Sunday, September 08, 2019

Back to Brinklow marina

Sunday 8th September

Graham was up and at-em before Brenda had woken up. A cuppa on the side prompted consciousness just as Jannock arrived at 'plum central'.

Scrumping commenced with lovely golden plums as our prize. It's not the most convenient place, plums, blind bridge, shallow sides and a boatyard just the other side of the bridge, so of course, there appeared a posh boat in the crumple zone. He had a bow thruster but all it seemed to do was make his boat swivel, & not neccessarily in a useful direction. With Jannock firmly aground now, he managed to get off and away. Once the harvest was complete, Graham had to fetch the long pole to push Jannock back into the channel and away. Brenda was more concerned that the approaching willow would sweep all her precious plums off the roof, luckily that was avoided.

We arrived back at Brinklow in what was the first real Autumnal morning. The air was chill, the sun high and the sky a wonderful bright cloudless blue.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

A good Indian restaurant at Hillmorton

Saturday 7/9/19  -  sorry no photos.

We drove to Willoughby wharf where Graham had left Jannock on Thursday.
Before we had time to load, untie and set off nb Grace with Terry and Christine aboard came under the bridge so they hove too and we started the day with a cuppa and a chat.

At Hillmorton top lock the back pumps were working very hard which made getting Jannock into a waiting position very difficult. Word came back from the locks to change to the offside as the towpath side lock was not in use.
The water level was very low in the next pound and steering was difficult. Word came back to change to towpath side as the paddle had dropped off a bottom gate in the next offside lock so that was now out of use.

Everyone had been avoiding the towpath side lock due to the hazard tape all around it but apparently that was only to indicate that the lock walkway was broken so it was still useable. Whilst trying to manouvre Jannock across the low level pound to the towpath side, the boat behind (with the help of his bow thruster) managed to close the gap that Brenda was trying to get Jannock into. She gave up and just bobbed about in the middle until it was our turn to go down.

Only one lock working on the bottom pair as well so the chaos continued - lets hope Hillmorton gets some much needed attention during the winter stoppages. No hops to harvest here this year either :^(

Once through the flight we moored up on the visitor moorings ready to try the Indina restaurant, Exotica Bengal Quisine, in Hillmorton tonight - we have smelt their cooking so often during our walks around the village that tonight's the night!

We went in at 6:30 and it was busy already, diners & takeaway meals. Our meal was tasty and then some, served by cheerful efficient staff. We had brought our own drinks as the restaurant does not serve alcoholic beverages. Brenda felt too full for dessert so while Graham ordered an Ice-cream confection, she decided to steer clear of the Nutella Paratha and ordered a mango lassi. What she hadn't realised that her 'dessert' was served by the pint. With full tummies we wandered back to Jannock as dusk took over. A 15 minute walk from the bottom lock, doggy bags seem routine due to portion sizes so if you can't finish the meal, just ask!

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Solo boating to Willoughby wharf.

Thursday 5th September 2019

With all work completed, the dry dock was refilled on Thursday morning and Jannock reversed out looking splendid in the daylight.

I reversed down through Braunston bottom lock and then reversed all the way to the second Braunston marina entrance to wind. During this manouvre the stern went hard aground just before the entrance and I had to be towed off by a passing widebeam.


Once winded, I set off through Braunston looking for a mmooring for a couple of days but there were no spaces available to I had to single hand to Willoughby wharf before I could find somewhere suitable to moor up. It was far too windy to consider taking Jannock back through Hillmorton locks on my own so that would have to wait until our next trip.

I returned to Braunston on the Di Blasi and fetched the car to unload all my washing etc. before locking up and heading home for a nice soak in the bath. It was great having hot water in the dry dock due to now having an immersion heater in the new hot water tank but you cant beat a soak in a bath the relieve those aches and pains gained doing blacking yourself.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Jannock’s 10 top tips for DIY blacking #1

Remember - although its good to experience everything at least once you can always pay someone else to do it

Image may contain: screen, table, indoor and outdoor

Jannock’s 10 top tips for DIY blacking #2

Don't spend time trying to work out who was responsible for the evidence of rapid deceleration - its designed take the occasional knock.

Image may contain: outdoor


Jannock’s 10 top tips for DIY blacking #3

Say hello to Mr Rudder and Mr Propeller while you are down here - you don't get to see them this close very often.

Image may contain: shoes


Jannock’s 10 top tips for DIY blacking #4

Dont forget to extend your waste water outlets - otherwise that nice cup of tea or relaxing bath can ruin hours of work.

No photo description available.


Jannock’s 10 top tips for DIY blacking #5

Try not to get an ‘ear worm’ whilst working- ‘paint it black’ by the Stones is driving me crazy.
Image may contain: outdoor


Jannock’s 10 top tips for DIY blacking #6

At the end of the day don't forget to take the white spirit in the bath with you.

Image may contain: one or more people and close-up


Jannock’s 10 top tips for DIY blacking #7

Choose a nice indoor location with good lighting - it can increase the length of you working day.

Image may contain: outdoor and indoor


Jannock’s 10 top tips for DIY blacking #8

Try and wear lightweight waterproof footwear as you have to keep clambering over these carrying paint and roller etc. Heavy duty wellies are a mistake.

Image may contain: outdoor

Image may contain: one or more people, shoes and outdoor


Jannock’s 10 top tips for DIY blacking #9

Pressure washing is going to get messy so wear something suitably waterproof.

Image may contain: people standing

Jannock’s 10 top tips for DIY blacking #10

Wear old clothes that can be thrown away. Brenda said 90% of my wardrobe were suitable.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and shoes


Monday, September 02, 2019

And into Braunston Dry Dock

Monday 2nd September 2019

Graham was crewing solo and was up at at-em at 07:00 leaving his overnight mooring at Lower Shuckborough to arrive at Braunston bottom lock for 09:00.

The original plan was to reverse up through the bottom lock to enter the dry dock forwards but that was foiled because there was no room to turn around due to boats being moored in the way.


With Jannock in the dry dock and her bottom pressure washed off by 12:00, the car was fetched from Lower Shuckborough after lunch before the paintwork repairs started whilst the bottom dried.

The next 3 days were spent either putting another coat of blacking on below the gunnels or touching up the paintwork on and above.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Farewell Blue Lias

Sunday 1st September 2019

After a fun weekend we set off on late Sunday afternoon towards Braunston. It was a real pleasure to meet up with so many special friends that we rarely see these days - mostly on the internet - not the same as a handshake, a smile, a hug.

Dawn and Sean were married last week, but agreed that they should be properly wed in canal tradition. So before lunch Steve, our club Commode d'or officiated, Dawn wore a boat woman's bonnet and carried a bouquet, Sean sported a top hat and together they jumped over a broom to much cheering and clapping. It was wonderful to see so many lit up and smiling faces, their friends.


We had to ascend Stocton and Calcutt locks on Sunday afternoon in order to meet our drydock appoinment. we were very lucky that a number of our fellow Cutweb members volunteered to work us and nb Peddler rapidly up Stockton to get a good start. We also shared Calcutt with Dave on Peddler before parting at Napton junction.

We moored for the night at Lower Shuckbrough where Graham had positioned our car early this morning.  Jannock and Gaham are going into Braunston bottom lock dry dock tomorrow morning, so I'm off home as there is not much that I can do to help.