NarrowBoat Ezri – Rambling On

Having a little bit of spare time last week, I went on a bit of a ramble something it enjoy doing, building a mental map of area. Leaving Ezri around Furness Vale I headed towards back along the canal to Marple Locks, for a better look around as it hard to see when passing them at Marple junction. Since September of last they have been out of order, after the whole side wall of one of the locks fell down a few weeks after it had the lock gate checked as part of on an open door.

The hope is that the locks will open by 5pm on 25th May, which means we’re not going to be the first boat though as I will be working, but when I have time you bet we will be going though them once again, until them like I said work is going to main thing to do but I plan to do something colorful to Ezri in the next few weeks.

I do plan on posting more Ezri narrow blogs, but I don’t really want to keep repeating myself and showing you the same places you did on the 100 mile adventure, plus as I just moving around the same area its just a lot safer for myself and other I don’t keep pointing camera at things. But for now thank you for reading and see all soon.

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Narrowboat Ezri- The Butterfly Affect

The last few months have been some want of a hibernation, at the end of last year me, dad and Ezri had done around trip of a 100 miles from Bugsworth Basin to the Anderton Boat Lift and back again. However Ezri didn’t end the journey without a few bumps and bruises. a mooring rope wrapped around the prop shaft which had to be cut, the death of the engine battery, damage to the isolator switch and moving though the ice on the way back to the Peak Forest the but that all part of the life as a boater.

So as the start of the year rolls on Ezri is once again sits in our “home” mooring having had her isolator switch fixed. all cozy and safe. Its strange I spent so much time moving about last year it just nice to stay still of a while (that to say running Ezri along the open parts of Peak Forest.) and think about want to do next.

Well the first thing is it’s replace the center rope, which can could be and trip down memory lane back to Methley Bridge Chandlery which I would love to do show my Dad the huge river locks that Ezri and Me came though or it almost 2 years ago now or Preston Marina which would a day out and a look at the sea locks but both will be a car trip just make life a easy. Later in the year Ezri will need re blacking so that something to look forward to.

Its not just the things on the outside Ezri that need replacing the lights on the inside are ok and have done well for good length of time but now its time for a change, I have a few push lights and fixed lights not LED ones which I use a lot so they need battery power, but the other month I got myself a outside garden light strip which runs on solar it even works inside so I am going set it up soon in the roof like star light, and get around to looking into the cost of some LED lights

The other thing is the floor like every boat in the morning the wood flooring is cold, so the best thing to do is make it warmer by add insulation I can’t put anything under so on top is better carpet would just be messy so flooring tiles would be ideal, but there are costly and boring colours, yet what will work would be tiles that he would put down for a child’s playpen they are cheap and very very durable also they come in a variety of colours, there are some areas that they will not work around the fire and towards the kitchen. But the bathroom and few over places will work just fine. Even adding a lot more colour to Ezri.

There are few other things to do as well a new battery cover is a must, and maybe add a second but so far it been all work and no play.

Yet all of this will have to wait a little as the weather has not been playing the snow wrapping not only Ezri in blanket but the all the boat as far the eye can, making small villages of crystallises all long the towpath waiting patiently to spread their wings once again heading out whenever the water will take them. But for now thank you for reading and see all soon.

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.


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 – Four by Four

This week want we are going to do is head for the center of a town, which is most unusual for us. This whole trip has been about over shooting or under shooting places like this I work in the very noisy environment of a football stadium and in the center of Manchester so the last thing I want is the 24 hour noise following me home, plus time is slowly creeping up behind us.

The town in question is Middlewich around 10 miles away from our end goal, even at this time of the year is still a very busy industrialist place with not only the few all year round boats but many holiday boats as well, in fact counted about six boat yards in the center of town alone.

Anyway back to the trip its self four miles and four locks. From the idyllic rural setting of the occasional intercity train passing over head though the small industrial complex and new build houses be joined half way by the A533.

As with all of this trip so far my dad came to help out, so we walked to Ezri from Middlewich now this gives us the opportunity to see if there will be anything such as lock closures obstacles which may, stop the trip the only thing is that technically doubles the distance, sure Ezri does all we ask of her and never seems to run out of stream, but the same can’t always be said for her crew.

Like I said half way though the canal is joined by the A533 and as the car, lorries and motorbikes came thundering past us, Dad Ezri and me slowly headed into Middlewich and down the four locks.

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.

By the way I think I may have the last few Calculations wrong as checking my numbers with canal plan gives me

 Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =   46 miles, 3½ furlongs 

Miles covered this trip =   4 mile  1 furlong

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 

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.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Half a Dozen Down

This week we forge further ahead on the Trent and Mersey, At the junction we be turning left (right would take us to the Harecastle tunnel) this was easy said then done. Before we set off there were two boats tied together with one tied up and the lock landing, which as the locks are double, it didn’t present a problem I could just move to the right hand side of the canal on go down the free one. But by the time we got there and I’ve made my wide sweep to the right the boats had disappeared and I was too far wide to come in elegantly so I hit not only the bank in front of me but when I done reversing tapped the front of Ezri on the now free lock landing, So not the best of starts.

I’m not sure how many locks there are in total on the complete length of the Trent and Mersey as I only intend to do as many as it will take to get to the Anderton Boat Lift around I think twenty five. So in this journey we that is my Dad and myself will do the first six we will come across. The way the locks work on the Trent and Mersey are exactly same really is all locks you add a fill it up or empty it float in and fill it up or empty it again, The only difference is a double Chambers that’s two locks next each other one can be used for going down a one can be used for going up at the same time.

We did the first one with no issues and no problem we’ll stay down the left hand side from the mooring landing, that working a lot with the big handle windlass and me steering Ezri. But I did forget to do was to take the camera off my pocket and film because I wanted to show the fact that you travel underneath the the Trent and Mersey section which links with the Macclesfield it was only halfway through the trip when I remembered I had the phone.

There is quite a lot of room between 2nd and 3rd locked and there were a few boats made up mostly mostly holiday boats but there is enough room so that the lock emptying and filling doesn’t ground you so on the way back I might stop here. At the second was about coming the other way so they were going off as we were coming down and they were extremely helpful as the young lad on the boat open the gates so I could just sail to the lock on the left, they also pointed out further on the water would get a bit shallow as we were only going to do the first six it didn’t and hasn’t become a problem yet.

With our system in full swing with Dad setting the locks and walking a few yards ahead, I was able eventually to get the phone at my pocket and start taking pictures I even managed to take a video at some point exactly what lap and not sure because the numbers like I said don’t really correlate they not in 123 order. The Trent and Mersey actually passes the main offices well the regional offices, for the canal and River Trust so there are places where you can more up and take on water there is also a little Museum/shop thing but we didn’t have time to go and look inside maybe on the way back or in a few days I will have a look myself are there are two water points as well so that’s quite useful.

As we travelled along I think it was the fourth lock there was a volunteer who helped us though which nice and said we were about the 14th boat he’d helped. There were a few more boats than that after us so on behalf or all us thank you.

We went along to the next lock and with the system going we finished it in next to no time the rest of the journey was just a case of finding a place to Moor. Near a set of rings Ezri’s centre line being used as the Middle Rope to moor on the ring and the back and front mooring chains.

As always we left plenty of room between myself and the boat in front but half an hour after we stopped the people in front of our but decided they didn’t want to stick around so Ezri Dad and Me had a nice diner of steak pasties, pie and coffee.

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

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =  40 miles  7 furlongs

Miles covered this trip =  2 miles  4 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, 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.