Friday 31 August 2012

The Big One (21-2)

Friday 31st August 2012

Leeds Armouries to Castleford Moorings.

The first dry start to a day that we have had for some time. So I took the dogs out for an early walk before the area filled with people travelling into their place of work. In front of the Armouries on the concourse is where I gave Poppy a good run with the ball.

We walked over and onto the Aire Bridge to have a look at the river levels. The river was still flowing very fast and still looked to be in flood. However, when I checked the board, it was well into the Amber and so must be falling. So we decided to make a move away from Leeds. The armouries is quite unwelcoming place for boaters with so many restrictions and for a city centre so much mooring space that remains unused. The sanitary station has now been repaired. though the signs still remain (on the now unlocked doors) saying otherwise. I am not sure if the BW pump out point is now fixed.

Thursday 30 August 2012

The Big One (21-1)

Thursday 30th August 2012

Rodley to Leeds

I awoke to rain pounding on the roof. This was not a good omen for the day. Not only that, but the wind was also strong and the gusts were rocking the boat. We sat out the first downpour of rain and at the same time we had a leisurely breakfast before casting off and heading towards Leeds. A large black cloud seemed to follow us all the way. But we only experienced a couple of short drizzle showers.

The first set of three rise locks at Newlay was manned and already set for us. We very quickly passed through. Forge three rise was also manned and they had been warned of out iminent arrival so we also passed through again in good time. Kirkstall lock was a PITA to find a level due to leakage. Add to this the strong wind conditions that made things worse. Oddy two rise was also a PITA with heavy gates but even then it was a bit easier than last year! When due to leakage we has to flush more water down to get over the cill! This time the top lock had already emptied into the bottom lock through leakage and so we The River Lock was a real challenge as the river was just on the point of climbing into the Amber.

Wednesday 29 August 2012

A reprise of the canals.

Last year I did a reprise of the early part of our summer autumn cruise. I am doing the same again this year. So far we have seen both the best and the worst of the English canals. Out in the countryside the canals are for the most part clean if not pristine.

We know that last year some locks could have done with some remedial work doing. The same locks still needed the work doing this year. (A stitch in time) Last year I said "There are sections where the trees require some pruning and in a few cases felling to avoid problems later." (A stitch in time) Looking along those same sections of canals the work still needs doing. I also noted that "Dredging in some places is needed urgently." (A stitch in time) The problems of running through mud were much worse this year than last year.

The Big One (20-7)

Wednesday 29th August 2012

Rodley Visitor Moorings.

Last night as I went to bed I lay listening to the sound of a Tawny Owl calling in the nearby trees. I could also hear the feint contact calls of other birds such as Lapwings. Which I presume were emanating from the Rodley wetland reserve over on the north bank of the River Aire. I find the sounds of nature at night to be such an ethereal experience. Later I heard the sound of a nearby house alarm which quickly brought me back to the present.

As forecast the predicted rain duly arrived this morning. But we should be able to survive. Rodley has four public houses and a working mens club. The Owl Hotel on Rodley Lane, The Railway at Calverley Bridge, and The Rodley Barge, The Crown and Anchor and Rodley Social Club on Town Street. Rodley also has a Turkish and an Indian restaurant. It even sports a kebab house.

Blog Anonymity.

The former Times journalist Patrick Foster has been arrested by Metropolitan police detectives investigating computer hacking. He was arrested at his home early this morning. The Metropolitan Police said the arrest related to suspected offences under the Computer Misuse Act and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Scotland Yard added that the arrest is related to the "identification of a previously anonymous blogger". The blogger is believed to be Richard Horton, a police constable who was unmasked by the Times as the man behind the NightJack blog. Richard Horton's blog, won the prestigious Orwell prize for its descriptions of a PC's life, was then closed down and he was reprimanded by his police superiors.

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Health and Safety.

Bureaucrats are constantly drawing criticism for their alleged over-concern with safety. In June, for instance the Royal Mail notified businesses on a street in Doncaster that it would no longer deliver to them on rainy days because the street was too slippery. (One clumsy postman had slipped and fallen.) 

Makes you wonder in what way CART would and will react to such an issue. We know that British Waterways was always had a knee jerk reaction to all such issues. The square bollards and the specially designed and installed "safety improvements" at locks that could decapitate a boater are famous examples. 

