Found it ! And First Cruise of 2019

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2019 by netmanianick

Sunday 6th January 2019

So it turns out that the shower pump was hidden behind the wall, rather than behind the convenient inspection hatch under the shower. Hmmm.

I spent most of Saturday trying to remove the wall panel. There are only six screws, but they felt like they had been concreted in. With a lot of perseverance, patience, and swearing a lot, I managed to get them out.

I thought I might just try the switch to see if I could hear anything. The pump sprang into life. ??? Mind you it wasn’t actually pumping out the shower tray. I reasoned that the pump needed priming, having been sat for nearly four months without use, and it was clear that there was no water in the pipe leading up to the pump. I pondered removing the pipe and filling it with water, but then decided that it would be so much simpler to just fill the shower tray. Gravity would push water down the waste tube, and at least some way up the pipe you can see coming from the left in the picture. To my amazement, it actually worked, and the pump proceeded to empty the shower! I have decided that the pump simply wanted some company, and decided to sulk until it got some.

By now it was getting too dark to see clearly, so I went home.

We returned to the boat this morning, and as the weather was actually quite pleasant – 10 degrees Celsius and little wind, we decided to potter up to Teapot Turn for some lunch. Anne managed to get her fix of duck and goose feeding, but we didn’t see any moorhens today. We did see a beautiful kingfisher that teased us for quite a long stretch of the canal by flying ahead and then perching on an overhanging branch, then waiting till I was just about to click the shutter on the camera before flying ahead again.

While Anne prepared the lunch at Teapot Turn, I rebuilt the bathroom walls. It didn’t take long, I replaced all the screws with new ones and even though Anne checked to see if they had come through to the outside of the boat, I had actually checked that they were the same length as the ones I took out.

We only had about an hour tied up, before heading back to the marina, it is still getting dark very early, and we wanted to be back on the pontoon while we could still see.

Miles: 4

Locks: 2 (Hoo Mill twice)

Hours: 2



Back to Base

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2018 by netmanianick

Sunday 30th December 2018

It was very peaceful at the Ingestre moorings, and we had a slow start to the morning, coming to and enjoying the view.

I am mystified by the location of the shower pump though. I decided to drop my phone into the inspection hatch to see if I could get a photo of it, but there was nothing there!

It now looks as though I will have to dismantle a wall panel to find it.

Eventually we were ready to make our way back to the marina, so we cast off and made our way to the winding hole about a mile further on. Despite a crowd of walkers on the towpath we managed to turn around without incident, and headed back to Hoo Mill Lock. We saw a few boats on the move, and it was no surprise to find that we had to refill the lock before we could go through.

All too soon we were back in the Marina, and packing up for home. That is our cruising done for 2018, we have already started planning some trips for next year.

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Miles: 3

Locks: 1

Hours: 1


To Teapot Turn

In Uncategorized on December 29, 2018 by netmanianick

Saturday 29th December 2018

The wind had got up this morning, and it was quite cold and blustery as we set off from Wolseley Bridge. There were a few boats on the move today, but we had a pleasant run through to Mossley Winding Hole. Anne was kept busy feeding ducks, geese, swans, gulls and even crows.

We turned around in the winding hole and then pulled in at the Rugeley visitor moorings, for a quick Tesco’s shop. While Anne was in the supermarket I was on my hands and knees trying to locate the shower pump, which has decided to stop working.

I removed a likely inspection panel, but there was no pump there, nor under the floor of the sink unit. I’ll have a further look tonight to see if I can find it.

With the shopping stowed, we set off again for Great Haywood, and of course all the ducks, geese, swans, gulls and crows that had been fed on the way down recognised us, and wanted feeding again on the way back!

It was very busy at Haywood Junction, and we met two boats coming down Hoo Mill lock. It was getting very chilly when we finally pulled in at the Ingestre Visitor Moorings (Teapot Turn) for the night.

Miles: 11

Locks: 4

Hours: 5.5


Another favourite mooring

In Uncategorized on December 28, 2018 by netmanianick

Friday 28th December 2018

We contemplated whether to continue down the Staffs and Worcs today, but that would have meant climbing up the locks to Gailey, and then turning around only to do them all again. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Gailey, but it isn’t really a destination in its own right. Instead we decided to turn at the Moat House in Acton Trussell, retrace our steps and make our way towards Rugeley, taking in the marvelous bit past Shugborough Hall.

It didn’t feel as cold today, and there were even occasions when the sun tried to break through the grey cloud. With no wind it made for a very pleasant day’s cruising. As we approached Great Haywood Junction things became busy. We were following the day boat, which had turned at the bottom of Tixall Lock, and then hung back to allow another boat to come towards us at the narrows over the Trent Aqueduct. When we turned right at the Junction a huge working boat waited for us to clear, and then there was another boat coming out of Haywood Lock so that we could drive straight in.

