The search for a boat nearly started but then

So Karen (the bank manager) and I were getting set to quite nearly be in the market for a boat around mid October 2016.
Ada-Jane was settling in a new job in London after finishing Uni in Falmouth.
Son Jack has bought his first house with his girlfriend and so, with both our jobs getting more stressful by the week it seems, the green light was given.
I have always had alerts from Apolloduck and eBay etc. So always knew when a boat in our lowish price range came up.
So here was one.

imageimageimageimageimageSo the story of this one is that it was far to expensive for what it was, 21.5k I think the vendor was asking. I offered 11k. The vendor came back a week or so later saying they had been offered the full asking price! Good luck on them, then a month or so later it reappeared down to 16k but still too much. No reply to my 10k offer this time! I started a thread on CWDF here  Here about it. Many interesting replies.

Then low and behold as the photos above show I happened on it while walking along the K&A towpath with Karen. See page 2 of the thread I linked to above.

I’ll leave the But Then to a future post..

 

Ada-Jane Moore

Inspiring work by Ada-Jane Moore. Excited to see all the rest she has in store. So humble, and kind, yet talented beyond belief. Getting her work shot was such a relief!   So many style…

Source: Ada-Jane Moore

 

Just had to share this my little girl is done at Falmouth Uni 3 years zoomed by. Final collection is from her Performance Sportsware Design course is for Gig rowing.

Cracking collection excellent model and photographer.
Ended up with a very high 2.1 she worked very hard a well deserved result.

A K&A Cruise with Waiouru Tom & Jan

Saturday 11th July 2015

7.14 miles 0 locks.

So a bit of background, I have been into canals the history the life on the cut in carrying days, boats and all that is our waterways since my first introduction as a 10 year old. So as I mentioned previously the last canal holiday was 1988, then over many years Karen and I have been cycling the towpath between Bath and Trowbridge and always enjoyed being by the water and boats.

So with a rekindled interest I started searching the internet for boaty things holidays users etc. etc. it wasn’t long before I found Nb NoProblem ‘s blog, then reading through that I came across Sue’s remarks on poor ole Tom & Jan’s predicament at Aldermaston wharf seeking somewhere to stay , while they get their disaster of a build before arriving at Aldermaston sorted. So this led me to a major read of Tom & Jan’s blog to get up to date and they do have some tale to tale. This would of been probably been late 2013. So I’ve been an avid reader of Tom’s blog since then, Tom likes to put up a post everyday so it does get compulsive to have a look.

Well over that time until July this year I’ve made many comments on the blog and a few email conversations with Tom, so when I read Jan & Tom were heading down our way to the the K&A, I thought I’ll have to pop up and see them and Waiouru.                             Tom posted up along the way about meeting blog readers so the seed was sown and after many emails to and fro, events of ours getting in the way Tom & Jan reached Bath.                                                          The Saturday we thought we would be able to meet up we thought we would be on board going down the Avon towards Bristol but Tom & Jan had had a change of heart and advised me that they were actually winding in the morning and returning to Reading.

No problem for us. They would be off at 09.00 to traverse the two tunnels in Bath and wind at Sydney Wharf winding hole. A bit early for us on our first day off of the week so by now we are in telephone contact and Tom advises they will fill with water at Bathampton around 09.30. So we hatch a plan to drive to Bradford-on-Avon and then ride back to Bathampton to meet them.

Avoncliffe

This is us enroute crossing Avoncliff Aqueduct.

We arrive at Dundas in about 20 minutes and I call Tom to see how they are doing (in case they had an early start which Tom & Jan often do!) no answer so we guess they are cruising I leave a message saying we will continue.

We arrive at Claverton and call again this time Jan answers the first time we have spoken to each other and Jan is unsure how the tank filling is going, so we decide to cycle on and see if we can make Bathampton if not we will meet somewhere and sort the bikes etc. from there. We make it just Tom is just leaving the mooring on the water point as we arrive, in a deft move he pops it into reverse and grabs the centre line and waits for us to get the bikes locked up grab our panniers and get aboard. A little incident while Tom & Jan held for us, a hire boat went by rather quickly into the bridge hole and dragged Waiouru with it! Jan had to apply a bit of forward power while Tom was bankside to stop anything becoming of it.

On board we were welcomed and soon on our way.