In May, the Somerset County Council ordered the removal of a sign advertising an upcoming public fundraiser on the ground that someone might bump into it at night. The event organizer pointed out that the particular sign was stuck in the grass directly in front of a tree, which was likely equally hard to see in darkness.

The Big One (20-6)

Tuesday 28th August 2012

Bingley Five Rise  to Rodley.

The weather forecast was for good weather. After the rain had finished and under a rainbow we set off down the Bingley Five Rise. The weather gradually improved from dull and overcast through to blue sky's and warm sunshine. While looking at the rainbow I noticed the first slight tint of autumnal colours in some of the trees across the valley.

The Bingley Five Rise and the Bingley Three Rise were manned by CART full time and volunteer staff. It also came as a surprise to find a second set of Volunteers on the Field Lock Three Rise. The Saltair visitor moorings were as usual full up and as usual full up with the same regular moorers!

Monday 27 August 2012

Wildcat or Lion?

Essex Wildcat
Essex is well known for ... well lets leave it at that. Suffice to say that the police in Essex have been on a manhunt for a lion that's supposedly on the loose. This is the image that sparked a big cat scare in Essex after walkers became convinced they had seen a lion in a field.

Essex Girl
Police, who were handed the pictures of the lion, scrambled helicopters and marksmen in pursuit of the supposed beast. However, they called off the large-scale search today after 24 hours when officers found no trace of a lion.

A police spokesman said: "We believe what was seen on Sunday evening was either a large domestic cat or a wildcat. Extensive searches have been carried out, areas examined and witnesses spoken to; yet nothing has been found to suggest that a lion was in the area. We would like to thank the local community and holidaymakers for their patience and support throughout the past 24 hours as the police and media presence would have been somewhat overwhelming for them."


The Big One (20-5)

Monday 27th August 2012.

Riddleston to Bingley Five Rise.

The weather is predicted to be very changeable. So we decided to have an early start. In reality we were quite a bit later getting under-way than usual. When the rains arrived in the early afternoon saw us moored up. Apart from a few private boats already in the five rise. The stalwart hire boaters were the only ones still on the move. 

I went into Puffer Parts and came out again much lighter in the pocket. This time a Sterling Alternator Charger was under my arm. Installs in place of a standard alternator to battery isolator. This is a 12 volt version with a 160 amp output. That enters into a float mode when charging is complete to protect against overcharging batteries.

Keeping in touch!

Keeping in touch has taken on a whole new meaning for some people. Several inventors have attempted over the years to transmit bodily sensations over the Internet so that couples separated by distance can simulate personal affections to each other. 

Sunday 26 August 2012

The Big One (20-4)

Sunday 26th August 2012

Skipton to Riddlesden.

I was surprised to be jolted awake this morning at 6:45 by an idiot playing football with an empty beer can along the towpath. Another one of the joys of a visit to Skipton.

Later we went to the water-point to fill up and get rid of the rubbish that had accumulated. While on the water-point we met up with Nb Busker. Leaving Skipton together in a mini convoy we were able to share alternate swing bridges all the way to Riddlesden. The trip was for the most part uneventful. There were many more hire-boats on the move than we have seen for sometime.

Pigeon Fanciers

Whilst we were moored up in Newark, (during my birthday and Madge's Jubilee celebration) we had a racing pigeon come and stay for a few days. It was quite a friendly bird and obviously used to human contact. If we had wanted to, we could easily have picked it up as it was quite exhausted. It had the usual rings on it's legs. At this time the weather was dire, the rain was at its worst and I imagine that flying in that sort of weather would have been tiring and hazardous for the bird. The Memsahib went out and bought some seed to feed the bird which was obviously hungry as well as exhausted. A few days later it started to perk up and shortly afterwards it was gone. I presume it had set off again for its home loft.

Saturday 25 August 2012

Old Cynic Me.

OK, I admit it I am old and cynical about the Canal And Rivers Trust. OK, I know that you already knew that. To be honest, I do not want CART to fail. But only because there is no other alternative option available. But I do feel totally disenfranchised by the top echelon,. Who I feel are still circling around the trough.

Yes, I know that there have been pay cuts and redundancies. However, the anointed few are still on more than the Prime Minister and he runs the country. Its the same people that have failed us in the past. It's the same people who are asking us to trust them. These same people are going to take us on to a bright new future. I just don't have any confidence in them whatsoever.

