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.

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Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure –  Third time Lucky

Even when I was getting wet week last week, even when I bailing out the water from the leak. I try and make things sound fun, as me and Ezri make our way around the canal network. But I don’t think with this one, the task for the day was simple one, turn around get some fuel and moor up back in the same place as I have a few days left here.

Things started out Easy, I turned Ezri’s key counted to 20 and her engine came kicking into life, we untied her ropes and Decided to leave the change as we were coming back to the morning, I worked out there was space a few feet head so we could use that to turn around in, I was able to come in and Dad got off rope in hand all we needed to do was move backwards Dad would then pull Ezri around I would then head to the fuel pump at the Marina.

Well first Ezri didn’t want to go backwards despite having about a foot of spare space behind her and when dad tried to push her back that didn’t work. We tried a second time only to get stuck and Ezri’s tiller arm smacking me in the stomach so there was nothing for it but to head up the network and find bigger space.

The second one we found was a lot wider so we tried again but once again Ezri didn’t want to go backwards despite my best efforts, and Dad holding her front rope telling me which way to move Ezri’s tiller but it didn’t work I got a second whack for my trouble and Ezri started making odd sounds. Which is never a good sign so the there was nothing for it but to go deeper.

Now by this point I was in a little of pain and Dad was getting tried of walking and pulling, So right in the center of the bend we tried again slowly and only just making it this time,facing the right way heading back to the Marina Dad got on and off we went Ezri was not happy one bit. She kept fighting me, it was if I was running thought sand we did make it to the Marina and got some fuel want we got in total I can’t really remember as I was still too focused on the fact that he was being a bit of a pain in the backside.

I thought that after all that messing about was over when headed out but no, Ezri had one last trick to keep us on our toes she decided to almost hit the boat to her left as we came down the canal back to the mooring and then overshoot the mooring place and we had to drag back quite a few feet. Not only that but the mooring chains for decided to lodge themselves within the steel work of the barrier.

We move again on Friday I just Ezri is a better frame of mind, as I don’t want have start fighting her again.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure -The Undiscovered County.

Soon it will be time for us to leave the Peak Forest Canal and head into the unknown, the undiscovered County of Cheshire. By crossing the Marple junction and joining the Macclesfield Canal and heading south from were we are now its trip of 6 miles and 3 3/4 furlongs.

But I will get back to the trip in a second, I talked before about water geting into Ezri so to solve this, she now has three small pegs in her side were the outlets are and on the inside four metal ties on the pipe work, so that should stop the water comming in, And yes the pegs in the holes will come out if and when they need to. But with water level being so high in the canal and Ezri being back heavy she will end up filling again soon. So the pegs will have do for now and at the very least want Ezri to be dry so I can see what wood or bits will needed replacing. 

Now back to the trip, here on the map I have marked out the area that Ezri and Me have covered so far on this 100 Miles Adventure in purple, The map was desinged and illustrationed by Bek Cruddce (search Bek Cruddce or read my Mapped Out blog post) I will be marking the map every 20 miles or each time we past though a town or city in purple but I will be adding a little gold dot which will be a photo or video place. All this not were we are is were we have been. Just to be on the safe side.

But before that can all start Ezri is facing the worng way and needs to to turned around, the best way I worked out was to move forward open the swing bridge and use the fact Furness Vale Marina begins just after it, the Marina is a very wide area and Ezri very small. So with help from my Dad, opening the bridge and watching out for me, we were able to turn and head the right way. 

The only thing was when past though the bridge Ezri tapped the left side and bent one of the pegs and lost the other two. So I am going to see if I can find end caps for the inside them and make sire there are shut for next time. We did carry on and made it all the way to our stopping place but that’s for next week, I have video so I want add that in. 

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) = 14 miles  

Miles covered this trip = 500 yards

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge
So if you have done thank you for reading, and until next time.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure -Mud, Wind and Fire.

