Thursday, March 20, 2014

A bit of sideways cruising…

In the exposed bits of today’s trip it was a struggle to avoid being blown onto the right-hand bank, but it could have been worse. I wouldn’t have fancied the challenge of those long embankments on the Shroppie!
As it was a lot of the cruise was spent alongside the River Ankar, down on the right, with the rising ground out of the valley acting as a windbreak to the west.

Ex working boat NB Kangaroo at Grendon DockSAM_8645

Dead calm on the water under the lee of Hoo Hill, just south of Polesworth….SAM_8647

…in contrast to wind-blown willows in AmingtonSAM_8660

NB Sanity Again was moored just north of Polesworth, and we had a brief exchange of greetings as we passed.

Bruce and Sheila

Under the M42, with the large spoil heap on the rightSAM_8653

The bridge ahead connects the now accessible area around the mound with the Pooley Fields Visitor Centre.

Most disappointed to have to leave this lot, but I just couldn’t get close…SAM_8650
That would have seen out the rest of the winter… Oh, I forgot, it’s actually spring, now. Vernal Equinox today.


Passing Polesworth we spotted Kangaroo’s stable-mate, NB Greyhound…SAM_8651

…and at Alvecote, Maffi’s Milly M.

It’s at Alvecote that NB Dane is being restored by the Narrowboat Heritage Foundation. Dane is a wooden narrowboat built in 1907 as a horseboat and converted to a motorboat in 1929.SAM_8658
The thing is with restoring these old boats is, how much needs to be original to claim that it’s over 100 years old? It will certainly have been re-bottomed during it’s working life, there’s a new stem post fitted and a lot of the timbers on the hull look to be new.
A case of “I’ve had this broom for 10 years. It’s had 4 new heads and 3 new shafts…”

Don’t get me wrong, I love to see these old boats on the water. I once restored a Riley 1.5 and by the time I’d cut out all the rot it must have weighed half as much as when it left the factory. That was all replaced with new steel.

My 1965 Riley 1.5 and 1956 Riley Pathfinder, both restored from the ground upTest Day 002

We arrived at Glascote Locks to see a boat just ahead of us, so had to refill both to go down, and then cruised the last 1½ miles to the moorings opposite Peel’s Wharf in Fazeley.

Glascote LocksSAM_8662

Fazeley Junction and the route to BirminghamSAM_8664

Moored in Fazeley, Meg has made herself comfortable.SAM_8667

We succeeded in beating the rain, but only because it was later than first predicted. We even had half an hour of sunshine when we pulled up.

Not sure what we’re doing tomorrow, Plan A was to stop here then move on after a bit of shopping on Saturday morning. But tomorrow’s forecast looks better than Saturday’s so we might move on to find a spot to sit out the weekend.

Locks 2, miles 8¼

No comments: