NB Muleless

NB Muleless
Moored at Alrewas Sept 2013

Sunday, 30 November 2014

A Momentous Day!!

After waving goodbye to NB No Problem and NB Seyella last Wednesday, we moved on ourselves, and moored up above Welsh Road Lock.

The next morning we heard the ominous sound of the mower and strimmer, and shortly after Gary inspected the side of the boat!


He set too straight away cleaning the grass off before it dried on and set like concrete!


As we headed up the Bascote Locks the mower and strimmer were on their way back – at least this time they didnt have to work near us!


The pound below the staircase locks was really low – Muleless barely made it to the top of the lock!


We moored up at the Cuttle Inn – opposite the Two Boats pub – we had decided it was time to try a different pub, as every other time we stopped here we popped in the Two Boats!


As we sorted ourselves out, and I changed out of my “cruising” clothes, we heard a load of dogs barking – and suddenly, through the hedge on the right of the picture came a pack of hounds!

They streamed across the lawn and headed through the fence on the far side of the pub garden! Shortly after horses and riders came over the road bridge and down past the Cuttle Inn – it was obviously a hunt underway – not too sure what scent the hounds were following, it was a good job we didnt have a dog or cat with us at the side of the boat at the time!!!


Friday morning it was time to head up the Stockton locks again, the forecast was for rain later, so we made sure we set off at a reasonable time – 10.45 am – there are only 10 locks after all!

In the pound between locks 8 and 9 there has been a bit of a breach – I dont think it was there when we came down!


We had seen a couple of CRT people walking down the flight and they said they had been running water down to the centre pounds which were really low – when we got there they still looked really low!



We made it to the top of the flight, as I prepared the top lock it started raining, and as we were ready and dressed for it we didnt mind.


We were soon moored up opposite the Willow Wren Training Centre, snug and warm!

Saturday we made the short hop back to the top of the Calcutt Locks. We set off with sunshine and brilliant blue skies again!


Shortly after mooring up the weather changed again!


All this rain recently is working wonders for the reservoirs!


Sunday we had an even shorter journey – into Wigrams Marina! Now it is winter we aim to equalise our batteries once a month.

Whilst we were there, Niece Natalie popped in to see us – her baby is due in January!


That night there was a lovely sunset …….


and in the morning it was frosty and misty!


We had decided to stay for two days to get some jobs done and then on Tuesday we headed out, mooring just outside the marina for one night and then heading back to Braunston on Wednesday.

There was lots of mud running into the canal from the fields!


Braunston was shrouded in mist as we approached.


We made the usual visit to the shop for supplies and we both visited the hairdresser for a trim!

On the way back to the boat we spotted this version of a famous boat in the marina! (Sue is this your old one?)


After a slow start on Thursday we topped up with water as usual and then turned in the marina entrance.


The morning had started misty and grey, but by 1pm the sky had cleared!

As we headed out of Braunston, we passed NB Milly M – but no sign of Maffi – he was probably busy sorting out his clutch problem!

This shot of Braunston in the distance is a total contrast to the one when we arrived!


Approaching our mooring at Onley.


Amazingly there was no-one moored there!

We had another lovely sunset, and the canal was so still it reflected every detail!


Friday was the “Momentous Day” in the heading!

We set off from our mooring and headed to Hillmorton Locks.

The top lock was almost set, and within minutes the gate was open and Muleless nosed gently in, the gate was closed behind and the paddles were wound to let the water out!


Hang on a minute – that looks like Gary winding the paddles – who is steering the boat? – ME!!!!!!


Gary opened the gates and held his breath as I moved Muleless out of the lock!


One down and two to go! Now I had my first solo journey through the pound between the locks! Lucky for me it wasnt windy!!


The slight curve on the lock approach made me have a glancing blow with the wall – I could see Gary cringe and shut his eyes – it wasnt a hard knock! Then I was in and down we went again!


Two down, one to go, off I went – round a bend this time – luckily no other boats were using the locks, so one less thing to worry about!


I had to go slowly in this pound, and wait for Gary to get to the lock, which needed filling.


