Tuesday 22 February 2011

Monday 21 February 2011

I like the moorings right outside The Boathouse, it shields the noise from the road and is very handy for coming back after a pint and a meal.

This morning we woke a bit earlier than normal for us to a cold wet day. A quick walk round to Midland Chandlers to spend all of 50 p and back to the boat ready to set off at 9-30 am. DSCF5381
Spot on 9-30 am and our Belgian passenger was just across the cut taking my photo in the rain. He walked down a bit and  we pushed off across the cut and picked him up. It was Michel Van den Berghe http://www.thebw.net/ who is photographing the British Canal System. We took him as far as Calcutt Locks so he could walk the GU.
Unfortunately the two sunken boats are still at Braunston are still there and I wonder if they will ever be lifted. I hope the second doesn't get vandalised before it can be lifted.
DSCF5380 BW have been hard at work, or their contractors have cutting back the trees on the offside which is improving the viability on bends and at bridge holes quite a bit. Some one has also erected an owl box on the offside, it's the first I have seen in the area. Michel stood on the front deck all the way in the rain taking more photographs.
DSCF5382 Over the years someone has been building a house and what looks like a smallholding near Fox Gate, it started off looking like a shed, then a barn, after this it went up a bit with a pitched roof and now its topped with thatch.
Work is still going on at Calcutt top lock with rebuilding the lower offside landing stage, I found it interesting to see the culverts that run the length of the lock from the ground paddles, these allow the water to enter the DSCF5392DSCF5391lock at 3 separate points and not all at the head as is common practice. The pond between the locks not only holds a great deal of mud but also several fenders and other debris. I wonder if any of this will be removed before the flight is refilled.

After saying farewell to our guest at the locks we winded and headed back to Napton Turn where we turned hard right and continued  on to The Napton flight where we found all the locks against us as usual and raining. We made good progress and were soon in sight of the boat ahead and at lock 13 they drew the bottom paddles as they left for us. Then the strange thing happened, by the time we reached lock 14 there was no sign of them, we had been gaining on them all the way up the flight, the last but one lock was almost ready for us, but by the end of the next pound they had vanished.
We stopped in the top lock and unloaded into the car before taking Harnser back to her moorings and heading home .

Sunday 20 February 2011

Sunday 20 Feb 2011

Well yesterday was another great afternoon and evening of entertainment with one artist just following on from the other. We nipped off about 6 to feed and walk the dog before heading back so as not to miss to much. We were going to eat on the boat, but the pub was doing meals in a bowl to bee eaten on your lap whilst being entertained, so it was two bowls of curry and chips.
All in all it was a very slick well organised event with only about ten to fifteen minutes between performers. Again Soundwave, the sound team did a wonderful job mixing for all the acts from solo singers with acoustic guitar accompaniment to full bands, even including a 9 strong  shanty choir.

We pushed off about 10 this morning and by then several boats had been passed, Napton Narrowboats only look as if they have a couple of boats out but there were quite a few spaces in the marina. The moorings in Braunston opposite the Boathouse were quite full but nothing at Butchers Bridge. One hire boat found a good spot on the waterpoint and sani station to moor. We went into the marina and had a pump out, luckily they were open so that we could buy a £10 token, once that tank was empty we stopped just outside the marina to fill the water tank. While we were doing that a small outboard powered boat stopped for water, he had 9 fenders hanging on each side, but still managed to hit the hard bank with an unprotected bit of steel.
We moored for the night right outside The Boathouse door on their moorings as we will be eating in there tonight, we just have to put up with their music until closing time.

Saturday 19 February 2011

Saturday 19 February 2011

Well no sign of the Aurora last night, no sign of the moon ether and at about half one this morning it started tipping it down with rain which continued most of the night.

We had a great night in The Bridge Inn last night starting with a meal at 6 pm followed by an evening of great entertainment.
It all took place in the dining room which is not the biggest venue in the world and with acts ranging from a female soloist to a 5 piece band the sound mixing guys and girls "Soundwave"http://www.soundwaveaudio.co.uk did a great job. The evening was supposed to wrap up at midnight but "Something Nasty in the Wood" were still hammering it out until about quarter to one, complete with bagpipes.

