Narrowaboat Ezri – What No Post ?

I am sorry that there has not been Ezri post this week, but I wanted the next to be the rest of Locked Out blog and the walk down into lock 16 of the Peak Canal takes place like I said on the 21 Jan also the day I working (Manchester City are at home) so there will be a lot of running around being done.

So it will hopefully be posted late sunday afternoon, as for Ezri herself she has few days on winter mooring, she ready and will to go were the wind (and CRT) let me, I said in other post that I have been (with help) working on her front door and as that job draws to it close I am in two minds about writing a post one beacuse I don’t want to tell world how exactly how the doors are secured that’s just inviting trouble but I don’t want leave people with the impression that it’s a half finished job and I got lazy and didn’t write a blog post.

But I will work something out and even if I only tell you have half of want has happend or just art work I plan to put on the door I hope you will understand.

As I said at the top of this post ‘Locked Out’ part two will be posted sometime this sunday 22 Jan and hopefully I will have some video to go a long with it. Which I will post on youtube  and link to here.If there is any It will be raw unedited, as I am more comfortable with writing blogs than with presenting a mini TV show.

That’s your lot for this post, amd if you have done thanks for reading and see you nexf time.

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Narrowboat Ezri – Ashton Adventure One of Two

After three weeks in the very hart of the city, it was moving day. There was a little bit of house keeping to do before we moved Ezri, which really meant buying fuel.

Now getting fuel is a simple thing you find a place that sells it and go a get some, but it feel a little odd and strange is not like filling a car, van or bike

First off I couldn’t bring Ezri to the fuel pump which was a Portland Marina so I have bring the fuel to Ezri, a little car rode and a 20 litre jerry can did the trick.

Reading the canal plan internet pages the Ashton canal is around 7 miles and has 18 locks and two swing bridges after Droysden just open water until Ashton-under-Lyne and Portland Basin which on the plan is call Dukinfield Basin.

But we had stopped in New Islington which mean two extra locks before the turn on the Ashton, and finally saying good by to the evil that is the Rochdale so it would a around total of 20 locks and about 9 miles, so we had our work cut out for us.

Now we picked Sunday and get the Metrolink in Manchester because Ashton is the end of the line the car would have just slowed us down.

Ezri started on the button first and were off Dad working the locks and me keeping Ezri moving, I don’t like to temp-fate so I did start to relax until we had cleaned the turning and were on the Ashton after the Rochdale I didn’t really like going up locks the lack of water now being a bit of a fear.

We got around the bend and did the first three locks of the Ashton and were level with were we had set off from which was little odd feeling four lock done just be there?

Working at city ground I had walked the towpath many times so it was little funny to be powering up though the water I did had to watch out for a few thing but we made it, Dad sat in the bow enjoying the ride but I did get shock when we pulled Ezri into lock number four and saw there was no water the pound ahead.

We raised Ezri in the lock and then ran up the hill to let out all the water in lock five at one point I though we may have to take to water out six to but thankfully the Ashton as deep but narrow locks, after that I relaxed once again.

Now not working I had forgot the the stone roses were playing at the city ground and that the shift had started around 12 so there members of staff walking around and it was someone’s job stand on Joe Mercer Way and set the barrier for the Metrolink, I have no idea who it was but they took Ezri photo as they past under so that was cool I not sure if it was someone I have worked with but in yellow and looking up from Ezri it was hard to tell.

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Anyway one achievement ticked off, to have Ezri pass the city ground on a work day, we reach lock seven we meet a narrowboat comming down they had started in Droysden so that helped us a lot because that mean the locks would empty, no waiting.

On we went lock after lock Dad opening the gate Ezri flowing in and then up we went, the rain started a little bit but nothing that really mattered, and then around lock elven I noticed there was another boat behind us, with four people working the lock so they were fast.

Then the rain came down hard really hard, the guys on the other boat came to help us though the lock which was not opening but with a like tap from Ezri’s bow it did, If the Ashton had been double locks we could have gone together to but the narrow locks just let one boat in each time.

As the rain beat down everything got harder to see Dad took of his glasses because no matter hard many times he wiped them the rain just blinded him, we pressed on and on.

I started counting down seven locks to go, six locks to go each time the other boat was close the guys came to help us out I guess it save them time as well as soon as Ezri was clear they dropped the water and in they came.

Four locks to go and were pushing on through, I told Dad we could just make it to Droysden that would be Ok, he said see when we get there, three locks to go and still the rain was beating down, a few of the lock gates didn’t shut first time so it was made more hard for my Dad.

Two locks to go and the other boat crew were there to help, one lock and we had made to Droysden. By this time we were so wet it didn’t matter, I sure the other boat crew had changed clothes. Now all that we needed to do was turn right and run to Ashton.

They asked me a little bit about Ashton and told them about mooring places I had seen at Portland, they said goal had been to do around 20 locks and stop if they felt like it I said thank you for they all their help but just before moving out of the lock.

