Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
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2005 Voyage - August

Cruising Log Index

Grand Union Main Line

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Monday 1th August 2005

From to Blisworth Bridge No 51 arriving at 83:0 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 0 minutes. 2.25 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.25 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 371 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 549 locks, averaging 1.75 lock/miles per hour.

Had a clear run through the tunnel with no boats coming the opposite way. Moored after the bridge and went shopping in the village. Had lunch on the boat.

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From Blisworth Bridge No 51 to Gayton Junction arriving at 2:35 pm. The time taken was 35 minutes. 1.12 miles and 0 locks, averaging 1.92 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 372 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 549 locks, averaging 1.74 lock/miles per hour.

Moored immediately before bridge 47 to await the engineer to service the heating system tomorrw morning. A mostly cloudy day.

Tuesday 2th August 2005

From Gayton Junction to Whilton Bottom Lock No 13 arriving at 11:55 am. The time taken was 3 hours 30 minutes. 10.87 miles and 0 locks, averaging 3.11 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 376 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 549 locks, averaging 1.73 lock/miles per hour.

Boating Leisure Services came to service the heating at 7.15 am (108.10) and we set off at 8.25. Moored for lunch just before Whilton Marina.

From Whilton Bottom Lock No 13 to Braunston Tunnel, West End arriving at 5:40 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 55 minutes. 4.37 miles and 7 locks, averaging 2.9 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 379 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 556 locks, averaging 1.73 lock/miles per hour.

Shared the locks with a Springer narrowboat called Gemini. A slow trip up the locks as there were lots of boats coming up and down. Came through the tunnel, only passing one boat, and moored at the top of the locks. Went to the Admiral Nelson for dinner (22.45 for two main courses and desserts). A mostly sunny day.

Wednesday 3th August 2005

From Braunston Tunnel, West End to Braunston Junction arriving at 12:20 am. The time taken was 1 hour 5 minutes. 1.62 miles and 6 locks, averaging 7.03 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 381 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 562 locks, averaging 1.74 lock/miles per hour.

Went to the Post Office to collect our post before setting off down the locks which we came down alone, except for the bottom lock which we shared. A lot of boats were coming up. Stopped 55 minutes for water and for 10 minutes to get diesel from Ivor Batchelor (124.1 litres @ 46p = 57). Did not stop at the junction.

Grand Union Main Line to Oxford Canal (Northern Section)

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From Braunston Junction to Brownsover Arm (disused) arriving at 3:40 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 20 minutes. 9.87 miles and 3 locks, averaging 3.86 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 384 hours 20 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 565 locks, averaging 1.73 lock/miles per hour.

Had lunch on the move and moored at Tesco's to do our shopping.

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From Brownsover Arm (disused) to Easenhall Lane Bridge No 34 arriving at 6:50 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 40 minutes. 4.87 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.92 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 386 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 565 locks, averaging 1.72 lock/miles per hour.

Came on to Brinklow to moor for the night. Our usual mooring on the piling was crowded with boats so we had to come down nearly to the bridge before we could moor. A mostly sunny day with one or two short showers.

Oxford Canal (Northern Section) to Coventry Canal

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Thursday 4th August 2005

From Easenhall Lane Bridge No 34 to Boot Bridge No 20 arriving at 1:05 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 15 minutes. 12.75 miles and 0 locks, averaging 3 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 390 hours 15 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 565 locks, averaging 1.7 lock/miles per hour.

Came non-stop to Nuneaton, having lunch on the move. Went into town for some shopping.

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From Boot Bridge No 20 to Hartshill Wharf arriving at 3:40 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 20 minutes. 4 miles and 0 locks, averaging 3 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 391 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 565 locks, averaging 1.7 lock/miles per hour.

Moored just past bridge 32 and repaired the puncture to the bike in preparation for the Atherstone flight tomorrow. A day of sunshine and cloud with a shower this evening.

Friday 5th August 2005

From Hartshill Wharf to Atherstone Top Lock No 1 arriving at 83:0 pm. The time taken was 45 minutes. 2.25 miles and 0 locks, averaging 3 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 392 hours 20 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 565 locks, averaging 1.69 lock/miles per hour.

Came down to Atherstone so that Beryl could post a card and do some shopping before we went down the locks.

From Atherstone Top Lock No 1 to Atherstone Lock No 11 arriving at 2:05 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 35 minutes. 2 miles and 11 locks, averaging 5.03 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 394 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 576 locks, averaging 1.71 lock/miles per hour.

Came down the locks and stopped for 15 minutes at the bottom to fill with water. Moored for lunch just past bridge 50.

