Okay, that title is a bit over the top, I know. I’m living my dream overall; a truly great retirement plan is unfolding and it’s one that suits me just fine. It’s just that this intervening month between the canals and the mountain is turning out to be a bit longer than other months. I’ve got some chores around the place to do, and the gym calls to me most days but I spend a lot of my time planning next year’s cruising. And I know I said my previous post was the last but I’ve found some video that I wanted to share.

So to keep from bouncing off the walls, I’ve been working on pictures and videos, learning all about transitions and sound levels and other cool techie-sounding stuff. Well, not learning all about these things, as you’ll see. But I’m getting there. These are my first attempts, and the music available to me wasn’t particularly abundant. It’s all in 30 second bites so don’t ask why it changes constantly! My apologies…

First up is Chris driving my boat into a lock, showing me how it’s done! We had a fantastic weekend cruise to a pub (duh, where else?). No comments about the empties please, they may be a sign of why he was driving!

Next is a rather long and jerky sped-up video of the day I spent cruising from Wooten Rivers (on the Kennet and Avon Navigation) to the head of the Caen Hill flight at Devizes. I set up a GoPro in timelapse mode for it, and wish I had done more. It runs pretty fast but would be somewhat tedious otherwise (much more interesting in real life)! It does give you an idea of the pastoral beauty along so much of the system.

This last video is another timelapse of many of the locks in the infamous Caen Hill flight. It’s a group of 29 locks, most of which have to be done in a single day as there’s really nowhere to moor along it’s length. Its construction was an amazing technical feat at the time (built by John Rennie in 1810).

You’ll notice a handsome gentleman in a blue shirt that appears to be doing so much of the work. That’s Guy. With him working hard on a long, hot day were his wife Rose and Bob’s wife Cate (Bob and I were driving the boats). You can see more pictures of them in a previous post. Great people and great friends that I’m hoping to meet up with on the Macclesfield next summer.

Here is the middle 16 locks, it’s an impressive sight:


The present plan (if you’re still reading) is to head over at the beginning of May and get some additions completed on the boat. I really want to add solar panels; due to some other issues on the boat this didn’t get done. If the weather cooperates, I’ll try to do some painting before it gets too hot. This was something of a problem all summer. Later in May I’ll attend the Crick Boat Show, it was a ton of fun last year and is a great place to learn stuff. Also, I’m hoping to meet up with Chris and Julie again, except this year we’re not tenting in a thunderstorm! Following the show I’ll head west then north, and eventually cruise the Leeds and Liverpool canal (with it’s large number of locks), visit Chester in before going into Wales to cross the spectacular Pontcysylite Aquaduct. (thank you Hilary for the correction).


I’ve received some great feedback from the previous post about continuing the blog. Seems some of you are still reading it, and even enjoying it! Thanks again for the support. I’m working on a Google Earth file that’ll have a large number of photos geotagged to their location, I’ll post it if I can get it to work. I want to also update the cruising route file to complete the season. I think the last one ended in August.

Lastly, I’ve been told that you don’t see my replies to your comments. I reply to almost every one, but I think it only gets posted on the particular blog post it pertains to. You’d have to go back and look at the comments on that post to see my reply…I think. Let me know if this isn’t the case, or if you do in fact get a notification of a reply.

All the best to everyone!

5 Replies to “No boat, no snow, no life.”

  1. What a great summer you had Doug. Here’s hoping next year brings as much sunshine and fun. Looking forward to seeing you up north!

  2. Hi Doug,
    I haven’t had any responses to my comments. Are you getting them? Firstly, I need to tell you that Chester is in England, not Wales. A spectacular walled city with Roman ruins as part of the children’s playground, that you see as you walk the wall – England’s most complete. The Llangollen Canal isa spectacular. The entrance way is very quaint. It just gives you a turn sign off the Shropshire Union canal. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is wonderful. You will see everything – the longest covered canal in the world (3 miles long), the Bingley 5-Rise. You won’t forget that!Rises 64 feet almost straight up.
    Good luck, and let me know if you receive these.

    1. Well I’ve been schooled! When I was in Chester we came from Wales and nobody told me we had crossed into England! Lots of incomprehensible signs still in the area. Thanks for letting me know…😁 I’ve been answering the comments but not sure anyone sees them. Let me know if you get this reply!

  3. Ha! Yes, I got this reply, Doug. Remind me again how big your boat is and who your broker was, please. Also, how much you paid if you don’t mind sharing. As I have mentioned, we are trading my 36′ bare bones (except for the cratch covers and cruising stern) into something 45′ plus, with the bells and whistles. So it would be good to have a reference.
    Thanks and happy skiing! I had a new hip 6 weeks ago, so no skiing for us this season. Golf, however, in the spring, and 4 months of cruising on our 50′ wooden boat before we go over to England late fall.
    Hilary and Sandy

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