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.

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Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Two For The Price Of One.

We coming to the end of the Macclesfield canal soon as it joins the Trent and Mersey, but that’s not until next week. This weeks all about two’s. Two trips and two crew. The frist trip was small and done in the sunshine the second was a good stretch and done in the pouring rain, but will two crew members. 

We shall start with the short trip, The Macclesfield is one of the easier section of the network we have been so far, stay in the middle of the water and when you find metal barrier pull in a chain up, now most of the bigger narrow boats go to bigger safest points or the 48 hour places and sometimes only use two ropes. Ezri being only 35 foot gives her a lot more space to play with. 

The center of Congleton is once again 48 hour and being very close to Heritage Marina hire boats it get filled up quickly the rest of the bank both before and after needs the weeds cutting, so braking the trip there isn’t the best thing to do was to pick to move from aqueduct to aqueduct, which I though would have just over a mile but when, we tied up it was just 7 1/2 furlongs. The funny thing was that just before the Aqueduct stop there was/is a small cut out very much like the Littleborough quay I was in a long time ago, I didn’t see anyway of getting back to the towpath so, we picked a spot just on the end of the aqueduct.

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =  33 miles 5 furlongs

Miles covered this trip =  7 1/2 furlongs

Being in such an open space, the wind and the weather does make Ezri move around a lot more her back rope undoing its self, so by Friday it was time to move. The plan was to get some fuel and then head on the Trent and Mersey and find a 14 day place but the weather wanted to play. 

Unlike most trips which are just me and my dad, my bother Joel came along this time. He parked his car we walked to Ezri me checking on the canal making sure there was nothing in the way, as we got half though the walk the rain came only a little on too heavy just enough to keep the cyclists and the dog walkers away it surprising that I did see a few boats heading the opposite way. The rain didn’t stop when we reached Ezri in fact it got worse, and want had been light shower was now becoming a torrential rainstorm, Dad took his place inside and as pushed Ezri though the rain Joel moved between us keeping look at (he’s the black hooded figure in the video)

Unlike the last time Joel was with us there was no locks, bridges or lack of water to stop Ezri in fact I think she was showing off at one point moving to the left before I had seen the on coming boat. Both Dad and Joel did get a chance to dry off a little being inside Ezri as for me we the heater in Joel’s helped a lot. Too tired to cook after such a long trip we decided to go out for a meal so with picked up Katie my sister in law and off we all went and even then the rain still can down.

So as always thank you for reading and see yo next week for the blog post

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =  37 miles 2 furlongs

Miles covered this trip =  3 miles 5  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.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Under the Arch

As you leave the Bosley there is section of barrier which is 48 hours only, and as I have seen all the way along the Macclesfield there is lot of the bank that needs cutting down so without going any further down we decided to stop as there was a little group which is always nice to see. When we did stop everyone got talking is like a village everyone telling us about the canal and the locks or the weather mostly nice a light. 

Around there its the wind you notice the most even having come down into the valley from the locks, but a small fire soon keeps the cold away. So it was moving day once again, I always feel a little bit of disappointment when leaving a place like this, if I have left something unexplored, but unlike when me and Ezri were alone I know there is chance we will be coming back is way soon.

Dad takes his place at the front of Ezri and the head off, Ezri just gliding over the water and the sun beating down, I am getting to know when and if Ezri needs me to move her tiller, but today she needs no help in fact I was able to flim as we went under the railway arch which carries the main lines though Congleton heading to London. I wanted to try and also try and show how over grown some of the canal is in some places and how that I have to watch out for the odd bird using the plants as nesting.

I know that some people will look at how few miles, we have been doing and be upset, but the thing is that Ezri is all about exploring, In our first week a two days me and Ezri did a about 71 miles just geting to littlebrough and missed almost everything. But that for next weeks blog.

So, as always thank you reading and see you next week. 

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =  32 miles 5 1/2 furlongs

Miles covered this trip =  1 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 


Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Going Down Bosley Locks

Before we set out, Dad and me had a little bit of dinner something simple just warming up hotdogs, I have made food like this before in the cold winter when Ezri was at winter moorings, but out on the water its somehow cooler.