This time my lock entry was perfect – no bumps! Two out of three was not bad for my first locking attempt in Muleless!


As I exited the last lock the plan had been for me to take Muleless to the water point – but just then Gary spotted a boat approaching the lock – followed by two more – and I chickened out, Gary hopped back on board and took over!

We did a quick “splash and dash” at the water point – we couldnt be bothered to wait for the tank to fill completely!

As we passed Clifton Cruisers there have been a lot of changes – including a new wooden office building.


We were soon moored up at Brownsover, and did the usual trips to The Range and Tesco for all the essentials!

Saturday we chose to use the water tap at Newbold rather than get our feet wet at Brownsover!

As we pulled away and headed to the tunnel a boat had entered from the other end since we had checked! Even though it is a two way tunnel, we waited for them to exit first!


It was a lovely sunny day so we enjoy the gentle plod along.

I dont think these solar panels are going to work too well though!


The landscape was looking fabulous with the sun and a hint of mist in the distance.


By 3pm it was getting cooler but as we had reached All Oaks Wood and there was space to moor we were happy to call it a day.


Sunday, 23 November 2014

A trip to Warwick and Leapfrogging Bloggers!

I really must try harder! I am leaving it way too long between blogs!!!

We left Onley on 8 Nov, got caught in some rain on the way to Braunston, and grabbed the first mooring we saw – again opposite the Boathouse Pub!

Sunday was a much nicer day – a boat moored on the pub side had his washing out!


We did the trip up to the butcher and on the way back called in on Geoff and Mags on NB Seyella who were moored up near the marina.

After a short visit (we couldn't torment poor Meg with our meat for too long!) we headed back to drop off our purchases before heading over for Sunday Lunch at the Boathouse!


Just look at that clear sky!!

Monday saw us on the move again – up to the elsan/water point to empty/fill the appropriate tanks!

Just as we were setting up Geoff came up on Seyella, having seen Mags off on her trip up north, and breasted up to us whilst waiting to use the facilities – he was running a wash load so was in no rush.

We chatted as we pumped out (!) and when we were done moved along to let Seyella in, and I made tea to refresh us all whilst Geoff did his thing! Meg was missing Mags already!


Narrowboats getting friendly at the water point!


When we had all finished, we set off in opposite directions – but we soon turned round in the marina entrance and followed Seyella – turning left at the junction and heading towards Napton.

We very shortly came across Seyella, this time Geoff had turned round and moored in the sun, ready to return to Braunston to collect Mags on her return.


Geoff took a picture of us as we passed – we arent really that shiny, its an optical illusion caused by the bright sun!IMG_2332_thumb

We will catch up with Geoff and Mags again later on!

We moored just before Wigrams Turn, ready to start our journey down to Warwick.

On Tuesday we headed down towards the Calcutt Locks – and guess who were sorting out their newly cleared roof – Sue and Vic on No Problem!


We pulled on to the water point (as usual!) and Sue popped in for a “posh coffee” and a chat – Meg didnt want to be left out!


When we were ready to go, Sue wanted to do some locks – so helped us down the three locks!

A rare picture of Sue doing locks!!


As we left the middle lock we recognised the boat coming up the bottom lock!


It was Tom and Jan on NB Waiouru!

Greetings were exchanged as the boats passed in the pound – we will catch up with them properly over the next few weeks!


We waved Sue off as she returned up the locks to catch up with Waiouru!

We moored for the night opposite the New Willow Wren training centre.

The next day we headed down the Stockton Locks – last year when we came this way it rained on us, this year we had bright blue skies and sunshine – what a difference!


We moored up by the Two Boats Pub, and popped in for some refreshment!

On Thursday we headed off to the Bascote Locks – the first two being the staircase pair!

As I arrived at the top lock to prepare it, a lady came up from the next lock where her boat was ready to start coming up the staircase – we chatted amiably about who should have the lock first – both of us saying we werent in a hurry so the other could go first! Eventually it was decided that we should go first and the lady returned to her husband on their boat to say they would wait.

Gary brought Muleless into the lock and I shut the top gates. As I started to wind the paddles there was a frantic waving from the lady below and she hurried back towards me. I quickly closed the paddles and waited to see what was wrong!

