Sunday, 20 August 2017


IMG_5747We have so far had a look around three marinas and now it’s the turn of Sawley marina as we continue our search for a possible Winter mooring.

IMG_5757 Entering the marina we were greeted by this boat which is called Kyla II freedom of Scotland. It’s an impressive boat for more reasons than simple good looks. It is a complete one-off finished in 1973 at cost no object on Clydeside by a company called McGruer. They built wooden boats for more than two hundred years. A boat in the water needs a certain amount of depth called draught, around here there is never more than about four feet, this boat needs six feet.So what’s it doing here? Well it’s here for a lot of work during a complete (cost no object again) refit as it’s a Heritage boat maintained and preserved just the way a Listed building is, original as possible. It has Mahogany planking over naturally shaped Oak frames. And with a revolutionary (in it’s day) fin keel, the only one seen on a wooden yacht, common enough now on moulded boats but a brave idea then. All done, they say, by hand, involving no machinery. Altogether this yacht is unique so take a long look, from here she goes back to the Clyde for more work then on a tour of European boat shows and into the Mediterranean, Monaco, Malta, Greece. No strain at all since she’s done the Caribbean a few times. 

IMG_5756First impressions of the marina were very good and we had a walk around the Chandlery to start with . As well as a well stocked Chandlery they also stocked a few basic provisions such as Bread ,Milk etc. etc. which is ideal if you live a board and run out of anything .

IMG_5755After having a very friendly chat with the Lady in the office we were given a security key which we signed for and it allowed us to go anywhere we wanted to in the marina.

IMG_5752This is yet again another well kept marina and it is a lot cheaper than any of the other ones we have visited . Although it’s one of the biggest inland marinas in the country we got a feeling that it would be a good place to over Winter . It has a bus stop right outside the gate which takes you in to the centre of Nottingham and with coal and Tesco deliveries it seems perfect. as with the other marinas the livaboard boaters here were very friendly. We were told roughly were we would be mooring and we checked to see that it had good Internet and phone signal which it did.

There were a couple of things that were mentioned to us and that was that it’s on the flight path to East Midlands Airport and you can also hear the never ending drone of the M1 Motorway in the distance. There was also a clay shoot just out the back that operated on Sunday mornings. To be honest I think you would soon get used to all of those so I cant see it being a big problem.

One thing I was surprised at was that all the pontoons are fixed and not floating . Being on a river where levels can go up and down you would expect them to be floating .

IMG_5754All was going well and it was fast becoming top of our list for a Winter mooring until Carolyn saw this sign in the marina. We went back to the office and Carolyn asked about the risk of flooding in the marina. The Lady explained that the marina hasn't flooded for many years and that if it did the staff would be on duty 24 hours a day .She also said that if and when the pontoons went under water they would come out with small boats and pick people up. I just wished I had taken a picture of Carolyn’s face as this marina went from top of our list for Winter moorings to the bottom. Even though there are flood gates outside of  the marina between the River and the lock it seems that the mighty river Trent comes up through the fields opposite the marina. I would be more than happy to over Winter here and if it did flood I think it would be a good bit of fun , but at the end of the day if Carolyn is uncomfortable with it we will have to look at mooring somewhere else.

                                                                                                         Happy Days

Friday, 18 August 2017


A few more boat names .



Not a boat name but we saw this on the side of a boat .


Not a clue what this means.




No point in Rushin on a boat.


Well said Del Boy.


Just loved this one . Its me to a tee ……Cheers !

                                                                                                  Happy Days

Thursday, 17 August 2017

To the Trent

IMG_5686After a good night at Branston water park we pulled pins at 08.10 and soon got to the first lock of the day and were surprised to see so many boats waiting to come up . It worked out very well for us as there were so many boaters on the lock helping out that Carolyn was told to jump aboard Inca and they would lock us through.

IMG_5688Now this is a rare sight in this country although we do have some in Devon at a town called Dawlish . I think the black Swans are mainly found in Australia so I don't know what this one was doing here in the middle of Burton on Trent.It seemed to be all by itself without a mate .

IMG_5692With me taking a stroll along the towpath Carolyn takes over the helm on Inca.

IMG_5700We are still looking for a possible Winter mooring and decided to stop outside Mercia marina at Willington and go in and have a look around . We went in to the office and were told that they only gave accompanied tours of the marina and if we could wait ten minutes they would organise someone to show us around.The guy that showed us around lived at the marina and was very good and he went in to great detail about the way the marina operated . This now is number 1 on Carolyn's list and we have put our name down for a mooring, but we have to wait until September to see if they can fit us in. Although we still do have a couple of marinas to visit on our way down the river Trent this one looks to be favourite.