Coventry Canal to Birmingham and Fazeley Canal

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From Atherstone Lock No 11 to Hopwas arriving at 6:10 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 20 minutes. 11.25 miles and 2 locks, averaging 3.98 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 398 hours 15 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 578 locks, averaging 1.7 lock/miles per hour.

Saw a kingfisher just past Poleworth. It sat on a branch over the water as we passed close by. Moored close to the centre of Hopwas village. A day of sunshine and cloud with a breezy afternoon.

Birmingham and Fazeley Canal to Coventry Canal (Detached Portion)

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Saturday 6th August 2005

From Hopwas to Fradley Junction arriving at 12:40 am. The time taken was 2 hours 50 minutes. 8.25 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.91 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 401 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 578 locks, averaging 1.69 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped just before the moorings as it was very busy and we were not sure of getting a space. Went to the Swan for lunch. Did the 9075 hour service and changed the air and oil filters but not the fuel filter as it was on so tight that I could not get it off. Moved down on to the visitor moorings after the service. A cool and cloudy morning but warmer and sunnier in the afternoon.

Coventry Canal (Detached Portion) to Trent and Mersey Canal

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Sunday 7th August 2005

From Fradley Junction to Armitage A513 Road Bridge arriving at 12:15 am. The time taken was 2 hours 25 minutes. 5 miles and 3 locks, averaging 3.31 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 403 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 581 locks, averaging 1.69 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped for 5 minutes at Kings Bromley to see if I could get the fuel filter changed but there was no one there. Moored at the Plum Pudding Brasserie for Sunday Lunch (12 each for two courses).

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From Armitage A513 Road Bridge to Rugeley Bridge No 66 arriving at 3:00 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 5 minutes. 2.25 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.08 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 404 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 581 locks, averaging 1.68 lock/miles per hour.

A slow trip past a lot of moored boats. Stopped just past the offical moorings and Beryl went shopping. A mostly sunny day.

Monday 8th August 2005

From Rugeley Bridge No 66 to Great Haywood Junction arriving at 1:20 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 50 minutes. 5 miles and 2 locks, averaging 1.83 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 408 hours 25 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 583 locks, averaging 1.67 lock/miles per hour.

A lot of waiting at locks today, sixth in queue at Colwich and third at Great Hayward. Stopped at Anglo-Welsh for a pumpout (12) and to get the fuel filter changed (10). Moored for lunch just after the junction.

From Great Haywood Junction to Weston upon Trent Bridge No 80 arriving at 4:25 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 20 minutes. 3.5 miles and 2 locks, averaging 2.36 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 410 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 585 locks, averaging 1.67 lock/miles per hour.

Some more lock queues - fourth at Hoo Mill and second at Weston. Stopped just past the bridge and went to te Woolpack for dinner. A mostly warm and sunny day after a cool start.

Tuesday 9th August 2005

From Weston upon Trent Bridge No 80 to Stone Bottom Lock No 27 arriving at 1:35 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 55 minutes. 6.37 miles and 2 locks, averaging 2.14 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 414 hours 40 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 587 locks, averaging 1.66 lock/miles per hour.

More slow progress through the locks, seventh in the queue at Sandon and thrid at Aston. Moored just before the lock and went to Morrison's for lunch and shopping. A mostly sunny day.

Wednesday 10th August 2005

From Stone Bottom Lock No 27 to Trentham Lock No 35 arriving at 12:15 am. The time taken was 3 hours 20 minutes. 4.37 miles and 8 locks, averaging 3.71 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 418 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 595 locks, averaging 1.66 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped 20 minutes for water at Stone Bottom Lock. Made good progress up the Stone locks. We found ourselves fourth in the queue at Meaford bottom lock although the two boats in front of us shared the locks. One of them was the cruiser Columbus, which we last saw on the Thames. Moored before bridge 104. A cloudy morning but a mostly sunny afternoon.

Thursday 11th August 2005

From Trentham Lock No 35 to Etruria Junction arriving at 12:40 am. The time taken was 3 hours 0 minutes. 4.75 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.58 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 421 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 601 locks, averaging 1.67 lock/miles per hour.

Went shopping in Barlaston before we set off. A kingfisher flew past us as we went under bridge 106. Turned onto the Caldon but did not stop.

Trent and Mersey Canal to Caldon Branch - Trent and Mersey Canal

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From Etruria Junction to Hanley Park Bridge No 5B arriving at 1:20 pm. The time taken was 40 minutes. 1.12 miles and 3 locks, averaging 6.18 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 421 hours 40 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 604 locks, averaging 1.67 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped for lunch in the park. The railings between the towpath and the park have been removed and new bank edging and mooring rings have been installed since our last visit here.

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From Hanley Park Bridge No 5B to Engine Lock No 4 arriving at 3:55 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 45 minutes. 4.37 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.5 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 423 hours 25 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 604 locks, averaging 1.66 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped on the piling some way before the lock. A mostly sunny day.

Friday 12th August 2005

From Engine Lock No 4 to Park Lane Bridge No 31 arriving at 4:05 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 10 minutes. 3.12 miles and 6 locks, averaging 4.21 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 425 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 610 locks, averaging 1.67 lock/miles per hour.

A wet morning so we did not set off until after lunch. Came up the locks and moored before the bridge. Filled up with water from the 24 hour mooring. The afternoon was brighter and the day ended in sunshine.

Saturday 13th August 2005

From Park Lane Bridge No 31 to Hollybush Bridge No 38 arriving at 11:10 am. The time taken was 1 hour 10 minutes. 1.37 miles and 3 locks, averaging 3.75 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 426 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 613 locks, averaging 1.67 lock/miles per hour.

When the rain stopped we started off and came down the Hazelhurst Locks to moor near the Holly Bush pub. The rain started again shortly afer we moored. Went to the pub for lunch.

Sunday 14th August 2005

From Hollybush Bridge No 38 to Froghall Tunnel arriving at 12:50 am. The time taken was 3 hours 10 minutes. 6.87 miles and 5 locks, averaging 3.75 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 429 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 618 locks, averaging 1.67 lock/miles per hour.

We got stuck for a short while on the River Churnet section as we went aground passing another boat on a bend. Turned and moored just after the winding hole. Went to the Railway Hotel for Sunday Lunch. A mostly cloudy day with some sunny intervals.

Caldon Branch - Trent and Mersey Canal to Leek Branch - Trent and Mersey Canal

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Monday 15th August 2005

From Froghall Tunnel to Hazelhurst Aqueduct arriving at 1:15 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 55 minutes. 7.87 miles and 8 locks, averaging 4.05 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 433 hours 50 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 626 locks, averaging 1.67 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped for 20 minutes at Consall Forge to fill with water. A very high pressure tap that caused us some problems - not for the first time. Came past the Holly Bush Inn up the three locks on to the Leek Branch and moored just past the aqueduct. Went down the steps and had lunch at the Holly Bush.

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From Hazelhurst Aqueduct to River Churnet Aqueduct arriving at 3:30 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 0 minutes. 2.25 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.25 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 434 hours 50 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 626 locks, averaging 1.67 lock/miles per hour.

Came down to the widing hole by bridge 9, turned and moored. Went shopping at Morrison's. A mostly sunny day.

Leek Branch - Trent and Mersey Canal to Trent and Mersey Canal

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Tuesday 16th August 2005

From River Churnet Aqueduct to Etruria Junction arriving at 2:15 pm. The time taken was 5 hours 30 minutes. 12.25 miles and 9 locks, averaging 3.86 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 440 hours 20 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 635 locks, averaging 1.67 lock/miles per hour.

Came down the Leek branch and the Calden to rejoin the T&M main line. Saw a kingfisher just before Planet Lock. Did some shopping in Hanley centre in the afternoon. A warm day of cloud and some sunshine.

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Wednesday 17th August 2005

From Etruria Junction to Harecastle Tunnel (north end) arriving at 12:45 am. The time taken was 2 hours 40 minutes. 5.37 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.01 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 443 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 635 locks, averaging 1.66 lock/miles per hour.

Spent an hour waiting for, and getting, a pumpout (15) at Festival Marina, Stoke-on-Trent. Stopped 15 minutes for water at the south end of the tunnel. A slow trip through the tunnel behind seven other boats. Moored at Kidsgrove (lost the hammer in the canal) and went to Tesco for shopping.

From Harecastle Tunnel (north end) to Red Bull Lock No 43 arriving at 3:50 pm. The time taken was 55 minutes. 0.87 miles and 3 locks, averaging 4.22 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 443 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 638 locks, averaging 1.66 lock/miles per hour.

Came down to moor below lock 43. A sunny day.

Thursday 18th August 2005

From Red Bull Lock No 43 to Hassall Green Locks No 57 and 58 arriving at 12:10 am. The time taken was 2 hours 55 minutes. 4.25 miles and 13 locks, averaging 5.91 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 446 hours 50 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 651 locks, averaging 1.68 lock/miles per hour.

Spent the morning coming down the locks. Stoped for lunch at the Lock 57 Brasserie (29.50 for the two of us for 2 courses plus drinks). A sunny morning but cloudier in the afternoon.

