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 – How Things Work Maybe ?

With the 2017/18 football season drawing to its close, there two games left, one Sunday the other middle of the following week. That means a little more cruising, further down the Macclesfield and back on to the Trent and Mersey, but and I still going have to make sure I am in walk distance to the nearest train station. As I down to work a few other things that are taking place at the Manchester City Stadium.

How I want it to is almost the identical way it normally works, Starting at Furness Vale I get the train into Manchester walk from the station to work do my shift and getting then the train home to Ezri, then with the free days more her along the canal. That’s a simple thing to do when the football is in the afternoon or early morning even the European championship matches can just about be done, as long they don’t end up being things like extra time and penalties. As the last train is at 10 past 11 at night.

However 99% of the concerts that happened at Manchester City Stadium have a curfew of 11 o’clock or 10 o’clock add a hour to make sure everyone has left then we can go home ourselves. That takes the whole thing to 12 midnight and one missed train a long walk to Ezri in the dark 5 hours plus.

I could move Ezri into the the center of the city to new Islington Marina/moorings which I have done in the past it cuts down the walk to Ezri to five minutes no really five minutes, I would be doing that this year to but for three things.

One) the last information I have on new Islington Marina it’s that the permanent residence there the middle of a dispute with Manchester Council about the building work that is taking place around them. Which I don’t want any part of

Two) Cost, as new Islington Marina is run by urban splash development there is a small fee. Nothing really excessive but it would feel like spending my money before I had earned it and as I intend to take out of the water this year for blacking and pay for a new BSS I do need to save.

Three) Marple Locks, are still under repair as when they came to begin the winter moorings one of the wall of the Lox halfway Up caved In on them and they had to basically rebuild the whole thing. Now the latest news on the reopening the locks May 25th one day after I start work on concerts (running of 5 days in a row) so unless Ezri can move on her own there is no way we can make into the center of Manchester.

I am quite sure of a workable solution yet, I can move towards Marple and there are two places I can be which would cut down the commute and hopefully I wouldn’t miss the train. But if I go beyond Marple the time both ways get stretched somewhat considerably. it does make the walk 3 hours if I miss the train.

But that’s all the boring stuff when that’s all taken care of I plan to start small snapshot blogs and vlog 10 minute reads about were Me and Ezri are simple history bits or trip vlogs and if the weather is bad I have another idea which is just a bit of fun.

Anyway that’s how me and Ezri are doing I think that covers about everything. But for now thank you for reading and see all soon.

Narrowboat Ezri – Hello And Welcome Back

I guess that this blog is more of a reintroduction, So Hi, welcome aboard my name is Martyn and for the past most 3 years I have lived on a 35 foot narrowboat named Ezri.

We have together with help (me following learning and watching) traveled from Blue Water Marina Thorne in Doncaster to Castleford Junction. And in a second convoy made it to Dewsbury Junction. Where then single handedly I made it Sowerby Bridge to be joined by my Dad and brother as we when though Tuel Lane Lock. Then I headed to want I believed to be journey’s end but was in fact no place for anykind of boat so I turned around and headed backwards to Littleborough. Were we got stuck first by the winter flooding and then by someone leaving the lock gate open in center of Rochdale which put Ezri on the bottom of the canal for two day’s.

But with my Dad’s help in the end we made it into Manchester, spending three weeks in the center of the city until making our way on to the Peak Forest and finding a “home” mooring, And so at the start of January last year my Dad and I set out on 100 mile round trip passing though Macclesfield, Congleton, Middlewich, finally Northwich, the Anderton Boat Lift and a little trip on the River Weaver. Ending in December back at “home”

A more detailed description and reflections of the journey and adventures from the very start can be found dotted around the whole of this blog as well as some links to the videos I took at the time.

Well that’s to cut down simple version of the Ezri Narrowboat story and it misses out all kinds of things like the people who helped me on those few days, the place I have seen, a myriad of wonderful things, and I still finding out and learning and I hope you can join me and Ezri as we discovery together.

I don’t do the whole YouTube thing when and if I do the videos I upload are just raw five/ten minute things just as the world was at that place and time. I like to write and if that’s your thing please take a look at the rest of the blog. I think that covers about everything. But for now thank you for reading and see all soon.

