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A selection of the latest boating news and blog posts.

Birthday Girl in Oxford Today we were up early and Al opened her cards and presents, before we got the train into Oxford. It was only a 10 minute journey and our first though was breakfast. Al loves her books so we went into Waterstones and there they had a cafÃ. It was a coffee and a croissant and a good chat on planning the day.

A Confession We have a confession to make. Over the last few weeks we have been seriously considering selling Naughty-Cal and using the proceeds to buy a VW van to convert to a camper. In fact up until yesterday afternoon that is what we were going to do. But then as we were both polishing the GRP in the sunshine we realised it just wouldn't be right for us.

RCR calls for boaters to stop polluting the waterways Over 120,000 litres of fuel and oil pours into our waterways annuallyMore than 24 environmental ‘near misses’ or pollution incidents a month Lack of bilge filters and maintenance the culprit RIVER…

Narrowboat painting being auctioned for Esme Lionheart fund WHITE Mills Marina is currently fund raising for little Esme Handley whose family hails from Northamptonshire. Esme is two years and seven months old; she loves lions, narwhales and playing hide and seek outside. But right now there are no guarantees she will see her third birthday.

Waverley tied up until 2020 WAVERLEY Excursions have announced that LNER-built PS Waverley, the world's last sea-going paddle steamer, will not sail at all in 2019 and will remain tied up until at least 2020. Work on retubing and repairing the ship's boilers was suspended on Friday 10 May after it became clear that new boilers were needed.

NB Oleanna Lock 44 to Brook House Winding Hole. Alarm set, we'd had breakfast and were in the first lock of the day at 7:10 am, a little later than we'd planned but only by ten minutes. The plan was to reach the tunnel by 8 am when it opened to hopefully be the first through.

So what was I doing to injure myself ! You'll have seen from the last blog post I was fitting something that necessitated the removal of the back cabin steps. Its been a job on the list since we brought Percy, in fact something notified on the survey. Now in my defence it was never fitted when built and when we brought Percy she was just 20 years old.

First two days Well we have arrived more by good luck than good management as I predicted there was not enough time to disembark in Sydney collect baggage, pass through Passport control, security then change. from international to Domestic airport all in 90 mins.

Cruising & touring finally put on hold. Approaching the winding hole at Welford dry dock. Having winded me moored temporarily on the serv… Picnics and punctures - We made our slow way back to the apartment; sightseeing, lunching out and then finding some nice little overnight places to park.

An Apology Firstly an apology that it has been so long since the last post. We have had a busy time. Today we have been to polish Naughty-Cal. We went in the week to rebuild the stern drive and hand hoped to have her finished by today but alas we have run out of time.

Gas. 17th May Rode Heath to Yew Tree Lock 44. First boat to go by this morning had a bow full of crew all wrapped up against the chilly damp morning. This was Tyseley the Mikron Boat heading south after having work done at Northwich Dry Dock, she was heading to Welford where this years cast will start their touring by boat.

Brownhills Canal Festival 2019 Brownhills is an old ex mining town which sits on the A5 near Cannock and crucially, sits next the Wyrley and Essington Canal on the extreme northern edge of the Birmingham Canal Navigations. It also happens so be about three miles from our home in Aldridge, so its a place we know well.

An extra temporary crew member We had the pleasure of our grandson, Josiah, staying with us last night. This morning he enjoyed the cruise from Old Wolverton to Peartree Bridge, some of the time sitting on the slide… Progress through Milton Keynes was slow on account of the many moored boats.

Yipeee… we're out! The view from the galley window as I make a cuppa while Still Rockin's fuel tank is topped up an eye-catching pot of flowers and those fabulous cherry pickers… do they look to you as if they're marching?

Five Things You'll Love About the Middle Levels 1) March and District Museum. Before you set off on your Middle Level cruise, check out this little museum in the heart of the town centre for a fascinating insight into our community's social history.

The Ribble Link - Friday 18th May 2019 Boscough Bridge to B23 on the Lancaster Canal13 miles, 10 locks The first priority of the day was to 'empty' the dog! Fortunately the rain stopped, so apart from our first quick trip 'down the garden' the other two walks were dry.

Not a Constable I don't do much sketching and I do even less painting, but I though I might as well make an exhibition of myself and show you this pencil and watercolour sketch I did of Kath sitting outside Herbie at Abingdon last autumn. Not that you'd recognise Kath or Herbie from it, but you might at least be able to make out that it's Abingdon.

Gliding Day Derwent6 was creaking away this morning as the sun hit the port side through the smoke on the water. This gets very warm and the starboard side is still cold from last night.

He Just Couldn't Resist It. 16th May What is it with red boats and this winding hole? Yesterday shortly after we'd moored up, a red boat arrived. In front of us we'd left enough space for an average sized boat to pull in and tie up on the rings before the winding hole, we'd backed right up to a Diamond Resorts boat.

Up the cut without a windlass This morning a couple of boats came past us before we were ready to go; they duly disappeared down the locks. At about 0830 we moved onto the lock landing and waited to see if another boat would come along to join us down the flight. We'd been there no more than a minute when Jan noticed a man with a windlass outside.

Llangollen, Llangollen and Llangollen…. In MY mind, this is a record of the pre-build, build and life aboard the good ship 'Ellis' For More information about Narrowboat live-aboard hotel experiences, please visit the website: narrowboatellis.com The views, the people the atmosphere - even the over-priced eateries are lovely.

NEW EXHIBITS: Rideau Canal opens for the season It's official - the Rideau Canal is open to boaters and paddlers for the 2019 season, but Parks Canada is warning users to "exercise caution" in areas with higher-and-average flows over the Victoria Day weekend. As of 9 a.m.

Yorkshire Canals Celebrated at Chelsea Welcome to Yorkshire is marking its 10th birthday and 10th year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with a garden which aims to capture the beauty of the county's canals and celebrate the drama of Yorkshire's rich industrial heritage.

Small margins between lucky and serious injury - read on ! This must be one of the longest spells of blog inactivity for quite some while. Firstly apologies for the people who contacted me re the stuff for sale, I'll be in touch shortly.

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