Any way back to the trip, as we ate another boat came past us, so we desided to follow it slowly and not take on water at the point. Giving them time to reach and use the lock, the 12 Bosley locks are single so its one boat at a time. By the time we got there they had passed through and it was our turn, I tied Ezri up and Dad started to refill the lock, in no time we were though it working our way towards the second and as we left another boat began to work the first lock behind us. 

So with one boat in front of us working the second lock and one in the first we tied up again and waited and waited it turned out there was a boat in the third lock going down to.  Four boats all going down, It took a little bit but then it was our turn in the second lock I got in a dad worked the gates and paddles down we went, nice a simple I tied up and waited again Dad walked to the third lock and helped the boat going down so we were there a good ten minutes. 

Still I though in is small group of four going down. Now at the third lock the road travels over the canal so there is bridge which you can’t see over or pass if your working the lock or on a boat. The boat Dad had helped was out of the lock and he’d put water in for me in enter so carefully I went in Dad was still on left hand side making sure the paddles were down when a young man came running up the towpath he started, shouting about how it was his turn and he wanted to come up and we had cost him half an hour he didn’t even have his windless and then asked Dad did he know the rules. 

Dad said he would as quick as he could and the man went back down the hill. Dad let the water go and down Ezri went. We had been in group of four last time, I had checked one in the lock one in the pound swaping places until we reach the last lock. That was the plan but now is guy was shouting the odds.  Dad when to tell the boat behind me about the boat comming up. As Ezri and me came out of the lock  to tied to the side a small fibreglass boat half the size of Ezri if that, her crew were all female one woman in her late 30’s and three girls.

There was no sign of the narrowboat we had let down earlier, I past the fiberglass boat and headed to lock number four which was wasn’t set for going down, Someone had let the water go so I had to wait for dad to set  now the one in one out lock system wasn’t going to work here water in the pound for the boat waiting and water in the lock.for going down, but I didn’t work that out until Dad ask me to move off Ezri was suck on rock so I had to wait until lock three started to empty so I could flot in.

I not going talk about all 12 of the locks as there is video of a few of them and few photos as well, Like all my videos there shot live no edits just pure sound and pictures. They are hand held on old Nokia N series phone I don’t even let YouTube play with them. I may link them together at the end of the adventure but for now here is some raw narrowboating.

When we had done all the locks we made it to a 48 hour moorring spot and got talking to the other boats and they told Dad that the fiberglass guy was blaming everyone. He had bullied is way up the locks, in fact the boat I had behind apologized to him. Now one of three things could have happened they saw him tie up and didn’t tell Dad hoping he would get to lock before us or two they pasted him in the pound and didn’t tell him there were more boats coming down and lastly he’d been there the whole time watched them and Dad work the lock and come down which would have been a good 30 minutes and done nothing.

As always thank you reading and see you next week. –  By the way the two next blog posts are going to moving ones.

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =  31 miles 5  furlongs

Miles covered this trip =  1 miles 2 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)

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Top of The Locks

Well we made it, the top of locks at Bosley well as close as I can well away from the lock landing, waterpoint and the two sections of permanent moored boats, but we made it. 

After our time next to the main road, its like being in another world. The road does still follow the canal not as closely, so there is no danger of a car crashing through the tree line. With Dad sat up front and me taking the helm we set off. I wrote before about how I opened Ezri’s weed hatch a few days ago so before setting off I opened the engine bay again and pushed down on the weed hatch with my foot, it didn’t really need doing as it was fully sealed but it makes me feel better.

The one thing I have started to do is slow down, from the quarter speed we have been doing to almost one click down from stopping really. Ezri takes over more these days all do is switch on her engine and sit her in the middle of the canal. The other thing I have been is the running the bilge pump just to make sure.

So with Ezri puring away off we went, the Macclesfield has bit of habit of having broken banking so the weeds and the tree roots floating around so the best thing to do is stay in the middle which all very well but for two things boats moored on the left hand side and when you have 60foot narrowboat coming towards. 

Which happened to us as we past between bridge 51 and 52 I had to slip Ezri backwards all that really did made Ezri kind of stand still, it gave me about two inches of room at the left side by the moored boat a few more inches on the other side, so no one touch anyone I was even able to move to make more room, Its a move I don’t think I could have made if Ezri had been any bigger.

As we moved down canal the over grown grass on the towpath did make it hard to find a place to close to permanently moored boats which would wrong and to far CRT would be upset as it would be on the water point, so we did the best we could, I think next time I will have carry something to cut the grass.

As always thank you reading and see you next week. –  By the way the next two blog post are going to be moving ones both with videos 

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =  30 miles 2 furlongs

Miles covered this trip =  1 miles 5 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.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure –  Network Connection

When I was on the Rochdale canal I did try and write a little about it history and were it links to but I couldn’t find the right information at the right so it was half done. 

But last week when walking about here on the Macclesfield I saw a small box marked The Macclesfield Canal Society use BW key inside the box was small donation tin and a few leaflets by the society, giving the readier the history of the whole  and its place in the whole network system, I am going use bits of information from this  to give you bite size idea of the Macclesfield Canal.

The route was laid out by Thomas Telford and engineered by William Crosley, it was one of the last to built in fact, it was very nearly a railway. and after the act of parliament in 1826, the canal was open on 9 November 1831.

The canal begins at the junction of the Peak Forest Canal at Marple and then travels 26 1/4 miles to Harding’s Wood Junction joining with the Trent and Mersey and half way traveling down from Marple there are 12 locks at Bosley. Like many canals it travels through several villages and one town Macclesfield.

During the late 1980 the Macclesfield Canal Society restored the unique milestones along the whole course. And since then have so much more to keep the canal open.

Formed in November 1984 the society’s objective is to see to the best interest of the canal, keeping it open and useable for the generations to come.   More information can be found at Macclesfieldcanal.org.uk

If you have been thank you for reading and see you next week.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Bridging The Gap

The last time we moved was a bit rubbish so this time I wanted to make up for it and get Bosley number One which is 3 miles 6 furlongs. But in the end we only did about 2 miles of that for two reasons the frist being that were I want moor Ezri the side barrier was all rusted up quite a bit of it was coming away, falling into the water and the second was that with all the over grown grass it would be very unsafe to put mooring pins in.

As its become our custom, We (dad and me) walk from were Dad parks the car back up to Ezri which gives us an idea on what I will face on the way back, as like almost every time since joining the Macclesfield there have been boats traveling past us on the walk. Which makes me think “Well if a big boat like that can Ezri will have no trouble”

Anyway back to the trip taking the chains off Ezri was a simple thing well the front and the middle were but with the back one still on Ezri started to move out so Dad got off and held her in place and I undid the chain Dad got back on and with a little back and forth we were off.

I have been told by a few people that the Macclesfield is shallow and yes in some places from were I stand on Ezri it does look like it but so far so good, now we had past an open swing bridge on the way down and seeing the other boat I though the bridge was going to shut but when we got there it was still open in fact there was no way shutting it unless you’re on the other side of the bank I found out later that the bridge always stays open.

After that it was about another good stretch until there was on bridge, which needs the BW key as the whole thing is automatic key push the button and it opens, push the button again and it shut nice simple, well it would every time Dad starts doing something like there’s always someone who needs to cross the canal last time it was ambulance but this time just a small car and a cyclist.

A few meters away from the other bridge ties there was some new barrier and a small boat so want better place to stop, not may people would use this a stopping point there because it being close to the road but the only problem I can see is the trees, Ezri will need a wash at some point.

As always thank you reading and see you next week.