Narrowboat Ezri- The Butterfly Affect

The last few months have been some want of a hibernation, at the end of last year me, dad and Ezri had done around trip of a 100 miles from Bugsworth Basin to the Anderton Boat Lift and back again. However Ezri didn’t end the journey without a few bumps and bruises. a mooring rope wrapped around the prop shaft which had to be cut, the death of the engine battery, damage to the isolator switch and moving though the ice on the way back to the Peak Forest the but that all part of the life as a boater.

So as the start of the year rolls on Ezri is once again sits in our “home” mooring having had her isolator switch fixed. all cozy and safe. Its strange I spent so much time moving about last year it just nice to stay still of a while (that to say running Ezri along the open parts of Peak Forest.) and think about want to do next.

Well the first thing is it’s replace the center rope, which can could be and trip down memory lane back to Methley Bridge Chandlery which I would love to do show my Dad the huge river locks that Ezri and Me came though or it almost 2 years ago now or Preston Marina which would a day out and a look at the sea locks but both will be a car trip just make life a easy. Later in the year Ezri will need re blacking so that something to look forward to.

Its not just the things on the outside Ezri that need replacing the lights on the inside are ok and have done well for good length of time but now its time for a change, I have a few push lights and fixed lights not LED ones which I use a lot so they need battery power, but the other month I got myself a outside garden light strip which runs on solar it even works inside so I am going set it up soon in the roof like star light, and get around to looking into the cost of some LED lights

The other thing is the floor like every boat in the morning the wood flooring is cold, so the best thing to do is make it warmer by add insulation I can’t put anything under so on top is better carpet would just be messy so flooring tiles would be ideal, but there are costly and boring colours, yet what will work would be tiles that he would put down for a child’s playpen they are cheap and very very durable also they come in a variety of colours, there are some areas that they will not work around the fire and towards the kitchen. But the bathroom and few over places will work just fine. Even adding a lot more colour to Ezri.

There are few other things to do as well a new battery cover is a must, and maybe add a second but so far it been all work and no play.

Yet all of this will have to wait a little as the weather has not been playing the snow wrapping not only Ezri in blanket but the all the boat as far the eye can, making small villages of crystallises all long the towpath waiting patiently to spread their wings once again heading out whenever the water will take them. But for now thank you for reading and see all soon.

Narrowboat Ezri- So What Are We Going To Now.

First off sorry for not having something out last week but over the holidays I very unwell and work also played its part.

And to be totally truthful I don’t really have anything set in stone, Towards the end of last year a few things happened on the way back to our winter/home mooring which means Ezri needs a mimi rebuild and later in September we will have her BSS Boat safety scheme certificate, so I thought it maybe a good time to lift her out water and have Ezri re blacked which is going to be a adventure in its self.

That’s not to say Ezri is going sit and do nothing until September, I still a new lighting reel to add and a few other things like a multi coloured bathroom floor plus I do want to head back towards Manchester in the summer then maybe to the Huddersfield narrow canal or a trip down back to Bosley locks now and again.

Its a odd feeling Ezri is my home but when you start talking about this like pulling her out of the water and BSS certification it does make me feel a bit uneasy, that she becomes just steal and glass once again.

If you want to look back at the hundred miles adventure, from last year you can start here with the photos I took

https://www.flickr.com/gp/91786662@N02/ae141V

and if want to watch few of the videos over on YouTube they can be found here

I do hope that when I have worked out a new plan that you will join us for our new adventures, and for now thank you for reading and see all soon.

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure -The Voyage ‘Home’ 

Unlike the other story I know, this one doesn’t have any humpback whales, clocked starship or swing around the sun time travel, but what it does have is four swing bridges, low laying fog and one almost fall. But really in all  seriousness, Ezri is once again back at her home mooring and in a few weeks time I will start to draw up a list of jobs and projects that will need doing before we can set out once again.

But I am getting ahead of myself, I left you as Ezri was moored on just a little way onto the Peak Forest canal, and it had taken quite a bit braking ice to get there. So retruning after a days work it was time to set off again but evne when with Ezri’s engine kicking in a the first time at asking we only got about 200 yards thanks to the now re frozen ice being 4 inches thick, she was going nowhere.

The ice melted after the rain around 48 hours laters thanks to the rain and we tried again, now the new way we have been working is that Dad helps me start Ezri and then heads off to the end point and Me and Ezri in simple words try the catch him up, as he walks back down towards us, Now so far that’s been easy but today we had four swing bridges to deal with.

Double checking I had the right things to open and shut the bridges was the easy part, the not so easy is to single handed do the bridges, the way I did it was to moor on the left with the red center rope check what tool was needed return to Ezri and using the huge front rope I walked her to the right hand side of the canal and tired her off on the small tie point I know there was another way to do this but Ezri’s center rope doesn’t reach, after opening the bridge I pulled Ezri’s though slowly then closing it I jumped back on Ezri and off we go.

I use this way twice because the middle bridge is powered and on the left handside is control panel, and for the last bridge I was able catch up with Dad so he was able to do it for me, The trip was much slower than it was, as their was very low laying fog ahead which meant I couldn’t see very far which did make it hard to see not only the towpath but the moored boats but being slow didn’t cause any trouble.

And once Ezri was in her ‘home’ mooring it marked the end of the 100 adventure for this year, a year which saw Me and Dad travel the full length of the Macclesfield canal, about 5% of the Trent and Mersey run up and down on the Anderton Boat Lift. Then back again meeting lot of amazing people along the way. 

I have no idea what next year will bring and want will happen for our next big adventure yet, but its not going to be the end of the Ezri Narrowboat blogs as I have a few more things hopefully happening next which I hope you can all join me for that I promise there will be more photos and even more videos

So thank you for joining us on this adventure and I hope you can join us next year, until then have wonderful winter time and a happy new year.

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – All for the want of a key

One of the major Milestoness on the trip back to the Peak Forest Canal is the 12 locks of Bosley. And this blog post was going to be all about, me and my Dad passing though them in less than two hours and getting to he royal oak lift bridge before half four in the afternoon. 

But I am going to take a giant leap forward both in time and space, I am writing this on the day its ment to go out the 13 Dec, Bosley locks was the 5 and Ezri is no longer on the Macclesfield she safe few miles from ‘home’ Because between then and now something happened something that could and should have ended the whole trip.

This all happened as I was making my way towards Macclesfield and then through it getting to Bollington Wharf.

Inside most if not all narrowboats there are two keys which act as links with both the engine and the battery, well one of Ezri’s key links broke so the battery wouldn’t throw the power all the housing had come away and the cable fell out.

Now without power Ezri can’t move. All of this I was yet to find out

You see there is a second Swing Bridge just as you come away from Bosley locks which is been open for the last two years but today for some strange peculiar odd reason someone has come along and shut it now the way things have been working dad has dropped me off at Ezri and then proceeded to a place several miles, further on where I would meet him and we would work out our next course of action if I had to come off Ezri for work. So he had my BW key. I passed one narrowboat and was informed of the fact the bridge was shot but I believed I would be able to open it using my windlass as most of the bridges on the peak Forest at windles control no such luck so.

And my phone didn’t have a signal so there’s no way of informing dad to turn around and come back the key, So my work mind kicked in so I tied up Ezri turn off the engine and went back down the towpath to the gentleman that inform me of the locked Swing Bridge and asked if I could borrow his key which was thankfully a yes and so we walked back to Ezri. He open the bridge and I tried to turn Ezri’s engine back on but she’s stubbornly refused to tick over so there was nothing for it but lift the engine lid. Where we both saw the broken key,

For the next half an hour the gentleman worked to get Ezri’s engine running again, I watching on trying to take in a understand want he was doing. And after few false starts she was running again. I thanked him over and over and we said goodbye and I was off. I did forget one vital thing which was to ask him his name. But I will be forever grateful to him. It a running repair but it will see us home and safe

I did make to meeting my Dad and I even made to Bollington Wharf, Ezri did have one last punch to throw but I just think that was temper.

Next weeks post will be the last of 100 miles Adventure ones as I hope Ezri will be in her winter mooring by next week I am sorry that the last few have rushed and Condensed but the trip it has been just that I will go in more detail soon So as always if you have been thank you for reading and I hope to see you next week as we end the 2017 travel blogs.

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.