Monday, 31 August 2015

Drakeholes Tunnel

Here I am Rune
Distance 6.2 miles
Total 1430 Locks 71 Tunnels
Running total mileage 1981 miles

Due to some rather crap weather today we have only gone as far as Drakeholes Tunnel which will mean that we will miss the 3 star Aegir due tomorrow. Hopefully we will be able to get to West Stockwith basin by tomorrow with the possibility seeing of a 2 star Aegir on Wednesday morning. Unfortunately the weather forecast for tomorrow is no better than today!

Drakeholes Tunnel

Sunday, 30 August 2015


Here I am Rune
Distance 5.6 miles
Total 1430 Locks 71 Tunnels
Running total mileage 1974.8 miles 

We are now moored up outside of The Gate Inn at Clarborough which, as planned is east of Retford. There seems as though there was a bit more water in the canal coming back down as the section between here and Whitsunday Pie Lock was very slow and weed choked going up but we didn’t have to go down the weed hatch at all coming back (although I did have to reverse a few times to throw minor obstructions off the prop). 

The only problem now is that we are slightly behind the schedule I was hoping to follow which was to be at West Stockwith by Tuesday in the hope of seeing an Aegir coming through, to do that would involve quite a long day’s travel tomorrow of 12 miles and 4 locks, not an impossible call but then the forecast is pretty dire with rain. We’ll have to see how we get on.

Saturday, 29 August 2015


Here I am Rune
Distance 8.3 miles
Total 1425 Locks 71 Tunnels
Running total mileage 1969.2 miles 

As planned we are now moored below Forest Middle Lock on the lock moorings. Normally that would be a breach of canal etiquette but we were told by a couple, further along the canal, that it is a recognised mooring and having looked it does have an electrical hook-up point on it which would suggest that they may be right. Funnily enough we had only passed one boat all day so we thought that mooring here wouldn’t inconvenience anyone anyway, within 20 minutes of mooring another boat started to come through the lock. To help them along (since we were blocking the lock mooring) I went up to help them work the lock, closing the gates for them so that they didn’t need to use the lock mooring. As luck would have it their intention was to continue to Retford anyway. It is a shame that there is such a shortage of mooring here since it is a peaceful location with all necessary amenities, toilets, water, rubbish disposal, elsan point and shower, just nowhere to moor!

Not sure how far we’ll press on to tomorrow but we should at least get to the other side of Retford.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Worksop (2)

Here I am Rune
Distance 0 miles
Total 1418 Locks 71 Tunnels
Running total mileage 1960.9 miles 

Getting the parts I needed took a lot longer than I had hoped and even now I don’t have the replacement screws to re-fit the ventilation mushroom, all in all not a good day. I started off early to get out to Screwfix to try to get the replacement screws but it was a massive disappointment, similar to my excursion to Halfords a while ago to get a replacement drive belt, I was hoping for a level of expertise that was totally non-existent. The conversation went something like this:-
Q “Have you got any of these screws?” (putting a sample on the counter).
A”What are they off?”.
Q “ A boat”.
A”What a car boot?” (I must try to speak with a more northern accent!).
Q”No, a boat that floats”
.A“What size are they?”.
Q“I don’t know, how do you size screws?”.
A”I’ll get you a tape measure”.
Q “2 ½ centimetres”.
A “What is that in millimetres?”
Q “I dunno, 250? 25? Something like that!”.  
Looking at her computer screen, A“Think that this is the one, we haven’t got any in stock”.
Q “Have any of your other depots got any?”
A “Sheffield’s got one in stock”.
Q “I’m going the other way down towards Lincoln, Newark and Nottingham”.
A “Newark haven’t got any, Nottingham haven’t got any, Long Eaton’s got one”.
At this point I gave up and just bought some sealant! Travelled back into Worksop and found an old style hardware shop where I posed the same question, “Have you got any of these?” to which the proprietor replied, “It’s a 25 mm M5 brass screw and I’m sorry but I don’t stock them”. Although he didn’t have one it was a pleasure to talk to someone with actual knowledge of what he was selling rather than the previous total dependency the computer. Looks like getting replacement screws is going to be a bit of a challenge, an internet search shows the possibility of a wood yard in Newark MAY have some.

After all the faffing around trying to get parts for the boat, we didn’t have time to move on today so tomorrow probably on to Forest Middle Lock where we stopped off on the way up.

Thursday, 27 August 2015


Here I am Rune
Distance 1.3 miles
Total 1418 Locks 71 Tunnels
Running total mileage 1960.9 miles 

Another short day today of just over a mile and 6 locks but then we needed to get some supplies aboard. Whilst here I also took the opportunity to try to fix a water leak though one of the ‘mushroom’ air vents in the roof that began during a torrential downpour whilst we were at Kiveton. I turns out that the seal has failed on the base of the vent because at some time the centre rope has caught on the mushroom and sheared off two of the screws holding it on. I have managed to get one of the broken screw threads out but the other seems to be solidly stuck. I’m going to try to get an extraction tool from a nearby hardware shop tomorrow but if that fails I will probably have to find a boatyard to re-drill and re-fit the vent. At the moment I’ve taken it off and covered over the hole in the roof with an old metal dog bowl that we had on board, not ideal but it keeps the rain out!

How far we get tomorrow will depend on how quickly I can get the parts that I need.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


Here I am Rune
Distance 3.5 miles
Total 1412 Locks 71 Tunnels
Running total mileage 1959.6 miles 

Another ‘hard’ day’s locking today having come back down the flight from Kiveton back to Shireoaks, a lot of locks (23) but we seemed to get into a good rhythm on them and got through at a reasonable pace, about 4 ¾ hours. The weather held up pretty well too, a slight shower before we got to the locks but then a clear run through to the bottom, where we met the only boat we’ve seen moving today, a trip boat going up to Turnerswood Basin. There also seemed to be a bit more water in the canal today, after all of the rain we’ve had, which made progress a bit quicker.

Back at Shireoaks Marina we’ve emptied the rubbish and cassette and made use of their shower, tomorrow we will have to stop by the Lock Keeper pub again to get to the nearby Sainsbury’s since there are a number of things we are now in need of. Not sure yet where we’ll get to for tomorrow night’s mooring but it will probably be the other side of Worksop.