Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Tampa to Stone via Somerset.

We saw the blood red moon from 42,000 ft, well not so much blood red more of a tomato soup colour. Holiday over, it was now time to get back to the boat from LGW via Somerset to collect a chair we had stored there.

We left Somerset at 04:30 and were having a coffee in a Stafford Costa just after 07:00 while we waited for the Radford Bank Inn to open at 08:00, there we partook of a breakfast buffet for £3.99.

Back on the boat it is a fine day -  I removed the solar panels and boxes, rubbed down the roof and gave it a pre-coat. The chimney collar was rubbed down and a coat of stove enamel applied, next job was to put the secondry glazing  back up, it only seems like a few weeks ago it came down when in fact it was 7 months ago.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Stone to Tampa via Somerset.

I haven't posted for a while so here's a quick update.

I finally managed to get a top coat on FL's roof before depositing the wrinkly back in Somerset.

We needed a bit of a holiday after three weeks of the being in close confinement with MIL, so we made our way to Gatwick where we got in the pointy end of a plane bound for Tampa - we are relaxing in the peace and quiet with our pals Glyn & Christine. Who on the first day were beginning to turn into the holiday company from hell.

On the way from Tampa airport Glyn managed to slam his fingers in the boot of the hire car and on our first night out Christine tripped over and cracked her elbow on the curb.

A pair of crocs
Christine got sorted out at the local walk in centre while Glyn required the help of the odd job man at the hotel with pliers and hacksaw to remove a ring from his swelling appendage.... Glyn is bemoaning the fact that his golf swing will be affected - his ability to hang on to a cold bottle of Coors lite has not.

Floridians bless them don't know the Rugby World Cup is on -  much less that the USA have a team competing in it. There is absolutely no mention of it on any of the channels available in the hotel (very insular our hosts are). We did find a paddy pub - Mickey Quinns - who obliged us to switch from baseball to the rugby so we could watch England v Fiji, we will be back there for the Wales game.

Herons here aren't as nervous as along the canal.

Cormorants are friendly too.

Taken on a sunset dinner cruise out of Clearwater.

To my Canadian audience (Stuart & Co) normal service will be resumed shortly.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Kindle Fire

I have been using a Kindle Fire primarily to download  BBC programs and films from the BBC iplayer to watch at a later date, this has worked very well.

Since 1st Sept I get a pop up message saying my addition of the Kindle Fire(second edition) will no longer support the download facility but can still stream content. Streaming is ok but on the canal can be hit & miss becoming frustrating when you watch the spinning wheel buffering more than the program.

Not very happy about this I contacted the mighty Amazon to complain. Upshot is if I want to continue downloading from the BBC iplayer I will need to buy their latest incarnation of Kindle Fire for £299...no thanks. I am now looking for a cheaper option.

Sunday, 6 September 2015


Wednesday-We had a late start from Salt, it's fine Staffordshire countryside along here, the railway runs close to the canal from here to beyond Stone but does not effect this rural location one bit.

Aston Marina was the next port of call to get rid of the dumpables, there has been a new huge event building built on the site since the last time we were here, the facilities block for boaters is still in the same unfinished state as when we left.

We moved off after Sue went for a quick hello with friends Jim & Joan. Up Aston lock and a familiar cruise into Stone, we stopped for water before Star lock then reversed back to the winding hole and turned FL around and went in search of a mooring, the bank was full of boats and our 'can't walk far guest' wasn't happy when we moored half a mile from town. It took a bit of persuasion but she came with us to the post office to pick up a package from home, we had a sit down in Costa's before we returned to the boat.

Friday- its been 200 hours engine hours since FL had her oil and filters changed so I set about the task. Two hours later fresh oil was in the sump and all oil and fuel filters had been changed.

We walked Tuttsey back into Stone, we had to stop 5 times so she could catch her breath, here we met up with our mate Roly and his friend Graham in the Royal Exchange, Laurance and later Michelle welcomed us back into the fold......

later we took Betty for a fish and chip supper in the local Wetherspoons. With a couple of glasses of wine consumed she was able to walk back to FL without the need to stop once!

Saturday after a stroll around Stone's monthly farmers market we met up for a proper catch up with Jim & Joan and  Bev & Roly in the Titanic pub.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


Dry day when I got up to deliver cups of tea to either end of the boat to a sleepy crew, Sue got spoiled with breakfast in bed, a bagel from a batch that I made yesterday, with some boat made marmalade (not FL but from Ewn Ha Cul), I made myself a bacon bagel...........  Tuttsey got up and made her own. 

Heading off to Haywood Junction it was dry but fleece weather - for me anyway - other crews around seem to make do with t-shirts only. At the junction the water point had two boats on it with four other boats waiting. Sue hopped off with a bag of rubbish and jumped aboard at the bridge ole after the turn.

So a busy start to September which continued at Hoo Mill Lock where we were fouth in the queue to ascend. Once through we did the next pound on tick over, at Weston lock the last of the queue were entering the lock as FL pulled on to the landing.

We moored FL up below Salt Bridge (82) and walked to the Holly Bush for lunch. It's much easier getting Wrinkly to exercise when there is a glass of chardonay at the end of it.