Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Sunshiny Sail 

Once again its time to move, being yards away from Victoria Pit Marina has been a little like being on sholder of the M25. Nothing bad but a lot other boats have been past so every few days I have had tighten up the ropes. I am just used to being out in the sticks, I guess.

At frist Ezri didn’t want move off her morring chain locked up, and took both me, Dad and a small screwdriver and plier set to undo it, ropes untied and we were off. Dad be look out and Ezri’s engine humming away, the sun above us as the adventure continues.

I always get a odd feeling when Ezri and I me have been stood still for a few days, moving her feels like a impossible task 35 feets worth of steel and glass, and everything inside it. Its like she comes alive again. 

You may think I mad and sometimes I do to. But ever since we have join the Peak and now the Mac is Ezri that does most of the work, all I do is turn the key and point her in a vage direction and she just takes over.

Not like when we first set out there were days when all did was push and pull her around, amd her getting her own back by bashing hands at lock or trying to run away, all that just to get to Littleborugh and then though to evil Rochdale. But now like I said Ezri just potters about from one place to the next.

The following video proves my point we’ve never been here and its Ezri doing all the work. 

As always thank you for read and see you next week.
Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =  21 miles 1 furlong

Miles covered this trip = 1 miles 4 3/4 furlongs

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge, Bancroft Bridge No 8, Higher Poynton Winding Hole.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – By the Numbers

The whole point of this adventure is a that Ezri and me do a 100 miles, I have been doing my best to keep up with how many miles we have done so far, but the thing is that the numbers don’t add up. 

The last time we moved from Bancroft Pipe Bridge to Higher Poynton Winding Hole that makes 2 miles and so I though it would add to 22 miles but want it really is 19 miles 5 furlong. I will walk you though the maths and the miles.

Bugsworth = 0 miles

Stains Road Narrows = 6 miles 2 1/4 furlongs

Carr Swing Bridge  = 4 miles 1 furlongs

Leaving  Peak Forest Canal – Macclesfield Canal

Bancroft Pipe Bridge = 6 miles 2 1/4 furlongs 

Higher Poynton Winding Hole = 2 miles 4 furlongs

So we take the big simple numbers 6+4+6+2= 18 miles 

Now for the furlongs 2+1+2+4+4= 13 furlongs 

But there is 1 mile to every 8 furlongs so 8 – 13 = 5 furlongs and we have 1 new big number to add to the over all miles and that’s were get 19 miles and 5 furlongs. That means thats I was out by 3 miles, which can be made up over the adventure anyway.

Using the map was desinged and illustrationed by Bek Cruddce (search Bek Cruddce or read my Mapped Out blog post) I have marked once again in purple our trip but also marked the miles we have coverd.

The other odd thing is, that if you do the whole trip without stops it only 10 miles, 7 1/4 furlongs which I not sure understand because its all the same trip. 

So if you have been thank you for reading and see you next week.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Boxing Clever

There maybe more warm summer days and cool nights on the way so want better time to work on the coal stroage.The plan was always to have storage on the bow to help with Ezri’s weight issue, the first plan was to have a huge metal box and then spilt it into three one water, one wood and the last coal.

But metal sheet is very costly and I have no clue on I make it water tight, so it was to become just a wood and coal box, I have seen along the towpath and on a few narrowboats garden boxes which lock and can’t be lifted off the boat.

So off I went in search of one of these boxes But no matter which ones I saw they were always too big either too large or too high, but them I saw rows of flower boxes the kind thing you plant  small flowers in and stand next to your fornt door.

 They were the right size made out of wood with no lid and not the right colour but with a few modifications I could make it work, Dad said it would need painting and started looking at brown wood paint but I found some coloured wood paint which matched Ezri.

Using the wood we had left over from renewing the doors we set about making a lid which would open but also keep the coal dry. So as dad work out that I painted the box three coats on each side.

Now the question was want to cover the lid with in we could just paint it, but my uncle had given me so water proof floor cover which I had though about using on Ezri’s back but it would be better for the box lids. A few hours work and Ezri now has a outside coal box and weight at her bow end. There are few other things we did but I not going tell but there are to do making sure the box can’t be lifted off Ezri and keep people out.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Quick Quick, Slow

After two weeks between two towns/village (Marple and Windlehurst) it time to move, not very far and not of very long. We are slowly heading down the Macclesfield Canal, but unlike the rush that want Ezri’s maiden voyage I what to see everything.

So the idea is to over shoot each of the main towns and Marina’s until there is move time off work and I don’t keep having to work out the closest train stations. 

Anyway back to the short trip, after High Lane the Macclesfield starts to become wide it was almost being on the rivers again, Ezri wasn’t to happy about it a frist I felt her slip a little and at one point she did need a little bit of a push.

Its getting to end of winter, so there a few more boaters about with Dad at the front there easy to move out the way, before we even come close to each other, even being that wide Ezri’s tail is still touching the high bit of the bed. But I have a plan to sovle that once and for all.

The funny thing was we asked to slow down,told off for speeding. Its mad Ezri doesn’t go over 3 mph when we pass anyone, and no more that 3 1/2 mp when on open water, not after the last time. I don’t need her to over heat again.

As for the other water trouble we had that has been sloved with plumming tape and seals, all that I need to do is get the shower pump working again, and maybe change the wall when we start next winter as the bottom as bowed a little

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) = 22 miles  

Miles covered this trip = 2 miles 

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge, Bancroft Bridge No 8

So if you have done thank you for reading, and until next time.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – TopHat and Tales

The more eagle eyed views/readers at home would have noticed that in my last Ezri video that she was missing het top hat from her chimmey, thanks to a over hanging tree it now sits at the bottom of the Peak Forest Canal

For a little over two years it sat proudly on Ezri and helped to keep out the all the bad weather and the smoke off the water. So it was a quick trip back to Portland Marina for a new one, but that got me thinking in the two years me and Ezri have join forces  many blogs/adventures/tales.

Well it turns out that this post will mark 100, and 21 video’s on YouTube I really never though that it would have got this far or that people would read them. 

They started just as a way of reconding the things I had seen and done those frist few days as me and Ezri worked our way across England, From Blue Water Marina to the Littleborough Quay but now have grown into much more. Little groups of stoies like the Littleborough Chronicles, Tales from the Towpath and the rest all make up the life and times of Narrowboat Ezri and her one man crew.

I was once told that changing Ezri’s from Luice would be bad luck and all that history would lost. To which I said well I don’t really belive in luck and as for history Me and Ezri will make our own.

And in the last two years that’s want we have been doing, the people I have meet the places I have seen from being the middle of nowere to the hart of the city, there is a lot more history to come for that I can be sure of that.

So if you have been reading from the very start thank you and if you new here I hope you will got back and read a few of the old post. But as always thank you for reading and see you next time.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Up The Junction.

With one hand on Ezri’s tiller and Dad stood to the bow, Our trip begain. She knows the way and all I have to do is make her stay in the middle just to be on the safe side with Dad looking out for anything to big. We reach the frist moving bridge and I tie up Ezri and off dad gets keys in hand

Before we set I moved most things to as near the bow as I could so that I can just see the top of Ezri’s rudder just under ther waterline yes I know its ment to be above but I don’t have that kind of thing to counterbalance her engnie just yet.

As Dad opens the bridge I check the outlets and off we go again, Ezri always hates stopping once were the other side, no really she does no matter how slow I take her she always over shoots the tie point I want. The next bridge is the same, we tie up dad gets off opens the bridge Ezri get though, down goes the bridge and off we go. But this time I reach inside my coat a take out the best phone in the world even my old Nokia Series N8 its stood with me at bottom Niagara Falls and the top of Rockerfeller Center. It has the best camera and video I have ever used as its all one hand use. The date and time are all mess up but that’s something to work out later in the posting.

Ezri’s running fine and we will be pasting the Swizzel sweet factory soon so want better time to test out the video. If this works want your seeing and hearing is just pure raw shot video Ezri keeping her couses and the back of my dad head as passed a steel working boat.

Now I not going to give you blow by blow for each bridge as I had done that before, and to keep saying I did this and Dad the other, would put you off. So I will pick up the trip around somewhere in the middle as I tested the camera again as you can I didn’t quite get my hand out of the way.

Now when reached the last bridge Dad walked back to New Mills for the car, so that left me to make the rest of the trip on my own, it was just like the old times but odd thing was I wasn’t counting my movements or feeling scarried like before I stood there just enjoying the ride, Ezri took over she made the turn herself no she really did, I felt the tiller move under my hand she even leveled out and so I took the camera out again.

And as I put away the camera, Ezri pulled off pretty niffy trick just to keep me on my toes, I really think it was because I had just told her we where not going to stop but she hit a low hanging tree which in turn tapped chimeny pot which then bouced on the roof something which I have a few times before but this time however it bouced twice and with a soft splash fell into the water, lost never to be seen again.

The whole point of this trip was to cross the The junction and head on to the Macclesfield Canal and then to the stopping place, So once again I will let Ezri take over as I worked the camera. No wil did hit the side wall she made it a cross nicley and was a little surprised when we carried on, in fact I felt the change of water level so I was once again on my toes, but Ezri sailed over most things.

We reached the stopping place in the middle between High Lane and Marple, it wasn’t until I stopped did I notice that the other boats around Ezri had been at Carr Swing a few times before to so she was with friends.

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) = 20 miles  

Miles covered this trip = 6 miles 

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge

So if you have done thank you for reading/watching, and until next time.

Narrowboat Ezri – The Road To Romiley Part Two Or Traffic, Tunnels and Trains

So the rain stopped and the sun came out, I once again moved the coal box and wood planks into the front of Ezri so her weight would be right, I did want to add the wood box to but Dad said the three things would be fine.

Then I removed her front chain but kept the center rope tied, Dad held it as I undid the end chain. He took his place as we made the right turn on to the Peak canal heading down towards Marple.

Five minutes later we stopped but just because of the lift bridge, I tied Ezri up and waited, you see a lift bridge like a swing one everthing is on the worng side, the tie are always on the opposite side to the mechanism which moves the bridge. So single handed boats have a hard time, that why I have huge front rope.

But I am getting off the point, Dad did the bridge and I slow took Ezri though he dropped the bridge and got back on, the last time we headed down this way Ezri blow her engine so I was feeling little tense, but when we past under the frist high road bridges I begain to relax just a little but even watchful of a place to pull.

We had done about three high bridges when I started to notice something as we travled under Ezri slowed down I didn’t touch her throttle but she just did ever so slowly, she didn’t stop, but I didn’t like the feeling.

Dad sat at the front being look out and told me about the floating tree roots and I asked him to lift one or two low hanging branches out of the way, we had just done such a manoeuvre when another boat came towards us, Now can never remember if I am to move to the left or the right.

i slowed Ezri down, and pulled to right the other boat went to the left and we past each other nicely, it was the day boat from Portland and full of Kids on a trip, I moved Ezri back into the middle, I was still thinking about the weight so I asked my Dad if he could sit on the right hand side, which didn’t really make much of a difference but just felt it did.

We past under the M67 motorway a wide high tunnel just as came to the town of Hyde, and watched as the industrial landscape changed to open fields and then back small housing estates

We’ve done a lot tunnels like that one since leaving the small towns as we traveled down into Manchester and then up the Ashton, So a tunnel is just a tunnel right?

No not your life I knew there would be two more but how far way or how long they were I couldn’t remember, The first one was Woodley I had just time switch on Ezri’s light as we entered and slowed her engine.

As you enter Woodley tunnel you can’t see the end Ok you can but only just for the three minutes before enter it and then you have to duck down so you don’t hit your head, but don’t think you can just set you tiller and push tought, because the tunnel has a very small bend in it and a tow path on one side.

I am glad we took the top off the chimney as the we touched the roof more than once, and touced to side a few times as well, leaving tunnel was such a relief. i didn’t notice the shape bend as we made it though Woodley but Ezri stayed level and all was forgiven.

We were going nicely along still recoving from the tunnel when we saw another boat comming towards us so I moved to my right so hey could past but unlike to last boat he didn’t slow down just carried on comming, I was luckly the cannel was wide at that ponit.

By this time I had no idea were I was or the time of day, I had left all the toys (my phone and my cheep gopro) in my bag on my sofa bed I didn’t want to ask Dad to start messing about finding them, so we press on.

As we went along I noticed that the CRT had put new metal anchor barrier all the way a long bank so if I needed to stop I could. But I knew the trip was to get just outside Marple, I had that pass though my head as I noticed yet another boat, but this time the cannal was narrow so I had to almost stop to let them past.

Then just as I was about to pull away there was second boat this time with lighr on which frist I didn’t understand, I stayed were I was and let it pass, but as we made our way on it became clear why.

