Monday, 29 October 2012

Back to Nottingham


Here we are again,back to my home town of Nottingham.This time we have arrived here on our own boat,so that’s another “must do” off the list and we are now moored on the Nottingham Canal,about a quarter of a mile from Nottingham Castle.This is the only bit of the Nottingham Canal that is still in use,because it now forms part of the Trent Navigations which bypass the unnavigable stretch of the River Trent through Nottingham,connecting with the Beeston Cut and joining up with the navigable River Trent on either side of the city .The Nottingham Canal was built in 1796 and used to go all the way,from near to were we are now,for 15 miles,to Langley Mill,where we were moored last weekend.I can remember walking parts of the Nottingham Canal as a kid,there was a stretch still in water close to where I lived near Bramcote and this is now a nature reserve and walking trail along which you can walk to Langley Mill.Most of the canal was closed in 1937 and some of the other bits of it,those that went through Nottingham itself,were filled in and built over.

This is our Life (3) 002 This is our Life (3) 003

On the left is Nottingham Castle as seen from the canal,doesn’t look much of a castle from here,and on the right is Castle lock as we walked into town along the towpath on Monday.That’s the back of John on the right and Sheila and Lisa have gone on ahead.

We left Langley Mill last Wednesday and sadly we were unable to say farewell to Ian and Irene from NB Freespirit because they were out,but we are looking forward to meeting up with them again sometime in the near future and we wish them all the very best and hope that everything works out for them.our cruise then took us steadily down the Erewash Canal to Sandiacre where we moored and went into the town to have a look around some of the places where I had spent many happy times in my youth.There had been some changes,as I expected after forty odd years,but a lot of what I remembered was still there.We left Sandiacre on Thursday morning and did the three locks and three miles back to Trent Lock,where we were due to meet up with Cats Whiskers,the sister narrowboat to our own Chyandour.She was there,with Rodger and Pat her proud owners,together they have been cruising the system since leaving Trent Lock in April and you can follow their adventures here, it was great seeing them again,the last time we saw them was at Ellesmere on the Llangollen Canal in May,then we were on a hire boat from Bettisfield Boats.Rodger and pat are off to travel the world shortly,and won’t be back this way till next year,so it was good to have some time with them before we each go our own ways.

This is our Life 006 This is our Life 004

The Left hand picture is a stretch on the Erewash Canal as we headed back towards Trent Lock and the right one is one of the many pubs that are found along side all the canals.I think the old Bargees must have been a thirsty bunch.This one is built near to the site of the 18th century gallows to the south of Ilkeston.

This is our Life 017 This is our Life 023

On the left we are moored on the lock landing as Lisa and I get the lock ready and on the right is Cats Whiskers and Chyandour moored side by side at Trent Lock just before we set off on Saturday Morning.That’s Lisa and Pat on the stern of Cats Whiskers.

On Saturday morning,after topping up our water tank and emptying the toilet cassette,away we went ,out of Trent Lock and onto the River Trent.This was something that had given us cause for a little trepidation as we just didn’t know what to expect.We had done our research,our anchor was ready,we wore our life jackets,here was the big moment,and it proved to be excellent.It was windy and it was cold,with a capital C,but it turned out to be a very enjoyable experience,with the wide river being relatively calm.Our fears were unfounded and we enjoyed our journey along the river to Beeston Cut and then onward to the Nottingham Canal and more friends,John and Sheila,on their boat,WaterRatz.

This is our Life 002 (2) This is our Life 031

There’s me getting our anchor ready for Saturday and on the right we are cruising steadily up the River Trent towards Nottingham,solar panels getting some sun.

This is our Life 033 This is our Life 023 (2)

The swan decided that we were getting a little too close for comfort and there’s another view of the River Trent.

The rest of the weekend we have spent here on the Nottingham Canal sorting through our things to get them a bit more organised and more accessible.Things are becoming a lot easier to find now and we are finding more room to put things,I hope Lisa isn’t throwing my things into the canal.We’ve been able to spend some time with John and Sheila as well.They are off to India for four months in a few weeks time and the itinerary they have organised for themselves is very impressive.Some of the hotels are excellent value for money,they are going to be travelling all over India from north to south and east to west,by air,rail,road and water.What a winter break.

Monday had us back into Nottingham to get a few more little things to put some of the finishing touches to Chyandour.Things like plastic containers for storage and hosepipe connectors to extend the hoses at water points.Things for hoses are not easy to get at this time of year because shops remove their summer goods from the shelves and put their Christmas stuff out,but we found a great little hardware stall in the market in the Victoria Centre.You know,one of those places that seems to have everything if only you can find it,places that have sadly disappeared from our High Streets.

Anyway,that’s all for this week,we are winding just past the next lock tomorrow and then we are making our way back to Trent Lock.Our 50 hour service is due at Kingfishers and after that we will be free as birds and away out into the wide world.Take care everyone.

Since our last blog we have done 18 Locks and 21 Miles. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Maiden Voyage.


Well,as the title says we have now taken Chyandour out on her maiden voyage,and,for our first solo,she has taken us to the farthest reaches of the Erewash Canal.Before we get into that though,I will write a bit about the rest of last week and what we did before we set off,into the unknown,last Saturday morning.

From the beginning of the week we continued to load our belongings onto Chyandour and,as predicted,we emptied the store on Wednesday and we managed to get everything we have that’s worth keeping,onto our new home.Is any of it in the right place?Can pigs fly?We’ve done well though,and as time goes on we will get everything sorted and placed where we can find it.The main bits are there,we know where the food is and where our clothes are and we’ve managed to get my tools on board,along with a charger for every portable device we’ve ever owned.Oh how I wish for a universal charger.Over the week that we were moored at Kingfishers only a couple of things have cropped up that needed any attention from Mick or John.Just a couple of snags that’s all.For a boat that has been in build for the last ten months it has been positively amazing how few snags we have found,everything works and nothing is loose.We’ve lived on Chyandour since the 12th and she’s almost perfect,just a barely noticeable leak in the bathroom sink,a light switch upside down and a couple of missing screws.That’s not bad at all and,as far as I’m concerned,Garry and Lee at XR&D and John and Mick from Kingfishers have done a fantastic job,as has everyone else involved,and anyone who wishes to is more than welcome to come and see the result for themselves.

We moved off the mooring outside Kingfishers on Friday afternoon and winded Chyandour,filled up with water at the waterpoint and moored on the towpath facing towards Langley Mill.That was it,we were as ready as we could be,so it was me and Lisa off down the towpath to the Steamboat Inn for a couple of beers to celebrate.

Erewash Canal 22.10.12 001 Erewash Canal 22.10.12 007

Above left is me,trying out our folding bike that we haven’t used for over three years.A quick blow up of the tyres and away she went,I had a ride up to the flood lock on the River Trent to see if I could still ride one,some bits were uncomfortable,but i made it.The one on the right is Springfield Mill in Sandiacre,a lace mill that is now apartments,I used to work here many moons ago.

On Saturday morning we set off for darkest Langley Mill,the terminus of the Erewash Canal,some eleven miles and fourteen locks to the north of Trent Lock.We took our time,enjoying every minute of what was to be a longish sort of day.Chyandour was a dream to handle,very positive,she didn’t miss a beat and we moored in the Great Northern Basin at Langley Mill just over eight hours after leaving Trent Lock.It was an interesting journey in many ways because the Erewash Canal holds a number of memories for me.I went to school nearby in Ilkeston,as kids we swam in it and at times I’ve lived and worked very close to its banks.I’ve even played cricket close by so I guess you can say cruising it has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.I have to say that it has changed though,very little remains of some of the places that I knew,little remains of the places where I worked,they’ve nearly all gone.The canal is better though and much cleaner,you can see the bottom now,you couldn’t when I was a kid,and there’s no detergent foam anymore,it’s much nicer.The locks are well maintained,though the winding gear is heavy,so overall I wasn’t disappointed with how the canal is today,though it would be nice if more boats used it.

Erewash Canal 22.10.12 003 Erewash Canal 21.10.12 003 

On the left is a view of the different colours that autumn brings and to the right is the rear of one of the many watering holes I enjoyed so many years ago.

The Erewash Canal was completed in 1779 at a cost of £21,000 and it became one of the most prosperous in the country with plenty of work from local collieries,ironworks and brickworks.The biggest of which was Stanton Ironworks where I started as an apprentice when I left school in 1964,it’s now all but disappeared.The canal was partially closed in 1962 and commercial carrying ceased in 1963.In 1972 it was agreed to restore the canal for leisure purposes and this was achieved by 1983 and,as a result,it is a lovely canal to cruise now,as we now know for ourselves.Thanks must go to the ECP & DA for what they have achieved.

The Great Northern Basin is a tranquil mooring with a lovely pub alongside the basin and an Asda only a few hundred yards away.While we have been here we have met another delightful couple on their boat Free Spirit which is moored here in the basin.They are Ian and Irene Jamieson and the tales of their adventures can be found on their blog here.We have also enjoyed the company of a couple of my relatives,Keith and Pam Wilkinson,who live not too far from here.It’s been good to see them in such pleasant surroundings ‘cos usually we only see each other at weddings and funerals,and these days,sadly,it’s more often the latter

Erewash Canal 21.10.12 002 Erewash Canal 21.10.12 005

The picture on the left is Lisa hard at work on Long Eaton lock,our very first lock with Chyandour,and the picture on the right is Pastures Lock where my mates and I swam as kids.I don’t recall ever seeing a narrowboat on the canal in those days though.

Erewash Canal 21.10.12 006 Erewash Canal 21.10.12 009

The two pictures above are of the Great Northern Basin here at Langley Mill,on the left is the lock we have to use to get into the basin.On the right is the view down the basin to the boatyard and what was the Cromford Canal before most of that was abandoned in 1944,with the last bit abandoned in 1962.

That’s all again for this week,we are off back to Trent Lock in a couple of days and then it’s onto the River Trent to Nottingham and some more friends.Take care everyone.

Monday, 15 October 2012

On board our “Home on the Water”.


As the title says we are now in our new home.It’s been almost a year since we started out with the intention of living on a narrowboat and I can now sit at our own table,on board our own boat and write this blog,It’s a great feeling.

This last week has had its ups and downs for us as the day for our handover got closer.Lisa and I had done all we could so it was just a matter of time as we waited for John And Mick to give us the ok,and then the word came that we should get ourselves down to Trent Lock last Thursday.On our arrival we helped get Chyandour out on to the Erewash Canal and after Mick had expertly “winded” her we set off on our first cruise.Not far,because there were a few little bits left to do and though the weather was fine,the forecast for later was for heavy rain,and we didn’t really want to get wet.Our first experience of steering Chyandour was great,she handled very positively and it was a shame we only had an hour,but,our time will come.

The rest of Thursday was spent fitting the curtains and various other bits and pieces,and it was two happy bunnies that left Chyandour at Trent Lock on Thursday night knowing that she would be ours the next day.We got back here on Friday morning with a car load of our belongings from the caravan and,after a few formalities,she was all ours.Since then it’s been somewhat stressful.Trying to put all your things onto a narrowboat is not like moving into a new house.Yes,the basics are the same,after all,a bedroom is a bedroom,a lounge is a lounge and the galley is just another name for a kitchen,but there the similarity ends.We have plenty of storage space on Chyandour,probably more than enough,but working out where to put everything is the problem.You have to decide what you’re likely to need in the short term and what can be put away and not needed “just yet”.Then there’s the weight,you can’t put everything on one side or more of the heavier bits at the front than the back,consideration has to be given to how the boat “sits” on the water,heavy things have to be distributed around the boat so she doesn’t lean to one side.We are getting there,but as I understand it,It could well be weeks rather than days before we “get it right” so to speak.

We are lucky though,because,as we haven’t got to be anywhere anytime soon, we are able to stay here at Trent Lock and get all our things on board at our leisure.The storage facility that we have is not all that far from here and I estimate we have no more than three loads left to bring down but,at our current rate,it could be Wednesday before we have everything here.It’s also surprising how hard it is to remember what was put in which box or suitcase when we packed to leave Perth.It was Saturday evening before we found the cutlery,and,as always,it was in the very last box we had left to open and put away.I recon that we will be away from Kingfishers moorings after next weekend,because,by then everything will be stowed on board,even if it’s not in the best place,and then we can begin our travels.Fortunately there is a good pub here that does reasonably priced food and also a tearoom that has some excellent choices on the menu,again at a reasonable price so I can assure you,there are worse places than Trent lock to be staying at.

Anyway,because we’ve been busy and still have a lot to do,this weeks blog will be a bit short but I am putting on some photo’s of the completed Chyandour so you can see our pride and joy.

Chyandour 12.10.12 024 Chyandour 12.10.12 007

Above left is the bedroom loaded up with some of the things we were fitting on Thursday and on the right some of the couple of hundred curtain rings we had to fit.

Chyandour 15.10.12 001 Chyandour 15.10.12 002

Chyandour 15.10.12 003 Chyandour 15.10.12 008 

The four pictures above are of the lounge as it is today,we have two recliners and a nice cosy fire,it’s been burning non stop since Saturday lunch.Just got to get a few things to put up on the walls now,to give our boat a more homely feeling.

Chyandour 15.10.12 005 Chyandour 15.10.12 006

On the left is the dinette where I am sitting as I write this blog,it’s nice and comfortable and we can see the tv from here too.On the right is the galley,Lisa has it all arranged and if you look closely you can see the dinner in the oven.

Chyandour 15.10.12 009 Chyandour 15.10.12 011

Now we have the bedroom and again Lisa has been hard at work getting it arranged.On the right are the wardrobes and cupboards with the barometer and clock on the wall.This was one of the gifts from Margaret,our next door neighbour when we lived in Perth.We can see what time it is in a morning when we roll over and go back to sleep,no alarm clocks on Chyandour.

Chyandour 15.10.12 012 Chyandour 15.10.12 013

A couple of shots of the back cabin,at the top of the left hand pic’ is another of Margaret’s gifts and on the right are the steps down in to the bedroom.My toolbox with my shoes is only there for the moment,I’m told.

Chyandour 15.10.12 016 Chyandour 15.10.12 020

There are the solar panels to help keep the batteries charged and on the right is our Tiller Pin in place,it’s only going to be there when we are cruising.It could be a bit tempting to some people.We do have another that was a gift for my birthday,just waiting for it to be chrome plated.

                                  Chyandour 15.10.12 015

And there she is,the star of the show,Chyandour “Our Home on the Water”.That’s it for this week I’m afraid,I’ll be back again next week.Take care everyone.

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Bed.


This week has been  another good one for us because we’ve managed to get out and about a bit to see a little more of the local area and we’ve also had a good result from Kingfisher Narrowboats.On Wednesday we decided to go out to the Peak District for a look around a couple of the towns and some of the scenery.Our first port of call was Bakewell,the home of the famous tart,and it turned out to be a delightful little place to spend a few hours.We walked around the town and we were surprised to find lots of tidy little shops down side streets and alleyways.A very picturesque little town,clean and well looked after.

Bakewell 03.10.12 001 Chesterfield 03.10.12 004

On the left is the River Wye as it flows through Bakewell  and on the right is a picture of Monsal Head Viaduct as you look up the valley just outside the town.

From Bakewell we drove up to New Mills,a small town alongside the Peak Forest Canal,apparently,the commercial printing of Calico was invented here in the early 1820s.Our reason for being there was to call in on Trafalgar Marine Services,they have supplied the ropes and fenders for Chyandour and we wanted to get some matching rope for spares.After New Mills it was down to Buxton for lunch and some more browsing around a town.I drove through Buxton many times years ago,when driving from Derby to Manchester for British Road Services with loads of Lawnmowers or Plaster.The only motorways heading north then were the M1 and the M6,so between the two we only had the “A” roads,there wasn’t the volume of traffic then either so we got about ok.Anyway,Buxton was just one of the hundreds of towns that I didn’t see anything of,other than the roads and the odd warehouse or Builders Merchants,so,here we were,trying to see a little bit more.Some of the places we had hoped to see were the Crescent and the Pump Room which were built at the end of the 18th century and based on the Crescent in Bath.Unfortunately,after being empty for 20 years,they were being refurbished so it was a bit of a building site.We did go into the old baths though and they have been turned into a nice shopping arcade,still with the tiled walls from when it was the baths.

Chesterfield 03.10.12 010 Lisa's Chesterfield 03.10.12 012

Above is couple of pictures of the tiles in the old Thermal Baths in Buxton and below how the baths used to look,around the 1850s,and as they are today,just a display in the shopping arcade.

Lisa's Chesterfield 03.10.12 010 Lisa's Chesterfield 03.10.12 009

After Buxton,we headed back towards Mansfield via another town from my driving days,Chesterfield,the town with the amazing crooked spire on the church.Chesterfield has changed and I could remember little of what it used to be like,It’s been some thirty odd years since I delivered there,but we did enjoy our visit on Wednesday.There’s loads of shops and what looked like a huge market,if the number of stalls is anything to go by.Unfortunately market days are Monday,Thursday,Friday and Saturday,we picked the wrong day,lack of research is my excuse.We managed to get a picture or two of the spire,before  heading back here to the caravan.

Chesterfield 03.10.12 022 Chesterfield 03.10.12 016

Above we have Chesterfield with the famous crooked spire to the left and Knifesmith Gate in the town centre on the right.

Thursday was the day we went to Silly Sids in Derby to get a 4ft mattress for our bed on Chyandour.We had looked about a bit for mattresses before we went to see them,and they had by far the most sensibly priced ones.They are going to deliver our mattress to Trent lock for us tomorrow.From there we decided to go into Derby itself,it’s another place where I lived for a while when I worked for Derby B.R.S.and there’s been loads of changes here too,with new roads and a new shopping centre.The Westfield Centre is huge,with stores on three levels,it’s a place you could spend all day browsing round and Lisa ensured she got as much time as we could spare.

The best day of the week for us though was Friday.This was the day we had waited for so we could get some serious shopping done at Midland Chandlers on their Freaky Friday.This is a 20% discount day and as a result their prices are very attractive,even compared to shopping online.We wanted a TV and wall bracket as well as some additional mooring equipment for Chyandour.Thanks to Mick and John from Kingfishers the TV had been put to one side for us so we wouldn’t be disappointed and we also got all the other stuff we wanted.After our shopping spree we went into Long Eaton for lunch and to waste a few hours before we could go to Trent Lock to see Chyandour.We intended to stick to our promise to stay away from the boat till late in the day,to allow Mick and John some space.I had lived in Long Eaton over forty years ago before moving to Derby and I’m ashamed to say I remember very little of how it used to be.We had a good walk round but nothing seemed familiar,nowdays Tesco and Asda dominate the town.

Our visit to Trent Lock was well worth the wait.John,Mick and Jan had done some amazing things since our visit last week.Chyandour was out of the covered dock and we could see her in daylight for the first time for nearly a month.Her paintwork is brilliant,Jan Deucher has done a fabulous job for us on top of the great base coat from Mick and John.We also saw what Jan had done to the inside of our back doors,we had asked for a couple of things but the result is excellent,she has helped give us something we can be very proud of.The Cratch cover had been fitted earlier on Friday and the anchor had been delivered from Ride the Waves chandlery in Bromsgrove,along with a few other bits that we needed.Inside Chyandour the carpet fitter had been busy and here again we have had a great result,the carpets have been supplied and fitted by Ron and Caroline Tansley of Conquest Carpets from Sawley.A lovely couple that it has been a pleasure to deal with.The icing on the cake for us though was,believe it or not,the bed,this has been designed and built by John and Mick from scratch.The whole base lifts up so that we can get to the storage beneath,and all the pipes etc. have been boxed in beautifully,it’s a work of art.I will not go into detail because they want to make a feature of the bed in their future builds so the construction is a bit of a secret.Apparently,if I tell anyone then I’ll have to kill them.

Lisa's Chyandour 05.10.12 001 Chyandour 05.10.12 006

Above left is the bed in the “down” position,there is also a clever arrangement with a couple of doors so we can get beneath the bed without lifting it every time.It lifts very easily though,just one handed.On the right are the rear doors that have been hand painted for us by Jan,there are no others like them.

Chyandour 05.10.12 015 Chyandour 05.10.12 019

There she is,outside for the first time for a month,all the paintwork finished.On the left is the stern and on the right the bows and the Cratch cover.You can see the weed is still covering the surface of the Erewash Canal here,Canals & Rivers Trust were trying to remove it but I guess the eradication of it had to take second place to a serious pollution incident that happened further up the canal a couple of weeks ago.There was a fire and the water that was used to extinguish it entered the canal,the Environmental Agency saved over half a million fish but sadly they couldn’t save them all,some quite large fish were lost.

Today,Monday,we had a quick trip down to see Chyandour and to wait for the delivery of our lounge chairs from Recliners Direct.We Looked in on their shop, in Leyland in Lancashire in March,and then ordered the recliners from them at the end of July.Their service is excellent,we received a text this morning giving us an ETA and they were delivered on time on the day that we asked for over two months ago.Lisa can now relax,she wasn’t sure they would fit through the front doors on Chyandour,they did,just.We had a look at what Mick and John had done over the weekend and most of the doors are now fitted to the cupboards and the wardrobe.No photo’s though,we want to wait till our boat is finished on Friday and Kingfishers own blog is posted.We will have more on our own blog next week as well.From Trent Lock we called in at Ikea,near Nottingham to get a few more things and then made our way back here to Mansfield.

That’s all for this week I’m afraid,we will be back again next week,after the weekend that we have waited so long for.Next Monday I will be posting from our new home,nb Chyandour.Wish us luck and take care.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Family Favourite.


After our last blog on Monday,the rest of this week has been pretty uneventful,we haven’t been anywhere special,we’ve just been buying things and arranging other things for our great day.Lisa has had a very heavy cold too so we have stayed at the caravan and haven’t ventured out much.The lads at Kingfisher have told us they are confident that everything will be ready for the launch date on the 12th of October. Just a touch up here and there on the paintwork and the outside will be all but finished.Both Mick and John are going to get on with the final bits and pieces to the inside of Chyandour.The bed has to be completed and then the carpets can be fitted.Cupboards and drawers are to be be finished and the interior doors need to be hung.Things are starting to arrive from the various suppliers we have chosen and confirmation is coming from others that they will deliver on time.The measurements for the Cratch cover have been taken so that’s another job in progress,it’s all getting very exciting as the handover date gets closer.

Amongst a lot of other things,we had been looking for some non slip deck tiles for the stern deck and the well deck on Chyandour .Mick had told us that Millar Marine chandlery at Shardlow had them,this chandlery is only a few miles from Trent Lock,and only a few yards from the Trent and Mersey canal.We paid them a visit on Friday and they had just what we were looking for,along with quite a lot of other things we are going to require in the future.Norman and Christine Millar are a very pleasant couple and it’s nice to be able to deal with a small family run business  for a change.We will be going back there for quite a few other things and their prices are competitive too.Our Life Jackets arrived on Tuesday from the Marine Warehouse in Swansea,they also gave us great service and free delivery.We have a friendly neighbour here at Tall Trees and she kindly allows us to use her address for some deliveries and others we can get sent straight to the boat yard.

We’ve been in touch with friends who live on their own boats this week and we understand,it’s been a bit of an experience for some boaters because the heavy rain we’ve all had.The rain has led to flooding on a number of rivers.It is a good idea to seek some sort of refuge whenever flooding threatens because Narrowboats are not the best craft in such conditions.Being on rivers also presents additional problems anyway because,for one thing,you can’t pull into the bank just about anywhere and moor up like you can on a canal.Being on a river when in flood can result in your boat not being where you left it when the flood recedes,ie it could be in the field alongside.The worst case scenario has your boat pulled under by your mooring lines as the water rises.We have friends who are trapped,in a place of safety,on the River Derwent in Yorkshire by the high water levels.Sheila and John from the good ship WateRatz came down to Nottingham by car over the weekend and we met up for a couple of hours to hear their experiences.We’ve discovered today that they may not get moving again till next weekend and they have already been there all of last week.

Canals don’t very often suffer from flooding but they can “burst their banks” in a way that have some drastic consequences.This last last week has presented a challenge to the Canals & Rivers Trust in the form of a breach on the Trent & Mersey Canal just north of Middlewich in Cheshire.This breach,caused by the heavy rain,resulted in a few miles of canal losing water and even more miles being closed to navigation.This doesn’t just impact on those who live on the canals,there are businesses alongside the canals that depend on them being open.Hire Boat companies often have boats that are on the “wrong side” of the breach and they have to get them and their crews back to base.Hire companies in the area work together to help each other overcome these problems as best they can,and there is another way round in this case,but it looks as though this canal will be closed for many months.

                             T&M breach

Above is a picture of the breach on the Trent & Mersey canal,not good,the whole of the bed of the canal has been washed away.Fortunately C&RT were aware of a potential problem and acted accordingly,thus reducing the impact as much as they could.We hadn’t planned to be on that stretch of the T&M at any time next year but it’s still sad to see.C&RT have started an appeal to raise funds for the repair of the breach because,as I said last week,the canals have never had enough money for maintenance,and an event like this will mean that something elsewhere will have to wait.Lisa and I have donated so here’s a link,for anyone who may be interested,to do likewise Breach Appeal.

Friday was our busy day this week.After getting the tiles from Millar Marine in the morning we went over to Loughborough to see Jan and Dai,they got off the River Soar and on to the canal before the water levels went up,and were moored on some lovely moorings just outside of the town.It was only a flying visit ‘cos we had arranged to meet up with Lisa’s sister and brother in law,Heather and Steve,at Trent Lock so they could see Chyandour.We all got there just after 12 and got a conducted tour from the lads at Kingfisher.Chyandour is looking superb,John,Mick and Jan have worked wonders on her and,like us,Heather and Steve were well impressed.

Another one of my requirements had arrived on Friday as well,it’s an MPPT Solar controller.This controller takes the energy from the solar panels and uses it to charge the batteries and it is supposed to convert up to 30% more of the energy available from the panels than a normal PWM controller.I hope it does and my research indicates that it will,particularly in the winter months,when the panels are giving lower output.We are hoping our investment in solar technology is going to pay off,and reduce our Diesel consumption.After looking over Chyandour we walked over the Erewash canal to the Steamboat Inn,which is opposite the boat yard,and there we had a very reasonably priced lunch.

Chyandour 28.09.12. (2) 010 Chyandour 28.09.12.(4) 

Above is the Cratch board in place and there’s Tim making the template for the cover on the right.

Chyandour 28.09.12. (2) 009 Chyandour 28.09.12. (2) 006 

On the left is the bows and the scroll work on the panels,this is more of Jan Deuchers beautiful painting and on the right is the roof with the hatch cover in the foreground and the Solar Panels in the middle.The little white thing on the left is the exhaust from the central heating and the silver thing is a mushroom vent.That’s some paintwork on the hatch cover,what a gloss,and all done with a brush by Mick and John.

Chyandour 28.09.12 (7) Chyandour 28.09.12 (6)

The one on the left is some of Mick’s handiwork,before he was finished may I add.The blue box in the centre is the inverter,this will give us 240v for the washing machine and the fridge.We aren’t having many 240v appliances,there isn’t going to be a microwave,kettle,toaster or freezer because they’re all power hungry.To the left of the inverter is the MPPT controller for the solar panels,and above it are a couple of 12v charging points,one is direct from the controller.We have four 12v points on our boat so we can use car chargers for the phones, the laptop and the 12v tv.The picture on the right is the beginnings of our bed.This has been designed by John and is going to lift in such a way that we will be able to access beneath it for storage.We didn’t want drawers because they aren’t the most efficient way of using the available space.

To give John and Mick a chance we aren’t going to visit the boat yard again till Friday,and by then there should be quite a few changes,given the things we know are to happen,it will give me something to write about next week.Believe me it’s hard to stay away,but it’s always well worth it when we do get there.We’ve the mattress to order before then and also I want to get some more rope to match that that comes with Chyandour on handover.The anchor has still to arrive as well so we aren’t going to be idle this week

Ok folks,that’s all for this week,take care and keep your eyes open for our next update.