Tom on the tiller soon gave us a brief run down of the boat and was quick to point out how Waiouru is so much heaver than a hire boat and needs more starting and stopping more on that later!

IMG_1914

Jan & Karen closing up he first swing bridge, shortly after Tom very kindly (some would say foolishly!) offered me the chance to take the tiller, what a treat I jumped at the chance.

IMG_1915

Then shortly after I dropped Tom off to do the next swing bridge he doesn’t do them very often.

IMG_1916

Tom watching my progress! then after I go through an approaching boat is mid canal and pulling towpath side to stop. I think I’ll pull up after him then another boat appears! he’s heading where I want to go! the first boat has pulled up with enough room in front for me but I’ve got the angle of approach all wrong and underestimate the length and (remember the stopping warning!) the stopping distance required! oh dear bump!! Jan advises poor Toms face was a picture! we collect Tom and I apologise profusely, Tom’s back on the tiller.

IMG_1918 Soon Tom decides to let the learner have another go and we manage to nudge on a bit from tick over in a few places.                                                                                                  Next bit of excitement as Tom reported on his blog is a slow slow day boat coming through a bridge hole before Dundas the boat in front Little Jack pictured above gets stuck on the ledge avoiding/waiting for the day boat, Tom at the tiller effects a great manoeuvre slipping by them both and offering a tow to Little Jack first the captain declined but soon Tom persuades him its for the best and gets the rope from the forward T stud ties it on the dolly on the back of Waiouru. It does take some application of power to drag them off but soon done.

IMG_1917

Then we had to make room for a ‘LAD’ boat complete with chair on roof! and another boat after that one, good job Waiouru handles well and oh forgot to mention bow thrusters which are handy when you get the hang of which button operates which thruster!

IMG_1919

IMG_1920I return to the tiller after the stop plank narrows the other side of Dundas Aqueduct.

IMG_1922IMG_1925We pass the Boatyards fuel boat on the straight before Avoncliff They decided against a delivery as it was a tricky situation not sure why, but he advised they will pass their yard along the way and to grab some fuel.

IMG_1926

We meet some canoes with Pirates aboard just before Avoncliff so Tom takes charge to avoid a calamity!

IMG_1928

The ladies retired to the cratch soon after Dundas to let Tom & I talk engines! we didn’t really but did discuss the build of Waiouru.


IMG_1929

IMG_1930

Toms back on the tiller as I thought it wise to select a mooring.

Tom made for a very tight gap, I was not so sure but I learned a lot from watching the expert at work. The boat in front taking up a couple of spaces appeared and kindly offered to move up. So that was it moored up and cruise over just after 13.00hrs about a 4 hour trip.

Then we were spoiled royally by being offered lunch, which we did not expect! It was New Zealand style new to us but in a nut shell don’t expect to be handed anything, it’s help yourself, we were fine with that. Lunch taken and enjoyed and we were given a proper tour of the boat and she is a mighty fine testament to Tom & Jan’s efforts.

Then we said farewell and back to the car and collect our bikes from Bathampton.

All in all we couldn’t spend a Saturday in any better way fab.

Thanks Tom & Jan.

IMG_1931

IMG_1932

That’s it our lovely week over 😟

Saturday 13th September 2014

0.10 miles 1 lock!

Well we had to return and vacate nb Ena by 09.30 to Frome Road Wharf. It was just a short hop up through Bradford Lock.

We rose rather early and had breakfast etc. no hoover on board unlike other hire boats it was out with broom and dustpan and brush. No mop on board either so cleaning cloths and water got the worst of the foot prints off outside the boat.

Karen and Jack made the inside sparkle and we headed off up through the lock, we had a “good road” as old parlance would have put it being an empty lock. So karen and jack opened up the gate and I headed in. It was taking an age to fill and then after a bit the chap of the yard shouted across the lower end paddle was not quite down, quite a problem he said the last bit is real stiff they have painted a white line on the paddle shaft (is that the right term) and another on the gate so they can tell from a way off if any boaters have failed where we did, as we didn’t touch the lower gates save from opening and closing a gate we had no reason to doubt the paddles were down as they appeared to be. Anyhow now we knew and soon the levels equalised and we were on our way for the last 200 yards.

I steered the bow into the wharf side (gently) and winded the boat around its pinned bow to face stern in, i.e. The opposite way to the way we came up out the lock. We were 2 nd boat in as another family  had spent their last night on the wharf.

