Thursday, 31 March 2011

Birthday Cruise -- Day 1

One of our fellow owners is ill, so he and his wife had to cancel their planned three week trip.  It means we've been able to get a few unexpected days on board.  Today is my birthday, so we've christened this the Birthday Cruise.

I spent most of the day getting ready: shopping and packing.  I loaded the car and set off at 3pm.  At 3.30, I picked up Adrian from his office, and we headed for Norbury Wharf.  Much to our surprise, we were delayed only one, past an accident which had happened just minutes before, on the A34.  We arrived at Norbury at 6.30, unloaded the car, and set off.  Several of the other ex-OwnerShips boats were there at the end of their weeks, with the owners cleaning and packing before their final night on board.

It meant I had quite an audience for as I pulled forward out of the line of boats, and turned to go south.  It can be quite tricky to spin the boat around with lots of boats on the wharf, but it all went well, and I even got complimentary comments from one of the crews.

We've never seen the moorings on the Shelmore Embankment at Norbury so empty, with just a couple of boats there.  We pulled over after a couple of hundred yards, moored, unpacked, and went to the Junction Inn for a birthday dinner.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Where to turn?

We've got an unexpected three days on board next weekend, as one of our fellow owners is unfortunately ill.

With only three days, we won't be going very far, but we plan to head south onto the Staffs and Worcs.  But it's not clear where it's possible to turn.  I know there's a winding hole above Wightwick Lock, but we'll probably get a little further than that.  Nicholson and CanalPlanAC say there's a winding hole below Dimmingsdale Lock.  Pearson doesn't mention it, and I can't remember.  Does anyone know?

Monday, 21 March 2011


To Upton-on-Severn today for a boat test.  It wasn't as sunny as we would have liked (by which I mean it really wasn't sunny at all).  It's often difficult taking photographs of narrowboats on big rivers -- they look very small.  Fortunately, the marina has a workboat, so Andy the photographer was able to use that as a platform.

Sunday, 20 March 2011


Today we were up early and headed to Braunston.  The main purpose of the visit was to have a look at the boat share show, now run by BCBM.  But we couldn't resist a walk up the locks, and then tea and cake at the Gongoozler's Rest floating cafe.

Then we walked round the show, had a look through BCBM's newest boat, and chatted to Paul on the Waterway Routes stand, where we saw his impressive new canal maps, which can be downloaded and printed, or even better, loaded onto a phone or PDA.

Later, we headed to the National Trust property, Canons Ashby, which is about 20 minutes drive from Braunston.  We had lunch sitting in the garden outside the cafe, and had a look round the house and grounds, before heading home.