NarrowBoat Ezri – Into The Blue

Today I spent the day laying across Ezri’s rooftop with a small tin of blue paint and brush, beginning paint the hatch top, the runners and her hand/rope rails. Ezri is a dark blue and the idea is that I will highlight what I call her moving parts with a lighter blue, so people can see were to put their hands and Ezri will not look like a patchwork of rust held together the dead leaves and twigs. Ok she not that bad but there a few places that don’t look to good.

There is a myriad of people who say that you have to use expensive marine paint, if want to paint anything on a narrowboat and equally the same amount of people who says use expensive metal paint, to do the same job. I fall some were in the middle, Yes for under the waterline and just above it and Ezri sides and roof use marine stuff but for want I doing a small tin of Hammerite paint will do.

And yes I know will work because two things, the first being right at the start I paint some yellow Hammerite on Ezri’s hinges for the gas locker, (the idea was I would slowly use Star Trek starship colours to make Ezri the same as shuttle craft but there just battleship grey, red yellow and a little very little blue. I want Ezri to standout but not that much) and until my Dad painted over them they were as good as three years ago. Second its all just shaped metal, the hatch cover and the gas locker simple metal sheets so the Hammerite works a amazingly well. The hand/rope rails same thing and it would look odd not to have the light blue all the way down.

However I am not going paint the rail on Ezri’s back deck, it won’t work I just want highlights painting the whole thing would be to much but if I paint the engine wood panel cover in very similar colour should work and link the whole thing together. And when Ezri been out the water this coming September I may look into get paint for the rest of her.

By the way in the last blog I talked about Marple Locks which have now since reopened but with a size restriction notice on the top number one lock, I don’t think Ezri will trouble fitting down or even coming back up but we have got in a moment pattern which I enjoy all the way to Bosley Lock with four swing bridges in the way and that’s it. So happy days and besides there is no real rush to get back into Manchester. As always if you have done thanks for read and hope to see next time of next narrowboat Ezri blog

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NarrowBoat Ezri – Rambling On

Having a little bit of spare time last week, I went on a bit of a ramble something it enjoy doing, building a mental map of area. Leaving Ezri around Furness Vale I headed towards back along the canal to Marple Locks, for a better look around as it hard to see when passing them at Marple junction. Since September of last they have been out of order, after the whole side wall of one of the locks fell down a few weeks after it had the lock gate checked as part of on an open door.

The hope is that the locks will open by 5pm on 25th May, which means we’re not going to be the first boat though as I will be working, but when I have time you bet we will be going though them once again, until them like I said work is going to main thing to do but I plan to do something colorful to Ezri in the next few weeks.

I do plan on posting more Ezri narrow blogs, but I don’t really want to keep repeating myself and showing you the same places you did on the 100 mile adventure, plus as I just moving around the same area its just a lot safer for myself and other I don’t keep pointing camera at things. But for now thank you for reading and see all soon.

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – Icebreaker Ezri.

Well I think kind of like this winter cruising thing, there is not many people about, the water is still and the towpath is frozen. But there is a down side there is not many people about, the water is still and the towpath is frozen.

No really the same the set of reasons that makes winter cruising nice are the same set of reasons why are making progress anyway its quite dangerous. Me, Dad and Ezri made it back on the Macclesfield though the stop lock and to our save place. 

But along the way there were a few things that made me think, the first one being the ice some, some reason I always forget that it possible that the canal can freeze over just a little. At the start of our trip we had brake a fair bit of it, we were lucky that another boating was heading down so much of the ice was broken for us and the locks were set to so it made it easier.

Yet when we left the Trent and Mersey the ice was re-freezing, I had even planed a simple way to use a mooring pin the break some of the ice if needed, but thankfully it didn’t happen, Now with all this ice about things like bits of trees get stuck in the mud in the middle of the water and by the time you see them it a little to late. So Ezri gets a few bumps along the way, I really do my best not to hit anything but with not a lot of traffic on the waterways its hard to see.

And finally there is the cold, Its fine when Ezri’s engine is running there is a little bit of heat but then is becomes a little mad dash to light the fire before that heat disappears,  and the ice returns but I guess that’s want happens in winter.

As always thank you for reading and I hope to see you next week. As make the leap though Macclesfield and push a few more miles ahead.

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – Where did Everyone Go !

One of the the things you notice the most, about retracing our steps is the fact the places that were busy at one time a hive of activity along the waterways, they are now deserted and look some what sad, this weeks trip took us back the arms pub just around the village of Lawton Heath End. 

When we came through the last time it was so busy that we had to push on and stop by the church 2 or 3 miles away however, this time there was not a single boat to be see, no towpath spectator (I dislike the word gongoozler) and dog walkers. It was a if the whole world just stopped, I would have though that being near a pub and the weather being as bad there would have been a least one. Taking advantage of the warmth of the pub

But I have had it pointed that most if not all boaters are very self-sufficient so would not like spending money or be back in their home moorings, but I do have the feeling that some CC (Continuous Cruisers or all year round) would use the place at least once, and save the coal or wood if just for one day.

Were we are now is nice and the people around here are nice and friendly there is even a little notice board with phone numbers on it for things like doctors and local police which is amazing.

With the lack of any real boating going on it does cause a problem because most of the leaves on the trees end up in the canal itself and sometimes there is also a few sticks end up coming down to, and because they are not moved by any passing propeller there sit on the water or sink which does cause Ezri it slow down a little.

But there are just a handful of locks left and we will be back the Macclesfield soon and then after Bosley a clear, simple and easy run ‘home’ and the refit/rebuild can begin again.

As always thank you for reading and I hope to see you next week.

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – The Almost Blog

Well we made it, That’s to say Dad and Me did, Ezri however is just under a mile away and that’s because the mooring leading up to the Anderton Boat Lift are all 48 hours and the Anderton Services are being renovated so it’s better, we stay out of the way of all that. And it would be more fun to have the whole day there.

So we have come to the end of the locks so all the trip was is just a simple run to find a place to be for the time being, The last two stops we have been on pins which all very fine but the weather keeps pulling them out of the ground and when I work it seems to happen the most when I am work I was lucky this time as there was another boat behind Ezri and they tried her back into the bank and for that I thank you for that and I will be keeping the way they tied Ezri main rope as it works a little better.

We have passed through some strange, wonderful places on this adventure, from tiny 2 week village to huge city centre 2 hour moorings but the landscape here is just mind blowing first the canal so wide at so many points its almost river second are the building we have past, countless small houses, mini marines and lots of moorings but the Strangest place we have passed is the tata chemical works the whole thing is like travelling through the center of huge engine room all the sounds of the workers and the fact both sides of the canal is taken up by the factory and there is only a tiny towpath and high fencing just add to the crazy.

At one time the place was owned and run by ICI chemicals and that’s want it still called in the canal plan program on the internet. I forgot my camera (well the good one) so wasn’t able to video to get a cross just how mad this trip really was. Don’t worry as we have to come back this way so there will be video soon. But for now here are a few photos.

Next weeks Ezri 100 miles adventure will be our trip on the Anderton Boat Lift which makes the turning point of this journey and start of heading back to ‘home’ mooring. always if you have been thank you for reading and I hope you can join me for that.

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =   55 miles, 3½ furlongs 

Miles covered this trip =   4 miles  

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge, Bancroft Bridge No 8, Higher Poynton Winding Hole, Braddocks Bridge No. 19, Lane Head Winding Hole, Clark’ Change Bridge, Leadbeater’s Bridge No 40, Royal Oak Swing Bridge No. 49, Locketts Bridge No. 53. River Dane Aqueduct (12 locks) Congleton Bridge No 61, Buglauton Cattle Aqueduct, Biddulph Valley Aqueduct, Kent Green Pipe Bridge Knowsley Lane Bridge No 95. Coopers Bridge No. 135. Rough.Wood Bridge No. 146 (10 locks) Arclid Aqueduct (10 locks) Rookery Railway Bridge No. 158. Kings Lock Visitor Moorings, Billnge Green Bridge No. 181 (5 locks)  Marbury Hall Bridge No 196.

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – Driving Rain

With Hurricane Ophelia fading away and the aftermath of clear up well under way, its time to carry on the 100 miles adventure although there is only 10 miles left until we get to the anderton Boat Lift, once again work has it’s role to play in controlling the days I can move.

Thursday was moving day and boy did I pick the wrong one, the rain came and not just a little, I work in the rain most of the time. Yet this was beyond words walking to Ezri was slog in it’s self I walk some what quicker that Dad and have always been a few steps ahead but this time I was almost a mile ahead. 

In fact I was able to untie Ezri and make it to the first lock before he reached me, I was very lucky that someone was coming up so it was set for us. Dad got there and we worked the lock as the rain poured down as we did a came behind us the locks were small so they couldn’t join us. We quickly got out and Dad set it for them. In fact for four of the five the locks someone from the boat helped Dad, I wasn’t able to see the name of the boat so whoever you are thank you very much.

Just as you come out of Middlewich there is a big double lock and in fact that’s wants it called The Big Lock and so the pub next to it the only thing was after the help we had and even working our system it took time so we got wetter and wetter, We made it out of Middlewich so all the locks were done and dad went inside Ezri to change his coat and get dry.

