Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – The Voyage “Home”

I am not really sure how to start this set of blogs as we begin the voyage “home” to Furness Vale, it was meant to be see Ezri, Dad and Me Complete the Cheshire Ring heading through the Bridgewater Canal and the centre of Manchester once again but, the locks at Marple have shut since late September and its now become a case of retracing our journey the way we came. 

Officially the trip is supposed to take three days from the Middlewich visitor moorings, but those calculations have been done at the height of summer and now we’re almost but not quite winter time so we only have a few hours of daylight not only that we are at the mercy of my work as I do not have 3 days straight in a row. And believe me we have tried to do more miles but it would mean running in the in the dark even at 4:30 in the afternoon.

When we began from the Anderton Boat Lift we tried to squeeze in 8 miles and manage to do just under 7 and as we did it became Pitch Black so it was on with Ezri’s main light, running only for 25 minutes and the next day we did try to move once again but Ezri’s is battery had died, getting a replacement from Portland Marina was half a days work. So not the best of starts. Ezri has always run on just one battery, it’s never been a problem before and it will be rectified when we have the structural rebuild sometime in next September.

Now the thing is that I don’t wish to risk repeating myself and boring not only you the reader but myself in saying we did x y and z miles and got here, here and here, there will be a blog of our journey but not in the same style as before, my maths has never been my strong point but I know how I’ve done the 56 miles from bugsworth basin to the Anderton Boat Lift I have the videos and the emails to prove that, I have the idea we are going to short by few miles as was are not going end in Bugsworth once again, but we did do one mile on the River Weaver so I am counting that.

It’s not the way I wanted the blog to be in the end but at the minute it’s the best I can do so I hope you can join me as we retrace our steps and head on our voyage home, As always thank you for reading and I hope to see you next week.


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Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – The Anderton Boat Lift

Leaving Ezri just up around Marbury County Park, Both me and Dad walked into the Anderton Boat Lift center and on the last day of October and their last week of operations for this year it’s still a very busy place, to our right is the cafe (but more of that later), and the right is the little shop, I asked the lady behind the till and she told that booking for the lift are taken down the stairs. So off I went and meet another nice lady who explain how things work and want times we could have, and that we needed to be at the mooring 15 minutes before time.
So after making sure I understood everything and with both email and text conformation We set off and got Ezri, we worked out the best thing was to put her in the mooring and get something to eat, Which worked out very well as after ordering two coffee and two Panini sandwiches, they called us to the mooring again so the people in the cafe said they would keep the sandwiches for us.
They gave me a safety briefing, is odd really as I the one giving briefing like this, with Dad set in Ezri’s bow we set, and when everything was set and safe I started to flim.

So here now is the unedited video. Of me, Dad and Ezri traveling down the right hand-side of the Anderton Boat Lift.

Coming out of the lift we headed to the left, passing holding moorings and for a good ten minutes we headed almost back to Northwich, Ezri being on the river is totally different for her being on the canal she flows with the water so I have to be careful, we can’t just go with the flow.  Anyway all to soon it was time turn Ezri around, and make our way back to holding moorings. We tied Ezri up and walked back into the museum and cafe, and our sandwiches which were made fresh for us. To call the cafe a cafe it doing it diservice its far more than that, the food wonderful and the staff go out of their way to make everyone feel welcome. In fact all the staff do so even if don’t have a boat or don’t want to use the lift I would go just for the day out.
We had lots of time to look at the museum which tells you first about the building of the lift and the counter weigh system, then about how it was saved by the work more amazing people. And now how the whole thing is run by State-of-the-art multi-million-pound computer system. After a good look around and watching the trip boat come down, it and Ezri were the only two boats which used the lift the whole day. I have a lot of photos so please follow the link so you can see them all.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/91786662@N02/07V07L

The return tirp was just as easy and enjoyable and here you can see Ezri getting into the swing of things.

 So that was the Anderton Boat Lift which marks the turning point of this journey and start of heading back to ‘home’ mooring. Which didn’t get off to the best of starts but as always if you have been thank you for reading and I hope you can join me for that.


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 – 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 – Autumn Aalmanac 

We have to time of the year were the leaves on the trees are beginning to turn patchwork brownie greens, And many a boat fires are being lit, we still have few miles left to reach the Anderton Boat Lift and then its return adventure to the peak forest canal. 

But this weeks blog about the changing of the season, unlike other years I don’t really have a landmark object to watch as the weather takes it toll, When I was on the Rochdale in Littleborough it was the tree next to the small quay I was in, and last year it was small ice patches on the towpath I saw walking around New Mills on the Peak Forest. Yet this year has been very mild ok there have been a few rainy day but nothing that a dry towel the change of clothes couldn’t solve.

And I not the only one who thinks this there are a lot of people who are still out on the network their are even a few hire holiday boats which is always nice to see, but even with the nights getting short the days are still warmer so the little boat villages form later in the twilight time. And the fire lights follow soon after, someone stay a few days other move on down the network to be part of another village the next night.

It’s the same all the year around, but somehow in autumn the Ritual of the traveling village becomes a magical thing, the end of the summer and threshold of winter.

With a little help from the Poet William Blake and A E Houseman

At the end of the day when the navigation it done
Home is the boat tied along the bank
with its fire burning bright
Heating food and giving light
Though the dark and cold of night,
Safe and warm are its crew.
Tonight here and part of this boat village
Tomorrow who knows were the village will be 

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.

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – Room For A Little One.

Being only 35 foot long Ezri is able to move about into spaces which other boats find hard, but is also leaves her unable to moor up on less uneven sides of the footpath. So the plan to travel a set number of miles doesn’t always work out the best example being last week’s blog post about carrying on slightly further than we planned this week’s blog post is in the same type of thing we had planned to do a handful of locks and stop just around the Bend away from the small village of Malkins.

Walking to Ezri the bank looked Ok I would have to use since as there’s no barrier mooring Rings set into the ground but that would be fine done as I have done it before no problem, So that’s want I set out in my mind, The Trent and Mersey is busy water way in fact I think we incounted around 12 maybe 15 boats as we made our trip. We helped were we could and were helped in turn to. As we left one of the working double locks the single handed who was heading up floated his boat into the lock and calm as you like stepped to his left and to the middle of the locks and up the stone stairs. Pushing the lock gate shut as crossed the small bridge, Without once reaching for a rope I bet if tried that Ezri would end up bouncing around the lock or slipping out.

The only time we took is easy was when travelling under the M6 motorway with the lock just before it it’s amazing to watch all the fast moving manic traffic above you as we slowly work the lock and thinking about the people who would have done the same thing but when all that could be seen was just empty fields.

But as we carried on it became slightly obvious that the bank would not be to welcoming to Ezri so we carried on and as we came out of lock number 10 we saw mooring rings set into to the bank and a nice clean clear CRT sign saying 48 hours slowly we past this in the hope it would soon end and it did just before Wheelock Wharf there two sets of rings just past the second 48 hour sign which now pointed the way we came, using one centre pin we were able to moor up safe.

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) =  46 miles  2  1/2 furlongs

Miles covered this trip =  2 miles  1/2 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)

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – Just One More…Just one.

The Trent and Mersey canal, It’s like living on the M6 motorway is not a day goes by or an hour ago by that you don’t get passed by another wonderful boat,  but that does present a little bit of a problem when moving from A to B, see the idea of this trip was to move Ezri from coppers bridge to just outside the small village of Rode Heath and matter of six locks about 2 and bit miles,

Me and Dad walked from the village to Ezri so we knew there would be space right at the end of the rings, the odd thing was even though it was very uphill walk through/pass the lock it was one more easy walks and did feel a lot shorter, we had something to eat before we started.

Getting to the first lock, we started our system, and as we worked we had another boat came behind but the lock was to small to fit both of us in, so dad let the water go and Ezri went down but as we did there was second boat but this one coming towards us, So as dad worked the lock the lady from the other boat went to talk to the boat behind us, and we carried on to the next lock, unlike the last this was set in our favorite which helped a lot,

After two small locks they become doubles so it was a case of finding which ever one was set but, sometime it was case of floating in the centre of the water pound, which was Ok but a few times I all most of got stuck in fact when the towpath changed sides I did in fact catch Ezri’s side on one of the pound walls. So it was a little tricky at sometimes. But I did get to video us working a lock, 

When came to stopping that’s were the problem started we made it but found out that the space we wanted to use was now taken up but now just by one boat but two holiday boat, one was using a mooring pin to stay in the bank it was now 2:30 in afternoon gave us time if needed it. I left dad holding Ezri so I could see if there was anymore anywhere only to find an another lock and then one after that, We couldn’t leave Ezri so we pressed on but it soon became clear that we couldn’t stop between the wide pound space and two locks became just one more, let just see wants next after that in total it was four extra 

It was only when were work last of the extra locks did meet someone coming up (the guy behind us at start of the day had now long pass us, when stopped). Dad helped them up but a little to quick for their liking but there were helpful for us to telling us about mooring space which were free. The funny thing was there are in walking distance of the real M6 motorway. 

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) =  44 miles  2  furlongs

Miles covered this trip =  3 miles  3 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)

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – The Written Word.

Last weeks blog post went out six hours early (6:00 am not 6:00 pm) that I had planned, Which got me thinking I can manipulate my blog and its entries for any time and day, For them to be posted the middle of next year if I felt like it.

And its not just the Ezri stuff I put out I do book reviews and few other things all of which can be deleted in a split second, or if I no longer remember the passwords and have to start all over again somewhere else. The book reviews I don’t really mind losing but the Ezri stuff would be a huge heartache.

Unlike most people I don’t use YouTube as a Blog or vlog entry system it’s just random 2 minute travel videos if that and having seen that it’s not the free and open platform calls itself. I’m not going to trust it.
Now that leaves me three options ;

Copy and paste all the blog entries from very beginning, up to now and back them up onto a hard drive/USB stick and just have them sit there gathering dust, bytes or whatever.

Copy the entries into a Word document and print out every single page then I would have a collection of pages too expensive to put into a book and bind so I would have them sit in a drawer somewhere, once again gathering dust.

The solution I came up with is to hand write or rewrite all the blog post’s but not in cheap A4 paper pad with a cheap ballpoint pen but a proper leather journal so have looking around I found a fully handmade including the paper 20 cm x 15 leather journal from the Etsy shop SundaraSoul, and even a black Fountain pen to use with which came from WHsmiths.

So over the next few weeks I hope to write all the posts from here into the book and when its full get another one, slowly building into a living collection, from the very start, of words rather than just computer bytes or pages in a drawer. It doesn’t mean I want to start writing here in fact I’m going to write here first so I can check the punctuation and the spellings because when I come and write it into the book I have no way to change the once the ink touches the paper.

Well that’s just about your lot for this week and If you have done thank you for reading and next week’s log entry will be once again all about the Trent and Mersey and our trip towards the Anderton Boat Lift so I hope you can join me for that.