NB Muleless

NB Muleless
Moored at Alrewas Sept 2013

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Ice breaking and more lock practice for me!

After 3 nights at Hawkesbury Junction (and one lunch in the Greyhound!) it was time to move on, so after spending time at the water point I went over to set the lock whilst Gary brought Muleless round.



It will be a little while before I am ready to make this manoeuvre! Gary did it perfectly!

It doesnt take long to get through the stop lock – it has a rise/fall of less than a foot!


So at 12 O’clock we pulled away and set off on a long trip for us – we wanted to get to All Oaks Wood, normally this would be a 2 day trip for us, but with the possibility of more ice we didnt want to stop at the golf course – it is too exposed there!

So we had to go past the Ansty water point (unheard of!) and our lovely spot by the golf course (it looked so inviting we nearly did stop!)


It was a lovely day for a cruise – cold but clear and we enjoyed our longer run.

We went past the water point by Rose Narrowboats (!!!) and through the pesky bridge again!


And moored up at All Oaks Wood, where there were 9 boats already moored!

The next morning we discovered heavy frost and lots of ice on the canal!



The other boats moored there werent going anywhere, they stayed snug and warm but we were moving on!


As we were getting ourselves ready to go, a family of swans were making their way down the canal, in single file, with Mum or Dad finding the easiest way through the ice!


It was then our turn! We pulled away and were soon having to break the ice to move along!


A bit further round the bend we found the family of Swans again – this time they were struggling to move along with the adult at the front of the line having to break the ice to move through!


Of course, once we had passed them it was easy going for them again – a nice wide passage through the ice!


A bit further on – still breaking ice – and we passed Brinklow Marina.


The ice thinned and then ran out, and then we arrived at the Newbold water point and pulled in – we definitely need blacking this year now!!


The blacking had been showing signs of wear – but now we had shiny steel showing!!!

Once the water tank was full we moved on again and moored up at Brownsover – where  there was only one boat moored when we arrived and two others joined us a bit later!

After a bit of shopping we are now fully decked out for christmas – festive foliage display, Illuminated star and Christmas Tree!



We spent a couple of nights at Brownsover, and when we left it was empty of boats completely!


We were moving on to Braunston in one go, again this was a journey we would normally do in 3 days!

We didnt stop at the Hillmorton water point – we would fill up when we reached Braunston, so we headed straight for the locks.

It was my turn again – this time going up!

Gary making sure I didnt hit the side as I went in!


Intense concentration as I peer straight into the sun!


I think I’m getting the hang of it now!


A bit of a tight turn into this one!


Steady as she goes!


Just one more to go now.


And then it was all over and Gary could breath again!

We plodded on to Braunston, filled with water by the junction, and then moored up opposite the Boathouse Pub – right behind NB Waiouru just as it was starting to get dark!

Once we were sorted out we headed to the pub for dinner with Maffi! A great evening was had, and we were the last to leave the pub!

In the morning we were invited for coffee by Tom and Jan, and later in the afternoon we returned the invite and again demonstrated the posh coffee machine!

Next morning Tom and Jan slipped away earlier than us – have a good christmas guys, see you again soon!


Whilst we filled at the water point, Gary chatted to Maffi whilst waiting for our bacon baguettes from the Gongoozlers Rest Narrowboat Cafe.


We were soon on our way – have a good christmas Maffi (and Molly) enjoy your cruise now your boat is fixed!!

As we left Braunston we also passed NB Timewarp – have a good christmas guys!

We headed down towards Wigrams Marina and are now safely moored up (despite the strong winds today!)

We are off visiting family and friends for a few days but will be back for christmas on the boat.

So it remains for me to say MERRY CHRISTMAS to all our readers (long suffering!) and hope you will catch up with us again in the New Year!


This year we want to start a tradition of horn blowing at midnight on New Years Eve – just as we have on the south coast with all the sea going vessels. So come on all of you on your boats this New Year – I WANT TO HEAR THOSE HORNS!!!

Pledge support now!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Christmas Lights–and Frozen In!!!!

We left the All Oaks Wood mooring with yet another blue sky – and a rare photo of Tony of NB Timewarp!


Just a bit further on we had to negotiate that pesky little bridge at Rose Narrowboats.


and pull in to the atrocious water point mooring!


Despite it being really quiet, the locals were out watching for passing boats!


We had decided on a short cruise, so were soon moored up in our usual spot by Ansty Golf Course.


