The tanks are full and we’re on our way

No rest for the wicked, Braidbar had a hectic weekend  at the Crick Show, taking second place for the visitors favourite show boat. They returned exhausted on Tuesday afternoon. The yard was full, with boats and customers both old and new, and a wet and soggy marquee to dry out. And to top it all we’d discovered a new problem on Firecrest. The valves on the radiators were leaking. We first saw this about 2 or 3 weeks ago. We think that because it was only a slow weeping leak the heat from the radiators being on had caused the fluid to evaporate which is why it wasn’t seen earlier. Three attempts at tightening the valves failed to rectify the problem so the system was depressurised and jointing compound was applied. We think that’s sorted it out.

James and Reg tackled the ventilation and sound insulation around the generator so we can at least hear ourselves think whilst it’s running.

And the lads delivered 200kg of extra steel ballast to trim the boat properly.  It will sit under the floor

Peter signed the paperwork and I paid the licence fee and at 5 pm on Thursday June 1st we reversed out under the bridge and Eric winded the boat without embarrassment.

and waved goodbye to the leaving committee. Austin wanted to invite the Poynton Brass band, but then we wouldn’t have been able to show off our silent engine to the assembled onlookers.

After a day of much laughter and excitement, we were too exhausted to go far. we only made it to Bridge 18 at Lyme view Marina for a steak super at the Miners Arms.

Distance travelled exactly 1 mile.


Another busy weekend, this time socialising, which means baking and eating and drinking.

And that was another boat learning curve.

My go to easy reliable dessert bake is a lemon tart.

(thankyou Jamie Oliver) make pasty case, pour in a lemon creamy custard and bake for half an hour.

What Jamie Oliver didn’t tell me, was not to over cook the pastry in your new fancy oven otherwise you’d have plenty of crispy trimmings to feed the ducks -yes the ducks knew there was food on offer and came begging at the hatch. it would have been mean not to share with them….

And that when you pour a pint of creamy eggy lemony mix into the pastry case everyone needs to stand still for the half hour it’s baking otherwise every time the boat rocks it will spill over the edges making a horrible mess to clean up.

however, said tart did emerge from wobbly oven reasonably intact and it tasted delicious once the crispy bits had been removed

And so we ate drank and were merry while we said a lot of fond farewells to the lovely people of Whaley Bridge, Bugsworth basin, and Poynton. In particular, thankyou for sharing so much kindness and hospitality to Kate, Annie and Martin from the studio and all the lovely knitters, John and Marion, Pablo and Carli, Lawrence, Carl and Lesley  And so many more people who we’ve chatted to along the way, either on the tow paths,  on their boats or in the pubs. I’m sure we will be back up the Macc and Peak Forest before long but once we’re done at Braidbar we are pointing our boat southwards for the next month or so.


Raising the flag

The flag iris are out in full flower. Hard to photograph en masse but beautiful to look at as we cruise by.

I wondered if I would miss my garden when we moved on board but a field full of buttercups is hard to beat

CRT do a lot of work to maintain the banks of the canals and where there’s been erosion (Not helped by the wake created by fast boaters) wooden stakes are inserted in the canal which hold thick hessian sausages pre seeded with suitable plants and then back filled with dredging. It’s a win win project. Practical and pretty. It won’t be long before this has all taken root and stabilised both backside and footpath.



Drinking and driving, at least he wasn’t speeding as well. Far too hot for that. Everyone was flagging today, but we’d had a busy day in the yard with ‘the lads’ working flat out to get things done before Braidbar set off to exhibit at Crick.

Yes, we’ve made good progress on our snagging list that I’m hoping to share very soon.

Anyway, back to today, hot and bothered and not expecting anything more to be done, we set off for an evening cruise. I made a cuppa but Eric wanted a pint, and I can’t say I blame him.

Manchester remembered

This evening we walked up to Lyme Park and as we turned towards the evening sun, and the urban conurbation in the distance,  we reflected for a moment in our tranquility, for all those in Manchester, who are missing loved ones tonight.


A week of treats ending with a big boaters breakfast this morning

A couple of afternoons spent crafting, making millefleuri crochet hooks out of fimo,

they’ll be making there way to my friends at Wiseheart studio in Whaley Bridge who have offered to sell them for me.

And purchasing a beautiful handmade coffee table from Eyewood Designs in Bollington.

Sharing the day with Tim and Veve, lunch for us at the Vale Inn in Bollington and fresh grass for the horses we met along the way.


And on Wednesday we were visited by Mike Carter who is an inspector for the Boat Safety scheme.  He was very complementary about Firecrest and apart from an ID plate that had been overlooked by Braidbar, (quickly remedied) it’s another box ticked. The yard is very busy right now with 4 hulls in build, a boat about to be handed over and the annual Crick next weekend so we might just have to be a bit more patient while we wait for our paperwork and snagging list to be completed.

Beware of low flying Pterodactyls

We spent the weekend at Bollington, mainly so we could attend the ‘Love Bollington artisan market’.  The weather was mixed but good enough for some pleasant cruising and walking.  Mooring at the Householes Lane, where the NCCC have made a very attractive area, meant we were able to watch the wildlife strutting it’s stuff.

Ducklings and goslings aplenty but sadly whilst growing in size, reducing in numbers.  There are a number of hungry Pterodactyls picking them off.  Ok they aren’t really pterodactyls they’re Herons, but oh boy are they vicious and what’s more they hunt in packs.

We watched in amazement as three herons flew low under the Bridge and attacked the mummy duck while another one picked up a duckling with its beak. They made several fly pasts but only got one chick this time.  Nature in the raw is both beautiful and heartbreaking. We also saw a mink checking out the delicacies but disappeared when it saw us.

Pop the champagne corks

It’s felt a little like waiting for the baby to be born today. Anxiety and excitement do not make for a peaceful nights sleep. Today we had our wiring inspected by Sandra the marine electrician and ….. Big drum roll please…… We are pleased to announce that we passed with flying (cruising) colours. And I can’t tell you what a relief that was.

The standard of Eric’s wiring skills has never been in doubt. Wiring a bespoke electric boat, that doesn’t come with an instruction manual but several sets of standards that sometimes require “a little interpretation” and a lot common sense, was a complete unknown.

We haven’t received the actual certificate yet but we’re happily celebrating, secure in the knowledge that not only did we pass but Sandra was extremely complementary about Eric’s workmanship. There are a few more bits and bobs at Braidbar to do before we can get our licence but hopefully that shouldn’t take too long.



Bluebell Woods

I knew I’d find a bluebell wood somewhere around here, it was only a matter of finding the right footpath.

My aim was to walk to Poynton Pool, an ornamental lake, built in the 18th century by Lord Vernon who owned all the coal mines in this area.

And this meant me using another of the many footpaths and I discovered Princes Wood and incline and Rabbit Burro Farm. (The inclines being the tramways and rail tracks that brought goods too and from the canals.)

The Lake was lovely,

But I think I found Bluebell Heaven

Essential repairs

A several weeks ago we realised we had a leaking diesel tank. Luckily it was right at the top so was only a problem when we filled up the tank, and then even more luckily the diesel spilt over into our inspection hatch rather than into the canal so we were able to skim it off before it caused any significant pollution. As soon as we let Braidbar know, they liaised with Tim the hull builder to come out and fix it. Today we’re back in the yard and Tim has worked his magic. No more leaking diesel.

We’ll spend the night in the yard guarded on each side by Blue Pearl and Elizabeth Anne, Jo and Lawrence’s boats. It’s a bit of an odd sensation because they are still bare hulls so they tower above us.