The Big One (20-3)

Saturday 25th August 2012


Heavy overnight rain with a downturn in the night time temperature led to a cold, wet miserable start to the morning. This is our third day in Skipton which we now think should be twinned with Mogadishu. We would have liked to stay a few days longer.

Shopping CART!

OK, here we go again....

I am given to understand that CART now have a Trolley Hotline Tel 01923 201120.

Shop-A-Trolley allows members of the public to report sightings of abandoned trolleys in CART's’ canals and rivers. This information will be used to help recover trolleys, to map hotspot areas and to identify a league table of the nation’s least and most environmentally responsible retailers.

So CART must think that the supermarkets themselves are throwing their own trolleys in the cut. Or as Jim Royal would say "environmentally responsible my bum"

Friday 24 August 2012

The Big One (20-2)

Friday 24th August 2012


The weather overnight improved to occasional showers. Yet Skipton has a steady stream of visitors. The Fred Truman memorial seems to be the place to have your picture taken. The short canal cruises seem to be very popular as well.

We had another walk around Skipton town centre and the change from Skipton by night is very noticeable. We purchased new colour coordinated matching dog beds for the pooches. This is the second year that new beds have been purchased in Skipton.

Benefits of blogging.

The Inland Waterways can be very enjoyable but not knowing where you will be mooring next week, next month, or even tonight can be difficult to maintain friendships and family contacts. Therefore in this context social networking can have a positive benefit in breaking down the isolation between families and friendships. For me blogging is good fun. It also allows our families and friends to see where we are. To keep an eye on us and to pay us the odd surprise visit that we enjoy.

The blog also reflects much of the bloggers individual persona. A place for the blogger to share an opinion with an largely unknown audience made up from the most part by people with similar interests. The measure of the success of a blog is by the number of return visitors. It can take years for a blog to gain general acceptance and to then become one with a regular reading clientèle.

Thursday 23 August 2012

The Big One (20-1)

Thursday 23rd of August 2012


Overcast and frequent showers of rain welcomed us to Skipton. It was good to welcome friends aboard that we had not seen for over six months. We last saw them as we departed just before Easter this year. Alan and Di plus family spotted us mooring up and started shouting "Oi, you can't moor there" A typical Tinsley Marina welcome!

The Memsahib spent the day in Skipton doing whatever whilst I did the jobs on the boat. Today was the day for tackling the repacking of the stern gland and filling the greaser with fresh grease. Not a clean job, but two hours saw the work completed. I then replaced the faulty coaxial cable for the stereo radio. This required using the old cable to pull in the new. Another couple of hours had this job sorted as well. 

Wednesday 22 August 2012

The Big One (19-7)

Wednesday 22nd August 2012.

Bank Newton Bottom Lock to Sunny Skipton on sea!

The day was very changeable as the rain see-sawed between light and heavy. The wind was also quite changeable as it quickly alternated between a gentle breeze to a howling gale. The only constant was the sun, in that there wasn't any!

We were joined by a widebeam hotel boat on our mooring last night. I had a word with the operator about how the business was fairing with all the bad weather we have had this year. It turns out that there were one guest short for this trip. However overall for the year they were pretty close to a hundred percent take up. 

Tuesday 21 August 2012

CART makes me Blanche

Yesterday as we climbed a flight of locks a boater coming the other way reported that the pound above was flooded. When we arrived, I could see that a grid over the bywash was blocked with all kinds of rubbish. Including plastic bags, plastic bottles, weeds and bits of wood. Just as I was thinking of clearing some of the detritus with the boat hook.  

A couple or CART employees arrived with a rake.  In a few moments they cleared the rubbish from the grid. But they did not bag it up to take it away. It was just added to a huge pile of rubbish that had been cleared away in the past.

The Big One (19-6)

Tuesday 21st August 2012.

Barrowford Top Lock to Bank Newton Bottom Lock.

The weather was its usual self, somewhat changeable. We set off with overcast sky. Later the sun came through. Then the big heavy stuff turned up and we had torrents of rain, which started out with hailstones. Then we had a couple of hours of steady rain. The end of the day was bright sunshine once more.

We had an interesting experience whilst negotiating a flight of locks. In the approach to the first lock, we met a boat who had just come up. The couple aboard said - the locks are set for you and there is no one behind us. On reaching the next lock, we were surprised to find the lock empty and the bottom gates open. Looking down the flight we can see the next lock also has its bottom gates open and no one in sight. So we turned the lock around. As we are about to enter the lock a boater arrives. Saying, "I had set that lock for us." We could tell that the boater was not happy that we had turned the lock around.

