No Direction

No Direction is our 70ft Narrowboat which is now home to my wife Jayne and myself, it was launched on 4th February 2008.

We spend the Winters in a Marina and cruise in the warmer weather.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

We're Back

Saturday 22nd, October 2011.

We're back from our little holiday in Cornwall which included amongst other things a visit to the Eden Project, I found the temperature and humidity of the Rain Forest Domes a bit overpowering.

Big Greenhouse's

Plenty of jobs to do on the boat as winter approaches, the fires going now burning some of the logs we've been drying all summer, lovely free heat.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Plenty Of Mud In The Canals.

Sunday, 16, October, 2011.
Moored in Kings Bromley Marina.

Not much to blog about sat here in the Marina so I will attempt to answer a question about Dredging the Canals which was asked by blogger Halfie back in September.

The Dredging machine in Hafie's pictures is being operated by George Wain who happens to have a boat moored 4 berths away from us at Kings Bromley Marina, we only see him at weekends as he stays in a Caravan close to where he's working during the week. Today I asked the question, how do you know how deep to go when dredging, the answer was simple, he marks the jib of the dredger and then dredges until the mark is level with the surface of the water, the standard dredged depth is 1.35 Metre's, I'm sure years of dredging experience plays a large part in the job too.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Let There Be Light

Wednesday, 12th, October, 2011.
Fazeley to Kings Bromley Marina.
13.25 Miles  3 Lock's  1 Swing Bridge.

We have seen more maintenance on the Canal's in the last couple of days than we saw in 6 months last year.

Tuesday, British Waterways (B.W.) men had dredged the top 3 side ponds of Atherstone Locks and were in the process of rodding out the culverts, whether they intend on re-instating the paddles and using them again I don't know.  Then as we left the bottom lock another B.W. man was approaching with a large pot of grease and a brush to lube the paddle gear.

Today, just after we had passed through Huddlesford on the Coventry Canal we found a B.W. work boat in the middle of the canal, the driver signaled for us to stop and wait while they finished removing bits of tree from the water, after we had passed it was like entering a new waterway, the width had doubled now that all the overhanging trees and other vegetation had gone, it was like someone had switched the light on.
We found the biggest difference was the section where the canal runs parallel with the A38 by Streethay Wharf, this bit was one way traffic when we came pass last month but now 2 boats can pass easily.

The new double width Coventry Canal along side the A38. 

Then, if that wasn't enough 2 more B.W. people were walking the towpath with handheld computers checking boat licences, lets hope it continues.

We are now back in the Marina for the winter but we haven't stopped travelling just yet as next Monday we are off down to Cornwall ( by car ) for a few days to visit the Eden Project.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

We Need Rain.

Tuesday, 11th October, 2011.
Sutton Stop to Fazeley
21.5 Miles  13 Locks.

We left our overnight moorings at 7.00 this morning just as it was getting light, after 15 minutes a  Cyclist went past and shouted that a boat was blocking the canal ahead.

Just what we needed.

We nudged up to it, I held it while Jayne reversed, we couldn,t just push it as its stern was still tied to the jetty, we then got stuck on the mud, after a few blasts on the horn someone appeared from a house and between us we got it back into the side, next time I will select ramming speed and carry on.

We then had a clear run to Atherstone top lock and went down the flight in good time.  As we left the bottom lock we found the water level 12 inches down so we had a slow journey to Glascote Locks.

Who pulled the plug out ?

Along the way we past Pooley Hall, in 1989 I was cycling along the towpath here, looked up at the top of the building to see American soul singer Edwin Starr waving, he owned the place and I think he fancied himself as the local Squire.

Part of Pooley Hall.

We are now moored on the Visitor moorings at Fazeley opposite Peel Wharf, we won't be starting off so early tomorrow as we only have around a 5 hour journey back to the Marina.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Moving Again.

Monday, 10th,October,2011.
Braunston to Sutton Stop.
20.5 Miles, 4 Locks.

Off at first light today and in bright, dry, and very windy weather, down the 3 Hillmorton lock's following another boat, with 2 boat's coming up we didn't waste to much water.

The rest of today's journey has been uneventfull with very few boats around.

Don't moor on this side of the Canal.

Late afternoon we turned onto the Coventry Canal and moored on the Visitor mooring's at Sutton Stop (Hawkesbury Junction) just in front of Val and Micheal Lee on nb Thistle, we have also used our new mooring leg's for the first time.

New toy's in position.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Weekend.

Moored at Braunston.

