Time To Swop Jobs

Last night we moored in what was a lovely place, secluded and near to a wood so we could hear the morning birds song.  The song birds have been glorious, and something we’ve missed.  Unfortunately there was hardly any wifi signal where we stopped  Hence us moving this morning in the rain.  We’ve now got a good signal where we’ve moored, and am really pleased we’ve moved on, despite the rain.  Even more so as I read this morning that the wood was haunted by a ‘vociferous ghost’ so I’m really really pleased I didn’t know about THAT last night.

Since we’d both completed our Helmsmen Course with Willow Wren (a fine training school!) and living on Cyan for over 7 months, I’ve let John do all the ’tiller work’ while I opted to do the locking!

The plan was for each of us to be proficient with what we do, but… I became ‘lazy’ and it was easy for me to let John ‘ride the tiller’ everyday.  But after a couple of challenging locks where my ‘little legs’ couldn’t stride some of the lock planks without fear of wobbling off; the time has come to be sensible, to ‘prise’ John’s hand off the tiller, for me to step up, and gain confidence handling Cyan. This results in letting John do the locks! Nothing of course to do with the prospect of going down the upcoming 15 Audlem locks (I lie Your Honour!).

After a discussion; and me doing less than 5 minutes on the tiller, we had the ‘words’ which basically were “Sod it, you take the tiller then….”, which was quickly followed with a sulk! We soon came to the agreement, that I’m left to make my own mistakes, and if I wanted John’s help, he’d step in.  Very ‘brave’ man, and not stupid either….

Today’s just a trial, with John doing the 5 Adderley locks.  All went according to plan, with me making my own mistakes. Though I do think that on Lock 2 John over-reacted when he jumped out of the way as I entered the lock. Unfortunately, I misjudged the opening, and entered the lock a tad too fast, and banged the boat into the side.  John does exaggerate as he said he thought the boat was going to ‘crash’ out of the water.

Today I saw our first swan on her nest.  At first glance the nest looks a bit vulnerable, but it’s not really as the nest is on the far side of the canal, away from any walkers.  Plus, I doubt any fox or dog would be brave enough to take on a broody swan and her mate.

Normally we’ve not been able to take a pic of a heron, as just before we approach them, and near enough to get a good photo, they take off.  But this cheeky chappie was brave ought to pose for our camera as we gently cruised by.

Aston Marina What A Great Place To Moor Up!

Motored on the Trent & Mersey for  2 miles, reaching the entrance into Aston Marina. We had reserved a berth from 10th till 14th December. Wow what a great place to moor up! The 7 day reception was warm and friendly, lovely farm shop and bistro. Everywhere clean and tidy, mooring pontoons ample, non slip and secure. With large areas to exercise Rusty. Top marks for a top marina.

Once again Mr Tesco found our location and delivered, on time….

Weather has been mixed, and I just had to include an image of the sun setting over the marina on Sunday 11th December, nature is always capable of springing a surprise and it did not disappoint.



Jen has used the excellent laundry facility to get our washing dry. Always a problem on board when outdoor drying is not possible.

Meanwhile time to get decorations up, on-line shopping finished, and Christmas cards written and sent before we head off on Wednesday.


Snuggled up in Great Haywood Marina

Having navigated the icy conditions on the Coventry we motored north west on the Trent and Mersey towards our intended destination, Tattenhall Marina, where we plan to spend the festive season.

The ‘Pramhood’ is ready to be fitted and we arranged to spend a few days in Great Haywood Marina while Peter Roberts completed the installation.

So glad we settled into the Marina as the weather is still very cold and we have both been struck down with heavy colds. Typically Jen has almost recovered but my ‘Man Flu’ is proving to be stubborn, and has developed into Bronchitis…….treatment involves keeping warm and consumption of regular hot toddies, I know it’s tough but..etc..

The Pram Hood looks great and fits beautifully…..Peter’s attention to detail and his careful installation really shows in the finished article.

With the cover in place it was a good opportunity to get down the engine ‘ole and change the oil and filter. By the look of the oil drained from the sump, this job that should have been done weeks ago! Tips picked up during the Willow Wren Diesel Engine Training Day proved very useful, including wearing of gloves to prevent skin contact with waste oil! I only have one issue and that is how to dispose of 6 litres of waste oil? The chandlers sell fresh oil but do not have a facility for the waste oil…..for the moment the oil is ‘stored’ below the deck in a suitable container……

Now the weather is rapidly improving we plan to be back out onto the T&M from Thursday morning. We have had deliveries from Mr Tesco and Rusty’s favourite dog food from Millies Wolfheart, so we are good to go!

Thursday morning began with a keen wind and rain showers, we delayed our start until midday when the sky had turned blue with a strong breeze blowing over the marina. Heading north on the Trent and Mersey, the wind pushing us along……

We have booked into Aston Marina, close to Stone in Staffordshire,from Sat 10th until 14th. This is to allow the work being carried out on the top lock at Stoke on Trent to be completed by 16th. Until then the navigation is closed at that point. No chance to make a detour in a Narrow Boat! We moored up on the canal side 2 miles south of Aston Marina for 48 hours.

No pressure and chance for a lazy start to the day before a Full English……