The towpath was busy too, with dog walkers, hikers a couple of strollers and a group of furtive geocachers.

With the afternoon fading, we pulled in at Wolseley Bridge for the night.

Miles: 12

Locks: 4

Hours: 5


Last Cruise of 2018

In Uncategorized on December 27, 2018 by netmanianick

Thursday 27th December 2018

What better way to unwind after the excitement of Christmas, than an impromptu cruise? We packed up the left-over food from the fridge, threw some clothes into a bag and set off for Great Haywood full of anticipation.

At the marina we stowed our bags, filled with water and disconnected the shore power, and then made our way to the service wharf for diesel and a pump out. With full and empty tanks respectively we crept out of the marina at 1.15 and turned left for Great Haywood junction. City of Durham is still taking things carefully, and didn’t touch the sides when leaving the pontoon, nor when negotiating the narrows at the marina entrance.

We chugged to the junction on tick-over, as all the banks were filled with moored boats, and made the sharp right turn onto the Staffs and Worcs canal. Once clear of the Anglo Welsh moorings we were able to open the throttle and make our way round to Tixall Wide.

During the summer it is often difficult to find a space to tie up here, but today there were only three boats in the entire section. Typical, as we weren’t stopping!

Although it was grey and overcast, there was no wind, and the temperatures clung to around 8 degrees Celsius, so it wasn’t too cold as we were well wrapped up in our boating jackets. Anne had managed to unearth our gloves so that helped too.

Before long we were rounding the bend below Tixall Lock and were surprised to find a boat just coming out – there has been almost nothing on the move today.

It was time to give the muscles a bit of a work out, and then we were making our way round to the aqueduct over the River Sow.

On through Milford and past the mobile home park at Baswich, and we were soon passing under the A34 at Radford Bank. It is Sod’s law that the only other moving boat that we encountered was at the blind bridge hole at Baswich. Both boats retreated, intending to give way, but the other boat pulled in to the bank, so we went through the bridge hole first.

By the time we reached Deptmore Lock, the light was beginning to fail, so we pulled over soon afterwards at a favourite mooring spot near Acton Trussell.

Miles: 6

Locks: 2


All done in time for Christmas

In Uncategorized on December 22, 2018 by netmanianick

Saturday 22nd December 2018

I am sure that City of Durham feels proud in her new coat!

We arrived at the boat yard at around 10:15 on Friday to find the dock empty, and City of Durham resplendent on the moorings at the front. It has been a long haul, but the finish is superb.

It took a while to load up our stuff and tie on four new pipe fenders, and we pushed off just as the rain started. It was quite nerve wracking entering the lock, I really didn’t want to put the first scratch on just yet! Fortunately the boat breathed in as we slid in, and we were on our way home.

We stopped to top off the water tank at the bottom of Star Lock, and then soon we were cruising through the outskirts of Stone. At Aston Lock we managed to avoid the sides once again, but as the afternoon was drawing on we decided to stop for the night at Burston, giving ourselves an hour or so of daylight to clean the front cabin, make the bed and re-hang the curtains. Once it was dark the rain hammered down, but we were warm and cosy inside.

This morning we set off again at around 10.00 am on a cool but glorious morning, and enjoyed every minute of the trip back. Before long we had passed Salt Bridge, which will be the site of a stoppage shortly after Christmas, and all too soon we were descending Hoo Mill Lock and making our way into the marina. City of Durham triumphantly reversed onto her pontoon without touching the sides. As I stepped off with the stern rope, I saw that Anne was flat on her back on the jetty – she had fallen on the slippery boards as she stepped off with the other rope. Fortunately she wasn’t hurt, and I helped her to her feet, reassuring her that she hadn’t scratched the paint.

Lindsay kindly gave me a lift back to Stone so that I could retrieve the car, and while I was doing this Anne mopped the floor and back deck.

After just over three months without the boat, it felt so good to be back afloat again.


Bottom Blacked

In Uncategorized on December 14, 2018 by netmanianick

Friday 14th December 2018

City of Durham is looking great! Everything is done now, except for the final coat to go on the tunnel bands, and once again this has been held up due to the weather.

However, at lunchtime today it seemed to be drying nicely, and the boatyard hopes to get this done this afternoon. Provided it dries ok, the dock can be refilled early next week.

The deck boards have all been done, and are currently being stored in the warm and dry.

Looks like we should have City of Durham home in time for Christmas!