Monday, 31 March 2014

Getting Ready for setting 'sail'

We came back last night from a couple of days taking stuff down to Leo and doing a few odd jobs.  She now looks pretty well ready to go:
Helen was busy cleaning, while Ian changed the antifreeze, did some water plumbing, made cupboard doors and drawers fit properly, put some tape around the weed hatch to seal it better as well as checking that everything is working as it should.  We were very pleased that our solar panel has kept the batteries properly charged all winter.  The engine started first time too.  The warm and wet winter has led to a bit of mildew but we've given the boat a good airing for a couple of days and she now smells drier and fresher.  The bed is made, clothes are onboard, all we need is some food and then we are ready to go.

While we were there we were very pleased to see Paul and Gail (nb Georgiana) who introduced us to this marina and we shared locks with them coming up the Grand Union to Stoke Bruerne last August.

Already there are problems with meeting David and Victoria.  Holme Lock on the Trent is out of action and there are problems too at Blackburn on the Leeds and Liverpool.  So they may be coming South to meet us via the Rochdale Canal.  We now plan to meet them at Etruria, which for non-canal people is better known as Stoke on Trent.  Assuming no other snags we shall reach Etruria via the Leicester branch of the Grand Union and the River Soar, then turning left on the Trent near Nottingham to join the Trent and Mersey.  We aim to set off sometime next week after a final trip down to Leo and driving back to leave the car at home.

Watch the blog to keep track of our progress.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Thinking about a cruise for 2014

Well it seems as if the horrendous rain and wind is behind us and the weather is getting warmer, so our thoughts are turning to where we will be cruising this year on Leo.  Our plans at the moment are to set out from our present mooring near Daventry in the week beginning 7 April.  David and his girlfriend Victoria are joining us again this year with their boat, Pas Mèche.  So for our first few days we will be cruising to meet them, probably near Nottingham where the Trent and Mersey Canal joins the River Trent. 

This will mean we shall be heading North on the Grand Union through Braunston Tunnel and then down to Braunston itself.  From there we'll head up the North Oxford and Coventry Canals to join the Trent and Mersey at Fradley Junction.

Once we join Pas Mèche and assuming the rain does not start again we aim to go up the River Soar and enjoy the Leicester Branch of the Grand Union.  And after that?  Well you'll just have to wait and view our blog from time to time.  However we do have a booking to cross the Ribble Link near Preston at the end of July.  And we do have rough plans until then.

We look forward to telling you all about our exploits this year and will aim to put a posting on the blog every few days once we are under way.