We have been here at Braunston since Wednesday and tomorrow we start back to Kings Bromley. The reason for our stay has been to help with the maintenance of the 1936 working boat Nutfield which is run and maintained by the Charity Friends of Raymond.

Along with all other boats on the Canals Nutfield is required to have an safety inspection every 4 years and due to it's age Nutfield's hull get a very detailed examination by an experienced and qualified marine surveyor. The main part of the inspection involves measuring the thickness of the steel plating using an Ultra Sonic device which measures down to 1/100th of a Millimetre, fortunately the hull although thinning in places will be OK for a couple more years.

The hold of Nutfield, I have just refitted the floor sections as they had to be lifted during the hull inspection.

After the inspection was completed the hull gets a coat of blacking to help preserve it.

And then most of the other bits get some attention, Robin paints the Counter. 

During the last days of Commercial Carrying on the canals Nutfield, along with the Butty Raymond (a Butty is a unpowered boat towed behind one with a motor)  was used to carry Coal from Atherstone in Warwickshire to Southall in London, it was known to the boat people as the Jam Ole Run because the Coal was used to fire the boilers at the Kearley and Tonge jam factory, it all ended in October 1970, the two boats were operated by Arthur and Rose Bray, and Rose's stepson Ernie, a Plaque outside Braunston Marina reminds visitors of their lives.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Back At Braunston.

Wednesday, 5th, October, 2011.
Long Buckby to Braunston.
4.5 Miles 6 Locks.

Not many boats travelling in our direction today as we headed for Braunston, we arrived at Braunston top lock and found 3 boats coming up in the same lock (2 were very short), after they came out we went in and waited for another boat as requested by British waterways to save water although we new nothing was behind as we would have seen their light in the tunnel.

We had only been in the lock 5 minutes when 2 more boats wanted to come up so they emptied the lock with us in it so no water wasted there and it was the same at the next 3 with boats coming up, at lock 2 the Volunteer Look Keeper opened the gate for us, he knew there were no boats following so locked us down on our own, same at Lock 1, as usual we had to buy an Organic loaf from the small shop by the lock.

We are now moored outside the Boathouse pub until Monday as from the 1st of October the moorings here change from 48 hours to 14 days.

The wind is really blowing now although it is still warm in the sheltered spots.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Back To Reality

Monday/Tuesday, 3rd/4th October 2011.
Stoke Bruerne to Long Buckby.
16.5 Miles 9 Locks.

Monday we moved up the 2 Stoke Bruerne locks and moored just past the Museum, Jayne had the washing machine on twice and we enjoyed the last of the warm weather.

Tuesday we needed fleeces on as we were back to October temperatures, I set off just as it was getting light while Jayne was still in bed, I enjoy going through Blisworth Tunnel early as all the smoke and fumes from the previous day have been blown away.

The Blacksmiths, in early light.

Original brick lining inside Blisworth Tunnel.

And the new precast concrete middle section.

After stopping at the services at Gayton Junction and later at Rugby Boats for Diesel we arrived at Buckby bottom lock and found a Willow Wren hireboat waiting for a second boat to share to flight with so we went all the way up with an Australian family, they carried on to Braunston and we moored up on the visitor moorings just past the New Inn pub, which is where we went tonight.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Pass The Sun Lotion.

Saturday/Sunday,1st/2nd October 2011.
Moored at Stoke Bruerne.


The first day of the Village at War weekend has been busy, mainly due to this mad weather, I felt sorry for the people in WW2 army uniforms marching around they really did look hot.

Early morning at Stoke Bruerne.

Both the pubs here were standing room only and the queue for the Burger Bar seem to go on for ever, there were plenty of visitors to the "Black Market Field" where you could buy Forties clothes, Military Uniforms, old fashion sweets and popcorn.

We also had visitors, Jayne's sister Pam and the family came for a day out and her brother David also turned up.


Another scorcher and even more people around, Jayne helped out in the admission marque handing out programmes in the morning and I spent more time on the boats

We were supposed to see a fly past of a Hawker Hurricane Fighter but due to "Technical Difficulties" that didn't happen so we had to make do with a Westland Lysander.

Best I could do, people kept talking to me as I was trying to get a better picture.

Trip Boat Charlie was very busy both days.

Tomorrow we will move up the 2 locks and moor by the Museum, as the event was so busy most of the visiting boats are double breasted (2 boats moored side by side) we have nb Percy owned by Vintage engine specialist Tony Redshaw moored up against us so we will have to wait until they go before we can move.