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.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Going Well

Friday 30th March 2012
In the dock at Shobnall.

I didn't get started on the propeller swop until just after lunch time as the other boat in the dock with us had a really thick growth on the hull which took a long time with the pressure washer to shift.

So out with the old split pin and undo the retaining nut to the end of the thread, after about 20 minutes beating with a piece of hardwood and a hammer the prop was putting up strong resistance, maybe I need to get the gas bottles down and apply a bit of heat, but before it came to that Gareth who runs the dock passed a larger hammer down and 5 minutes later and it was off.

Mr Noisy on the left.

New prop went on OK with just a bit of fettling with a file to the keyway, new hole drilled for the new spit pin and that's it, a quiet propeller we hope.

Stainless Steel shaft has 12 to 1 taper which matches the internal taper of the prop.

Nut tight and new split pin, job done.

For the next 3 hours I scraped and cleaned off the hull ready for the first Comastic coating tomorrow. Quite a tiring day, feel like I've been 3 rounds with Mike Tyson. ( bit optimistic that probably last 3 seconds.)

P.S. Found this little gem on the BBC site.

In For Blacking

Friday 30th March 2012
Kings Bromley to Shobnall.
11.5 Miles and 13 Locks.

Yesterday we came up to Shobnall Basin, it was a very smooth journey due to most of the locks being in our favour.

We met a Canaltime hireboat at Alrewas lock, as the lock was in their favour Jayne opened the bottom gates but instead of going straight in they stopped on the lock moorings and walked up to see what was going on, then another Canaltime boat overtook them and went into the lock, they all seemed happy being on the Canals which is the most important thing.

Today we'll get into the drydock so that I can fit the Crowther propeller we bought last year, that should be done this afternoon leaving Saturday and Sunday to slap some Comastic blacking on the hull.

Monday, 26 March 2012

A Very Slow Weekend.

Monday 26th March 2012.

Friday and Sunday I was at Braunston Marina for the BCBM weekend, the idea is to give people who are considering buying a share in a boat the opportunity to look around various boats and talk to other sharers, however there weren't many people around despite the warm sunny weather.

Although the famous Shadow drew a small crowd.

Raymond moored under the canopy in the Marina.

Roger, Diana and Richard, Three of the volunteers who help keep things going.

I did get to meet a couple of other bloggers, on Friday it was Sue and Vic on No Problem and Sunday I bumped into Maffi and his dog Molly, not much time for chatting but maybe next time.

As Raymond is an unpowered Butty when the show finished we needed a tow to our mooring at the other end of the Marina, we were lucky enough to find a willing boat crew from nb Rowington, we breasted up (tied side by side) and off we went, the steerer of Rowington was very good even reversing right back to our mooring spot.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

It's That Time Of The Year.

Thursday 22nd March 2012.

Spring has sprung, the sun is shining and the Swans are mating, ( I have just uploaded a short video to our youtube list on the left of this page), it appears that when Swans get together the preliminaries take a lot longer than the main event.

Tomorrow I'm off to Braunston, (by car) it's the BCBM weekend, The Friends of Raymond take the opportunity to display the boat which will be open for the public to view and sit in the back cabin, the first thing they notice, usually when they bang their head is how little room there is. I will be there on Sunday as well to help put everything away

The way they used to live.

As the Friends are a registered charity we will also have the collection boxes on the boat as well as a stall in the main Marquee.

Last Tuesday evening we went to the Gatehouse Wetherspoons pub in Lichfield, it was packed, we eventualy found a table for four but the queue to order food was huge so we ended up at the Old Perculiar at Handsacre, we had a very good night.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Calling All Anoraks

Sunday 18th March 2012.

Does anyone else watch UK Boating on information TV Freesat channel 402 or is it just me, it's a bit amateurish and the interviews go on a bit.   (It's also on another Satellite channel which I can't bring myself to mention).

Tonight they visit Caen Hill Marina and the Crofton Beam Engines, can't wait.

You will need a one of these to join in the fun.

P.S. Sunday evening 9:15, just watched the programme and it didn't disappoint, Horlicks and bed now.

Saturday, 17 March 2012


Saturday 17th March 2012.

I'm recovering fast from my attack of Shingles which started last Sunday and can confirm it's a nasty thing to have.

We're looking forward to getting out on the Cut soon but have my aged P to sort first, we also need to be back in the Marina mid June for a family event and on the 30th we're booked on a Steam Train journey, "The Scarborough Flyer".

We leave Tyseley Birmingham on the "Duchess of Sutherland", go through Burton, Derby, York, Malton and into Scarborough, after a few hours in Scarborough we return on the same train,  four of us have booked in Premier Dining so we get a full breakfast travelling out and a three course dinner coming back.

Monday, 12 March 2012


Monday 12th March 2012.

The worst thing was only 26% of private boaters bothered to vote.

Scurvy Onboard ??

Monday 12th March 2012.

Well Scurvy was a common disease on boats a couple hundred years ago !

But the rash on my back which appeared this morning was diagnosed as Shingles by the nice people at The Samual Johnson Hospital minor injuries unit in Lichfield.

Although Shingles can be quite painful the joy that I experienced when I found that my  perscriptions are free now that I have turned 60 has cancelled out the pain so far. 

Friday, 9 March 2012

It's Over

Friday 9th March 2012.

Well it's over, the election for the 4 boater places on the new Canal and River Trust council that is.

Who ever the 4 successful candidates are we would like to say well done, it was encouraging to see 33 people stand in the election and as each one needed 10 seconders that means at least 363 people knew what was going on, talking to moorer's around the Marina I was surprised by how many hadn't a clue, out of all the boaters I spoke to only one seemed to have a grasp of what was happening, some had not even received the information pack outlining things which went out at the beginning of December so were even more confused when the voting pack arrived.

What ever happens I would like to see the Canal and River Trust become a membership organisation but that's not likely as the vast majority of members would be boaters and the butterfly chasers wouldn't like that.

Individuals will have struggled against the candidates from large organisations.

It will be interesting to find out what percentage of licence holders voted, the higher the turn out the more clout the boaters representatives will have on the Council.

Apologies to none boaters who look at this blog and see all this anorak talk, back to pictures of boats and ducks next time.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

New Free Magazine.

Tuesday 6th March 2012.

We picked up a new free monthly canal Magazine from the Marina office today, it's called The Tillergraph and suprise suprise for a freebee it's very good, much better than the free newspaper Towpath Talk, it's produced by Canal Boat Magazine and although there are lots of adverts as you would expect in a free mag there are still plenty of interesting bit's.

Misty Morning

Tuesday 6th March 2012.

It was cold last night, I looked out of the side doors at 7 o'clock this morning, there was a thick frost covering everything and a dense mist, but that's burning off now, we don't notice the outside temperature as the boat is so warm, it's only when I step outside to empty the ashes that it hits you.

8.30am mist clearing ready for a bright day.

and by 9.30 all clear.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Wet, Wet, Wet.

Monday 5th March 2012.

Yesterday we drove up to Leeds to visit our Daughter, the A38 and M1 motorway were more like rivers with the amount of rain that had fallen over night and was still falling, I was glad when we arrived safely after passing an accident on the opposite carriageway causing a huge tailback, fortunately the journey back last night was dry and clear.
Before we set off yesterday morning Jayne spotted a strange little duck swimming around in the rain, after consulting a couple of twitcher books we decided it was a Pochard it was very shy and dived underwater as soon as I opened the side doors for a better look.

It's about half the size of a mallard and seemed quite happy in the company of the larger ducks.

We think it's a Pochard but would be happy to be corrected.