Monday, 30 August 2010

We are back

Kieth doing his vascular exercise

Boat full 10 for lunch great day

Well I still have no internet and the blogs are mounting up.

Since my last e- mail we have been quite busy, Roger has returned to warmer climate although it was a short visit we packed a lot into it.

Arriving at castelfields on Sunday afternoon we met Gerry and Chris and caught up with all the latest gossip, they have now left Fettlers and we will miss them they were great neighbors but intend catching them on the next cruise out. Monday evening Keith joined us at Castelfield ready to travel with us to Rufford.

Tuesday dawned wet and windy, this continued all day; the rain was relentless, I don’t think Keith realised how difficult traveling on the boat could be in bad weather, and as he says they don’t show this on Water world? Even with the weather, we still managed to get a pump out, fill up with water and pull in for shopping in Leigh. We pushed on in the afternoon and manage to get to our first destination by 2,30pm, which with all the weather and stops was a good time.

Wednesday was a better day, cold and cloudy but as we had to do eight locks so it was better that it was dull. Thursday the gang arrived, if I named them, all I would run out of space but let’s just say we had 10 for lunch, we all had a great day I believe John won the fishing match; this was only due to his tenacity and doggedness to stick at it. Amanda won the eating contest, Oh I love to watch people enjoy food. The rest of the day was divided up in eating and laughing which isn’t a bad way to spend the day.

Well folks that’s it we have arrived back in Fettlers the last leg down the Rufford was as always a bit sad though this time with all the problems we have had it was a bit of a relief

Now its time for sorting the boat out for the winter sounds a bit early and premature but I want to take my time over it.

I hope you will keep up with the blog and I may be doing a little children’s story for the winter we will have to see.

Thanks for sailing with us Oh by the way next year its Cambridge Noreen doesn’t know yet but it was her choice this year.

Speak soon



Now at Maryanne’s,, Greg has managed to get me on line again he’s a genius

Sunny Stretford

Gerry & Chris"s boat next to us in Castlefield

Roger on the trip into Manchester

Hello from sunny Stretford, I think not.

Since we arrived last Tuesday it has not stopped raining, I would like to say welcome to Manchester but the Stretfordonians would have something to say about that.

The funeral we came for was yesterday (Thursday) and was very nice if that can be said but I am sure you know what I mean, Funerals are odd things as you know I do believe and I find no problem with saying goodbye to someone because by believe tells me they have returned to a better place so I never feel sad. Now I know some people say that this is a part of the brain covering up and disguising the reality of life and death but it works for me.

Even under these circumstances of Rogers mums’ funeral it has been great seeing him again we have been able to catch up. Last night we all went out for a drink, Noreen, Roger, John, Dianne, Alan and myself, and a lovely evening was had by all. Its hard to believe that we have been friends now for over 40 years, I often wonder if its because we all met through scouting and have a very similar outlook on life, that we have remained good friends for so long; maybe the above when they read this would like to commentAs we have the car here with us (Mat and Lorraine brought it over on Tuesday) we took Tom and Shirley to Bury market today Mackerel for tea and Black pudding for breakfast tomorrowWe have just sorted out next weeks cruise from here to Rufford. Meeting Chris and Gerry in Castlefield Basin on Sunday evening, Keith is joining us on Monday night, Tuesday we set off for Wigan and we should then have a day with the Belthorn crew in Astley Bridge on Thursday. Leaving enough time to get back to the Marina by Saturday lunch.END OF THIS YEARS CRUISE.

For the none boaters and boaters really a word about the wind. Here at the Watch house in Stretford the canal is a 1-mile straight line on a raised embankment that exposes itself to all the elements, especially the wind. In the past few days we have watched boats come down the canal as we call “crabbing” which means your boat progresses almost sideways as the wind catches the side of the boat and uses the side as a sail, and wants to pin you against one of the banks. The wind makes steerage very difficult.

Today I received two phone calls from people entering Castlefield basin with warnings of the wind strength and direction, as it was causing chaos amongst boaters. However, I am staying put, well anchored and roped up until Sunday afternoon when I hope this weather has moved south.