So while we emptied the boat to the car our friends on the other BP boat we moored with in Bath turned up. The yard hand had nearly finished refilling the 1st boat with diesel then did ours, then the 3rd returners. So we had to wait for all this before we could leave I asked if they wanted to inspect the boat but the yard hand declined saying “I’m sure it will be fine” I would sooner they checked.

Then our 3rd boat man and myself were ready to settle the fuel charge, expecting about a pound a litre. Canalside and the fuel boat from the boatyard we’re about 0.85p a litre, but oh no they wanted filling station rates £1.35! A litre I think it was. We protested as they don’t pay the tax but were charging for it but the poor guy doesn’t set the rate it comes from HQ so we ended up paying the cost. To be honest we bargained on £90.00 so our £67.00 was actually all in budget.

So our fab canal holiday the 1st in 28 years had come to an end.

It really was amazing we really did enjoy it and it was the bestest 50th Birthday present I could of had! Great sunny weather lovely scenery and pub dining and with my No. 1 family perfick.

All that remained was to drop Jack back to his car at Claverton and say goodbye finally to the K&A for this holiday.

So with the holiday being a great success we or should I say I are looking forward to the next one.

A little bit of coverage goes a long way

Stats

Not sure you can make it out? but since Sue from NB No Problem posted a link to here in her blog and now I note refereed this in her updated blogs page, the counter saw a massive jump to 16 views from 13 visitors made my day! I expect Sue gets probably 100 a day but I’m only just starting out. Gives me the bump to keep up with the blogging.

Claverton to Bradford-On-Avon including the Tour of Britain Cycle Race.

Friday September 12th 2014 5.18 miles, 0 locks

Coiled the ropes and we were away at 09.06 as we had a cycle race to catch! The Tour of Britain Stage Six came to Bath then enroute to Hemel Hempstead it crossed the K&A at Winsley Hill

So we headed off and soon arrived at Dundas where at the foot bridge Karen jumped off to dispose of the rubbish at the wharf, Jack and I continued to moor by the lift bridge for the Somerset Coal Canal.

Picking up Karen on we went across the magnificent Dundas Aqueduct and on into Conkwell Wood before mooring up just shy off Limpley Stoke Road Bridge No. 175

SDC15713

Well Kept? Jack can’t quite believe what he’s seeing!

SDC15721

Interesting Butty now powered or new always been powered.

SDC15724

Approaching Dundas

SDC15725

SDC15729

Bye Bye Dundas

So we arrived in plenty of time walked up onto the hill a small way beyond the bridge. Being cycle race fans and multi Tour of Britain visitors we knew what to expect.

1st you get the sponsors vehicles coming through some handing out free bees.

2nd the officials judges etc.

3rd the police escort this is always fun as they move at a rate leapfrogging the race to keep the rolling road closure going.

Then we get to see the race proper even uphill the riders pass very quick, but we spotted the stars.

Followed up by the team support cars.

Most enjoyable.

So back to the boat and coiled the ropes and on to our Over night mooring Bradford-on-Avon.

A blog mention and therefore better update!!

Sue from Narrowboat No Problem, Retirement with No Problem is her blog with husband Vic. She does a Winter Wassat on her blog basically a crafty photo competition. Well yesterdays post I was straight on it and got it right so Sue kindly mentioned me in her blog as being 1st up. I don’t usually get them for a bit then many others have jumped in so I don’t bother with a comment just look back to see if I was right. Also she made a hyperlink from my name to this blog the 1st I’m aware of, so with the increased traffic that will create !! I had better get the current cruise diary done from last September!!

Washhouse Lock Moorings to Claverton

Thursday September 11th 2014 4.12 miles, 3 locks, 2 tunnels.

So Thursday dawned and we had breakfast and walked up to wave off Rob and Janey they are heading off to Falmouth to Robs Graduation. Was not long after returning to Ena that we coiled the ropes and were off at 09.47. Karen walked on up and set lock 11. Soon I was in and gates shut, I climbed the lock ladder for the 1st time on this holiday to assist Karen with operating the lock. Karen was a little apprehensive about doing the 3 locks unassisted but she was fine and took it all in her stride. It was an easy passage and we had a few gongoozlers on Bath Top Lock 13 and by 10.25 were through and on our way.

