Friday, 16 July 2021

Three to Fifteen.

Not much be happening on the cruising front while I wait for an appointment for the dentist to weld a new crown to one of my gnashers, apparently, the one that fell out which had been in place the last 30 years is not fit for purpose.

An old pal of mine from my working days I haven't seen in 21 years popped in on his way back up to Scotland. We had a good laugh before he left for the M6.

The football was a bit of an anti-climax but England did well to reach the final.

Where I think this bunch of international players differ from past teams is that they all appear to be thoroughly decent men off the pitch.  No negative press at all only positive - which wasn't the case in teams from past eras -now if only the fans could behave themselves.

So as the three lions go out with a squeak, let's hear the fifteen roar against South Africa.


Wednesday, 7 July 2021

FL's bi-annual week on the slip

Jet washed, wire-brushed and a coat of Aqua-steel applied

Rearmost anode by the prop- just the strap left

First bum coat on and gunwale scars sorted.

Hazmat suited Sue.

Jamie welded on four new sacrificial anodes, the gunwale was sanded and undercoated.

Four coats of Intertuf 16 on the bottom and two coats of gloss on the gunwale.

all done for another two years.


Friends invited us for a few days of relaxing fun at their holiday home near Snowdonia park, it was just what Sue needed.  

A stroll in Aberystwyth 

Where's the money slot?


Tuesday, 6 July 2021


 Sad to report that Sue's mum passed away in hospital last month.

She enjoyed holidays....

A challenge

A fight



and family

We will miss her.

Saturday, 29 May 2021

Swan attack.

 Rocky the swan is a well-known thug along this stretch of canal particularly at this time of year when he's rearing young. He couldn't care less if it's a twenty-ton steel narrowboat or a small duck both will get the same treatment until they leave his area.  

I was helping a friend move his boat when Rocky let us know we shouldn't be on his patch.

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Aston lock to Burston.

                           Not much happening, so here is a video of yesterdays evening cruise.

Monday, 24 May 2021

Call-up papers.

 We have left the marina, holding position along the canal, anywhere between Great Heywood and Stone.   I am waiting for my second Covid jab which will be done at the Stafford Show Grounds, Sue has received her second dose of AstraZeneca, I had the Phizer vaccine, supplies aren't as readily available so I am still waiting for my call-up papers for my second stabbing.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

In the deep.

Dropped my phone into the drink, this marina is at least ten feet to the bottom.

I tried in vain with a magnet on the end of a rope, only managing to capture a few screws and a Stanley blade, I then tried trawling with a landing net tie-wrapped to the end of a boat pole nothing came up with the silt bar a few freshwater mussels.


 I'm not beating myself up too badly as in 38 years of owning boats it's the first time this sort of thing has happened...... apart from the time I lost a mate (briefly) under the water in Romney lock.


Balloons have been taking off from the marina grounds early mornings.


Sunday, 25 April 2021

Sue flew, new flue.

I was half hour late getting to John Lennon airport to collect my first mate from her IOM red-eye flight, a lorry had turned over on the sliproad at junction 15 on the M6 shedding its 35-ton load of fridges, this meant a detour for me to join the motorway at Junction 17. 

We stopped off at Salthouse dock in Liverpool for breakfast aboard our friend's dutch barge before making our way back to FL - with home-smoked salmon and cheese, marmalade and pasties. 😋

That afternoon we had our first cruise of the season, to Anglo-Welsh hire base at Great Haywood, they would be fabricating and fitting a new flue to the stove the following morning.

Entrance to the Staffs and Worcester canal from the Trent and Mersey.

The flue will be painted after it has had some use. 

The following day we had lunch aboard FL with our mate Roly after aborting a trip to the canalside cafe whose outside seating area was rammed full of patrons enjoying the sunshine and food. Roly had driven up from Wales to have a catch-up bringing along Welsh cider and Bara Brith cake. 😋

Later we had a three-hour cruise to Burston where we were surprised to find we had one of the best stretches of this canal to ourselves for the night.

In the morning I went to help a stricken vessel that had pulled in because of overheating. The raw water inlet feed to the engine (she was rather an old gal) had become blocked, with the aid of my Heath Robinson copper tube and flexible hose the obstruction was blown back out into the canal. The happy crew continued on their way towards the Kennet & Avon canal.

Friday, 16 April 2021

The Failures of State

 I've been waiting patiently in the marina for Sue to tear herself away from the little Manxman and join me, her flight is now booked and I will collect her from Liverpool next week. She will be leaving the island just as they come out off the latest lockdown having eradicated cases of Covid 19 from the community for the third time in a year.

I've just finished reading ' The Failures of State' written by two award-winning Sunday Times investigative journalists, it's about the pandemic and the fatal mistakes this dithering government made to allow Covid 19 to get out of control and how the UK went from one of the best-prepared nations in the world to one of the worst.  

In between reading, there are always jobs to be done on a boat, FL had faired well through her 6-month lay up, having friends on the marina to check on her and air her from time to time had helped.

One job has been tiling, I have never liked the kitchen tiles, after living with them for the last 8 years it was time they came off.

New tap fitted too.

The kitchen was further brightened by changing the cheap Chinese eBay LED bulbs to superior lumen items from Bedazzeled the improvement is astonishing. 

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Leaving the Island

The ferry had technical issues with its starboard engine 10 mins out of Heysham port. The ferry is not allowed to enter the port on one engine, so we hung around for nearly two hours while engineers fixed the problem.

 The Ben My Chree winding in Heysham port