Bank Holiday break.
Welcome to the Khayamanzi Weblog owned by Andy Edwards. Read the exploits of life afloat and my travels around the British inland waterways of Great Britain aboard my floating home Khayamanzi - a 55 foot narrowboat and with 'first mate' Simba - my border collie cross German Shepherd! *People wishing to see developments of Little Foxwood Model Railway can find the links on the right below my recommended websites.
Just to let you know that I have updated the main website to reflect the potted overview and a load more pictures of the holiday. Click on the 'cruising pictures' link on the left hand main menu then select the 2007 summer holiday link. As well as a video of the Anderton Boat Lift, you will find a potted overview of the holiday along with the final calculated statistics! Enjoy!
Left the Atherstone locks this morning and pushed on through with a very good road ahead until we met a smart boat with a fuel blockage moored on a bend! We pulled over to see if we could help and ended up towing them to Springwood Haven. Some 2 miles of interesting bends! Stopped briefly at Valley Cruisers to pick up a few chandlery items we wanted before pushing on again towards Sutton's Stop where we met John on NB Briar Rose. John also moors in Brinklow Marina and is a good friend of mine. On again towards Stretton Stop and an exciting and most unexpected meeting at All Oaks Wood with Mike and Liz from NB Snecklifter along with Derek and Dot from NB Gypsy Rover. I have communicated with Derek and Dot via email for some time now andour paths have never crossed. It was great tofinally meet them, all be-it too briefly - hopefully our paths will cross again some time when we can meet for more of a chat over a cup or glass of something!
The final few twists of the canal took us back home to Brinklow Marina after completing a total of 404 miles and 266 locks in the past 4 weeks!
I ordered a Chinese from the local takeaway, turned the key in the car ignition to fetch it and...nothing, just a click! Fortunately one of my very kind neighbours took me to his house to collect a set of jump leads and a spare battery, collected my chinese on the way back and jump started the car for me. Hopefully it will start tomorrow for me to take my father the hour and a half or so to Stoke on Trent to collect his car left with friends before returning back home again!
I declare that the summer holiday 2007 is officially ended!
Very little traffic seemed to be moving today and after a pleasant break to catch up with a friend of my fathers from NB Gospel Belle who we passed and who acts as canal chaplain for the Canal Ministries charity, we soon encountered the bottom of the Atherstone Flight. We passed through the first 2 locks and are currently moored in the long pound ready to tackle the rest tomorrow. I expect to be back home in the marina either tomorrow evening or Saturday morning.
The quote of the day has to come from the skipper of a very smart traditional boat I saw towing a Canaltime hire boat. I past and made the casual comment, "Is this a rescue mission?" to which the reply came back in a somewhat grumpy tone of voice, "more like a salvage operation!"
Gas Street Basin is a great place for photography. Not only did I manage this lovely shot of the evening sun reflected off the buildings into the canal....
....but we were also rewarded with a beautiful rainbow against a pink sky over the city centre.
We have also worked out that by about 30 lock miles, our shortest route back is via Fazeley junction, through some of my favourite places such as Hopwas and Atherstone so that seems to be our intended route now.
Moored up this evening just a few miles from Autherley Junction which will mean we will have completed the entire length of the Shropshire Union including the Middlewich Branch. We only cruised for a couple of hours but it took us most of the day! We had a lazy start this morning after yesterday and stopped for shopping in Wheaton Aston, (an excellent Spar shop in town!) and water.
Did you guess correctly?
At the staircase locks in Bunbury, we met 2 boats waiting to come up and us waiting to go down. The locks were split 50/50 in favour of either of us so we passed them in the middle! We locked down using our water to lift them up to meet us. One of the boats then slid past me into our lock next to me, allowing me to cross over and pull into his space next to the other upcoming boat. The other upcoming boat then slid forward into my space allowing them to complete their uphill lock and me to complete my downhill lock as the next picture shows.
Well today we locked through Vale Royal Lock and on to the upper limit of navigation - very un-impressive!! A road bridge covered in graffiti, a seedy pub with somewhat dilapidated and clearly little used moorings outside, a bunch of trees and bushes and a swinging BW sign is all that marks the end. Apparently, boats can continue into the flashbut are unadvised to do so given the shallow nature of it and the fact that BW jurasdiction has ended here.
Passage through the huge ship locks was simple enough although a phone call on the approach to each was necessary to warn the lock keeper of our approximate arrival time. We did find that some locks were not immediately obvious as to where and how they wanted us and they did tend to assume we were locals and knew the system a little too much at times, leaving us holding the boat, back mid channel, in a gusting wind guessing if they wanted us to enter, which lock they wanted us to enter and where they wanted us to land!
We approached Vale Royal lock with the intention of mooring at some well known and beautiful moorings just above us. The lock keeper informed us that there would be no room above and the best bet was to saty moored on the waiting area for the night and wait for the 9.00 passage through tomorrow morning. We dutifully thanked him for his advice and then watched him pack up and go home, 30mins. before the advertised time of last lock passage. We decided to walk Simba up to the moorings and see if he was correct. Although there were 3 boats on the moorings, there was easily enough space for us and we couldn't help thinking that he simply wanted to get home early!
Tomorrow, we plan to cruise to Winsford and turn at the limit of navigation this end before returning to Northwich for some shopping. Apparently Winsford is NOT a good or safe place to moor and leave the boat!