Sunday, 20 August 2017

Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, is better known by his pen name of Mark Twain. The name taken from the sounding line used when testing the depth of water under a vessels keel. He was an American writer and humorist. Mark Twain wrote the classic American novels 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' and 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.'

I read them and 'Pudding Head Wilson' several times as a child. I have gone on to read much more as an adult. He honed in his writing a distinctive narrative style, friendly, funny, irreverent, often satirical and always eager to deflate the pretentious. He would certainly be on my bucket list of dinner guests for a convivial evening.

Well known for his one-line-quotes such as: 'I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell - you see, I have friends in both places.' He was also know for his short pithy comments such as: 'Go to Heaven for the climate. Go to Hell for the company.' He was revered in his lifetime for his political observations such as: 'Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.' 
 
Not forgetting a quote that seems so true today: 'The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.'

Before turning his attention to writing for various newspapers. He was a boater of sorts and in real life for a time a river boat pilot on the Mississippi. Often his writing would have a waterways influence in it.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Fisher Folk

While we are out cruising we generally slowdown for fishermen. For some reason the well worn fishing spots are also where rubbish on the bank or in the water margins often accumulates. Sweetcorn tins, crisp packets, soft drink bottles and beer cans. About three or four times a year we go out on well advertised canal clean ups and litter picking. By some coincidence we never ever get any fishermen joining us for a litter clean up. 


Monday, 14 August 2017

Summer Cruise 2017 Report ❷⓿


Summer Cruise 2017 Report

Our short but sweet summer cruise to Liverpool proved to be quite entertaining in more ways than one. It was our first organised trip which made a significant change to our usual canal and river cruising style. 

Working a group of boats through locks rather than just our own was one major  change. Normally if bad weather comes about, we usually moor up and sit it out. Whereas in a group and working to a schedule meant at times boating into the rain.

Would we do it again - yes, but with a couple of changes. Not working to a schedule other than a point of arrival time and date would be one. Departing earlier to have more time to enjoy the journey and no fixed arrival back time. The real enjoyment came from the leisure time barbecues when sharing food drink and the usual conviviality.

Cruise Total:
319.2  Miles:
152     Locks:
40       Swing / Lift Bridges:
22       Tunnels: 
145.2  Engine Hours

Elapsed Days:
24    Days Total:
19     Moving Days: 
16.8 Average Miles Per Day:
2.1   Miles Per Lock:


Accumulated Total:
Miles: 3019 .5
Locks: 1888
Swing / Lift Bridges: 402
Tunnels: 82
Pump Outs: 28
Engine Hours: 3955.9


 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Summer Cruise 2017 ❶❾

Summer Cruise 2017 (19)

Now Subtitled: "The Magnificent Two go to Liverpool" Nb Rose of Arden team up with various boats to enjoy a summer cruise along the inland waterways.
 
Plardiwick Bridge 36 to Hawne Basin

Date:  13/08/2017

Overnight the weather cold and odd short showers. By moring it was a uniform grey sky but no rain.

Morning:  Early start from
Plardiwick Bridge 36 at Gnossall and we just chugged along heading for Cowley Tunnel and eventually to Autherley Junction stop lock. Intended to get some diesel at Wheaton Aston - but closed on a Sunday!  At Autherley Junction we topped up the diesel tank. 99p a litre ouch! Kerching! At the next boat yard along it was only 69p a litre.
 

Afternoon:  The sun was quite hot by lunch time. Which coincided with the start of a 3 hour climb up the Wolverhampton 21 flight of locks. We we had done the first 14 when help arrived in the shape of - John off Kalkara and Paul off Our Little Nightmare. Everyone paused at the top for a meal provided by Janet and Rose before setting off again, through Wolverhampton Tunnel.

Evening:  As the late afternoon light started to fall, it was a steady chug through weeds and debris through
to Coseley Tunnel, Once through the Factory Locks (Which Bones had set in our favour) it was down onto the Birmingham mainline. To Dudley Port Junction, then turning first right and then through Netherton Tunnel and turning onto the Dudley number two at Windmill End. Next was Gosty Hill Tunnel and it was getting quite dark as we arrived at the basin.

Wildlife:  Rat, Grey Squirrel and Rabbit.

Birds: House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Starling, Blackbird, Mallard, Mute Swan, Pied Wagtail, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coot, Moorhen, Cormorant, Grey Lag Goose, Canadian Goose, Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Kestrel, Buzzard, Thrush, Herring Gull, Greater Black Backed Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Black Headed Gull, Common Tern, Swallow, House Martin, Swift, Pheasant and Jay.


Butterflies: Meadow Brown, Common White, Small White, Comma, Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral.

Bats: Pipistrelle, Daubentons,

Damselfly: Common Blue Damselfly,

Dragonflies: Four Spot Chaser.

Today's Total:

Miles: 27.9
Locks: 26
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 5
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 13.6


Accumulated Total:
 
Miles: 3019 .5
Locks: 1888
Swing / Lift Bridges: 402
Tunnels: 82
Pump Outs: 27
Engine Hours: 3955.9

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Summer Cruise 2017 ❶❽

Summer Cruise 2017 (18)

Now Subtitled: "The Magnificent Two go to Liverpool" Nb Rose of Arden team up with various boats to enjoy a summer cruise along the inland waterways.

Nannys Bridge 8 to Plardiwick Bridge No 36

Date:  12/08/2017

Overnight the weather was cold and overcast - it was the same in the morning.

Morning:  pulled the pins at 8:00 and headed off down the
Shropshire Union Canal (Middlewich Branch). To the first two locks. Not much on the move, so quickly passed through. Fun and games at the entrance of the Llangollen Canal and Shropshire Union Main Line. Hire boats and boat owners at loggerheads about who was next in the lock. So we were at the Junction of the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal - Main Line and the Chester Canal.

Afternoon:
Audlem flight of 16 locks there was little moving on the flight and the first six locks were in our favour. Next it was Market Drayton and the Adderley Locks before cruising on to the Tyrley Locks.  

Evening:  We had never done much night cruising - and then only by accident.  However, we followed a boat that was proceeding at tickover and refusing to move out of the way for about an hour and a half. When the boat paused to ask another boater some question - we squeezed by. So we now pushed on in the gathering gloom to Norbury Wharf stopping later at Plardiwick Bridge for the night.

Wildlife:  Grey Squirrel.

Birds: House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Starling, Blackbird, Mallard, Mute Swan, Pied Wagtail, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Robin, Long Tailed Tit, Coot, Moorhen, Cormorant, Canadian Goose, Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Kestrel, Buzzard, Greater Black Backed Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Black Headed Gull, Swallow, House Martin, Swift and Pheasant.

Butterflies: Meadow Brown, Small White Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral.


Bats: Pipistrelle, Daubentons,

Dragonflies: Ruddy Darter, Four Spot Chaser.

Today's Total:

Miles: 31.7
Locks: 29
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 14.5

Accumulated Total:
 
Miles: 2991.6
Locks: 1862
Swing / Lift Bridges: 402
Tunnels: 77
Pump Outs: 27
Engine Hours: 3942.3