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Dad asked how it was to Ashton but all I could say was I didn’t really know, but he got inside Ezri and so I took this as a sign that we were going to run, but in the back of my mind I remembered swing bridges yet as we got around the corner the first was locked open so we went though.

Dad was a little dryer that me by the time reached the second and this we had to open it, I wanted to leave it open in case the other boat had followed us but just as Dad opened the bridge someone wanted to use it, so we had to shut it and Dad got back on.

Ezri ran and ran her engine running and purring like dream, but I do think I hit the propeller and prop on something as we ran I started to watch out for few things in the water and forget about the rain and the fact my feet sticking to the deck plate

With all this water the canal was filling up so much so when we went under the third bridge the water level caused the chimney to hit the roof and come clean off, not the cap we had taken that off before we started I mean the chimney pot it didn’t fall in the water but it now has huge dent in it.

We didn’t stop just carried on pasting a small boat yard, then two boats and then just as were about reach Portland there was I work boat from CRT in the way for mad second though they had shut the way and I would have to give up, the boat had just come away from is morring so we slowed down Ezri and push the other out the way.

We had started out at 10 am o’clock ran non stop, reached Portland at 6:00 pm wet though but happy, and as we made Ezri safe the other that had been following us came around the bend. They carried on to the Peak Forest canal a thing I will be doing in the comming days but not right now.

Narrowboat Ezri – Shipshape and City Life

I said there would a Ezri blog post so here goes, a little recap.

My dad and me moving Ezri down from the Rose of Lancashire, to New Islington just off the Rochdale. For all the pain and full story see the last Ezri Blog.

With me working five nights over the next two weeks England V. Turkey, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay twice and then AC/DC all at the Manchester City Stadium I saw no point in moving Ezri. Which in the end was the best option in the long run.

Now that meant everything that I had planed was moved forward, Ezri’s engine needed to be looked at whatever happed so with a few calls I was able to find someone to come a check Ezri’s out. A nice guy called Andy would be here Monday morning

Sleeping in the heart of Manchester is a little strange, Ezri is my home I am surrounded by all my own things, feeling safe and happy, that never changes but what dose are the sounds and actions outside

When I was out in the middle of nowhere the only sounds were those I made myself, But here there are people walking home, the Metrolink and even the odd car making its ways up the old cobbled streets, that now used for traffic calming.

I could talk all day about the regeneration of the place but let’s get back to Ezri, Monday morning rolls around and Andy turns up, I explain things and he set to work.

The only two things I know about Ezri’s engine were the water goes and to turn the greaser screw after use, but thanks to Andy I now know quite a bit, We also discovered that who had Ezri before me had tried to do things on cheep, gluing the control panel into place being one thing, and the fact Ezri has two batteries but only one is wired into anything.

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Watching Andy take bits of Ezri off all coved in black oil was both amazing and a little shocking, shocking because he said its miracle they even still worked and got us here. The amazing part was finding out what each part did.

So with Ezri now running better that ever the next thing is to move her once again, I have to put a little bit of fuel into Ezri just to make sure I have but the last time I did that was almost a year ago.

The thing of it is that I have a extra week thanks to CRT working on the first two locks of the Ashton, being in the hart of the city is fun and I meet a lot people, but Ezri and I want to get going again. Exploring the rest of the canal network.

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Narrowboat Ezri -A long way down…

Ok, want started out as a simple plan which should have taken three weeks is now into its fourth.
I will just recap a little.

Ezri couldn’t go up the Rochdale canal, because of works going on around me, which got me in a little bit of trouble with CRT.

So I looked around and found Droylsden marina which would help me in long run as place to be safe, I put myself on the waiting list but for now I can on the Peak Forest or just before it at the Portland basin

Droylsden is on Ashton Canal which runs though Manchester and traves past the football ground, But to get there I had past though few war zones.

The first thing that happened was I had the canal drain from under me and Ezri had sit at the bottom of the canal for to days.
The second was after spending two weeks at The Hopwood Arms Ezri had been turned around, facing back the way she had come, but that was a simple job to fix and off we went.

The plan was to get to the Rose of Lancashire the pub (not the visiting moorings as they are a lie they is no water point) which did but not with out getting stuck after stopping an over full lock and almost missing the place turning Ezri around. 

We made it but Ezri did show a few signs of wear, working out were to move her to next was a bit of a job, the canal plan web site is all very well but some of the information is out date and the the photos are to.

I will explain want I mean, the canal web said the next save place for over night mooring is The Boat and Horses just outside Chadderton one lift road bridge were Ezri was at the rose

Well no is not, the water is far to shallow to even think about move one inch out of the center let alone trying to moor up which is all concrete blocks with no ring or even space for pins. And the only I found this out was go down there on foot, the day before,

So the trip got one hell of a lot harder add to fact, I am now work so I have leave Ezri looking again at the canal plan was mistake number one, should it tell you the locks, even gives you routes and times on how long but once out dated information.