Friday 19th August 2005

From Hassall Green Locks No 57 and 58 to Wheelock Bottom Lock No 66 arriving at 12:35 am. The time taken was 3 hours 0 minutes. 1.87 miles and 10 locks, averaging 3.96 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 449 hours 50 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 661 locks, averaging 1.69 lock/miles per hour.

A good tripdown most of the locks but got held up in a queue for the bottom two. Moored and went to the Cheshire Cheese for lunch (Lasagne 4.95 each). A day of sunshine and cloud.

Saturday 20th August 2005

From Wheelock Bottom Lock No 66 to King's Lock No 71 arriving at 12:50 am. The time taken was 3 hours 15 minutes. 5.87 miles and 4 locks, averaging 3.04 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 453 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 665 locks, averaging 1.69 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped 35 minutes (including waiting time) for water at Wheelock. A queue at the first two locks. Moored just before Kings Lock. Had lunch on the boat.A day of breezes, sunshine and cloud.

Sunday 21st August 2005

From King's Lock No 71 to Middlewich Bridge No 172 arriving at 11:10 am. The time taken was 1 hour 20 minutes. 0.5 miles and 4 locks, averaging 3.38 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 454 hours 25 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 669 locks, averaging 1.69 lock/miles per hour.

Came down the three Middlewich Locks behind Florian. Moored after the bridge. A mostly sunny day.

Tuesday 23rd August 2005

From Middlewich Bridge No 172 to Anderton Lift Branch Junction arriving at 4:10 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 30 minutes. 9.87 miles and 1 locks, averaging 3.11 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 457 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 670 locks, averaging 1.68 lock/miles per hour.

Spent three days in Middlewich wainting for the post to arrive - which it did this morning. Did our shopping at Somerfield before collecting the post. Had lunch on the move. Stopped 45 minutes at Anderton for pumpout (6.30) and water. Moored just before the lift and went to the Stanley Arms for dinner. A day of sunshine and cloud.

Wednesday 24th August 2005

From Anderton Lift Branch Junction to Dutton Wharf Bridge No 212 arriving at 11:40 am. The time taken was 2 hours 0 minutes. 4.75 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.38 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 459 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 670 locks, averaging 1.67 lock/miles per hour.

Met some BW people just before Barnton Tunnel who were controlling the traffic through the two tunnels. They told us to go straight on and we followed Lynx through the tunnels. Stopped just past bridge 213 and moored on the rings there. A wet and windy morning with a sunny afternoon.

Trent and Mersey Canal to Bridgewater Canal

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Thursday 25th August 2005

From Dutton Wharf Bridge No 212 to Norton Bridge No 72 arriving at 10:55 am. The time taken was 1 hour 40 minutes. 6.75 miles and 0 locks, averaging 4.05 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 461 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 670 locks, averaging 1.67 lock/miles per hour.

The BW at Dutton Stop Lock told us to go straight on through the tunnel. Saw a kingfisher after Preston Brook Tunnel. Stopped 15 minutes at Claymoore Navigation for diesel (112.3 litres @ 40p) and gas (15.99) then 5 minutes at Midland Chandlers to get some blue. Stopped 15 minutes to top up with waterby the marina before going down to our Festival mooring. A showery day.Norton Railway Aqueduct: Saturn at the IWA National Waterways Festival - 28th August 2005.
Norton Railway Aqueduct: Saturn at the IWA National Waterways Festival - 28th August 2005.

Bridgewater Canal to Trent and Mersey Canal

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Tuesday 30th August 2005

From Norton Railway Aqueduct to Anderton Lift Branch Junction arriving at 1:10 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 40 minutes. 8.62 miles and 1 locks, averaging 2.62 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 465 hours 15 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 671 locks, averaging 1.66 lock/miles per hour.

After spending five days at the IWA National Festival we turned and went back to Preston Brook Junction. We filled with water outside the marina on the way, which took 40 minutes including 10 minutes waiting to get on to the tap. Had a short wait for Preston Brook tunnel and found Dutton Stop lock open at both ends. A BW man waved us through the two short tunnels and we stopped just past the lift and had lunch at the Stanley Arms.

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From Anderton Lift Branch Junction to Middlewich Bridge No 172 arriving at 6:15 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 40 minutes. 9.87 miles and 1 locks, averaging 2.96 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 468 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 672 locks, averaging 1.65 lock/miles per hour.

Came down to Middlewich and shared the Big Lock with Bilbo Baggins. Moored a little way after the lock. A mostly sunny day.

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Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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