Friday, 28 June 2013

Nearly a proper boater?

We have not done much since the last blog just the simple task of having to call out RCR (the canal equivalent to the AA) after I did the 250hr service. You see, I inadvertently left the "old" oil seal from the oil filter stuck on the engine block so after putting the new one on and topping up with oil, I then started the engine and of course oil spewed out between the 2 rubber gaskets all over my nice clean engine bay floor!.......what a dope! A phone call to RCR at 18:00 made me feel better, they'd come out now but could it wait till the morning?........of course, I say.
So early the next morning the 2 guys from RCR turned up. I tell them what happened and they both looked to each other and said "bet he's got a Beta 43 down there"?... yep, I have said me!.... they then said "it's a common fault that the oil seal sticks to the block and not to worry" (did they say that just to make me feel better?) they had it sorted in 10 mins. So, a big thank you RCR, if you are not a member and have a boat JOIN! great value and great service. I mean, Charlotte from their office even dropped us some oil mats on her way home a few days later!
Should I really be down here?
 After the trauma of me doing our first service we slowly continued north but then at Great Haywood Junction we turned off the Trent and Mersey and went down the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal so we could go to Tesco. It was here that I felt I'm getting there as another boater was getting into all sorts of problems and asked me, yes me for help. I got him sorted and tied up and he was very grateful, he was a hirer and it was his first time.
It's only 5 mls down the canal from Great Haywood but then we had to go another 3 mls through a lock to a winding hole, to turn the boat around. Back at the lock after winding Swamp Frogs 2 working boats arrived just after as we had a bit of a wait.....we said that they could go through before us as we were in no rush at all. Lorna, one of the 2 working women was telling us that her family have been on the cut since 1795 WOW!! and that she has records going back that far to prove it! She also said that she was the first generation in her family to be born "on the bank" (This is the term that us boaters use for you guys that live in houses)

They showed their thanks by chucking a bag of coal on the ground and wished us well on or travels how nice was that eh? So, so different than being in a car!

We moored up just after Deptmore lock and stayed here a couple of days as it was such a beautiful spot. Lovely garden and loads of animals to see.

What a bunch of posers eh?

The posing cows!
Sparrow Hawk flying around all the time...... was this Buzzard!
Suzie captured this........
.....what a great photo!
CaRT mending some fencing
Poor guys from CaRT couldn't get back on hehe....
Talk about protecting the young!
Patiently waiting for his tea!

Lonely horse on a hill.
As you can see from the pictures above it truly was a lovely spot to moor.

We left Stafford and while cruising back to Great Haywood we passed NB Herbie We don't know them but seem nice people.

We also passed this........all a bit sad.......

Another one bites the dust!

We stopped at the junction for fuel and to visit the farm shop across the road. Fuelled and stocked up we carried on and are currently moored just outside of Stone where we passed NB Shoehorn which we've seen many times but yet to stop and have a drink will come. Within 15 mins of mooring Suzie tells me to come out as a bloke was in a right pickle, so out I go.....he is trying to moor a 70' Trad and having all sorts of problems and ended up at one stage 90 degrees to the canal......(hmmmm......been there and done it myself) 30mins later he is all moored up and very grateful..........I've helped 2 boaters in 2 days.......So am I nearly a proper boater?......No by a long way! I have many years to go yet and so much more to learn!

We are still hoping to catch up with Fred and Lisa owners of  NB Chyandour for a drink after the week-end, it may mean us deviating up the Caldon Canal but hey........what's the rush?

Take care people.....

Since the last blog we've done 26 miles, 10 locks.
This gives a grand total of 172 miles 100 yards, 104 locks and 6 tunnels (tunnels over 1000yds only).


  1. Hi,Rob & Suzie.Did that little trick with the oil filter on a Ford van years ago in the pouring rain.What a mess!!!Getting wet & just wanted the job done.As they say,more haste less speed.We are going down the Caldon tomorrow & will be back here to Festival Park on Wednesday,may then go back down the Caldon when family have gone back home.
    Take care,
    Fred & Lisa

  2. It was a lesson learnt Fred, just glad there wasn't too much mess. We are still at Stone and will probably stay here till Monday then we'll Mooch on up to Stoke-on-Trent. Looking forward to having a beer with you guys.

  3. I I was just thinking of the farm shop at Gt Heywood today. One year, before QISMA, I was in such a hurry to get there I fell in! Caldon well worth a detour. Just lovely after first hour.

  4. Haha........sorry for laughing but to fall in because you were rushing to the shop is kind of funny. We'll take your advice and go up the Cauldon.....We are hoping to meet some friends somewhere there and they will give us some idea too.
    catch up soon......somewhere

  5. Last time we went up the Caldon we stopped at Hanley for the Emma Bridgewater factory shop, it's up the hill from about bridge 9 - I think it says in Nicholson's. Her stuff's massively expensive so we only get factory seconds as a rule! you can go on a factory tour too though we've never been.
    We like Stone. Have a great time!

  6. Hi

    We are currently fitting out our narrowboat and was wondering what make and model your oven and hob were.



    1. Hi Tina, the oven is a Thetford mark 4 and the hob we bought from Ikea......good luck with your build, do you have a name? when will your boat be on the water?
      Rob and Suzie


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