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.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Up The Junction.

With one hand on Ezri’s tiller and Dad stood to the bow, Our trip begain. She knows the way and all I have to do is make her stay in the middle just to be on the safe side with Dad looking out for anything to big. We reach the frist moving bridge and I tie up Ezri and off dad gets keys in hand

Before we set I moved most things to as near the bow as I could so that I can just see the top of Ezri’s rudder just under ther waterline yes I know its ment to be above but I don’t have that kind of thing to counterbalance her engnie just yet.

As Dad opens the bridge I check the outlets and off we go again, Ezri always hates stopping once were the other side, no really she does no matter how slow I take her she always over shoots the tie point I want. The next bridge is the same, we tie up dad gets off opens the bridge Ezri get though, down goes the bridge and off we go. But this time I reach inside my coat a take out the best phone in the world even my old Nokia Series N8 its stood with me at bottom Niagara Falls and the top of Rockerfeller Center. It has the best camera and video I have ever used as its all one hand use. The date and time are all mess up but that’s something to work out later in the posting.

Ezri’s running fine and we will be pasting the Swizzel sweet factory soon so want better time to test out the video. If this works want your seeing and hearing is just pure raw shot video Ezri keeping her couses and the back of my dad head as passed a steel working boat.

Now I not going to give you blow by blow for each bridge as I had done that before, and to keep saying I did this and Dad the other, would put you off. So I will pick up the trip around somewhere in the middle as I tested the camera again as you can I didn’t quite get my hand out of the way.

Now when reached the last bridge Dad walked back to New Mills for the car, so that left me to make the rest of the trip on my own, it was just like the old times but odd thing was I wasn’t counting my movements or feeling scarried like before I stood there just enjoying the ride, Ezri took over she made the turn herself no she really did, I felt the tiller move under my hand she even leveled out and so I took the camera out again.

And as I put away the camera, Ezri pulled off pretty niffy trick just to keep me on my toes, I really think it was because I had just told her we where not going to stop but she hit a low hanging tree which in turn tapped chimeny pot which then bouced on the roof something which I have a few times before but this time however it bouced twice and with a soft splash fell into the water, lost never to be seen again.

The whole point of this trip was to cross the The junction and head on to the Macclesfield Canal and then to the stopping place, So once again I will let Ezri take over as I worked the camera. No wil did hit the side wall she made it a cross nicley and was a little surprised when we carried on, in fact I felt the change of water level so I was once again on my toes, but Ezri sailed over most things.

We reached the stopping place in the middle between High Lane and Marple, it wasn’t until I stopped did I notice that the other boats around Ezri had been at Carr Swing a few times before to so she was with friends.

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) = 20 miles  

Miles covered this trip = 6 miles 

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge

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

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure -Mud, Wind and Fire.

Of all the days to pick I chose Monday, because on moving day I be at work and don’t want to get in bother with CRT and one sooner is better that one day late. I have to make sure there is space of Ezri because winter moorings are still in place, so I need to makes sure I am on the right side of the signage, if not its a long run to bugsworth of two days.

Thankfully there was a space a little way out of New Mills, a lot of people without winter mooring have the same idea, so it was a walk back to Ezri. Which on a good day would a fun little (for me) trip. 

But today with last few days of rain its made the towpath a patchwork of mud and tarmac, I walk quicker that Dad so ten minutes into the walk up to Staines and Ezri I walking on my own getting wet though as the rain started up again, and losing my eyesight has my glasses became too wet to see through. It did become a bit wade when I got to the mud, so much so that I was starting to think about finding another place for Ezri to be. But in the end I wasn’t sure how far that would count as a move.

Getting to Ezri I found out that I was covered in mud, my shoes were black and my bottom end of trosuers were the same, but it didn’t really matter Ezri was dry (discounting the intake hole) a quick check and pulling up of the chains and we were off.

It doesn’t mattter if I have made the run before or Me and Ezri do a few hours sail I always try and find out how long we do, And this trip is no exception canalplan told me the trip would take 2 hours and 6 minutes a matter of 4 miles and 1/4 furlongs, Beginning at two and ending at four, As it was still raining Dad was inside Ezri facing the way we had come but as we started the wind started up.

And in no time we were at the frist bridge, Dad lifted it and I held Ezri in place, I  let her slip thought a little as I needed to tie up on the bank again so Dad could get back on, the rain was lighter than before but it was a little work, All I had to do was stay in the middle, the easy thing to do as like before there was so much water.What wasn’t so easy was the fact Ezri is back heavy so I knew that her rudder would tap a few things. Second was the intake hole I couldn’t tell if were filling with water. 

I asked my Dad to keep an eye on it just in case, and went back to pushing on, we made the second bridge, and in five minutes were off again, there are few narrow points between the second and third bridge so Ezri did bouce a little, and there was a little mud bank at one of turning areas, so when reached the last bridge I had an idea Dad worked it and I pushed the bed/couch into the center of Ezri and right up to her front did help a little I could see the top of Ezri’s rudder.

The wind had been pushing us a long as we made our trip, we even incounted a A fiberglass boat which was being blown about as her crew negotiated working one of the bridges, but was only when we had tied up  safely in place and was able to look at my phone did I see how it had helpped. Canalplan said two hours, Ezri had do it in one, at no point did I push her engine or anything like that in fact I slowed down more that once. There is something about the Peak Ezri just loves it, she knows when to slow, when to turn when to do almost everything I just turn the key.

We did take on some water so I going to have make wood plugs of the intakes, I can’t find cork or rubber ones there just to make sure I don’t fancy facing a lock just yet. As for the fire well my Dad said I would just get covred in mud trying to get to work the next day so. I had a night of central heating and television.

If you have done thank you for reading, I have no idea want next week blog is going to be about yet but I hope you can join me for it.

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) = 10 miles  3 1/4 furlongs

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

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, 

Narrowaboat Ezri – What No Post ?

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

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

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

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

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

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 – 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.