We were half way though the trip when believe it or not were was a boat heading towards us, both of us were able to make room for each other and pass without even touching, Though the driving rain, me and Ezri floated our way around each bend, and under three of the bridges but as we got to the small fouth one there was boat come towards us we got there at the same time, and they weren’t for stopping I moved over to the right as that was the biggest space into the winding hole behind me giving them the room to come forward.

But they didn’t in fact they moved backwards diagonally across the canal so they if they moved forward they would have hit Ezri square on and they just sat there, so I had move backwards even more and then move to my left towpath side which made the big gap they had very narrow.

They then decided to straighten up rather than go into the winding hole that would have given them quite a lot of room. So I had only one option at this point which was to get off Ezri and hold her by the rope at the side of the bank they passed with only inches to spare, and at no point did they wave thank you or even acknowledge what I had done which didn’t go down very well with my dad who had few unpleasant words to say.

And when I got to the other side of the bridge, there’s was another even bigger space on the right hand side the boat could have moved into, and we could have passed in seconds and not the ten minutes it took with everyone still getting wet.

The rest of the trip was simple if a little hard to see most of the time, I wouldn’t mind seeing what it would be like down in here in the summer time. With the heavy rain it was very hard to take pictures so unfortunately I only managed to get through that worked

 That’s the Ezri adventure for this week, as always if you have been thank you for reading and I hope you can join me for the next adventure

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =   51 miles, 3½ furlongs 

Miles covered this trip =   5 miles  

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge, Bancroft Bridge No 8, Higher Poynton Winding Hole, Braddocks Bridge No. 19, Lane Head Winding Hole, Clark’ Change Bridge, Leadbeater’s Bridge No 40, Royal Oak Swing Bridge No. 49, Locketts Bridge No. 53. River Dane Aqueduct (12 locks) Congleton Bridge No 61, Buglauton Cattle Aqueduct, Biddulph Valley Aqueduct, Kent Green Pipe Bridge Knowsley Lane Bridge No 95. Coopers Bridge No. 135. Rough.Wood Bridge No. 146 (10 locks) Arclid Aqueduct (10 locks) Rookery Railway Bridge No. 158. Kings Lock Visitor Moorings, Billnge Green Bridge No. 181 (5 locks)

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – The North Wind Shall…

Now before we begin, Two things I know that Hurricane Ophelia is not the north wind but it sound better that windy day and the other is that unlike the other blogs this one takes place over two day’s.

Me and my dad have got into a pattern of moving Ezri every Tuesday is began because in the summertime most of the boaters were out and I would at work (99% of football matches take place on Saturday) So come the Autumn time we have a good working practice Saturday move Tuesday, However this fell down this week I was cat sitting for my bother and sister in law and as Manchester City are in a small competition called the UEFA Champions League and they play on a Tuesday night so to move Ezri and be at work at three in the afternoon takes some doing.

Simple just move the moving day to Monday and that’s want we did last week but this week Hurricane Ophelia wanted to play her little game, along the Southern coast of Ireland and through the Lowlands Scotland turning the sky red with ash as she went by, So weather warnings came into force and it was better just to wait the storm out, Ezri is on rings and chains in the almost the center of Middlewich so I thought it would be better just to leave her safe than out in the middle of nowhere.

And then Tuesday the aftermath the center of Middlewich and the junction Navigation was shut because of a few downed trees, so even if I wanted to move I couldn’t. I am not sure how it will take clear the trees if done by Wednesday afternoon we shall be fine

That brings us to the second of our little problems if we don’t move by the end of the week in the right direction we shall not be able to the Anderton Boat Lift when it shuts on the 5th of November coincidentally yet another day I’m at work.

There has never been a timetable for the 100 mile adventure it was just to do 100 miles and the Anderton Boat Lift was really a marker point but now we only have 10 miles left to get to the Anderton boat lift, Then make the return trip before winter really kicks in it would some what sad not complete it.

This wasn’t the blog I wanted to write at the start of the week, and its not a happy outcome or a travel story this week, but sometimes that’s how it is. 

So that’s your Ezri adventure for this week as always thank you for reading and I hope come back next week for the next one, and will find if we are heading the right way.

Post script – The Navigation notice on the Canal and River Trust website has now gone we shall see on Thursday 

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – Four by Four

This week want we are going to do is head for the center of a town, which is most unusual for us. This whole trip has been about over shooting or under shooting places like this I work in the very noisy environment of a football stadium and in the center of Manchester so the last thing I want is the 24 hour noise following me home, plus time is slowly creeping up behind us.