The weather still lovely we made our way to Bathampton to the water point to fill the tank. Soon done and on our way. Lovely cruising weather plenty of moored boats around here but we have plenty of time. Next along was a couple of fine looking boats 2nd being a traditional pair motor and butty.

We slowly made our way to Claverton to moor up for the day. 12.20 ropes were tied up and time for a relaxing afternoon .

Had another wander down to the weir and pump house in the late evening, I do like it here. I watched a farmer negotiate the unmanned level crossing He opened both gates then went across to call the signalman on the line side phone and returned to his tractor not long after a train came through, he still waited I wondered what was up then out of nowhere a 125 came flashing through! seen in the photo I guess he was told wait for two trains. He crossed and closed up the gates. Much later about 23.15 I popped out to meet Jacko who was joining us again for Friday and Saturday took the torch up to the road and met him a nice quite place there for him to park for 2 days.

Bath Top Lock River Avon and Return back up to Wash House Lock Moorings

Wednesday September 10th 2014

5.32 miles, 9 locks, One 2nd deepest in country! 6 locks in flight we did 3 twice.

IMG_6150

70 ft winding hole Sydney Wharf.

IMG_6152

Bath Narrowboats.

Click on the photo’s to enlarge.

The weather is amazing for this time of year! Yet another great day in store we set off heading the wrong way after yesterdays misfortune with Bath locks being closed it meant our plans to get to Saltford were scuppered. So today we just wanted to have a cruise through Bath on the river so we started by turning in the Sydney Wharf winding hole. 3 shunts I seem to think it was 4 point turn! Then off to tackle the flight of 6 locks to get us down to the Avon. Easy going in the first lock Bath Top Lock No. 13 of the Widcome Flight. Then into Pulteney Lock No 12 where upon the crew in front noticed us and we them so they helpfully waited for us to share the rest of the flight later dropping down through the flight. We went on to find that they were Dave and Helen from the share boat Freedom based in winter at Hawne Basin Birmingham and anywhere on the system in summer. A vote of the share holders decides this each a.g.m. a good idea I think rather than out of the same marina all year. This this year they were based along the K&A. So we shared Abbey View Lock No. 11 and then Wash House Lock No. 10, Then it was onto the big one Bath Deep Lock No.s 8 & 9. These two locks were combined when the canal was restored in 1976. So with Helen, Karen and Ada Jane working the locks we had a bit of a wait as there was a boat already in the chamber so the ladies assisted it down (no thanks given apparently and stood back and watched!) then they had to refill the lock up before it was our turn. Dave entered first I was lingering wide out in the side pond. So after a our wait we in for the drop of 6 m (19ft 5ins), making it Britain’s second deepest canal lock.

All very exciting even Dave got his camera out and fired off a few shots. Soon we were through Bath Bottom Lock No. 7 during our passage down I said to Dave we were heading up to Pultney Weir to have a look from river level, he thought an excellent idea to, but the lock landing on the river was left out the lock down stream and we wanted to head right so I landed on the lock landing to pick up the ladies as did Dave he said I though you were going right I said I am I proceeded to reverse back into the bridge hole for lock No. 7 and turn round made a bit of a pigs ear and had to have two goes at it. Dave was heading off down stream by now we had said thanks for their assistance and them returning the thanks to us. Now we were in for a treat, having seen the River Avon from the bank by Bath Rugby Club and way up on the Grand Parade to see it from the river was grand. I was hoping to get our 48 footer round in one in front the weir as the flow would help alot but alas no didn’t get over far enough right so had a 2 point turn here.

IMG_6202

Old warehouses over the river now converted.

IMG_6203

We Winded here before Weston Cut.

Then we pressed on down stream in glorious sunshine. We soon then passed Dave and Helen coming back up they had had to go further down stream to wind their 62 footer, they shouted “any moorings up there?” no we said they are closed for repair works to be carried out to the embankment which we knew from yesterday when we walked along there. So we pressed on downstream under the railway and past the old now redeveloped mill buildings and the city moorings opposite. Looking at the time and the desire to get back up some of the Bath Flight before stopping we decided not to do Weston Lock to turn around not long after and come back up it. So we turned just above the canal cut to Weston Lock. Then I made a photographic record of all the bridges on the way back to add to CanalplanAC as I noted they were absent during my route research. I have put most up there now. We made for the new mooring by Sainsburys for lunch, a building site alongside at the moment so rather noisy passing the refurbished Victoria Bridge which was the subject of the closure yesterday still being policed by a hi vis chap in a motorised dingy so you did not pass directly under the workmen.