The trip was meant to take five hours, passing though 20 locks down though the end of Chadderton  Failsworth, Newton Heath, Monsall, Milles Platiting and Ancoats,

Now at high of Ezri first she did five and a half miles following to other narrow boats, from the small village called Altofts to the town of Dewsbury, As said before Ezri was showing signs of wear which should had do something about,

OK I did something I poured water into engine and we set off not smarts move but when your get pushed for time a few other things you just have go.

We did first lock which went well, and were half way though the lift bridge, when as went up in the air a ambulance came down the road all lights flashing and screaming there was nothing we could do I pushed Ezri though and the bridge came down.

I should taken that a sign there and then, after things got worse ever lock was a fight, if it wasn’t pulling things out of the water it was trying to get the gates to work. And many time cound’nt even moor up start the lock before dad reached me. Just sit in middle and hope Ezri did catch on something. Dad even fell in which made me even more on edge and scared

Not only that but people stopping to watch and passing comment as Dad did the lock gates as went down in lock with Ezri. I would like to say two words “F*** Off” no really if your not helping keep your mouth shut and move on.

Out of the 20 people who we passed yesterday we had five who helped or let me know about up come problems thank you thank you.

Then Ezri gave up half way though one lock her engine started to make a very odd sound but in the end were crawling a long, at half six we meet a guy from CRT just outside Monsall who help Dad back to the car which left me to do the lock. That’s when I worked out Ezri there most be something really wrong with Ezri 

We had four lock left and it was eight pm we had started at half ten am, I know we broke the rules and ran late but there was no were moor up and no way I was stopping, just I left the last lock Ezri hit something right in the center but her front rope is that long I threw it over and Dad help me off.

By quarter past nine we made it to New Islington two lock shy of the turning for the Ashton and locked Ezri down and she safe

After ringing the New Islington people I found out I have two free days there which are today and Wednesday I go back to work on Wednesday afternoon, I will see about staying a little long. Because the way Ezri is now it was take an 12 hour even to make it after way up the Ashton let alone all the way to Portland basin.

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Narrowboat Ezri – The Littleborough Chronicles – After the Winter

I am going to break off from updating you about Ezri’s refit for this blog post, and talk about want happens next.
As my winter mooring will come to an end soon, I need to start to think about moving once again and continuing the adventure that is now my life aboard Ezri. My plan is to travel around the whole of north west England’s canal network and it time criss cross the whole country but that’s long term.
However for now I have work out how much of the Rochdale Canal I can still travel,
My first plan was to turn Ezri around a head back up the way I came and head back to Sowerby Bridge in west Yorkshire, then slowly retrace our journey on parts of the Calder and Hebble Navigation staying off the rivers. Because the first time around was one mad blur and it would give a chance for a proper look around.
But with flooding at the tail end of last year, the canal around there has been left in what can only be called post apocalyptic state with whole sections of banking missing, Narrowboats left high and dry and locks in need of repair, so much so the canal and River Trust have put out advisory travel notices.
As you may have work out this means heading that way may not be the best thing to do, I can however travel down the Rochdale Canal and then all the way into Manchester, some of which I did the first time around but only got as far as The Sandbrook Pub then turning Ezri around to the safe harbour of Littleborough.
So between the Pub and Manchester there are a lot unknowns, and even when I get there it looks like money will play its part first on mooring fees to the private company redeveloping the land around the canal and then again if I want to use the Bridgwater Canal on the other side of Manchester for more than a week.
I have worked out that I can turn Ezri around and head up the Ashton Canal and then the long way back to Sowerby which looks fun out in the countryside once again.
It dose leave me a lot to think about in the next few weeks but for now its back to the refit.

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Narrowboat Ezri – Tales from the Towpath – The first and last man.

A few days ago I was at work surrounded by thousands of people, as they past by my gate position and took their seats for the football match at the city of Manchester stadium,. The living breathing sea of the cold night, as they cheered, booed and hissed their way though the 90 minutes of football.
But today the only sound that there is are the rain drops on Ezri’s roof and the odd bird, the only sight the brown autumn leaves falling from the trees on the far bank and the ripples on the canal.
The contrast is something that gets me every time I have to leave Ezri to work, swapping Ezri’s simple 35 foot living space for the multi million pound football stadium, they are both made out for the same kind of steel a few bits glass.
But the stadium is only a living thing when people are there people are needed to switch on the lights, prepare the food, sell the tickets and the programs, to play the game and  finally to watch.
Yet Ezri is alive all the time even when I not here, I don’t mean she is a human being she just feels alive the water sit flows on makes her move about the weather and nature around her makes her act and react as if she was.
As for me its like being the first and last man on earth, the first man because I am going out and discovering the world and last because when I come home to Ezri,
its just me here in this 35 foot space, but its a good feeling the world around me is not dead or dying but its comming alive after being a sleep.

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