Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure -The Undiscovered County.

Soon it will be time for us to leave the Peak Forest Canal and head into the unknown, the undiscovered County of Cheshire. By crossing the Marple junction and joining the Macclesfield Canal and heading south from were we are now its trip of 6 miles and 3 3/4 furlongs.

But I will get back to the trip in a second, I talked before about water geting into Ezri so to solve this, she now has three small pegs in her side were the outlets are and on the inside four metal ties on the pipe work, so that should stop the water comming in, And yes the pegs in the holes will come out if and when they need to. But with water level being so high in the canal and Ezri being back heavy she will end up filling again soon. So the pegs will have do for now and at the very least want Ezri to be dry so I can see what wood or bits will needed replacing. 

Now back to the trip, here on the map I have marked out the area that Ezri and Me have covered so far on this 100 Miles Adventure in purple, The map was desinged and illustrationed by Bek Cruddce (search Bek Cruddce or read my Mapped Out blog post) I will be marking the map every 20 miles or each time we past though a town or city in purple but I will be adding a little gold dot which will be a photo or video place. All this not were we are is were we have been. Just to be on the safe side.

But before that can all start Ezri is facing the worng way and needs to to turned around, the best way I worked out was to move forward open the swing bridge and use the fact Furness Vale Marina begins just after it, the Marina is a very wide area and Ezri very small. So with help from my Dad, opening the bridge and watching out for me, we were able to turn and head the right way. 

The only thing was when past though the bridge Ezri tapped the left side and bent one of the pegs and lost the other two. So I am going to see if I can find end caps for the inside them and make sire there are shut for next time. We did carry on and made it all the way to our stopping place but that’s for next week, I have video so I want add that in. 

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) = 14 miles  

Miles covered this trip = 500 yards

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge
So if you have done thank you for reading, and until next time.

Narrowaboat Ezri – What is Past. And What is Come

As this year comes to its end its now the time to reflex on the last 365 days, What its ment to happen is that I recap the year but I not going to do that, a lot of things have happend only the bad has out wighted the good this time around, and even in the last few hours the year is still twisting the knife. All I will say is what is past is past we learn and move on from it.

As for what is to come, that is another story. 

Ezri’s winter morring will come to an end on the 31 of Jan. So I will be heading out back on the network, And we (me, my dad, Ezri and whatever crew/other family want join) are planing a big trip the idea is to cover the whole of the Cheshire Ring, passing/using the Anderton Boat and before heading back to home morring we are going head for Standedge Tunnel. That will cross off three huge milestones having done Tuel Lane Lock on the frist trip.

There is no time scale for the trip, the ring trip itself is 97 miles and 92 locks I have been told it can be done in 2 weeks but having missed out on so much when I was ‘comming home’ I am goimg to take my time.

I have been on three of six sytems which make up the route before. But the rest will be all new and that’s want Ezri is all about find the new and traveling around the cournty. I am going blog about the whole thing and I may try/restart videoing a few things for youtube and maybe maybe make a few into real vlogs.

Before that all starts however there will be more about Ezri and her rebuilt front door and then hopefully a exrta blog as I take a indepth look at one of the locks at Marple as CRT are having an open day. I hope that you will stick around for all the action and stories so if you have done thank for reading

NarrowBoat Ezri – Week Four/Five Of Winter or The Review Log part One

On Monday 21/11 night the rain came, and it came down in such force that it shut down some of the road/train network, so there was a question about getting to Ezri that was anwered in two ways one by the fact I work up on the Tuesday with and cold in my eye (which later in the week became full on flu) I did my best but it didn’t go and my dad did have flu. And the second the train station around the canal was shut so there was no way of getting to Ezri.

So what I though I would do is kind of recap on how the things have been since me and Ezri left Littlebrough and the nightmare that was the Rochdale.

Since the mini engine rebliud at Portland, its all about short runs and trips, from Portland we headed down to just outside Romiley and spent two weeks enjoying the sunshine and just being once agian free to explore, then when that was done it was time head into Marple.

16 locks and 3 hours later Me, Dad and Ezri had made it, when you get into Marple you can head one of two ways left and you end up at Bugsworth the end of the Peak and right is the Macclesfield leading to the Trent and Mersey and the rest of the Cheshire Ring.

We went right so I could fill up with water at the water point there were some really nice people who helped moved a working boat out of the way so Ezri could fit in the place, I had 24 hours there so it was a little being back in the center of Manchester.