IMG_5728After a night outside Mercia marina we pulled pins at 07.40 and started our cruise towards Shardlow and The river Trent . Nearly at Shardlow and we were lucky to bump in to friends Stewart and Fran on NB The Boat . It’s been nearly 18 months since we last saw them so we had a bit of catching up to do . This is also the first time we have seen their new Dog which is called Guy and what a great looking Dog he is. We thought it was a brilliant name as Stewart and Frans surname is Martin.

IMG_5731Eventually we reached the top lock at Shardlow and after passing through the village we would be on the river Trent.

IMG_5735After an enjoyable cruise through the village we arrived at Derwent Mouth Lock . This is the beginning and the end of The Trent and Mersey canal depending on which way you are heading and is where we will drop down onto The river Trent. As we were about to drop down the lock Carolyn spotted some more ripe Damsons so we ended up picking enough for a couple of more jars of jam before we dropped down the lock.

IMG_5740Here we go again and I am in my element back on a river and this time the river Trent.

IMG_5758Unfortunately it was only a short cruise on the river to our mooring at Sawley with the massive power station in front of us . There is another marina here which we want to have a look around but  that will have to wait until tomorrow as the Sun is now well over the Yardarm and you know what that means … Cheers !
                                                                                                        Happy Days

Saturday, 12 August 2017

The invisible man

IMG_5594With Carolyn away back in Devon it seems that Hamish is missing her . Not only is he sat at the front door waiting for her to come back all and every day but he has decided that he wants to go out for his morning walk at 05.00 . Now I don't mind getting up that early if we are going to have a long days cruising but to take Hamish out for a walk at that time is just not on. The picture above is down on the river Trent looking East towards Burton.

IMG_5597Looking back towards the lock at Alrewas and although it is a bit early this has to be the best part of the day especially with the Sun coming up over the horizon. Thank you Hamish for getting me up .

IMG_5617This boat passed as I was sat on the back of Inca doing a bit of fishing and having the odd glass of wine . My first thoughts were that the invisible man was steering the boat, then I thought maybe the steerer had fallen off . Then I thought sod it and had another glass of wine or three.

IMG_5591I absolutely love the village of Alrewas and it’s still top of the list for my final resting place. I would love to buy a house here and rent it out until we retire from boating. The village has everything and the people that live here are so friendly. But I just cannot persuade Carolyn to do it as she thinks it is too far away from Devon. But at 3 1/2 hours I don't think it is that bad and I even said she can have a lovely new car to do the journey in . 

IMG_5625With Carolyn back from Devon we did a quick shop down in the village and did a rather large meat shop in Coates the Butchers which is the best Butchers by far that we have ever come across on the canal system. Ps If looks could kill ,all I said was just stand next to that car while I take a photo of you.

IMG_5630We pulled pins from Alrewas at 08.30 and made our way down to the lock which would drop us down onto the river Trent. Who’s that good looking person in the window.

IMG_5637Again I am in my element as I just love rivers . Yet again Carolyn is telling me to stay well clear of the barriers on the right which are there to stop boats going over the weir. Unfortunately the river section is only about a mile long before we get back onto the Trent and Mersey canal

IMG_5638There are a few Hotel boats on the system and here we passed Duke and Duchess .

IMG_5640Here we go again and Carolyn has spotted her first ripe Damsons of the year . She managed to pick enough for a couple of jars of jam .

IMG_5643As I mentioned before we are looking for a possible Winter mooring for Inca and are now having a look around Barton Turns Marina. We had a very friendly welcome from the staff and had a walk around the shops.

IMG_5645With restaurants ,shops ,a butchers and even a cinema this marina will be high on our list if we decide to use one for the Winter .

IMG_5656After leaving the marina we continued our cruise on towards Burton and came across these guys working hard taking this large tree down.

IMG_5657With a house and a boat being very close they took it down very slowly just doing a small piece at a time. I don't know what these guys get paid but they are worth every penny they get. On the way past we got covered in sawdust which wasn't a problem as it just brushed off but the guy on the  boat behind us took to social media kicking off big time about sawdust on his lovely highly polished boat ….you always get one idiot !

IMG_5672We then picked up this mooring at Branston water park .  The reason for it’s name is that this was the home of the famous Branston pickle which was first made in 1920 here in the village of Branston near Burton upon Trent, by Crosse & Blackwell .In 2004 the pickle business was sold by Nestle to Premier Foods and production was moved to Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. I do love a bit of Branston pickle especially with a ploughman's lunch. .

Tomorrow we will continue our journey towards the river Trent and stop and have a look around Mercia marina on the way.

                                                                                          Happy Days

Monday, 7 August 2017



No shut up !


I wonder who's boat this is ?




Lovely bit of art work .


Always need one of these .


Look out the Cornish are about !


Where's Bond 007.


But they don't hop.

                                                                                                                Happy Days