The trees had closed in and there was a mist around the entrance to Romiley tunnel even before we had reached Ezri’s light was back on and she was slowing down, unlike Woodley, Romiley has no tow path and is a little wider, but the head room is still too short and you can’t look to your right or left to see because all there is black..

I didn’t hit the side or even touch roof this so thar was good, but I srill didn’t have any idea were I choses our stopping place, I just knew if I go over Marple Aqueduct that I had gone to far, buta few mniutes later I heard to train go by knew to second I saw it on my left I was in the right place.

A row of trees later and we were there, I floated into the side a good boat lenght infornt of a lovely boat and within minutes had Ezri chained up and safe and as we did yet more traffic came towards us this time and working CRT boat.So in total we meet four boats comming towards us so it quet the littel traffic lane, 

I said before that I had work to following day and not having my work stuff on boat it would be much simpler if I came back  (his house) for the night went to work then back to Ezri the following day, As it was almost five in the afternoon, Dad had come by tram so that would a two hour trip back home.

I locked up Ezri did two more things then we headed to Marple railway station, a little bonus of the rain ride into Manchester was the fact you can look down to cannal and see the boat there.So I saw Ezri one last time as we headed in Manchester.

When we get there rush hour just about started so the mad sea of people all trying to get home and loud diesel engines was a bit shocking after the quiet leisurely pace of the canal trip. By the time we did reach ‘home’ it was half past seven at night.

Ps at no ponit did we see Bing Crosby, Bob Hope or Dorothy Lamour on this particular road but I don’t think there much of a rhyme to be had out Romiley .

Narrowboat Ezri – The Road To Romiley Part One Or Ezri and The Deluge.

I have done my new engine check list, worked out what weight I need to make Ezri feel level in the water, counted 20 and turned Ezri’s engine over.But still I can’t move because of all things rain, which for the last two days has been pouring down in huge sheets.

There have been the odd five minutes which I have been able to run my checks, place my coal and wood box outside, even have something to eat but the very minute that engine turns over down comes the rain I even took one of new chains off

Now I don’t mind getting a little wet, but the road to Romiley is a two hour trip and with the coal and wood box banging around in the front of Ezri I need someome make sure they stay level so I need crew, not only for that but the only lift at the start of Peak.

Not having Bing Crosby, Bob Hope or Dorothy Lamour to help on this particular road, I have my dad to help, but as I wrote before on the way here we were blined by the rain and both got the flu. So we both don’t want that again.

I am working Wednesday so Ezri has to be moved by then, I have alway tried to have a 24 hour window so if anything goes worng I could shut Ezri down in a safe place and still get to work even if ment being at my dad’s over night.

The thing is that moving Ezri on to the top of Peak for even 12 hour is a little unsafe, Andy said when he moved Ezri from there the other week one her pins had been taken up even with another boat near by also there are no ties on the Huddersfield narrow side of the junction. 

And after want I went thought to get off the Rochdale I am lothed to leave Ezri anywere that doesn’t have a place for mooring chain.

Narrowboat Ezri – Carry Weight

I have spent the last few days off Ezri because she was being refited after the engine rebuild, with new pipe work, new water cap and totally new exhaust pipe. And not only that but I found out she’s to light in the water.

That is to say the weight of her engine makes her prop and propeller drag in the water to much so she picks up all kinds of crap, which in turn put a huge strain on everything, Andy’s work is over Ezri runs, and runs well (she’s back at the Junction) but for me the rebuild is not over just yet.

I have make her heavy, now without removing my bed and ripping up Ezri’s floorboards to play with the ballast (if there is any) the simple solution is to make Ezri’s front the same weight as the back. 

How am I going to do this, by add three new bulk heads in the front well and with the addition of a few weights in the gas locker that should lift Ezri up and proved me with some more space for wood, coal and extra water.

Being away from Ezri for any length of time is an odd feeling, the best way I can explain it is like leaving half of yourself out there on towpath, so I want do most of this work when I am on her, so to move around the network I have do a little bit of a work around, placing my heavy coal and wood boxes, space oak wood planks and a lead weight in the well at the front.

So when I get down into Marple Junction, I can work her and still move around, from the Peak Foresr to the Macclesfield and even start bloging again and with a new bit of tech may even post a few videos on you tube.