The fun bit came when it was time leave and head back onto the Peak again, Ezri is only 35f so I was able to turn her around in the space she had been sitting in. Now the plan was always to head to end of the Peak but stop along the way, because I found out that you only get 48 hours in bugsworth so it would be mad to rush there and then just turn around the next village/town/railway station is a place called Stains in fact there is road out of Marple called Stains Road which follows the canal. On the bend there are new anachor rail so Ezri rested there getting covered in leaves for a few days.

NarrowBoat Ezri – Week Three Of Winter

Last week was all about gathering the materials, this week its time to put everything together, But before we can reconstruct the doors we have to deconstruct them and for this I asked for help from my Uncle Andrew ( a recently retired craftsmen specialising In ceramics and pottery) who has helped me out before with wood and other materials. And has the right tools for the right job.

So him and Dad set to work taking out the wood panel the broken end lifted out easy but when they tried to remove the top half of the panel the thin middle came out but the frame stayed suck in the place, so with a few little taps with a hammer they were able to out the remining wood.

Now it sounds as if I was just standing around watching all this but was my job to light the fire the and cook dinner, a few bits of paper and chucks of wood and Ezri was warm again there was a lot somke but that’s because the paper was little damp but that soon stopped, to get the heat for cooking I added a few lumps of coal. As Dad and Uncle Andrew maked up the wood panel for the vent, I put soup into my jug and four small pies on my tin plate watching them as they cooked slowly. (The soup was Carrot and coriander and the pork)

The next thing to do was to cut the silver insulation a simple job, just holding it up to the door making it sit in the steel, and cutting space for the vent hole which we guled to the wood with a thing called No More Nails, which did work. Dinner was the half way point and thanks to Ezri everyone had lovley soup and a pie .

Then it was time glue the wood on to the steel door using the same No More Nails, a cross bar made from the old wood and four clamps then waiting getting warm by the fire, and have a look around the mooring.

Now everything was set, door felt dry so we removed the clamps the wood didn’t fall out so we put the vent cover on and the door bolt, But then we ran into a little problem because when I drew the bolt down it hit the steel frame of the door so Uncle Andrew add wood to the back of the bolt so it fell over the frame but this time when drew the bolt the wood lefted out of the door just a little. It would appear that the glue at the bottom and installation didn’t take very well.

We have a few way of solving this problem and when we do the other side of the door will we are going use them, as for now Ezri is locked up tight (there are parts of the door I not showing) and we are well on our way to making her better.

NarrowBoat Ezri – Week Two Of Winter.

With winter well trully in full swing, and not having to move Ezri for the next three months, its time turn my hands to the little jobs that I have been meaning to do. The first most pressing job, Is the change the broken and shattered wooden panel inserts in Ezri’s front doors, Most narrowboat front doors have small windows in but Ezri doesn’t, she had two full metal  doors with two small vent at the bottom

This was a job that was meant to be done around this time last year, but we panited Ezri out and then a few other things went on.So having the wood replacement already measured and cut its a case of seeing how the first wood panel fits in the metal frame of the door. 

It tunrs out that its just a thin sheet of ply wood in touge and grove frame which explains the heat loss and why it shattered, when I hit the side of the bank on that frist day.

When we took off the vent there was a hole about the size of a CD which you can your fingers inside and see/feel that there is no insulation between the wood and the steel door, so yet more heat loss, yes I know a vent is to let air out but only though the vent holes not the door.

The job is a simple I hope pull out the ply wood and the frame add insulation to the door cut for the vent, put in the new wood in and add a new vent plate one which can be shut if needed, the vents I am added are a little bigger and only one will shut so there a air flow all the time, just in case.

The thing is findding the insulation, too thin and Ezri will still be cold, too thick and the wood will not fit, most narrowboats have somekind of insulation so it easy to find, I found something called Therma Wrap I think the way it work the thin the sheet of insulation the more it cost but on th bright side I have enough to do all the doors.

NarrowBoat Ezri -One Week Of Winter.

With the frist week of winter most over, but it finds me not on Ezri keeping warm and toasty by her fire, but cat sitting for my borther and sister in law. Its a srange thing being in house I can have hot water when even I want it, Switch on all the lights, computers, TV, Xbox you name it without fear running down a battery.there is even a gas fire

But yet want I find myself doing is sitting down reading and listening to podcasts and when its to dark to see I put the small lamp and when I cold put the fire on low, and feeding the cat when he needs. Almost mirroring he life aboad Ezri I even still using my boxes

I have had to work both at the start and the end of this week to, so I walked and gave me The opportunity to pass both the Rochdale and Ashton canal, even in the cold light of day the Rochdale is shockingly scary and downright dangerous, its hard to belive that anything could even flot in it, let alone navigate.