Monday 20 August 2012

Ringing the changes.

We spent around six months visiting boatyards and talking to boat owners before purchasing Rosie. There was nothing significantly different in what we did when compared to others who were looking for their first buy. We thought we knew what we wanted and that it was just a matter of looking long and hard enough. After viewing many boats, we certainly began to know what we did not want.

Our ideas changed a bit as we looked at many different types and lengths of boats. We even sat down and designed our preferred layout. What we did learn was there are many different boats out there. Each will suit someone and often reflect what someone in the past saw as the perfect boat for them.

The Big One (19-5)

Monday 20th August 2012

Altham Bridge to Barrowford Top Lock

Another change in the weather when the usual rain returned once again overnight. There was a heavy mist laying over the fields. The rain had abated to that ultra fine drizzle that seems to get everywhere. 

Abbey the old dog has not been very well. Last night I sat up with her until she finally managed to settle down in the early hours. At about three in the morning she came and laid under our bed making small whimpering sounds.  I picked her up and sat in my armchair with her on my knee. I was gently rubbing her belly and making reassuring "parent" conversation with her. When she made a huge smelly belch. Later, I wrapped her up and laid her down in her bed once again. At 8 am she was still sound asleep. When I checked her, she was toasty warm inside her blanket. Then one beady little eye opened with a look that said - go away. She must be feeling better!

Sunday 19 August 2012

Upsetting the CART

Boating is not a mainstream hobby, pastime or lifestyle. It is in reality a minimalist interest set within the framework of the Inland Waterways. Some boaters take a myopic view that the Inland Waterways are just about them. 

The bigger picture provided by 20:20 vision is that there are for every boater hundreds of waterways users who have no interest whatsoever in boats and boating. They may be fishermen, walkers and waterways volunteers. It might be cycling or photography that attracts them. 

One way or another boaters are going to have to learn to accept that we are in a minority. Old issues about what we pay -v- what they pay. Is a no brainer. This is just a divisive tactic that detracts from the real issues we all face. The "friends" of the Inland waterways. Be they business or individuals are going to have to be convinced to put their hands in their pockets. Its a new world order - get used to it. That's not to say that we should not challenge and question CART and its motives and actions.

The Big One (19-4)

Sunday 19th August 2012.

Johnsons Hillock to Altham Bridge.

Overcast and the threat of rain greeted us this morning. As we prepared to set off. I noticed a couple of men with a canoe putting the boat into the water. They set off in the same direction a short while before we did.

For us it was a steady cruise up to the six locks of the Blackburn flight. On arrival we caught up with the men in the canoe again.  They were walking the boat past the locks. We had most of the locks set for us on the way up. By way of an omen for the day - the rain started as we reached the first lock! 

In the second lock we swapped places with Nb "Mary H". I had a quick passing hello and goodbye with fellow bloggers Linda, Richard and Millie their cat. 

Saturday 18 August 2012

When it all went up in smoke!

Things in life change gradually and the old ways tend to be slowly forgotten. Then one simple thing can jump-start all those memories again. Today I was chatting with another boat owner. He had inherited the boat from his brother in law. Now he was spending some time tidying and fixing all the bits his brother had "ignored" as you do.

I made him and me a cup of tea and we idly chattered away about this and that. He produced a packet of cigarettes offered me one which I declined. I have not had a cigarette for well over forty years and I was not about to start again now. The conversation came around to the smoking addiction. We both reminisced about when and how we had started.

The Big One (19-3)

Saturday 18th August 2012

Botany Bay Johnsons Hillock

The weather was the usual overcast start to the day.

The Memsahib was having a shower, when we ran out of water. So it was suddenly time for a dash up the Johnsons Hillock flight and on to the water point! We shared the locks with Nb Coco De Mer.

Tonight's Sky

Friday 17 August 2012

The Big One (19-2)

Friday 17th August 2012

Another rain laden day. But it was time for a visit to a local computer store. A quick look around the laptops that were on display. I narrowed my choice down to a couple of different models. Then it was on to the android phone to search out a better price than was on offer. I asked the question - do you price match?