Tomorrow I am off to the Tatton park Vintage car rally with Roger that should be a good day out lets hope the weather changes,

At present I have no internet so this blog will just have to sit in cyber space until I can get on line

Speak Soon


Monday, 16 August 2010


Fishing Match left in peace

Thomas doing a Nelson he's just missing a spy glass and a patch
Hi Everyone
I don't know if its me or the weather, but today we left Anderton early even though we were under a clear blue sky and not a breath of wind there was a definite chill in the air. Also other signs are showing an early Autumn squirrels are very busy, in some areas they are on a feeding frenzy taking no notice of human activity around them, I have noticed already that the sloe berry, and blackberry are so ripe they are rotting on the bush, I believe that these are signs of a very hard winter (again) on the boat its very noticeable that the nights are getting very chilly we have had to light a few fires and that is before the end of August which is very sad.
We are now in Lyme we came in this afternoon and managed to moor 100 yards from the chippy, guess what we had for tea, its these little pleasure that you look forward too on the boat its not like at home where you can just nip out to the chippy when the mood takes you, but "by eck" they really taste better for the waiting. We should arrive at Noreen's dads tomorrow which will be a day early. Having had the new drive plate I have been extra careful though we made exceptional time today even with a stop for Diesel, Pump out and water we still made excellent progress.
Today whilst waiting to go through the Preston Brook tunnel. I noticed over on the far bank was a farm house, outside under the kitchen window were two chairs and stood on one of the chairs was a goat looking through the window, unfortunately by the time I had got my camera it had dismounted, then, when I put the camera away the goat mounted the chair again to look through the window, this happened twice more before I gave up trying to capture this phenomenon and let the goat to do its own thing.
Monday must be the new Sunday because we passed another three fishing matches, However all the anglers today were very nice and none of them hurled abuse, so I surmise that all the boats that had passed them today must have been good one who slow down and do the right thing, that makes it easier for the rest of us it only takes one bad boater to make it very unpleasant for the rest of us.
That's your lot for now

Keep smiling

Big Al

That's your lot today

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Boats awaiting to go into the cow shed?

Hi everyone
I am writing again with more tales of woe, On Thursday we developed a clanging noise in the gear box, we decided to ere on the side of caution and have an engineer look at it. Fortunately we were calling in at Swanley Marina for fuel and pump out so we asked their engineer to have a listen and he confirmed my suspicions and warned not to go further because something was seriously wrong. The engineer cannot do anything until Monday so we have taken a birth in the marina for a few days, here we are being well cared for we have electric hook up, water, pump out and a laundry, and TV the only thing is there are no shops for miles so we will have to rely on emergency rations.
I will let you know what the engineer finds on Monday but I believe it will either be a broken drive plate or a twisted drive shaft which is consistent with hitting a submerge object, of which on this trip there have been many.
On the bright side we are having a great rest because here there is nothing to do but rest.
We have been for a walk around today exploring the place its very strange, they have a spraying service and a blacking service but it is in the farm buildings check pics very odd place to work on a boat.

Its now Tuesday and my thoughts have been confirmed its a broken drive plate, things did not go according to plan the drive plate was a cow to get out but hey that's life we have a new one arriving tomorrow and the engineer will fit it and we should be on our way again. The engineer has been very kind he even took Noreen to Morrisons today (it will no doubt end up on the bill)

We need now to start making our way back we have to be in Manchester for next Thursday as we have to go Rogers mums funeral Roger is on his way from Aus and we are all meeting up at Noreen's Dads

keep Smiling everyone


Tuesday, 3 August 2010

We are on the return Journey


We have had five good days in Ellesmere, as I said in the last blog we managed to get just on the arm were most of the foot traffic have to pass your boat which was great for sales I almost ran out, I had a couple of small pots and a few wooden spoons left, Maryanne took me on a shopping trip to replenish stocks, now I have a lot of painting to do to get the shop looking like something again. Maryanne and I even went to a car boot on Sunday morning at Chirk it was huge! At least 300 stalls and 1000s of people plus car parking was free. We did very well at the stalls I managed to get some great bargains, I don’t know what it is but I just love car boots I am always amazed at what people will try and sell
Sat we spent the day at Maryanne’s were we did our big shop, Noreen had a bath or I should say a two hour soak I got the use of the garage and managed to get all my spraying done so now I can start the painting, the spraying is the worst and takes most of the time but using the garage it makes it so much easier and quicker than doing it on the canal bank.
Today Monday we have moved off down to the Montgomery canal its only 7 miles long as they have not completed the restoration work yet but its very pretty and its another canal we have done. Tomorrow we turn around and start the long melancholy return journey back to Rufford it’s a tedious journey not only because this years trip is coming to and end but the return trip is over ground that we have already covered, one pleasing aspect is you never know what’s around the corner after all this is Buggerlugs.