NB Muleless

NB Muleless
Moored at Alrewas Sept 2013

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Getting used to the slow pace!

We have been moving along at about 5 miles a day – what a difference to driving a car at 60 miles an hour!

On friday we left Willington, stopping first to top up with water and dispose of rubbish.


We are getting used to the hybrid system now, and when motoring along with the diesel engine the hybrid turns into a generator to charge up our huge battery bank!


Since leaving MGMs yard we only run the engine when we are travelling (even if we only do a couple of miles) and havent had a problem with power – even though we have an induction hob, electric oven, electric kettle,  fridge, freezer, dishwasher and washer/dryer which are all being used on a daily basis – not to mention the TV and DVD player that have been getting a fair bit of use!

Whilst motoring towards Burton we were looking out for Bruce and Sheila on Sanity Again as we knew they were on their way back to Mercia, and low and behold we passed them!


We thoroughly enjoyed motoring along the Trent and Mersey Canal in our own boat – we have travelled it countless times in hire boats!


We stopped just before the first narrow lock and settled down to a cozy evening in with a couple of drinks!


Saturday saw us moving on through Burton and passing through the first of the narrow locks in our own boat – it seemed so different to doing it in a hire boat!



As you can see, the sun was out and it was T-shirt weather! Lovely.

We decided to stop at Branston Water Park for the weekend, and since the sun was shining I put out some washing!


We had a thoroughly lazy weekend, Gary wiped down the boat, I did even more washing, and we went for a walk around the water park – something we have never done as we had always motored on by before! We rounded off the weekend with a roast beef dinner – and still the batteries were fine!

Monday started off a bit drizzly and grey, but by the time we moved off the drizzle had stopped and although the sun didnt come out, it was still quite pleasant motoring along!

We passed more of our holiday boating landmarks -

Tatenhill Lock – such an attractive setting!


“Chicken Bridge” (so called by our Shakespeare friends as so many new hirers were too “chicken” to go through!)


And Alrewas River Section


In Alrewas we found a nice spot to moor up – just before the water point!


We decided to visit Coates the Butcher to try out his wares – everyone seems to rate his meat, hopefully this will prove correct.

We treated ourselves to dinner in the George and Dragon and returned to the boat thoroughly full and settled down to watch TV – using the aerial recommended by Doug and James – it is fab – barely needs lifting on its pole or moving about to find a signal!

This morning as we left Alrewas, the sun started to peep out again, making our journey really pleasant. We headed on to Fradley – passing Percy on his mooring!


Through Fradley, a constant stream of boats at just the right moment meant that we passed through really easily – and  without queuing!


The last lock of the day – Woodend, meant easy cruising for a couple of hours.


We had intended to moor by the Plum Pudding – but a hire boat was stuck in the middle – so we moved on through Armitage tunnel and moored opposite Spode House having given the batteries a good charge today!

Thursday 19 September 2013

Moving at a snails pace!

Well, after our massive trip on Saturday all the way from Thurmaston to Shardlow in 10 hours – we have now moved 10 miles in 5 days!


We stayed in Shardlow on Sunday and only pulled pins on Monday about mid-day after being ready to go – and then it rained, so we had a cuppa instead!

Our first trip was all of 500 yards to the water point, where the tap seemed to be on a go slow and we didnt leave there for another hour!


Then, as it was quite windy, and we were in no rush, after going through the lock we decided to pull over and moor again. A total journey of 3/4 mile!

Tuesday we decided to get some miles under our belt and moved through two locks and stopped at Swakestone just as it started to rain.

Wednesday was bright and sunny but quite breezy, so after doing the last two big double locks on the Trent and Mersey, we moored just outside Mercia Marina – phew!


Today we have stayed put to wait out the rain and to visit our friends Donna and Steve who run Shakespeare Classic Line Canal Boats – we became Shakespeare Groupies when hiring from them 4 times in one year whilst our own boat was in the planning stages!

We are currently sitting in The Dragon Pub in Willington using the free Wi-fi but having to pay for the drinks!! Must get the wi-fi sorted!

And I promise to get some better pictures to include on the blog!

Sunday 15 September 2013

We are back!!

In two ways – back on the blog and back on the canals at last!!

In the time since I last blogged we have been at MGM boatyard having snagging and teething problems sorted, moving out from our rented flat and becoming water gypsies with no fixed abode, and having our bespoke furniture made and delivered.

So where shall I start – here are a few pictures of inside the boat now we have the furnishings and all our bits sorted out.





This is our bespoke furniture – it may look like a sofa, but it is in fact two separate chairs with cushions (and storage under the seats), that we can move or turn as required and  a coffee table/foot stool with flip top containing cushion. This was designed by us and built by Martin of MGM Boats and upholstered by Darren at Whalin Upholstery. They have done a grand job!!


Just as we were planning to leave MGM, who should turn up but Doug and James on Chance for some work to be done.

They gave us some hints and tips for boating off of the River Soar and waved us off on Saturday morning – whilst taking pictures for their blog of course!


Having had our wrists slapped for not blogging for a month (or polishing the boat to James’ standard), we made an effort to clean the boat before departure and take some pictures of our “great escape” off the River Soar back to the safety of the Trent and Mersey Canal before the promised bad weather on Sunday.

We were ably assisted on our journey by Garys Sister Yvonne and her husband Roy and their dog Tilly, without whom we would not have made it off the river in one day.


Here are some pictures of our journey.






and finally arriving on the Trent and Mersey Canal at last!


As we passed through Sawley Cut, we were reminded of our canal beginnings 15 years ago – yes it was us on one of those “Canaltime” boats all those years ago – please forgive us!!


We are now moored at Shardlow, I am writing this during a heavy downpour – how glad are we that we made it all the way yesterday!

Just off to the pub now to use the free wifi to post this blog.

We promise to keep it up now!