Monday was another short journey to Hawksbury Junction, and we were amazed to find only two boats moored before the stop lock!

We were soon sorted out, and went for a walk around the junction to see who else was moored there – and found the place almost deserted! There were only about 8 boats on the visitor moorings on all three approaches!

Since we were there, we popped in to the Greyhound for a drink!

Tuesday we made a short hop to the water point before the stop lock.

Looking back to our mooring spot – more blue skies, but cold!


We then headed off through the stop lock, and through the junction – turning left to head down to Coventry!

Someone had been busy chopping down trees (it cant be Sue and Vic – they are on a cruise ship!)


This time we could make out the Ricoh Stadium behind the trees!


Just after passing Tesco, we spotted the only other moving boat on the way to the basin – and he assured us it was open!


There had been a bridge taken down on this stretch of the canal and it had been closed since early November. Luckily for us, although not due to be open until close to xmas the works had been completed early!

The bridge when we came this way in September.


And now gone!


This time when we got to the basin, we moored next to James Brindley!


After a quick lunch we headed over to Ikea – our main reason for the trip to Coventry.

After a very fruitful visit we made our way back to the basin – heading through the main shopping centre – and we were impressed with their christmas lights!


After dropping off our shopping, we made our way back to ‘Spoons for a well earned meal!

Wednesday we decided to have brunch in ‘Spoons before heading off round the shops again!

As we passed through the square at 1pm – Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom did their thing!


We ended the day with another visit to Ikea – to collect a rug we had seen, after measuring up to make sure it would fit!

We werent the only ones sleeping soundly in the basin that night!


On Thursday, our 48hrs were up, so we had to leave the basin. Since there had been so few boats moving on this stretch of the canal the water had cleared and  we could see the whole of our rudder!


We could also see all of the rubbish in the water!

After filling the water tank and using the pump out machine, we set off back to Hawkesbury Junction – going really carefully through all the bridge holes and shallow sections, as we could see the rubbish drifting towards us through the clear water!


After a fairly uneventful journey (nothing too significant getting round the prop – mostly it cleared with a burst of reverse!) we moored up just before the junction and settled in for a relaxing evening.


Friday we headed straight past the junction heading north – another cold day but with lovely clear blue skies!


There were a few more boats on the visitor moorings this time – and we spotted Santa!!!


We headed through Nuneaton and just as we were mooring up I caught this fabulous cloud formation in the setting sunlight!


When we had moored up I also noticed the moon rising – and what a moon!


Saturday morning we discovered we had been FROZEN IN!!! There was ice all around us – this is the first time since we moved on the boat that we have had ice on the canal!


As the sun rose higher it started to melt, and then a boat went past – playing icebreaker!


By the time we were ready to go there was very little ice left – only a bit in the shade!


As we approached Atherstone we came across this boat – last time we saw it in September it was sunk near the junction with the Ashby Canal!



Good to see someone is looking after it!!

We managed to squeeze in to a mooring space in the sun in Atherstone, and after lunch went for the customery wander round the shops – I was hoping for a Christmas Market, or at least a christmassy feel to the place, but unfortunately there wasnt.

We ended up in Aldi – finding some nice festive goodies!

Sunday we walked down the lock flight to see how the works were going. What we found were some locks with virtually no leaks!


Again the water was really clear where no boats were moving – look at all this debris under this bridge!


And then we found the lock that was still being worked on.


Not sure exactly what they were doing – but look at all the fencing and even proper steps down into the lock!

From there we walked round towards the station – passing this very festive house.


After collecting more essentials (wine, beer, chocolate!) from Aldi we headed back to the boat to chill out!

Monday it was time to start heading back towards the Braunston area for the Christmas period, so after the usual visit to the water point we set off.


Another fabulous but cold day!

Another stop before Nuneaton, but this time we didnt get frozen in, then through Nuneaton and on to Hawkesbury Junction.

I had a chance to practice my steering skills (it was a nice wide straight bit!)


As you can see, I dont believe in getting cold!

We filled up the water tank at the junction and then reversed back to a nice mooring spot ready to sit out the forecast stormy weather.


One of the permanent moorers opposite is well into the christmas spirit with an outside fully decorated tree!!


It is obviously getting close to Christmas now, so it was time to get our decorations out!


A bit of “Baileys” Christmas Spirit to help!


Blue light ball in the cratch, Santas at the ready, new rug on the floor – just the christmas tree to go now!