ticking noise, so we floated through. Several boats got stuck going through that bridge when we moored there on Sunday.

The slow boat pulled in above New Marton Locks  but we planned to stop below the locks anyway.. No queues waiting today and a boat was leaving the top lock so we went in the open gates.

Ben and I walked to the bottom lock and topped the water level up where it had leaked out. Soon we were  moored up in the sunshine.  We did have one shower as I  walked down from the lock to where Eric was  mooring the boat. A downpour makes no difference to my hair it's  so short!

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Leaving Llangollen

After the branch of the  tree came down we decided we'd spend our second night in Llangollen in the basin. We'd  been to see if there was room when we walked Ben the dog up through the basin and into the field  and back across the canal bridge and down to the moorings. We waited   while the horse  passed us by as he pulled  the horse drawn boat with its cargo of tourists.

First of all we went shopping as it's further  to carry bags up to the basin. We stopped  for a coffee in Fouzi's before  tackling those steep steps up to the canal. Even Ben fell up them.

So we untied and I walked along ahead to check it anyone was coming along the short narrow section before the trip boats. All clear so into the basin and struggled to moor up on a pier in the wind. Getting  Ben off the boat wasn't  easy but he was lifted by his harness with accompanying growls. Growls as he was man handled back on  the  boat too.

Lots of overnight rain and still  heavy showers in the morning but we decided to put on the wet gear and boat in the rain.  We were first in a convoy of four boats to do the narrows, I'd walked ahead to check for oncoming boats. As they came through five boats  joined the queue  towards  Llangollen.

The Sun Trevor narrows were clear so that done Ben and I got back on the boat. He needed  a rub down to dry him off.

At Trevor  it was chaos  once we emerged and pulled  in to wait for Jones the boat  to come across the aqueduct.  Basically two more boats coming across the aqueduct and boats emerging from the bridge holes with nowhere  to go.

We moored at Whitehouse  and found the TV  signal. It's  been easier to find since we changed the cable to the aerial  and no problems with interference or pixel laying either.

Soup for lunch and time to relax. Ben's  happy chewing his hide bone.

Ben the dog with his bone and 'ducky'