Of all the days to pick I chose Monday, because on moving day I be at work and don’t want to get in bother with CRT and one sooner is better that one day late. I have to make sure there is space of Ezri because winter moorings are still in place, so I need to makes sure I am on the right side of the signage, if not its a long run to bugsworth of two days.

Thankfully there was a space a little way out of New Mills, a lot of people without winter mooring have the same idea, so it was a walk back to Ezri. Which on a good day would a fun little (for me) trip. 

But today with last few days of rain its made the towpath a patchwork of mud and tarmac, I walk quicker that Dad so ten minutes into the walk up to Staines and Ezri I walking on my own getting wet though as the rain started up again, and losing my eyesight has my glasses became too wet to see through. It did become a bit wade when I got to the mud, so much so that I was starting to think about finding another place for Ezri to be. But in the end I wasn’t sure how far that would count as a move.

Getting to Ezri I found out that I was covered in mud, my shoes were black and my bottom end of trosuers were the same, but it didn’t really matter Ezri was dry (discounting the intake hole) a quick check and pulling up of the chains and we were off.

It doesn’t mattter if I have made the run before or Me and Ezri do a few hours sail I always try and find out how long we do, And this trip is no exception canalplan told me the trip would take 2 hours and 6 minutes a matter of 4 miles and 1/4 furlongs, Beginning at two and ending at four, As it was still raining Dad was inside Ezri facing the way we had come but as we started the wind started up.

And in no time we were at the frist bridge, Dad lifted it and I held Ezri in place, I  let her slip thought a little as I needed to tie up on the bank again so Dad could get back on, the rain was lighter than before but it was a little work, All I had to do was stay in the middle, the easy thing to do as like before there was so much water.What wasn’t so easy was the fact Ezri is back heavy so I knew that her rudder would tap a few things. Second was the intake hole I couldn’t tell if were filling with water. 

I asked my Dad to keep an eye on it just in case, and went back to pushing on, we made the second bridge, and in five minutes were off again, there are few narrow points between the second and third bridge so Ezri did bouce a little, and there was a little mud bank at one of turning areas, so when reached the last bridge I had an idea Dad worked it and I pushed the bed/couch into the center of Ezri and right up to her front did help a little I could see the top of Ezri’s rudder.

The wind had been pushing us a long as we made our trip, we even incounted a A fiberglass boat which was being blown about as her crew negotiated working one of the bridges, but was only when we had tied up  safely in place and was able to look at my phone did I see how it had helpped. Canalplan said two hours, Ezri had do it in one, at no point did I push her engine or anything like that in fact I slowed down more that once. There is something about the Peak Ezri just loves it, she knows when to slow, when to turn when to do almost everything I just turn the key.

We did take on some water so I going to have make wood plugs of the intakes, I can’t find cork or rubber ones there just to make sure I don’t fancy facing a lock just yet. As for the fire well my Dad said I would just get covred in mud trying to get to work the next day so. I had a night of central heating and television.

If you have done thank you for reading, I have no idea want next week blog is going to be about yet but I hope you can join me for it.

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) = 10 miles  3 1/4 furlongs

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

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, 

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure -TowPath, Trainline, Turing.

Even though Me and Ezri didn’t move this week, this blog is a long one so make a brew, sit down and relax, and I shall begin.

Ezri is letting in water, Now that sounds bad and, 48 hours ago it was a nightmare I had no idea why or how, but in the small shower room cupboard there was about three inches of water, the wood making up the cupboard socking wet too 

Like most narrowboat there three water outlets for the brown water, two sink and one shower and used brown water is pumped out though those hole, well one of these hole is just touches the waterline so any movement the hole gets dunked into the canal and lets water into Ezri. Because the pipe line is not air tight seal around the outlet, 

So with my Dad’s help there was a bit of mad dash to turn Ezri around so the water outlets were facing towpath side so if and when other boat came past she wouldn’t fill with more water, just tap the side of the bank and the anchor barrier. 

Once I had worked out how stop the water comming in and cleaned up, I went around Ezri making sure there no other holes, I tapped all the way around her using both my hands and the push pole feeling for any breaks and watching for bubbles, finding nothing, I then went to the engine bay were I clean out all the water, leaves and another mess. The coollet in the engine is a anti-freeze water mix and is blue but the water I got out the cupboard was black brown so it comes in from outside.