About 10 this morning BW contractors came past by on a work boat and have been hard at work cutting offside trees and scrub in the winding hole opposite the pub. There have been a few boats passed including a couple of hire boats.

I didn't do any photos last night after all and if I had I would not have been able to post them as I had a message from 3 saying I was approaching my data limit for the month.

Today the performances start at 4 pm so we are going to have to work out who we intend to miss while we have dinner and take the dog out.

For more information go to www.wff.me.uk

Friday 18 February 2011

Friday 18 February 2011

It was a full moon last night, but with a thin cloud cover, this not only kept it warm overnight but prevented us seeing the Aurora if there actually was one, maybe we will have better luck tonight.
The mooring was OK with only a slight problem, the rooks have claimed the tree opposite where we moored and were keen to tell us so at first light this morning.

We didn't set off until 10 15 am by which time it was one degree colder than last night, there was nothing moving down the flight so all locks were against us. When we walked the dog down late last night all the locks were well above weir but this morning all about 2" below, so the back pumps must have been running last night but off today.
We stopped at The Folly to fill with water, it still looks the same as it did straight after it closed down, even the empty kegs are sill in the same spot. Maybe it will be open for the summer. Once topped up we pushed on towards The Bridge Inn, on the way we passed two chaps trimming the towing path hedge, one with a long shaft petrol hedge trimmer and the other with a petrol blower to clear away the trimmings. We arrived at The Bridge Inn about 11 30 am and are on the first mooring from the pub ready for tonight's entertainment.

For more information go to www.wff.me.uk

Thursday 17 February 2011

Thursday 17 February 2011

Well we are back onboard Harnser but only for a long weekend to visit The Bridge, Napton for the Winter Folk Festival.

We set off from the moorings at about 4 pm and stopped in the top lock to load the boat and get the dog onboard, he is now approaching 14 and doesn't cross lock gates any more.
Once everything was onboard we decided to carry on down the flight for a bit and moored between locks 10 and 11 at 5 pm.

While we have been away the minimum temperature in the boat had dropped to -3.3 C and outside to below -8 C so it was a good move draining down before we left. All we have to do now is to get the boat nice and warm again, the Dickinson is on in the galley and the fire alight in the Boatman's Cabin so hopefully by bedtime we will be nice and cosy.

Monday 14 February 2011

Stone to Chester 1948

Another video from Frances's grandfather, A family narrowboat holiday 1948. Stone to Chester.

Sunday 13 February 2011

An unusual View of The Norfolk Broads

View Larger Map

If you are still wondering what it is visit this blog


IWA Festival old footage

Francis said this was a canal journey from Oxford through Braunston to Market Harborough.
Are they going to the first IWA boat rally Festival in 1950? Any more information welcome.

Old Film Footage of the K&A

Scenery shots by Frances's Grandfather on the Kennet and Avon canal taken about 1948 - 1950

Saturday 12 February 2011

More old working boat footage with Sonia Rolt (Smith)

Early canal footage of George and Sonia Smith on Narrowboats Cairo and Warwick taking cargo from London to Birmingham about 1948. Any more information welcome.


Old Boating video

Early footage of George and Sonia Smith on Narrowboats Cairo and Warwick taking visitors of a tour of Regents Canal in about 1948. Any more information welcome.


Wednesday 2 February 2011

2010 Basic Cruising statistics for NB. Harnser

After seeing that some blogger's where including boating statistics on the bottom of their blogs, I thought I would just total up a few statistics from our cruising on Harnser over the past 12 months.

In the past 12 months Harnser has covered some 933 miles passing through 783 locks, or 1716 lock miles. At an average speed of just over 2.8 Lock Miles per hour (LMPH) against engine running hours.
Our true average speed would probably be just over 3 LMPH as some engine running is done without moving.

To do this we have spent 115 nights onboard and had the toilet tank emptied 5 times.

The engine has run for some 610 hours and we have bought 925 litres of diesel for which we paid an average of 69p/Lt before duty.

The diesel consumption including what has been burnt on the Dickinson stove averages out at 1.6 litres per engine running hour or 1 Lt per mile travelled.