Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Sunday, 29 May 2011

BCN Challenge 2011 Day One

Just a few photos of the great time we had on Indigo Dream doing the BCN Challenge
For those of you who are not aware what the BCN Challenge is, a small synopsy, Narrowboats are entered into a 30 hour frenzy, thrashing around the Birmingham Canal Network, trying to accumulate as many miles, locks and arms aswell as trying to answer question(like a treaure hunt), to gain points but points don't mean prizes just glory.

Nb Wandering Bark, Captain Ahab, preceding Indigo Dream in to the first Lock of the Wolverhampton Flight 30hrs ahead of them.

Happy Crew

More to follow.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Meet my new pet - Charlie

This little feller took up residence in the galley window; having swatted a fly I chucked it in the direction of the window ledge - up he popped and grabbed it! So I fetched the camera and tossed in another one, up he came again. Serving such a useful purpose I think we can give him (or her - how do you sex a spider?) a permanent home.....G thinks I've lost it.

 these guys are taking advantage of the temporarily vacant mooring opposite
 The leaning chimneys of Brewood
 Taking advantage of our first 'rest' day in a week, I set off for a nice dog walk. Firsly I encountered the dreaded fishing match.
 Then the 'don't come anywhere near my land' farmer
 Eventually I found some nice footpaths
 and the boys found a nice muddy stream

Monday, 23 May 2011

A rude awakening at Wheaton Aston

Not a lot of fun being woken up by 2 strimmers and a mower 2ft away from your head at 7.45am. We're not allowed to run our engines before 8.00am and, as well as a line of moored boats, there's a row of bungalows opposite. G had, 'a word' and got a mouthful of jobsworth comments in response.
I really don't see the point. They can't get to the edges or around the mooring rings (the bits that are most important) due to boats and ropes but, as far as they're concerned, the box is ticked and contractural obligations fulfilled. No practical application whatsoever - a criminal waste of time and money in these strapped times. If they'd attacked the 3ft weeds the other side of the bridge (that I'd waded through the day before) and come back at 10ish, most of the boats would have been gone and two good jobs would have been done (instead of none).
The other side of the coin is the guys digging trenches and laying new pipes to re-instate the services. Working away like trojans as Baxter, to my embarassment, decided the newly dug earth was just the job for digging and chucking back into the trench!!
Totally awake and peed off, we decided to move on to Brewood, passing some impressive chicken in the forest fungi en route
We stopped for a pint and I left him to it whilst I wandered into the village (in particular, the excellent Coopers) for provisions.

I'm glad the world didn't end as we had a particularly nice dinner and a particularly nice day - despite the rude awakening

Trundled off towards Norbury

No particular goal today, stopped at Norbury for diesel and cake
 the cafequite busy with everyone enjoying the sunshine

 pulled over at Gnosall for a pint and then decided to move on to Wheaton Aston

 A pretty area but needed to put a little more mileage under our prop.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Dragged the dogs out of bed - again

My dogs can't understand why we're moving every day and, by our standards, travelling long days with early starts - some days we're not sure either!

 Set off up Tyrley locks with a positive plethora of BW guys materialising at lock gates and winding paddles. Extrordinary. Is there a collective noun for loads of BW people (apart from endangered species)?
 They couldn't all have been coming to collect this one barge.
 There was an awful lot of water hurling out of these sidestreams on the approaches to the locks but, as always, G did a good job.
Reached the top in no time. Carried on to Shebdon Embankment for an early lunch in persistent rain. By the time we'd finished lunch the sun had come out, but neither of us could be bothered to move by then and we were making such good time that we could afford a half day.