Happy with the job I went back in only to find Ezri once again full of water my wieght when sitting to the bay had dunked the outlet in the water so I proved a theory without meaning to. All also tested a second theory by just sitting Erzi’s very center still and calm listening for running water or dirps and hearing nothing that prove to me that it has to be one of the outlets. And as such I do have a solution make Ezri water tight again so I will keep you posted.

Now for something completely differenet, a trip on a train from Marple to Manchester. Its a trip I done before but this time with no fixed time scale be anywere or any real goal, just a bit of a ramble. I waited until 10 am so the rush hour would be over a walked around the mile and bit into Marple, the round trip ticket cost me £5.10 which was classed as off peak.

The trainline out of Marple follows the canal so as you leave you can look down not only on the Marple Aqueduct (which is also under reconstruction) but down the hill to were Ezri was many mouths ago, and were we hope to go back soon. Seeing the canal like that though trees or just by quick flashes makes me see as my home, a place of safety. I just wonder want other people see it as.

The trian I got out of Marple was what is called pacer train, simply a bus body on wheels run by the Northern Rail company. The train starts at New Mills Central calling at Strines, Marple Romiley, Bredbury, Brinnington, Reddish North, Ryder Brow, Ashburys and then endding at Manchester Piccadilly. And ghost station Belle Vue.

Not having to go to work when I got into Manchester was kind of cool, like said at the start of this bit I had bit of a ramble around updating the map of Manchester I have in my head starting outside Piccadilly station and just walking around. Hither and yon until my feet got heavy and my bag full of shiny new DVDs

If I passing though Sackville Street I always walk though the small park and take time and stop next to (Sir) Alan Turing OBE FRS who for the last 16 years has sat watching the world, a world he helped save when he worked at Bletchley Park during the Second World War pioneering the science of computers. In fact he’s the father of computer scince. I am not going to list the man life story because I want people to find out for themselves how this great man lived.

I say (Sir) like this because you can’t kinght dead people, and anyone who worked at Bletchley Park or who puts there life infront of others should be given a title

 There is a second memorial to this man in the city, one which I pass everytime I work its the A6010 or Alan Turing way. Which passes Ashburys station and that brings us back to train and heading home back to Ezri. 

If you have done thank you for reading, I have no idea want next week blog is going to be about yet but I hope you can join me for it.

Miles covered so far = 6 miles 2 1/4 furlongs

Places been/Stopped- Strines

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Many Bridges to Cross 

Its lazy start to moving day here in Bugsworth the trip only going to be 3 hours long, no rush. My Dad is even here to help with the four bridges. Ezri is a little upset we have to move, we have to slip out backwards from quay a simple thing put her engine into reverse and hold her tiller in place. No she keeps move to the right, I try again, still backwards to the right, so I let her going and she taps the side and we end up in the center of the turning point.

I have to do a three point turn to face the right way, like I said before we’re the boat here so there’s no to hear me turn the air a little blue. My Dad will meet us at the frist bridge until then its just me and Ezri.

Out of Bugsworth turing turing right Ezri finds her feet we are the only boat moving and I am working out were Ezri should be in the water when she makes the move herself is a little flick on the tiller and we’re thought the narrow part without any fuss. I said I would try documet everything I see so start fishing around in my coat for phone so I can take a photo of the abandoned sunken boat which is still there, but Ezri makes clear to keep my hands on her tiller.

We pass the boat so sad, and ten minutes Ezri relents and let me reach for my phone I take three photos one of the perfect water reflection of the bridge and then two of Ezri as we are just about to pass under it. The frist one doesn’t work but the others do.


I always forget want order the bridges are in two use the anti-vandal key one uses the BW key and the other uses the winless, but I had given Dad everything but the heavy winless so when we reched him it was a matter minutes and Ezri was the other side. He got on and off we set again. It was a little odd passing Ezri ‘home’ morring and seeing she could had ever fit in the small space.