The answer was yes - as long as it was a genuine price on a same spec model. So I came away with a brand new Lenovo (IBM) laptop and more than £150 saved on the ticket price. The Memsahib discovered an Aldi in Chorley and did a shopping trip to stock up the ships stores. Then she discovered a laundry - there was no holding her back and she was soon off to do the latest batch of washing.

Bat Identification.

Most of my readers know that I have an interest in bats. Bat recognition is a difficult task. A bat detector helps to give some idea of the bat species. However you also need to see the bat as well as monitor the frequency of its calls. You can observe the flight pattern as well as the size of bats to help with identification. When I go out on a night, I also take a 1 million candlepower torch. When I detect a bat, I can also at the same time illuminate it. So I can see the size, markings and flight pattern. Light does not bother the bats. They often hand around bright light sources such as street lamps to pick of insects like moths that are attracted to the lights.

All this is about to change. New research has made identification much easier from their ultra-sound alone.

Thursday 16 August 2012

The Big One (19-1)

Thursday 16th August 2012

G'day from Botany Bay.

Today however is not a good day. After many years I lost an old friend. "Cousin IT" has gone to the place where laptops languish until they are recycled once more. IT was given a send off by Poppy the dog who spilled her full cup of coffee inside. But after some 8 years during which time cousin IT's tooth grew ever longer. It was a poignant parting of the ways. We will be launching a small boat in the direction of Valhalla later today.

Looks like a new laptop is on the cards.

Sent from Android phone.

Daily Total
Miles: 0.0
Locks: 0
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 0.0

Accumulated Totals

Miles: 1103.8
Locks: 796
Swing / Lift Bridges: 120
Tunnels. 21
Pump Outs: 13
Engine Hours: 2358.0


Wednesday 15 August 2012

The Big One (18-7)

Wednesday 15th August 2012

Wigan Top Lock to Botany Bay.

Plenty of boats going down the Wigan flight this morning. Mostly in pairs. This will also help to flush down more water into the lower pounds which are still low and well below the bywash level.

In theory, the water out of one lock is used to fill the next lock further down. In a perfect world of locks without leaks, this might just have a bit of truth. The real problem is that its just a theory. In  the real world, as you release water out of one lock you should be running it in to the next lock down the flight. 

Are you an -ist or an -ism?

Are you an -ist or an -ism?? It is very popular now to add -ist or -ism to a word to categorise a person or group. If we don't have a word for it then we make one up by adding -ist or -ism to the end.

Are you a misogynist? (Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls) That in simplistic terms would be most men taken care of and categorised. As we all seem to have one woman in our lives that give us a bad time.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

The Big One (18-6)

Tuesday 14th August 2012

Dover Bridge to Wigan Top Lock

Last night we had a big thunder storm, way off in the distance. The type where you can see the bright flashes of lightning but can't hear the thunder. This morning it was cool and slightly overcast. The moorings at Dover Bridge were full and we were moored overnight in a place where we had to use the plank to get on and off the boat. 

This morning as several boats passed I tried to find someone to partner with through the locks up the Wigan flight. No luck, everyone was heading for Liverpool. The first two locks of the day at Poolstock were soon behind us as we turned towards the bottom lock of the twenty three locks comprising the Wigan Flight.

Weather Watching

Understanding the British and their preoccupation with the weather is hard to comprehend for visitors from other countries. If you ask most people, their anecdotal evidence would be that weekends are always wet!

Now that there has been some research done and there is some evidence of weekends having more rain fall than weekdays. However the study was in North America. We need to get a research project funded for the UK. 

Essentially in the UK it depends if you are in a wet or dry area. Where local rainfall norms are either high or low. As Basil Fawlty said about Sybil. "She has a degree in stating the bleeding obvious. If you are in a significant rainfall area, where it rains a great deal. It tends to rain more at weekends. Or alternatively if you are in a dry area where precipitation is low, weekend can tend to be quite dry.

Monday 13 August 2012

The Big One (18-5)

Monday 13th August 2012

Dunham Woodhouse to Dover Bridge

An early start as we were expecting a long day. So it proved to be. the weather was cooler than it had been for the last few days. It remained overcast for most of the day.  The journey through Lymm, Sale and Stretford was uneventful. There were surprisingly few boats on the move.  

We stopped in Worsley to have a sandwich and to buy milk. I took the dogs into the local park and let them chase the ball. A bit later I ended up in conversation with a council worker who said the visitor moorings are not a good place to be at night. So we decided once more to move on.

Does It Rain More Often on Weekends?

Following on from last weeks post and continuing on the interesting research theme. This time it is playing upon one of the favourite pastimes of the British public. A question that has been on everyone's lips for a long time has now been answered.

Does It Rain More Often on Weekends?

The research was carried out by Dr. David M. Schultz at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma.

Sunday 12 August 2012

The Big One (18-4)

Sunday 12th August 2012

Moorefield Bridge to Dunham Woodhouse.

Red sky in the morning - and all that. A short shower gave advance notice of what the day held in store. So it was a steady run until lunch time when the weather turned nasty and the odd light shower turned to heavy rain. Time to moor up for the day.

The days are getting shorter and late morning being the time that we start to move. late morning will not be a liesurly start time, but will soon be the norm. I think that autumn is just around the corner. The autumn being a time of soft morning mists. 

Intangible and strange memory links.

After taking a gentle swipe at Market Drayton in a previous post. Tongue in cheek I twinned it with Royston Vasey. Afterwards I was minded of Robert Aickman. It's funny how events and people can sometimes provide those intangible and strange mind and memory links.
Robert Aickman is best remembered today by boaters and other inland waterways enthusiasts for co-founding the Inland Waterways Association. 

Saturday 11 August 2012

Harvest time has started.

The farms alongside the canals are busy getting this years harvest in. We have seen several combine harvesters busy working. The one working the huge field next to the boat mooring yesterday evening, did not stop until after well after 10 pm. 

The weather report is for one more day of drying weather and then the rains are due once more. So it is going to be a very busy period for the farmers. There are also hundreds of bales of straw to be transported away on trailers. We watched one field of grass which had been cut already, being turned to aid drying before being collected up as winter feed for cattle.

The Big One (18-3)

Saturday 11th August 2012

Billinge Green Flash to Moorefield Bridge.

I stayed up late last night doing a bat survey and to observe the Perseids Meteor shower. The bats consisted of a few Pipistrelle round the trees. Daubentons could be detected and seen skimming low over the water surface. There were few meteors of note observed - with a single bright long persistence one. I will try again tonight if the clouds keep away. But it was also a night to listen and look for the local wildlife at the same time. The best spot being a Barn Owl floating across the fields at the far side of the flash.

Another sunny day is promised and this morning was a little bit misty with a good covering of dew forming on the grass. Soon the sun dried away the dew and it promised to be a good day for cruising along the Trent and Mersey canal. However, as we prepared to move there were dark clouds building on the horizon!

Friday 10 August 2012

The Big One (18-2)

Friday 10th August 2012

Lea Hall Bridge No 22 (Top Flash) to Billinge Green Flash

Last night was a stunning sunset, red sky at night and all that. As predicted, I awoke this morning to find ourselves shrouded in a heavy mist. Its almost like an autumnal morning. I hope that this is not an early warning of an early autumn to match our non existent summer! There is a very noisy and irritating Pheasant calling nearby. Where is the local Fox when you need him!

Nb Amos

The Perseids - Tonight is the night!

I have been interested in astronomy for as long as I can remember. At one time I used to teach astronomy. However, this interest also filtered into another hobby that I had which is amateur radio. Whenever a meteor burns up in the atmosphere it leaves behind a trail of ionised gas in it's wake. This ionisation trail can reflect signals in the VHF frequency band. I used to experiment in bouncing signals over long distances off the meteor trails. The August Perseids is a very prolific meteor shower. 

The number of meteors in an hour is known as the ZHR rate. (Zenithal Hourly Rate) The Perseids can have very high ZHR rates. The meteors are associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle.  The stream of debris which creates the meteors is called the Perseid cloud and stretches along the orbit of the comet. The Earth on its orbit passes through the debris trail each year.

Thursday 9 August 2012

The Big One (18-1)

Thursday 9th August 2012

Nantwich to Bridge 22 (Top Flash)

I did not have a good night, I was up bright and early. The sun was warm soon after first light. Hopefully it is the harbinger of another good day for cruising. A late start after a breakfast of boiled eggs. The eggs were purchased yesterday at the Audlem top lock.

The good weather made the canal much busier than of late, with both hire and private boats on the move. The Shroppie has become in places almost one single linear mooring.  In places it can take quite some time just to tick-over past moored boats.

I am peeved with myself!

I am feeling a bit peeved today, over something that I did not do yesterday. 