When we (me, dad and Ezri) came down from Littleborough that day/night we just kept going pushing and pushing on one lock after the next, not really knowing or caring just trying to get into Manchester. And want I saw on my way to work filled me once again with feeling of dread and foreboding.

Its like some has cut huge concrete ditch into the remains of industrial landscape and just let rot, there is hardly any water and what there is full of rubbish, yes it winter, yes do get get the odd bit of rubbish in all most every canal, but around there its somekind of past time. And that just the bit I passed on the way to work I would hate walk the rest of it.

As for the Ashton that a total different thing altogether there are only five street and park separating both canals yet here the canal is wide, free flowing many of the locks are freshly pained and in working order and want rubbish there is all in litter bins. There is even a new flower garden. But I guess that’s people rection to canals in space of a few minutes walk.

As for Ezri she’s safe in her winter mooring, in the end CRT didn’t let me have one so I called two of the marines on the Peak one of which had room, the trip there took all of ten minutes, so there she sit waiting for the winter work to start and her feel like home again.

NarrowBoat Ezri –  Wednesday Washday.

With winter well on is way its time to change out the clothes I have on Ezri, the day to day stuff all gets wash in the small shower-room sink or hung up and showered down all simple t-shirts or jeans and the like are dead simple. Or I wait until I am working and ask my Dad to wash them for me.

But my winter clothes are mostly heavy wool or very thick material,so it calls for little more planing, I also have a waterproof blue outside coat which need cleaning before the bad weather really set in, the sink is to small and the shower just doesn’t work, the water just runs off.

So this calls for a very low tech solution test, I own two huge see thougth boxes one of which is of my bedding (sheet, quilt and blanket) the other all my clothes.

Emptying the bedding box is the simplest solution and with three kettles of hot water I have myself a washing tub and away I’m cleaning my jacket, if this works I will have away of washing all my winter things.

But unlike your washing machine at home there is lot more work to be done, for one I don’t have any real detergents or washing machine liquid so I will use just plan old hand soap and scrubbing brush.

And a hour later I have scrubbing, soak and pulled out most of the water from my jacket and the water is now a grey brown which can slowly poured away, as its just safe cold water now. Ezri’s fire will go on soon both to dry out the box and my coat, if this works I will have find some soap power.

NarrowBoat Ezri – October Skies

Beneath the cover of October skies and all the leaves on the trees are falling, To the sound of the breezes that blow, My dad and me take Ezri on one last trip before my winnter mooring shut down begins. But I will come back to that later in the next blog.

Now lets talk about the trip itslef for the last 14 days Ezri had been facing down towards Marple, I have been using chains ever since Ezri came off the Rochdale frist on the Ashton and now here so it came as little bit of shock when I saw that Ezri’s back rope was almost cut all the way though.

You see the chains give some slack but pull tight when something goes past and something had with such force that it had caused the damage, Ezri wasn’t in danger or in the way of others, She was tied on the front and clipped in by her center, want got me down is that I was given the rope so it felt sad to take it off, but I will keep it

So there we were Ezri facing the worng way and a new back rope, in hindsight what I should have done was to turn Ezri around a few days before but I though the space was sufficient to turn around I was wrong, Dad took Ezri’s front rope and begain to pulled her around, me steering all the time 4 inches was all we needed but we just didn’t get it.

There really only one option and that was to head to Marple Junction and turn in the huge circle area, an extra half hour So off we set down to Marple Dad walking, me at the helm. But as I did not only did start noticing the drop in the water level but Ezri began to rattle again a sigh she was hitting bottom.

Dad had disappeared from view as I went around the bend heading to the last bridge before Marple when there was a boat comming the other way I slowed down and waited but he kept coming and wouldn’t move around Me forcing me to move to my left in fact I’m sure he sped up almost pushing me in to the shallow water but pushed Ezri hard down and we didn’t get shuck only a little shook up, But by now all really wanted to was tie up and start again the next day.

Want I did was get Dad to hold Ezri in place and take the weed hatch off I really have no idea but it made sense at the time to start looking for anything wrapped around the propeller. To do this I had to take off my coat and my hat as both were in the way. And plunge my hand into the freezing water and feel around to find nothing, I gave the propeller a few turns and put everything back.

Once again in hindsight I should have waited a few more minutes and put both my hat and coat back on but feeling a lot better I decided we should go now so in the space we turned Ezri around and headed off, only to find out that we now the head of a a convoy made up of two 60 foot boats each with more powerful engines.