When she had told her husband what we were doing, he had said we could both use the lock at the same time and pass in the middle! It hadnt occured to either of us that we could do that – but it did work!

The other boat entered the bottom part of the lock and closed the gates behind. Then as I let the water out of our lock and into theirs, Muleless went down – and they came up!

When the locks were level we opened both gates – and the boats moved past each other to get to the other ends!



We then shut the central gates again and they let water into the top lock – as we let it out of the bottom – and they went up, and we went down!


We havent done that before!

The next two locks were quite mundane after that!

We moored up above Welsh Road Lock – and the next morning Gary rescued a Go-kart tyre that had been left hanging on the piling!


He then went and readied the lock for us – saving me a job!


It was another fabulously sunny day – even if it was a bit chilly!


We made our way down the last 6 locks and moored up below Radford Semele Church. From there we walked to the Asda store for some shopping. We havent been near an Asda for several months, and there were some things we wanted to get.

On Saturday we set off through Leamington and on the way spied loads and loads of logs!! What a shame we dont have a wood burning stove – but we know some boats who do!!


We went past Morrisons, Lidls and Tescos but didnt need to stop. We went right through to Warwick, headed up the two Cape Locks (filling with water at the bottom) and turned round at the junction of the Saltisford Arm and reversed onto a mooring spot!

On Sunday Yvonne and Roy were coming over to meet us and brought grandsons Riley and Freddie to.

We had decided to walk down to Warwick Castle and grounds for a look round, but as we didnt want to pay – we didnt go in!

The Castle from the gate – and from the bridge!


There was a nice view the other way down the river too.


We then headed over to the park where the kiddies could play!


And then on to the crazy golf!


I’m not too sure who won – there was a lot of cheating going on!!!

Yvonne and Roy then headed off with the boys to get some dinner, and we carried on mooching around for a bit until we came across ‘Spoons!!!


We decided to treat ourselves to sunday lunch and even had an icecream sundae each!!!

As we headed back to the boat very full up we spotted these wall paintings.


We looked in on the Saltisford Canal, but as it started to rain we didnt linger.


On Monday we decided to head back to Radford, and this time we stopped off at both Tescos and Morrisons and arrived back at our spot below the church just as dark was falling.

We had contacted Mark on Callisto (the fuel boat) and knew he would be at Radford, and just as we were sorting out the shopping he pulled alongside, and managed to top us up with diesel before it got too dark! He then moored up right behind us ready for a 6.30 am start the next day!

On Tuesday we were expecting more company! Gary did a few jobs on the boat – including touching up some scratches, and I gave the boat a clean through!

We received a text – and Gary went up to the lock to meet the new arrivals – and point out some logs that needed collecting!

Some time later (I was beginning to wonder where they had gone!) two familiar boats came round the bend.



They were soon moored up – one in front and one behind us and we all had a lunch break!


The main event then started – chopping up all the wood that Gary had helped them pick up!

Vic and Geoff set too with a vengeance!


Gary wanted to get in on the act too!


It didnt take too long and everything had been chopped into manageable pieces ready for the stove or storage on No Problems roof!


When all the wood had been stacked on the boat there was just the sweeping up to do!


Just then Mark on Callisto arrived – we were quite surprised that he had made it back – we didnt think he would arrive until the next morning!

Geoff soon had Mark topping him up with diesel


and then Sue and Vic needed coal and diesel!


In the meantime, Gary was making a friend! And he claims he is not a dog person!


Geoff and Mags opted for a quiet night in, but Sue and Vic were up for visiting, so they popped along after dinner for a few drinks and lots more chatting!

Tuesday was another log sorting out morning – this time Geoffs haul!


Mags and Meg looked on from a safe vantage point!


Once the wood had been sorted out and stacked it was time for more posh coffees and hot chocolates all round whilst Gary showed Geoff and Vic around our hybrid system!

Eventually it was time to leave, and we waved off Sue and Vic


and then Geoff and Mags – thanks for the “royal wave” Mags!


Have a great Christmas and New Year guys, and we hope to catch up with you again soon next year!!