Yesterday we had a boat pull out in front of us as we left a lock. There was a strong bywash at this point one that tends to push boats onto the famous Shroppie shelf. The best way to treat the bywash is to power your way through.  So we did and then we had to put Rosie into full reverse to avoid a collision. I did not say a word!

For the next couple of miles the boat swings at low speed from one side of the canal to the other. I am thinking, this is someone new to boating. I just followed on. I have been there and done that. So I did not say a word!

Wednesday 8 August 2012

The Big One (17-7)

Wednesday 8th of August 2012

Royston Vasey to Nantwich.

Today we are under way once more. We will be off mains power and back onto the leisure battery bank. Being on a shoreline every couple of weeks (while we do the washing) also lets the Victron do an equalising charge on the battery bank. 

The weather lived up to the weather report for a change. Broken cloud and plenty of sunshine. We had to have frequent drinks due to the heat in the afternoon!

I find it surprising that the solar panels continue to push some current into the battery bank when we are on mains power. This is because the cut off point for the battery charger is at 13.8 volts and the cut off point for the solar panel controller is 14.2 volts.

Bored of the rings

Being fed up of the Olympic Hoo-Haa and being "bored of the rings" I started to watch something different on television last night. It was a program about the upsurge of betting shops on the high street in the UK. Even ministers from the previous administration admit that relaxing the stranglehold on gambling had been a bad move.

Like weeds on a bombsite. Wherever the number of out-of-work populace is high, so are the number of betting shops. In effect the people who can least afford it are encouraged to gamble - in a similar strategy to winning the lottery. If you don't win this time then gamble some more in an attempt to win back your losses. Your losses grow until all of your money is gone.

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Is Crayfish on your menu?

I recently read a book where one person was described as being in the habit of catching and eating freshwater crayfish. However, it was the invasive American Signal Crayfish that was the species being caught and eaten. Not the protected white-claw crayfish.

American signal crayfish are threatening Yorkshire's native white-clawed crayfish populations because they have better resistance to parasites and are less fussy about what they eat.

The Big One (17-6)

Tuesday 7th of August 2012

Market Drayton - Twinned with Royston Vasey

The people round here are outwardly reserved yet friendly. However, there is a tendancy to keep an eye on anyone and everyone around the area. We have been tipped off about "Tubbs" the local busybody who likes to take charge of running the area. Tubbs, was described as the leading light in the Market Drayton Moorings Maffia.

I was expecting to hear "This is a village mooring - for village people!"

CaRT fund-raiser idea's.

Today, charitable fund-raisers are turning to all sorts of unconventional methods to raise money and awareness for a good cause. If it works for good causes it might even work for CaRT! The Humane Society for instance  is taking a different approach to get their point across. They want more people to spay and neuter their animals and are using the sex angle in their advertising.

"Because I simply refuse to wear a condom." Was one such advertisement. If sex sells for humans and their animals, why can't it sell for the Canal and Rivers Trust as well? 

The Big One (17-5)

Monday 6th of August 2012

I much better day than yesterday. Not only that, but we had a call back about the boatyard moorings and so we are now moored up at Market Drayton and getting our laundry chores done. Add to this being able to take care of the much needed shopping and we seem to be on a roll.

Not many boats passing through today. So I spent some time doing an engine oil and filter change. This was straight forward and took about half-an-hour. I also decided to adjust the Morse control cables. I had to replace a broken cable quite early on our trip. 

Monday 6 August 2012

Obesity only effects fat people!

Obesity only effects fat people, I know this because the government is constantly reminding us that we are all getting too fat / bonny / obese. Just as soon as I have had my diet I'm always ready for my dinner!

Not only that but the number of male children born is now falling. According to a research story on Reuters. Women on low-calorie diets or who skip breakfast at the time of conception are more likely to give birth to girls than boys. So if you are fat you get a girl and if you are thin you get a boy. If you are in the middle - Ah well that's another story!

New research by the Universities of Exeter and Oxford provides the first evidence that a child's sex is associated with the mother's diet. A higher energy intake is linked to males. "This research may help to explain why in developed countries, where many young women choose to have low-calorie diets, the proportion of boys born is falling. If a mother has plentiful resources then it can make sense to invest in producing a son because he is likely to produce more grandchildren than would a daughter. However, in leaner times having a daughter is a safer bet."  said Fiona Mathews of the University of Exeter.

The Big One (17-4)

Sunday 5th of August 2012

Market Drayton.