IMG_6233

Entering the bridge hole to the K&A and lock 7.

IMG_6234

Bye bye River Avon.

After lunch we headed back up to the Bath Flight, I had an interesting time in the deep lock alone, Karen and Janey decided to wind open the paddles fully from the word go! no way I could hold the boat against the lock side against that they didn’t even look down in to see all was well! so I bounced around like a cork for a while until the currents subsided with the depth of water. We did number 10 then found a good spot on the end of the line of boats before the bridge to moor up. We popped up the rest of the flight on foot to find something for tea at Tesco’s and check out the parking situation for Janey’s BF who was joining us late this evening and staying the night and leaving with Janey in the morning to head off to Falmouth for his graduation. Not long after tea another BP crew arrived down through Lock 11 looking for a mooring and asked if they could breast up. The crew we met on Saturday they were the 1st to leave, old hands and had done all the BP bases to hire from there were 6 of them and they blasted off Saturday and got to the foot of the Devizes flight and went up Sunday had a day in Devizes Monday and headed to Bath Tuesday so they were not hanging around to be here Wednesday evening. Lovely people the older chap was a narrowboat instructor for people or children with learning disabilities and the like. After a conflab we let them know we had a late visitor arriving and we intended a sharp get away in the morning. So it was decided they take the inside mooring also as they were longer than us and we would be as silent as possible bringing Rob back across their boat at 11ish pm. Rob found the right street and Janey and I walked up to meet him and then soon to bed.

Claverton to Bath

Tuesday September 9th 2014

3.95 miles, 0 locks, 2 tunnels

Woke to another glorious day this was the scene out the side hatch

IMG_6115

Coiled the ropes at 10.30 and off for Bath.

More nice scenery in the avon valley, first up there was a need of water to replenish the tank.

Just after the swing bridge a water point was shown, we nearly missed it as it was just a concrete built cupboard, I reversed back and moored up but we were defeated you needed a special key to access the cupboard we didn’t have one!

So back aboard we head on knowing there should be another chance at Bathampton. After another tick over mile or so (moored boats) we arrive at Bathhampton and find the tap and get our tank back to full. A good flow on it not as slow as others I have read about.

Not sure why Janey has her Gillette on was lovely day.

Not sure why Janey has her Gillette on was lovely day.

Then onwards to Bath.

IMG_6127

Janey on the tiller

Nudged my 1st boat going for the gap to a moored boat between it and an approaching boat, ahh not happy about that, should of waited!

That was not it though approaching Darlington Wharf with solid moored boats I encountered a widebeam around a blind corner he was well over his side me not so! I got across ok and avoided the widebeam well, but forgetting how a narrowboat spins on it’s centre rather than back following front I nudged another boat by putting the tiller right to bring the bow left after getting through, I needed to wait a touch longer!

Still it was very minor nobody noticed but me. Then on through Beckfords Tunnel, Sydney Gardens and Cleveland House Tunnel quite surreal after cycling through here many times.

Wonderful stuff cruising through Bath, then arriving along the pound to Bath top lock there were boats everywhere and a ABC boat was reversing out of the lock. When he got level the steersman advised “Do you know the bottom lock is closed ?” well actually I did but the CRT stoppage notice I had seen online said stoppage until 12 noon. So after a chat as they were heading for the water point I learned there could be a possible lift of the closure at 16.00hrs. Well I noted I could get out 48 footer around at the top lock which with some use of the pole in the bow by Janey and Karen we did. Others had to drop 2 locks wind in the side pound and back up. We found a mooring on rings just along from bridge 188 and decided to stay put and move on in the morning.

So that gave the opportunity to spend the afternoon grabbing retail therapy in town.

Rather surreal as we would do this maybe 4 or 5 times a year anyway but by car from home 35 minutes drive!  We had tea in The Slug & Lettuce top of Milsom Street a sort of Witherspoons really but all good no complaints. We noted on the way back to the boat the area for eating out looks to be the new environs around Bath Spa Station. We walked back up through the locks around 18.00hrs and noted the bottom lock still chained.

The mooring was fine and no disturbance through the night.