Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Some useful advise for working Double Locks with one boat

Quite often when we are out cruising and working double locks many crews we meet at the locks tell us they hate them because they throw their boat around inside the lock.

We have developed our own system that works well for us but our good freinds Del and Al on Derwent6 recently published their method for handling a double lock that works really well.  I'm sure they won't mind me sharing their method and the link to their blog page that describes this method and I hope this will help others too:-


First open the ground paddle HALF WAY on the side that the boat is closest too.



Then open the gate paddle halfway on the opposite side to the boat and let the boat settle.




Then its back across the lock and wind the ground paddle up fully on the boat side.




Then across the lock again and open up fully the ground paddle which is opposite the boat side.


Then while your on that side open fully the gate paddle.


Now when the lock is over half full or covering the flow from the open gate paddle, then open the other gate paddle..



The boat should stay on the side that you opened the first ground paddle all the way till you open the gate to leave the lock..

If the boat leaves the lock slowly and you close the gate slowly the other gate should remain closed.

In the case of locks that only consist of ground paddles or just gate paddles (like those on the Shroppie near Chester) we open both half way until the cill is covered then open them fully.  

Saturday, 9 November 2019

A famous visitor but blink and you'll miss it

While I was filling with water yesterday morning, local boater Garry, on nbChugabug and who runs a Vlog (Chugabug) told me that the Flying Dutchman loco would be passing by the marina soon.  Of course I had to see this so armed with camera I, and many others, set up for the photo oppotunity on the bridge that allows access to the marina.

Train Spotters and boaters eagerly await the arrival of the Flying Dutchman

The name Flying Dutchman is actually the name of a passenger service from London Paddington to St Davids Exeter and this was named after The Flying Dutchman, a famous racehorse, which had won both the Derby and St. Leger in 1849. The racehorse was in turn named after the famous Dutch Admiral Tromp.  The name was later given to the loco used on that service.

The locomotive was built in Doncaster becoming the first locomotive of the newly formed London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). It left the works on 24 February 1923 with number 1472. It was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley as part of the A1 class – the most powerful locomotives used by the LNER at that time.

By 1924, when it was selected to appear at the British Empire Exhibition in London, the loco had been renumbered 4472 – and had been given the name ‘Flying Scotsman’ after the London to Edinburgh rail service which started daily at 10am in 1862.

The British Empire Exhibition made Flying Scotsman famous, and it went on to feature in many more publicity events for the LNER. In 1928, it was given a new type of tender with a corridor, which meant that a new crew could take over without stopping the train. This allowed it to haul the first ever non-stop London to Edinburgh service on 1 May, reducing the journey time to eight hours.

In 1934, Flying Scotsman was clocked at 100mph on a special test run – officially the first locomotive in the UK to have reached that speed.

Sure enough, an hour later, the famous locomotive appeared, although only visible for a few seconds as it was running at speed.



And here are a few photos of it


Appearing from behind the bridge

The Flying Dutchman approaches our bridge in a cloud of steam

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Day 8 Weaver Cruise - Homeward bound


Well, yet another apology for not finishing the Weaver cruise posts sooner so here goes....

Last time I posted we were moored above Cholmoneston Lock near Venetian marina.  It was grey and cloudy as we left with a bitter Northerly breeze blowing.  To allow us to warm up it was decided we would stop at the Cheese Factory for breakfast at Calverley.  We like eating there and its good value.

Preparing to get underway

After a super full English and pot of tea we were suitabely warmed up so next stop was the services at Calverley for water and to empty the cassette.  Word must have gone along the cut that the Nantwich services are closed for maintenance as the Calverely services were very busy.  We were lucky to get alongside just as one boat left.  Even as we moored up more boats came along and waited their turn.

Very busy at the Calverley services with boats queuing for their turn.

 Having completed the jobs needed at the services we next moved on to Bunbury locks.  Here too there was a queue but we did not have to wait long.  We locked Mal and Eric down first then we locked down with another boat that had turned up in the mean time.