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =  28 miles 5 1/4 furlongs

Miles covered this trip =  2 miles 1 1/4 furlongs

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge, Bancroft Bridge No 8, Higher Poynton Winding Hole, Braddocks Bridge No. 19, Lane Head Winding Hole, Clark’ Change Bridge, Leadbeater’s Bridge No 40, Royal Oak Swing Bridge No. 49

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – The Same but Different

This a weekend and the last I swapped the tranquility of Ezri and the Macclesfield Canal for 44,000 hysterical fans screaming and that make up the Robbie Williams and Take That fan bases respectfully at the City of Manchester Football Stadium

I am going to do something that don’t normally do which talk about my day job, I am not going to huge detail because of the way are now. The whole idea is to try and show you the contrast of my life on Ezri and work. 

The first thing is that Ezri is only 35 feet long and if I not on her all, she does is sit in the water chained the bank, but the stadium is a hive of activity, not only with the crew of stage hands, staff from four/five companies, food and beverage staff and finally the fans themselves. Each member of staff working out the best method to help the fans enjoy the nights.

The second this the sound the only sound Ezri makes come from her engine and then only when she’s moving. But as you may have guessed the stadium is full of sound and I not talking about the music the band played its, the sound of the crowd its a sound that you don’t really get over I have been doing this job for 11 years and still something that takes me a little by Surprise it some travels though you like water, 44,000 people all singing and dancing as one.

The last thing this kind of the same that’s what happens when it to end and move on to the next place, In Ezri’s case it just a simple matter of pulling up our chains and setting off, but when it’s time for the event to move on it takes the same stage hands and riggers a good few hours to take down all the steel, lights and Speaker systems all to be put back together again at  the other end of their journey.

Thank you for this weeks little side step As always thank you reading and see you next week. Which will have a lot more narrowboats in it.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Pinned to the Bank

It’s now time to leave Macclesfield which easier said than done having looked at both canal plan and google maps the place I want to end up at, just the other side of a bridge in walk distance Macclesfield town football ground looked fine, but it was only when we (me and dad) walked down there did we it was over grown on the towpath side and shallow in places so I back tracked a little level with a place called Sutton/Sutton Hall just after the end of the three day moorings.

Ezri been on the Macclesfield for quite sometime now and some of its been very simple to moor up using chains, but few times using pins which in some cases don’t work so well as people speeding make them lose, or in this case the space that was left I could get Ezri’s front in but not her back end, which stuck out just a little bit and no matter now hard I tried to pull her into the side of the bank. 

I had planned to lift Ezri’s weed hatch to check out a few things out, but that will have to wait until the next moving/Maintenance day before I can do that. which I am going to move around just to make up for very small trip this week. So for now I not as far along as I would have like and things I want to do will be dangerous, as Ezri is literally on pins.

As always thank you reading and see you next week.

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =  27 miles 4 furlongs

Miles covered this trip =  7 1/4 furlongs

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge, Bancroft Bridge No 8, Higher Poynton Winding Hole, Braddocks Bridge No. 19, Lane Head Winding Hole, Clark’ Change Bridge, Leadbeater’s Bridge No 40

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Lines Of Communications

The question I get asked the most when people find out I live on a narrowboat is, how do you get the internet? Well until last week I would just point at my phone or the little tablet, that the nice people at EE setup. Which simply put was two sim cards one for the phone with text, calls and data and the other for the tablet some calls and texts but mostly data about 2GB in all.

But all that changed a few days ago not only do I have a new Phone and tablet but new something called mifi box which I am told works like the wifi my dad has, I set everything up so that the data is about 6GB split between the box thing and my tablet. The phone is just the phone text, calls and little data.

All are able to make emergency calls if needed and give my location too, I may be out in the middle of no where but I not totally out of communication range, when I frist started living on Ezri all I had was nine year old laptop which I would only have two hours use with a day, a simple phone, a road atlas and printed out paper plans of the route from Blue Water Marina to Littleborough

But now almost two a bit years down the line I can not only plan and plot my whole 100 miles Adventure, work out within two or three meters were Ezri is and were she will end up. And all of this I wanted can be broadcast and shared with the world. 

As always if you have done thanks for reading, and see you next week.