Back at home for the last few weeks and I've been getting things sorted and also getting stuck back into writing. The Wasp book is shaping up well. I am in the 'herding cats' phase which means chasing up all those people who promised me input and then immediately forgot about it. That said, some good dits are coming out fo the woodwork I've got some excellent shots of what happens when a Wasp gets taken out by a bowl of custard - you'll have to buy the book to find out what that's all about!
However, Jon Hunt number 9 is now in full swing. My aim is to publish in the Autumn. Below is a very, very draft cover just to keep some interest going. WMD is only the working title and the picture is probably not the one I'll use. I might have one of a skyscraper falling down for no apparent reason at all on Sept 11. 'Nuff said.
Wednesday, 7 June 2017
Anyone looking out of the window this week mught just have noticed the odd gale and torrential rain. We certainly noticed it as we were trying to get up the 12 locks of the Bosely flight. With the forecast as it is, it seemed a good idea to get into our marina today as it looks like the only respite from strong winds. You might think that a fifteen ton boat would shrug off a little breeze. Nope, she sails sideways with ease, normally just when you don't want it, like when coming alongside and you jump ashore with the one centre line in your hand trying to pull her in. In top of that becasue of our layout the boat needs to come into her berth stern first. Anyone who has driven one of these things knows that steering them backwards is hit and miss at best. Our last boat had a bow thruster which simplifies things greatly. Jacaranda doesn't have one. So it was with a little trepidation because it was still quite windy that I took her into the marina this afternoon. My incredibly cunning plan was to turn across the wind, upwind of the berth and let the breeze set her down so that I could simply reverse in at the last moment. You can always rely on the wind to catch you out. Normally its a gust just when you don't need/want it. This time it simply said 'sod it mate you're on your own' and died completely. Still with a bit of throttle, rudder and prayer we made it in. So, we will be sorting things out for the next few days and back home at the weekend sometime. Next exciting adventure will probably be in August for a week or two.
|All snug in the marina. Actually my reversing in was pretty good so of course no one saw us do it. Why is it only when you cock things up that you have an audience???|
Sunday, 4 June 2017
So an exciting week ahead and who knows maybe that IRA sympathising, spendthrift, Marxist, Worzle Gummidge won't get the keys to number 10!
|The locks are all quite deep|
|But its like going up in a lift|
|Women drivers (I'd better say no more)|
Saturday, 27 May 2017
We spent last night at the 'the breach' a refurbished part of the canal which is on an embankment and which collapsed a few years back and dumped a squillion gallons of canal water into the neighbouring famers field. Its all fine now and they've even put in mooring rings which makes a nice change as on the last two canals we needed to bang in sticks nearly everywhere we went.
Anyway, as I said in previous posts, our intention was to go down the famous Anderton boat lift onto the River Weaver for a few days. There's a beer festival on at the bottom of the lift and we were warned that the place was absolutely full. As usual it was all b****ks and there was plenty of space. the only problem is that as its a bank holiday weekend and there's the beer festival, the lift is booked solid until Tuesday and we are on a 48 hour mooring. So next time perhaps. It means we will probably arrive at Macclesfield early although there are a few options we can consider - of course this will mean making a 'decision' at some time, something I strenuously try to avoid doing.
|From the top it doesn't look all that exciting|
|But from below its really quite spectaclear|
Thursday, 25 May 2017
So off down the Bridgewater for a long day, as you really need to get past the big, sweaty town of Manchester before mooring up. Seven hours late we found an idylic spot near the National Trust estate of Dunham Massey. Today we've moved on to the pretty little town of Lymm and tomorrow we're aiming to get to the top of the Trent and Mersey canal at Preston Brook. After that, we hope to get to Anderton for Saturday where the famous boat lift is lurking and maybe take a trip down it onto the river Weaver. There are no stoppages in the way now (fingers crossed) so should be in our marina on the Macclesfield as planned towards the end of June.
|The rearward view of the new bridge supports, the building of which caused the canal to be shut for three months. Note all the other boats in sight!!!|
|Crossing the rather larger Manchester Ship canal|
|The view from the stern on an absolutely stunning evening.|
Sunday, 21 May 2017
Despite the weather doing its best to spoil our plans we managed to get the boat blacked and back into the water a day ahead of schedule. It was particularly good as when on the hard, the boat sits level but in the water she slopes down towards the stern. The net result was that the shower wouldn't drain properly and half the doors kept coming open. Still a good chuck up to the marina who did an excellent job at short notice. We've now moved down the canal and are in the little village of Parbold for the weekend along with quite a few other boats who are all heading in the same direction and who all want to go through the Bridgewater canal when it is due to open. When we were talking about this we thought it might be a good idea to hang back a few days to let the rush die down. However, every boat we have spoken to seems to have had the same idea. It wouldn't surprise me that no one goes through when it actually opens and the rush is several days later.
A reasonable Sunday lunch in the Windmill pub but it seems that, although they are good at Yorkshire puds up here, they are not so good at roast potatoes so only an 8 was scored. We were hoping for more because we stopped here on the way up and Lindsay my daughter and her fiance joined us for the night and we had a really excellent supper there.
So fingers, toes and everything else crossed that the canal opens as advertised. Then hopefully a dash through to the Trent and Mersey Canal and the Anderton Boat Lift which is on our narrow boat bucket list.
|The start of the Grand Prix with many boats moored and all heading in the same direction. We are still miles away from the stoppage and its only going to get busier.|
Saturday, 13 May 2017
One of the problems of being in Liverpwewl was that the water was clear and I could see the underwater sides of the boat and realised that it really needed repainting. Now, its normally quite a pain to book the boat in to get it 'blacked' and there is only one marina that can do it between here and the stoppage on the Bridgewater canal. So it was with some surprise that when I rang them, not only were they able to fit us in but we are the only boat they have out of the water. It may be that as no boats can get up here at the moment that demand is low. So good luck for us, the only problem is that they have no cover for the boats and so rain becomes an issue and of course we are now at the end of the long dry period and rain is forecast on and off for the next week. Although we can live on the boat whilst its out of the water we've managed to scrounge a bed for the weekend at our kids/grankids place. All good fun - including our 4 year old grandaughter's birthday party tomorrow (should be fun......). Hopefully back in the water at the end of the week and then the Bridgewater might be open and we can be on our way again.
|A skanky bottom.|