The town in question is Middlewich around 10 miles away from our end goal, even at this time of the year is still a very busy industrialist place with not only the few all year round boats but many holiday boats as well, in fact counted about six boat yards in the center of town alone.

Anyway back to the trip its self four miles and four locks. From the idyllic rural setting of the occasional intercity train passing over head though the small industrial complex and new build houses be joined half way by the A533.

As with all of this trip so far my dad came to help out, so we walked to Ezri from Middlewich now this gives us the opportunity to see if there will be anything such as lock closures obstacles which may, stop the trip the only thing is that technically doubles the distance, sure Ezri does all we ask of her and never seems to run out of stream, but the same can’t always be said for her crew.

Like I said half way though the canal is joined by the A533 and as the car, lorries and motorbikes came thundering past us, Dad Ezri and me slowly headed into Middlewich and down the four locks.

Ok so that’s your Ezri adventure for this week as always thank you for reading and I hope come back next week for the next one.

By the way I think I may have the last few Calculations wrong as checking my numbers with canal plan gives me

 Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =   46 miles, 3½ furlongs 

Miles covered this trip =   4 mile  1 furlong

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge, Bancroft Bridge No 8, Higher Poynton Winding Hole, Braddocks Bridge No. 19, Lane Head Winding Hole, Clark’ Change Bridge, Leadbeater’s Bridge No 40, Royal Oak Swing Bridge No. 49, Locketts Bridge No. 53. River Dane Aqueduct (12 locks) Congleton Bridge No 61, Buglauton Cattle Aqueduct, Biddulph Valley Aqueduct, Kent Green Pipe Bridge Knowsley Lane Bridge No 95. Coopers Bridge No. 135. Rough.Wood Bridge No. 146 (10 locks) Arclid Aqueduct (10 locks) Rookery Railway Bridge No. 158. Kings Lock Visitor Moorings 

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – Heron Help Us

Even though we have been on the Trent and Mersey for sometime now I don’t know all of it and all its deep and not so deep parts. This became evident even before we set out because I had made the mistake of undoing the middle rope first and telling my dad to do the same with the front. So Ezri was just tied to the bank by her back rope so I as I undid that one she came out crossing the canal, not good so we were to far over and touching the right hand bank which was a little to shallow so a quick backwards forwards and we were off.

Then almost stopped again as another boat came in to use the water point and then a second boat which was pulling up just after the bridge to go to the shops just a little way down the road, a few feet on we were coming past a small reed beds on the towpath of Ezri when a big heron flew off ahead of us.

Which made me move Ezri a bit more into the center of the canal and as I did so there was a third boat coming towards us so I was able to let them past me on Ezri’s left once they had gone I was able to move back center of the water, only to feel Ezri’s back end touch something under the water.

I did my best not to catch on it and was lucky, after being grounded I hate the though of it happening again. we kept moving and along the towpath I saw the heron again standing there, Now for those who don’t know when I first started out and was well a truly on my own in first few days of getting Ezri a heron saved us on one of the many rivers we did.

And so I always see them as helpful and I give a wide breath and by doing this Ezri moved into the deeper water and the heron flew off again this happened three times on this trip and each time, when I moved Ezri away from the heron in was in deeper water. only a few inches mine but that made a lot different to Ezri. And when the canal opened up and became wide the heron flew off once again but this time behind us. 

A lot of you will say but it was just looking for fish and Ezri was just mixing the water up but I like to think he/she was guiding all the boats over the narrows

Finding a mooring this time was a lot simpler that the last, in a few places there has been want I like to call mooring barrier set in the old brickwork (its just barrier that you can put chains though) but were they can’t do that rings have been put in, and on the wide parts to so that were Ezri now its safe and sound thanks to the heron.

But that’s not the end of our story for this week as we mooring up the boat that had pulled in to go shopping came up behind us so and I looked forward just to see and right at the end of the rings there was small boat it back end out in the middle of the water at first we all thought was just turning around but no it had come away from the bank I was the first one over to it but I couldn’t see anyway on there’s was rail and the gunnel was to small to walk along, I saw the rope was in the water and guessed so was the pin.

The people from the other boat and dad soon came up to, the man had a rope and dad had the Ezri’s mooring pin hammer, the lady from the other took one of the rope and climbed aboard the stranded boat walking along the roof Me, dad and the man pulled in the rope, the boat came towards us and the lady was able to step off Dad whacked in both the mooring pins, As we walked away the lady was someone had left a small hammer in the ground so put on the boat. They say goodbye and we did the same and they were off again.