We reached where he had been more the other boat only minutes behind and I Began to get cold and noticed the weather above me the sunny clouds 10 almost black and I was beginning to get a little worried half an hour later I decided to call it we were going to tie up and come back tomorrow but Dad in for me I would have been doing the trip on my own so, I pulled in a let the other two boats pass and put my coat and hat back on.

We set off again but almost got caught in the silt build-up around the edges of the banking which didn’t help at all but I power down through and as he continued to touch bottom. I don’t really know how we did it but we managed to catch up with the boats at the first bridge they had both made it through and then kept open for me Dad got off and walked to next.

Dad lifted the bridge and the other boat went though he got back on and took his place at the front we powered on Ezri still touching bottom as we went along so I was not so happy, we made it to the last bridge and one of boats had pulled over so Ezri and me were now in the middle of the convory.

We carried on the weather changed again this time back to the blue october sky it had been when started, the rain didn’t ever begin. Somewere along the way the last boat drop away then as we reached New Mills the second boat made a turn to right but the canal goes left. They were turing around I gave them space but still felt Ezri rush a little towrads them even turning left herself.

We said thank you for the help and headed on our way, half hour later it was our turn to stop, Everyone was feeling the trip, Dad for all the walking me as my hands were frozen and Ezri most of all beacuse I had pushed her a little hard. When everthing was calm we took stock of the trip, it had taken a longer than planed, Ezri was little bashed, tempers were a little high but she was in the right place for next week. I later found out the water level had dropped few inches because a lot of boat were heading down the locks over the last few days

NarrowBoat Ezri – Winter Is Comming.

Ezri and Me have left Whaley Bridge and Bugsworth Basin, we are now heading back towards Marple but stopping along the way, because at some point we have head back as I have found Ezri a winter mooring is not a CRT one. Its at one of the places along the Peak canal and just for three months.

I didn’t really want to but for two things CRT said I didn’t qualify for a winter it may have something to do with being on a six month licence after being unable to move out of Littleborough last year after the floods, I did try twice frist time getting only as far as Smithy Bridge low water and the second time endding up having to sit on the bottom of the canal for two days as the water was taken from me at Belfield. All I got told is I didn’t qualify so that’s that 

The second reason is that as I have been walking along the Peak I have seen chained up huge wood blocks and witnessed them being set into groves along the canal stopping the water flow. Now it maybe just be for emergencies or water testing I just don’t know but I can’t take that risk of being trapped again. 

And without a winter mooring I would have had to keep moving in whatever the weather and after last year that would have been hard.

On a more lighter note Ezri feels somehow more alive as the nights grow in, when we were at bugsworth everyone had there fires going the air was full of heat and light somke, it was magic. I didn’t even use the gas cooker it somehow felt wrong so cooked on my little boatman stove, sitting there slowing cooking my food watching the fire listening to podcasts.

I hope for more nights likes these.

NarrowBoat Ezri – Whaley Bridge and Bugsworth Basin

When you reach the end of the Peak there is a small jucation both of which lead to dead ends making the end of the Peak the frist is Whaley Bridge, were mooring signs are very missleading, all privte moorings or sometimes not, and the water point in at the very end of the canal.

As for the other turning that leans into Bugsworth Basin, a huge set of branches and old stone quays which don’t lead to anywhere but were once the links of old tram-way which carried line rock, The moorings here are a little less messed up than Whaley Bridge you have 48 hours no more. Unless once again you have privrte mooring. Shown by a small little signs you don’t see untill you pass it.

I found all this out after my 14 days came to a end just outside Furness Vale, the Bugsworth Basin bit I knew having been down in the car, (could had walked but dad wanted to see to) I looked up Whaley Bridge on two web sites one te CRT the other Canal Plan and both said nothing about privtir moorings. But on my trip down I also asked around and was told that signs were not right as the makings didn’t make it clear were the privit mooring started and stopped.

I also got told how bad it was around there but it would be for three days then into Bugsworth, I then had it pointed out to me that there are rings just at the start of the Bugsworth arm, now there Ok if you planing to bash your boat along the side of the wall or just be there for two or three hours but not days.

In the end we used Whaley Bridge, dispite being near a Tecos and the main road wasn’t to bad I even had someone pull up infornt of Ezri.

On to Bugsworth a matter of 10 to 15 mins sail, like I said before now its just a lot old quays, and the odd set of rings which makes it easy for Ezri to move around and turn. But mooring a little hard. I don’t want knock holes everywere for her pins so I working on two ropes one front, one back.

Now that’s Ok or it would but she now in the middle of two boats who turn up about ten minutes after Ezri, Dad and Me so am just a little jumpy about Ezri sliding about as the boats comming in now have to pass Ezri to turn around. They all want there spots I guess.