Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A day in Birmingham

We spent the day in Birmingham today on foot for a change, but inevitably found ourselves walking along the canal. Here are a few pictures taken on the Birmingham Canal main line and the Birminham and Fazeley Canal.

Stunning architecture and amazing feats of Industrial Revolution, the mind truly boggles at times at the foresight and brilliance of Brindley and the sheer strength, guts and bravery of the navigators bless em.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Getting ready for our first winter on Bunbury

The winter has soon come around, well Autumn at least! We are back on Bunbury and getting nher ready for the colder weather, the new heating system is superb, being a Webasto, the Thermo Top C, is a 5kw burner and drives 4 radiators throughout the boat providing plenty of warmth and seems relatively cheap to run. Figures given quote 0.53 litres to 0.68 litres per hour of use, which seems a good return to us.

We have been trying to cure small leaks on the two forward hatches (she has 5), I noticed from pictures gained from the broker's website (Venetian Marina) that last winter she had tarps spread over these hatches, so we tried to re-create the same. I bought two light tarps 6'X 4' and with a piece of 4 x 2 split down the middle and an old hoe handle we were ready on our master design. We sewed the wood at the bottom of the tarp with rot free garden twine and the dowel at the other end, attached 5 snap clips to both tarps with 2mm polypropylene rope and it only took 1.5 hours. Before laying the tarps on the roof I applied fresh, self adhesive foam insulation to the hatches and a little splash of Captain Tolleys Creeping Crack cure (yes honestly) and so we hope we are ready for winter!

Today was a lovely clear sunny day so we decided to take a walk along the Trent and Mersey just outside our Marina, so quiet and peaceful, no traffic and very pleasant.

Here are a few pictures of the work carried out and our walk.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

King's Bromley Marina

 Our home mooring, King's Bromley Marina, sits on the Trent and Mersey Canal very close to Lichfield.

A lovely setting, this hides the fact that there are 275 moorings, cleverly set out in sectors making it a private and quiet home when we are not out and about.
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The Autumn has arrived!!

Well now that the weather is getting colder and we are less likely to be on the cut exploring, it is time to catch up with the blog, we have been very slow in our progress I'm afraid!

We successfully journeyed down from Venetian Marina on the Middlewich arm of the Shropshire Union, with Karen and Will, all of us new at the various jobs we had to come to grips with and I think we managed admirably. It took 5 days to complete the 54 miles, 53 locks and Harefield Tunnel, leving us slightly less green by the time we reached King's Bromley marina, our home mooring.

Since then, last week in fact, Aisky and I have been on a really lovely trip down the Coventry Canal, winding for the first time just above Atherstone and coming back the way we went! we stopped overnight at Fradley Junction, not to be missed, very pretty and also Fazeley Junction, where your choice is to continue along the Coventry Canal or turn off onto the Brimingham and Fazeley Canal, with many locks and plenty to see, a trip we will soon do!

Out and about, our Eberspacher night heater decided to lock itself out and we are now waiting for an engineer to come out and override the fault codes and fix it for us. Seriously considering renewing the system with a Webasto water heater, they seem to like the red diesel more than their competitors and therefore appear more reliable, we cannot be cold through the winter!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

We only did it!!

So we have finally done it! After much soul searching not to mention boat searching, we have bought our home on the water ... Bunbury ...

So in a nutshell, she is a 54ft Semi Trad, built in 1996 by Jonathan Wilson Boats, we think absolutely stunning inside lined in oak. What attracted us first were the portholes, with five side hatches and glass sliders, so we can have plenty of light and air or cosy and private.

At the moment she is having some work done as called by the surveyor and also being blacked whilst out of the water, so she is sitting in Venetian Marina on the Shropshire Union with the nice people we purchased her from. We hope to hand over next weekend and spend the first week getting used to her before our first trip down to King's Bromley Marina, on the Trent and Mersey, where we have secured a mooring in a really lovely setting.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It's all going a bit slow!!

Well here we are at the 26th June, boat prices appear to be settling down a bit looking at apolloduck.co.uk our main indicator of what's available and how much it is. We are still discussing our favoured length of boat, we feel  that under 57' but over or around 50' will be our optimum size for fitting our life in.

In looking at what might be important factors other than the galley and a forward double, we have been thinking of ways to switch the double to a cross berth for maximum comfort. We also like the idea of a dinette double, somewhere to type and do our paperwork, as well as perhaps fit in a double futon to the stern if the galley isn't there. I'm sure we will look back once we have our boat and have a laugh at all of this.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Size and location

I guess most people new to boating would start with these two parameters above all and this occupy's most of our discussion time at this stage. We have set our eyes on a minimum of 45' and a maximum of 57', based upon the logic that the lower figure is the smallest we could live aboard and the upper figure to do with cruising the whole system. We have decided that reversing in at an angle in some of the Huddersfield canal locks, is too disturbing at this stage to contemplate so will leave it out! We have a our eyes set on a cruiser back and reverse layout, for easier cup of tea delivery to the helms person and we thing that shopping will be stored easier and quicker from the large space straight into the galley.

The second talking point is location, given the fact at this stage we have no idea where our future pride and joy is in fact residing, that leaves us a bit open. But we want to be within hail of our land base which is in East Yorkshire, so we are very keen on the Trent and Mersey, not too far. We have noted that there are a number of quality Marinas between Nottingham and Stafford, gives us a lot of scope. Looking forward to getting to the UK about September and starting to investigate in the flesh so to speak. We think that in our first year at least, we would want a home marina to trek out from, maybe a few weeks at the start and then longer tours. We think that in year two we may attempt continuous cruising but we are still keen to know we have a home base.

It will be interesting to look back at this in the coming months to see what has changed in our thinking and even more interesting to see what we buy and where we end up!