Anyway back to the trip and the second bridge, I pull Ezri into the side tie her up as Dad works the bridge is this one of the anti.vandal key, we are though in minutes and dad’s back on, it was raining a few days ago and now its helping Ezri she’s really flying I can feel her slip over all the things under the water.

There are few narrow parts which Ezri likes playing with, she will always end up on the wrong side and tapping the side just for fun.  She even almost knocked Dad down when he was standing at the bow. As we carried on we saw a few boats all warm with their fires on there just somthing amazing about traveling like this.

Third bridge and Ezri doesn’t want to stop, I pull into the side rope in hand and she still keeps going forward. Her engine is in idle but no she’s moving, a pull on the rope and she’s rain in. The bridge done and we are off now this bridge is a bit of blind bend and you have to careful. As we made the bend there was another boat right in the center of the water heading towards me, I moved to the left so that there would be room to pass but he came closer, which only gave us inches to pass each other.

One more bridge and we would done, and then something really odd happend, It may sound crazy but from then on Ezri took over all I did was lightly touch her tiller, she sit in the middle of the water, slipped around the floting trees, didn’t make the scraping sound when I asked to slow down for a few other morred boats she just was.

The last bridge is the one were you use the windless, Ezri by this time really wanted to keep going as I push out her bow she almost sailed thought gap on her own, half a hour later we were moored up, we have two weeks here until we make the a shorter trip back the way we came just so don’t get trapped in the works that are still going on at the locks.

Miles covered so far = 6 miles 2 1/4 furlongs

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth Basin.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure -Bugsworth Begins

We leave our winter mooring at Furness Vale Marina and go backwards to Bugsworth, I know that sounds worng but starting here makes it easy to work out miles travled and with the changes to Ezri is a can act as a test bed, plus I not touching the works at the other end

The whole trip is 1 mile and 7 1/4 furlongs (I have no idea want a furlong is I work in metric) 45 minutres in total.

Now Ezri has been sat for three months facing into the bank, with another boat behind, So go out backwards is not an option but  with a little bit of fidding, Ezri is out of the space and facing the right way. The one thing people forget is that boat in an instant thing you have to plan two or three minutes ahead and let Ezri do the work.

I had time walk the route from Bugsworth to Furness Vale so I had rough idea of want Ezri would be facing on her way, along the Peak there many boats 99% of them are looking after and lived in but there some which don’t fall in any other two categories such as the boat pictures here,

 When I first came passed it a few months ago tt was up lright and was locked up but abandoned as you can see the winter most have got to it and the ice cracked the bottom of it so here it sits. What will happned to now that it become a danger to boaters and the environment in general who knows.

The trip was easy one Ezri glided her way round the boat and ticked over nicely, I could feel her wanted to push on a keep going, I sure she was showing off a little went did head into Bugsworth and when we had a boat turn around in front of her back off even before I told her. 

Anyway back to Bugswoth, I worte about it being there a internet black hole (well for me anyway) and I love it the way it works is like this you get 48 hours if want to stay long you talk to the nice Warden/Custodian of the suite (he has he’s own at the end of the lower basin) and for a small donation to the Bugsworth Basin Heritage Trust you can stay longer and that’s want I have chose to do.

It’s still regarded as winter time on the canal so Bugsworth Basin is a lot more deserted from the last time we came here and I was able to pick anywere along three basin on the right hand side, the last Ezri was in the Middle basin, this time she picked the arm just off it in the quay.

The mooring rings are meant of much larger boats than her, but Ezri likes quays we have until tuesday 7th when its back out as we slowly make our way the junction where the Macclesfield Canal meets the Peak Forest. 

I will miss the paceful nights and do nothing days but work calls on sunday (Manchester City v. Swansea) and that’s what life is all about contrast.

Miles covered so far= – 1 mile 7 1/4 furlongs.

Places Been -Furness Vale Marina.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Introduction

So our winter mooring has come to an end, and its time for the new adventure to begin. 