Waiting our turn to descend the Bunbury locks

Meanwhile we had thought Smudge was on the mend but in fact he took a turn for the worse.  He was slow to get out of bed in the mornings and would not eat until lunchtime.  He just walked a few feet when walked, did what he need to, then returned to AmyJo and slept.

On Friday we took him to the vet and she took some blood for tests.  After examining him she thought he might have Addison's desease but the tests would confirm this.

Addison's disease, also called adrenal insufficiency, is an uncommon disorder that occurs when your body doesn't produce enough of certain hormones. In Addison's disease, your adrenal glands, located just above your kidneys, produce too little cortisol and, often, too little aldosterone.  Some sympthoms include (although in humans there are more):


Lethargy
Weakness 
Poor appetite
Vomiting
Dehydration
Diarrhea
Excessive thirst 
Cool to touch
Shaking

All of which Smudge seemed to be exhibiting


A very poorly Smudge is allow to sit in my chair by the fire.

That evening after making sure Smudge was settled we took ourselves off to the Shady Oak for their Halloween  party.  We had a ball and the costumes were fantastic. We stumbled back to AmyJo in the early hours.


Landlord Pete as Alfie Solomon in Peaky Blinders

Marie, Yvonne and Kas behind the bar

Graham as a dead convict

Eric the Nife

On Sunday morning Smudge was late rising preferring to lay in bed long after we got up.  He never asked to go out so I lead him out but he just lay in the grass by the boat in the rain.  Clearly he was very unwell. I carried him back in and let him sleep on the armchair.  By now I was really getting very worried.  Fortunately in the afternoon the vet rang with good news, Smudge's blood test came back OK and no signs of anything amiss, ruling out Addisons.  That was a big relief.

The vet then suggested he had a gut problem and suggested a course of Amsoprazole antacid.  I quipped I am on Lansoprazole but she agreed he could have 10mg twice a day of that.  

The vets diagnosis must have been correct for after 3 days on the Lansoprazole Smudge is once again his old self and eating well.  He's running around on walks and has his appetite back.  He has even started to want to play. You can imagine our relief. It really upsets me to see him suffer so much I confess I was close to tears for him.  I guess I'm a big kid at heart.

Anywho, thats our season wrapped up for another year.  We're back at Tattenhall marina for a month then we'll see how it goes.  Depending on the weather we may go back out and resume our life out on the cut for our first full winter.  This is to get ready for when Chris retires in two years time.

This year we travelled 380 miles over 300 hours.  We locked through 292 locks.  Canals we travelled on include:

Shroppshire union
Trent and Mersey
Staffordshire and Worecestershire
B.C.N
B.C.N main Line

Friday, 1 November 2019

Day 7 Weaver Cruise - Middlewich to Cholmoneston Lock visitor moorings.

We had a bit of a lay in this morning, even Smudge who is now back to his old self remained under the covers content to keep warm and sleep.

Another bright sunny morning greeted as we got underway at 10:30am.  As normal AmyJo lead the way passing Spey a historical working boat.  I have helmed her sister boat Towy several years ago.  Several of these boats were built and named after British rivers.


Just past Spey moored up on a garden mooring
Leaving the moorings in Middlewich the view is marvelous and could almost make a picture postcard.  This photo suggests a warm summers evening, in fact its bitter cold when I took this.

Picdture postcard scene
 Leaving Middlewich behind we passed over the site of last year's breach.  A major engineering works taking several months restored the canal.  Apart from the fresh looking concrete banks one would not know a major breach occured here now.

Site of the breach now becomeing well estsblished with forna.
After passing Aqueduct marina we were passed by a hire boat called Olivia Ginger.  We know this boat well.  She's getting on in age now as it was the very first boat we hired back in 2000.  Nineteen years on its good to see she is still going strong.  We have plenty of happy memories cruising aboard her.

Our first boat hire

This is Chris and Joanne on Olivia Ginger back in 2000  The dog was our last one called Pepsi, sadly no longer with us

With the sun now dissapearing in the hasy cloud the temperature was beginnning to drop so we decided to moor above Cholmondeston lock for the night.



Total distance:8.39 miles Elapsed time:4h8m50s Locks:2 Bridges:28
Average speed:2.02 mph (2.50 lock/mph)