Friday, 20 February 2009

How many?

14. In a whole week. That's the number of locks we'll be doing on our next trip (and of course the stop lock at Hawkesbury Junction has a fall of only about six inches anyway).

Sue from Indigo Dream asked in a comment on the previous post how many locks would be reasonable. She suggested a flight of ten, but I think that's a bit short for a real sense of achievement. There's something a bit special about making it to the top of the Hatton, or Lapworth, or the Wolverhampton 21. The most locks we've ever done in a day is 38, getting down from the mountain on which Birmingham is built, but I wouldn't want to do that every day.

However, we'll make up for the lack of locks this time when we do our three week trip in September, which according to my calculations will have 222 locks. Strangely, that averages out at approximately ten locks a day, so maybe Sue was right after all.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Spring planning

We have a week on board Debdale coming up in a couple of weeks time. It'll be our last week from Stockton Top, as Debdale is moving to Norbury Junction the week after.

There are still a number of stoppages around, meaning our choice of routes is somewhat limited. But we'll have mother-in-law on board, and she's expressed an interest in going to Coventry, so that'll be our first aim. We haven't been there since we hired in 2005, and I quite like the basin anyway.

After that, we're planning to head up the Ashby as it's about the only bit of waterway in the area we've never done (mostly because the lock-free cruising everyone raves about isn't really my idea of proper boating). Last time we went past Marston Junction was on our first trip on Debdale, in August 2007.

So it'll be interesting to see how we get on with a canal that's nothing more than bridge, field, bridge, field. I may go mad. Or I may enjoy it. Either way, we'll have to get to the (current) terminus, or it will feel like a failure!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Caxton on test

The March Canal Boat is out, and includes my review of Caxton. On this occasion, I knew more or less what to expect from the boat, having followed the build via Lesley's blog. As you can see from the photos, it was a very cold day when we did the test, although the warm welcome from Lesley and Joe made up for it!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Chocolate fireguard

This guidebook believes that the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and much of the Rochdale Canal are not navigable by boats. If they're not going to update it, maybe they should stop selling it.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


Tarporley was moored outside King's Place. It's a 1937 boat, owned by the Camden Canals and Norrowboat Association. Sarah from Warrior is in charge of their marketing.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Battlebridge Basin and King's Place

Battlebridge Basin was where we'd planned to walk to, partly because I wanted to have a look at King's Place, the new home of The Guardian, the London Sinfonietta, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. It's quite a good looking building, and is particularly nice inside. The round tower has a rather classy looking restaurant on the ground floor, but we were looking a bit scruffy, and our weekend in London had already cost enough! But in the atrium is a very good cafe, with proper food at very reasonable prices. The concert halls are below ground level. It must have been a very big hole while they were building it. There's plenty of access to the outside, where you can see across the basin to the London Canal Museum. We also spotted Oothoon moored in the basin, but there was no sign of Martyn.