The morning came quite early when one dog insisted on going outside! However, whenever that happens I don't always feel like going back to bed. Today was one such day. I have a few jobs to catch up on but they require a dry day to complete and they have been in short supply this year.

In the afternoon I heard a strange noise, and when I went outside there was a radio controlled model of a harbour tug racing around the cut. It seemed to be the owners pride and joy and apparently he comes down to the canal with the boat from time to time.

Saturday 4 August 2012

The Big One (17-3)

Saturday 4th of August 2012
Market Drayton

The morning was quite sunny and a few boats were on the move. I had a walk into Market Drayton to buy an umbrella. The old one had been caught by a sudden gust of wind while we were on the move and had quickly disappeared down the cut! I visited a couple of charity shops before finding a large green one for sale for just a couple of pounds. 

Breathing our last free air?

The Hollies sang "All I need is the air that I breathe" but maybe they would change the words to their tune today.  It's not often that I could see myself in agreement with an American. However there are the odd exceptions. Peter Barnes is one of the most creative environmentalists around. 

Friday 3 August 2012

The Big One (17-2)

Friday 3rd of August 2012

Norbury Junction to Market Drayton

Almost clear skies first thing. Only a little rain fell over night. The first boats along the canal passed us just after six am. So that had us up earlier than normal. The forecast for today bodes well and so we went for it. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, some good news.

First of all for the Ladies there is some very good news.

Recent research conducted in Australia reveals that hair is important for UV skin protection. An excess of electromagnetic radiation in the ultraviolet waveband can cause severe damage to skin cells and their DNA. Fortunately, various natural protection mechanisms exist, but until recently, one has been almost entirely overlooked in the dosimetric literature. New details are revealed in the latest (July 2012) edition of the popular journal Radiation Protection Dosimetry, which features a paper from a cross faculty team at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia.

Thursday 2 August 2012

The Big One (17-1)

Thursday 2nd of August 2012

Wheaton Aston to Norbury Junction.

It was overcast first thing in the morning as we prepared to move on. However, later we had the odd break for the sunshine to warm our backs. Quite a few boats on the move, however few of them were hire boats. 

The Shroppie has lived up to its reputation and we had some stunning views from the top of the Shelmore embankment. The Shelmore Embankment gave Telford more headaches than anything he'd ever built before. Many times it slipped while being built and even after it was finished a slide occurred and a number of years passed before it was fully rebuilt. By then the great engineer had died of old age.

Doing FA for common sense!

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Its water-pistols at dawn methinks. 

A couple of kids are name calling in the playground, it seems that's what football has degenerated in to. Don't get me wrong, I love football. I do begrudge the high wages but at the same time I recognise the skills that are on display.

So what's happened to bring the Fruitball Association into disrepute. 

The inmates in the playpen of the Fruitball Association have become embroiled in the cloud-cuckoo-land that is Twitter. Footballer Rio Ferdinand, was charged with bringing the game into disrepute by the Fruitball Association after acknowledging a tweet from a Twatter follower earlier this month. The Tweet on Twatter described Ashley Cole another fruitball player as a “choc-ice”. I kid you not, the Fruitball Association has its knickers in a twist, because Rio Ferdinand acknowledged the tweet on Twatter.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

The Big One (16-7)

Wednesday 1st of August 2012

Autherley Junction to Aston Wheaton.

The rain continued for most of the night only easing around dawn. We were disturbed in the middle of the night at 3am when Poppy the dog started barking. A couple of people were observed hurriedly walking along the towpath on the opposite side of the canal.

The Napton Narrowboats boatyard at Autherley seems to have a good selection of hire-boats moored up in breasted pairs. This may be another sign of the poor weather so far this year. Now we have a twenty five mile section of the Shroppie with only one lock at Wheaton Aston before we get to the Tyrley five.

August Caption Comptition

The August Caption Competition.

The caption competition is intended for you to be able to display your prowess at providing a pithy and witty caption. One that has a watery theme to it. 

This months judging panel consists of Snake charmer Anna Conda, Archaeologist Doug Hole, Bar Owner Ginger Rayl, Pensioner Jerry Atrick, Singer Kerry Oki, Male Nurse Lance Boyle, Tax advisor Lou Pole, Physicist Molly Kuehl, Sex therapist Mona Lottand  with a Lifetime Achievement in procrastination Tony Hales.