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)

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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.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – What went before.

Last weeks blog post was about crossing the divide between the Macclesfield Canal and the Trent and Mersey which got me thinking, after two year on Ezri how many other canals which make up the two thousand mile length network have we completely covered.

The funny thing is that I never kept a complete record (just are few notes and Condensed diary dates) when I did the trip from Blue Water marina in Thorpe West Yorkshire to my eventual destination of Littleborough in Lancashire.

I knew my starting point and had a vague the idea of my end destination, but really no idea what was really involved, so it was one big push, afraid if I slowed down that I would have been left behind and lost from the people who were help me, But now I know better. 

Yet sad because with all the rushing about I missed all most everything and its only when I watch other people’s YouTube videos or see a Mention of a lock do I just about remember the trip, the heat from the sun as it was high in the sky and working the wood 2 by 4 paddle on the Aire and Calder, all memories which wish I could hold on to longer. 

When I do think about things its amazing that I was able with help cover so many parts of the canal network even crossing the Lancashire Yorkshire border more than once.

The First Three Weeks
New Junction Canal 
Aire and Calder Main Line
Aire and Calder – Navigation – Wakefield
Calder and Hebble – Navigation

The rest of the year
Rochdale Canal 99%
Ashton Canal

The 100 mile Adventure
Peak Forest
Macclesfield

The following is a simple map showing our movement this side of the Pennines, the red shows the first Adventure and the Purple shows the new 100 mile adventure we are still continue to do.

the map was Illustrated by Bek Cruddace, for More information go to Bekcuddace.co.uk.

That’s your lot for this week, and As always thank you for reading and I hope you can join me next when head up the Trent and Mersey.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Two Down, One More To Go.

The Peak Forest complete, The Macclesfield complete. So this week we head on to the Trent and Mersey, well in fact without knowing it we have done a few furlongs already. 

You would think that links between the canals happened at junctions but the link for the Macclesfield and Trent and Mersey happens at what is called a stop lock a link between systems to prevent water leakage the odd thing is that it’s not really a lot it’s two gates and it drops you about six inches in total. So deep in a secluded area of the Macclesfield just after the last water point, there it is.

But I am jumping ahead, Having walked to Ezri checked water and oil levels it was a simple case of  starting her engine and undoing her ropes then pushing off. The first part of that went fine, check, count switch off, but when I came to the middle rope I found it was lose, no big deal is happened before. Well this time the chains were not even linked into the barrier, 

Pulling the chain out the water it became clear, why one of the rings had been undone and in fact missing. as if someone had unscrewed if the D clip and left it fall in the water and the ring sinking to bottom of the canal lost. I always tie Ezri at three points so she didn’t become adrift but it still very maddening, I plan to make more than one spare next time.

After finding out all this we had wait as three boat went past one narrowboat heading up the Macclesfield one heading down and a small canoe which made waves, real hard big waves, We let them head out of our way and set ourselves.

Having been down this bit of canal it was some what easy to work out were Ezri needed to be, but half way down we came across the canoe people again which even moving Ezri out of the way rocked her a lot, the rest of the trip was nicely done and simple and it was somewhat odd to stop for the lock, It was only when made to our end point did we find out it was link between the Macclesfield and the Trent and Mersey.

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

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =  38 miles 3 1/2 furlongs

Miles covered this trip =  1  miles  1 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.


Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure –  Third time Lucky

Even when I was getting wet week last week, even when I bailing out the water from the leak. I try and make things sound fun, as me and Ezri make our way around the canal network. But I don’t think with this one, the task for the day was simple one, turn around get some fuel and moor up back in the same place as I have a few days left here.

Things started out Easy, I turned Ezri’s key counted to 20 and her engine came kicking into life, we untied her ropes and Decided to leave the change as we were coming back to the morning, I worked out there was space a few feet head so we could use that to turn around in, I was able to come in and Dad got off rope in hand all we needed to do was move backwards Dad would then pull Ezri around I would then head to the fuel pump at the Marina.

Well first Ezri didn’t want to go backwards despite having about a foot of spare space behind her and when dad tried to push her back that didn’t work. We tried a second time only to get stuck and Ezri’s tiller arm smacking me in the stomach so there was nothing for it but to head up the network and find bigger space.

The second one we found was a lot wider so we tried again but once again Ezri didn’t want to go backwards despite my best efforts, and Dad holding her front rope telling me which way to move Ezri’s tiller but it didn’t work I got a second whack for my trouble and Ezri started making odd sounds. Which is never a good sign so the there was nothing for it but to go deeper.

Now by this point I was in a little of pain and Dad was getting tried of walking and pulling, So right in the center of the bend we tried again slowly and only just making it this time,facing the right way heading back to the Marina Dad got on and off we went Ezri was not happy one bit. She kept fighting me, it was if I was running thought sand we did make it to the Marina and got some fuel want we got in total I can’t really remember as I was still too focused on the fact that he was being a bit of a pain in the backside.

I thought that after all that messing about was over when headed out but no, Ezri had one last trick to keep us on our toes she decided to almost hit the boat to her left as we came down the canal back to the mooring and then overshoot the mooring place and we had to drag back quite a few feet. Not only that but the mooring chains for decided to lodge themselves within the steel work of the barrier.

We move again on Friday I just Ezri is a better frame of mind, as I don’t want have start fighting her again.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Boxing Clever

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miles covered this trip = 2 miles 

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

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

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – TopHat and Tales

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

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

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

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

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

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

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