I am sorry I didn’t get a photo of the heron but I didn’t have the right phone camera on me, my phone takes two hands to work the other on change is just one, anyway here’s a phone of Ezri covered in leaves.

Ok so that’s your Ezri adventure for this week as always thank you for reading and I hope come back next week for the next one.

 Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =  47 miles  7  furlongs

Miles covered this trip =  1 mile  5 3/4 furlongs.

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge, Bancroft Bridge No 8, Higher Poynton Winding Hole, Braddocks Bridge No. 19, Lane Head Winding Hole, Clark’ Change Bridge, Leadbeater’s Bridge No 40, Royal Oak Swing Bridge No. 49, Locketts Bridge No. 53. River Dane Aqueduct (12 locks) Congleton Bridge No 61, Buglauton Cattle Aqueduct, Biddulph Valley Aqueduct, Kent Green Pipe Bridge Knowsley Lane Bridge No 95. Coopers Bridge No. 135. Rough.Wood Bridge No. 146 (10 locks) Arclid Aqueduct (10 locks) Rookery Railway Bridge No. 158.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Half a Dozen Down

This week we forge further ahead on the Trent and Mersey, At the junction we be turning left (right would take us to the Harecastle tunnel) this was easy said then done. Before we set off there were two boats tied together with one tied up and the lock landing, which as the locks are double, it didn’t present a problem I could just move to the right hand side of the canal on go down the free one. But by the time we got there and I’ve made my wide sweep to the right the boats had disappeared and I was too far wide to come in elegantly so I hit not only the bank in front of me but when I done reversing tapped the front of Ezri on the now free lock landing, So not the best of starts.

I’m not sure how many locks there are in total on the complete length of the Trent and Mersey as I only intend to do as many as it will take to get to the Anderton Boat Lift around I think twenty five. So in this journey we that is my Dad and myself will do the first six we will come across. The way the locks work on the Trent and Mersey are exactly same really is all locks you add a fill it up or empty it float in and fill it up or empty it again, The only difference is a double Chambers that’s two locks next each other one can be used for going down a one can be used for going up at the same time.

We did the first one with no issues and no problem we’ll stay down the left hand side from the mooring landing, that working a lot with the big handle windlass and me steering Ezri. But I did forget to do was to take the camera off my pocket and film because I wanted to show the fact that you travel underneath the the Trent and Mersey section which links with the Macclesfield it was only halfway through the trip when I remembered I had the phone.

There is quite a lot of room between 2nd and 3rd locked and there were a few boats made up mostly mostly holiday boats but there is enough room so that the lock emptying and filling doesn’t ground you so on the way back I might stop here. At the second was about coming the other way so they were going off as we were coming down and they were extremely helpful as the young lad on the boat open the gates so I could just sail to the lock on the left, they also pointed out further on the water would get a bit shallow as we were only going to do the first six it didn’t and hasn’t become a problem yet.

With our system in full swing with Dad setting the locks and walking a few yards ahead, I was able eventually to get the phone at my pocket and start taking pictures I even managed to take a video at some point exactly what lap and not sure because the numbers like I said don’t really correlate they not in 123 order. The Trent and Mersey actually passes the main offices well the regional offices, for the canal and River Trust so there are places where you can more up and take on water there is also a little Museum/shop thing but we didn’t have time to go and look inside maybe on the way back or in a few days I will have a look myself are there are two water points as well so that’s quite useful.

As we travelled along I think it was the fourth lock there was a volunteer who helped us though which nice and said we were about the 14th boat he’d helped. There were a few more boats than that after us so on behalf or all us thank you.

We went along to the next lock and with the system going we finished it in next to no time the rest of the journey was just a case of finding a place to Moor. Near a set of rings Ezri’s centre line being used as the Middle Rope to moor on the ring and the back and front mooring chains.

As always we left plenty of room between myself and the boat in front but half an hour after we stopped the people in front of our but decided they didn’t want to stick around so Ezri Dad and Me had a nice diner of steak pasties, pie and coffee.

So as always thank you for reading and see yo next week for the blog post

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =  40 miles  7 furlongs

Miles covered this trip =  2 miles  4 1/4 furlongs.

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge, Bancroft Bridge No 8, Higher Poynton Winding Hole, Braddocks Bridge No. 19, Lane Head Winding Hole, Clark’ Change Bridge, Leadbeater’s Bridge No 40, Royal Oak Swing Bridge No. 49, Locketts Bridge No. 53. River Dane Aqueduct (12 locks) Congleton Bridge No 61, Buglauton Cattle Aqueduct, Biddulph Valley Aqueduct, Kent Green Pipe Bridge Knowsley Lane Bridge No 95. Coopers Bridge No. 135.