The rough plan of action I’ve drawn up, is to do want is called the Cheshire Ring  which is 97 miles (or as much as we can) which takes in six canal around the Manchester and Pennine area, I say rough because the Bridgewater canal in not run by the CRT and there could be a myriad of factors stopping us doing the complete round trip

We will cover all the of Peak Forest once again starting at its very end, Bugsworth. I call it the end because here there is no link or junction to anything other that the Peak itself.

The end (Bugsworth) marks the begining of the 100 miles from there its a trip to the junction were the Peak meets the Macclesfield, this will be the shake down run working all the bugs Ezri may have picked up over winter time, taking on fuel, the new light setup and all little bits and bobs.

But not only that, with the work on Lock gates at Marple not endding until the 23 of March I not sure I can cross the junction just yet, so Ezri get to find her feet a little before the full 97 miles adding in the extra it should a nice round 100 miles

Now I will documenting the whole hundred miles, I will be writing, takinig photos and filming. The writing and the photos will be the simple part and will be one week behind. Posting a blog post here, marking on my map were I have been, But the fliming will maybe two or three weeks uploading to Youtube from the middle of nowhere is little hard. But I will work somthing.

I am not really a showman or as talented as many of the YouTube Stars (or should that be  BoatTube Stars) so the flim will be raw single shots, the only thing that will happen is that I may add public domain music to take out the sound of the wind sometimes or my own voice 

The videos will be linked here and play here to so don’t need to have logged into YouTube to watch them, I will write about anything you need to look out for. The same goes for the photos which should only days behind, I have a flickr page so the photos will be there, I am not to sure how I will spilt them up yet but I will try and keep them in some order. 

I will posting hopefully every Wednesday around six o’clock GMT. Under the title 100 miles Adventure so I hope you will able to join me for that, and if you follow any of my other post (All The Right Words/Bookends) they will carry on, same day they are now Friday and Saturday and at the same time 7:00 pm and 3:00 pm. So if have done thank you for reading.

Narrowaboat Ezri -Mapped Out..

Last weekend I worte about two sets of locks being replaced and renewed, one on the Peak Forest the other on the Ashton. When I was at the Peak Forest open day I was handed a small fold out map showing the whole Manchester and Pennie canal network.

The map was desinged and illustrationed by Bek Cruddce – Cartography and Illustration and given out by members of the Canal and River Trust to many members of public and as such is public domain in fact on Miss Bek Cruddcd web pages she has the full network of canals there to view. All the maplets are now available at Canal and River Trust Welcome Stations, offices, museums and towpath events, or contacting the Canal and River Trust region offices

Having spent many hours pouring over internet pages and print outs when trying to explain to other people were the canals are ‘in the real world’ and being that google maps can’t tell a river from a canal.  The maplets are very useful simple yes but they show the main points and the National Rail Stations which is always good to know. Even other water ways not run/looked after CRT.


I am not saying that you stop using things like Canalplan, waterexplorer or the Collins/ Nicholson’s canal guides if you never been to a place/area before local knowage is the key when heading into the unknown but I would use them if need quick point of reference or if planning spend a lot time ​in that area. They can useful. I will using my map to mark out the parts the trip me and Ezri are planing this year just so you can keep up.

Narrowaboat Ezri – Locked Out Exrta Exrta 

So on the same of the open lock at Marple I had to work at Manchester City Football, Now the Ashton Canal runs past there, and something I enjoy is to walk past two of the lock as I head into the ground.

Well imagine my surprise when walked past the lock to find that CRT were also replacing the only wooden lock gates on the Ashton, the lock was shut off so that no-one would end up inside it and work had stopped lunch.

The only different to the work set up this time was its on a smaller scale to Marple but the principal remained the same, drain and divert the water then lift out the old gates using a winch. ​

Then they will put the new ones after running the same paint trick as 200 year engineer did. Being that they had just stopped for dinner there was working boat tied up with the replacemet locks gates inside them.


Its amazing want happens on the canal at winter time. Even when people think everything is shut down.