... ... ... Seven years in an unassuming narrowboat on the waters of the "longest, friendliest village in England"  



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Posted on December 5, 2018 at 11:30 AM

5thDec2018 at Pancras Library 1600-1700 

It has been a very busy month ...

Visiting Miro at Bow

getting fuel at hackney Wick

Back on the Magic Ring

Bow Back Rivers

The Tues I took GianMarco, Reubens and Johannes from Limehouse to Vicky Park

Onwards to Rosemary Branch

Piloting Neil and Trevor from Limehouse to Vicky Park

Visit Market Harborough and Foxton by Car

An overnight in the Leicester suburbs

Visiting Brendas Attic

and you h'ain't heard the 'arf of it yet


Posted on November 16, 2018 at 11:05 AM

Nov16/[email protected] Library

I heard on Monday12th afternoon that Acton's Lock would be closed from 7am the following morning for an indefinite period.

I am running out of charcoal and I am above the lock right now and maybe 400m from Cat&Mutton Bridge. My charcoal supplier is below the lock ...  as in below Acton's lock and below Old Ford Vicky. Add in Duckett's three locks while you're at it and include that infamous centre pound in the future plans.

It's after 3pm; it will get dark in about 90minutes; the fire is not yet light nor even set and the last of the charcoal needs grading.That is a fruity pursuit dealt with elsewhere. Grapes, apricots, lemons, oranges and pomelos is part of the charcoal burner ritual... but first ... !

In spite of lateness of the hour, I must away from Regents Row, where with Diane's help, I decluttered and removed a carload of stuff last Sunday11th ... and had been parked up for almost a week since abandoning the bush mooring at Broadway.

left turn into Ducketts and park overnight  above the top lock at Parnell Road


Posted on November 3, 2018 at 6:55 AM


London is mad.

Down at Ducketts top lock about 3pm on Friday, basking in the sun and looking forward to a few days respite, a passing boater told me the Old Ford lock which was closing for ten days was the one at Vicky Pk. NOT the one at E20.  I decided to cast off forthwith and follow them, knowing full well they would probably have to turn the lock. As soon as let go, the prop collected a plastic bag, a dive down the weedhatch had it off in minutes, and I preened my forward planning for the foresight of setting up the weedhatch for instant access. Steaming up to the lock as my friends were entering, I rammed in beside them and up we went. It was now dark and they were pulling over for the night. But I had nowhere to park so I motoered on Getting to the end of the line and the rings, I found a butterfly bush growing out of a crack in the concrete.

Yes! I tied to it so I could "lockwheel" forward to find something more substantial for over-nighting. The bush would hold it for the mo. but a passing boat would drag my 10tonne off in a second. Shanking to Broadway market under cover of darkness, somewhere, anywhere, to tie up was a prime objective. With boats moored everywhere, mostly doubled and even tripled, there was no where any where or was there?

A single ring at the beginning of a massive line of boats would provide a solution of sorts. I  went back to untie from the butterfly bush and move forward to the ring. The only option was to get the bow in and use the front painter to make purchase, while I sorted out something better. This time I at least had security up front. How to pull the stern in? Initially my trusty mudweight was utilised and then a convenient maple was heavily trimmed with the on-board loppers to provide a more secure stern hold ... That's tonight looked after. AND. it allowed me to get to an 8oc booking at Pancras Library using the 394 and 214 buses!

Upon return there was a tupperware pot tied to mine. But a reasonable discussion with the liveaboard ensued and he was willing to move along so I couls escape as soon as I found a forward mooring. I pottered upstream and wonder of wonders found 13meters free after Acton. So I scarpered at once, shared the lock with a Bug and raced up to my chosen spot. Still there and shoe horned in to the side behind Jeremy and Claire and in front of Callum's Dawncraft.

Sun. Pancras library 1155 ...

to be continued or amended as more facts come to light or more imagination enlightens ...

Gunmaker Wharf ... 276 488 8 Scoffs

Posted on October 31, 2018 at 4:20 AM

Keep those dogies moving ... make new villages ... charge them batteries ...

Returning from my Irish visit to the boat under the bridge at Bow Locks on Thursday25th, it made sense to get outa there ... Everything was fine on board,

Moving would be an excuse to charge the batteries, there was no reason to be there any longer, cold weather was forecast, and old time was due to hit at the weekend. The Magic Ring is a suntrap and the solars get some action afternoons. It is easy to get home from and I had had a doctor's appointment on 29th. Miro had whispered that Old Ford was to close Nov5. for "ten days"  ... uh huh  I need to be topside to get to Sarah's knees-up at Haggerston on 10th so after just a few days in a well-favoured mooring I shoved off (on Mon.29th). While Od Ford was filling, I shanked upstream to identify possible tie ups in the dark.

Nothing much doing: the bank was solid from the lock to Ducketts turn. By the time I had cleared Old Ford, dusk was heavily falling and it was only 4.30pm. Approaching Ducketts, a boat was exiting to go up the Lea, indicating a distinct possibility that he had come down the locks and they would all be in favour ... which they were. In the dark though, the powerful searchlights now favoured by London cyclists were a constant source of bother. Approaching locks was a blind flying exercise, but all the bottom gates were open, as in both sides. The guy coming down must have an enormous ego. His boat seemed to be less than wide but it was tupperware and summa dem is 7'6" narrow.

So I got topside of the top lock and was able to grab two rings just beyond the yellow top mushrooms and in no time was securely purchased and able to tend to fire lighting. It is not cold but "practice ahead of need" has been my many-time saviour, so some under cover of darkness grading on the bankside was in order. And then a fire of sorts, rooting out long forgotten meths. and blowtorch and tongs and flint and steel and

Onwards ever onwards

Posted on September 27, 2018 at 5:55 PM

The boat has made it to Bow and goes shopping in Tesco 100yds away.

Well actually, I walk up to the bus stop in front of Tesco and get the D8 bus to 1 Canada Sq. and Waitrose.

Very busy on and off the boat. But I am trying very hard to get things done and get back to the blog.

Saturday 27th Oct.2018 ... A month has passed and Pentargon has started to move again. She lay over near BowLocks for almost a fortnight while I renewed acquaintance with my home country and my Irish family. Started on 'on the button' upon return and the batteries had held their charge while I was away. I had pulled both safety switches so that no lekky could bleed away while I was away. Upon return I left them in and as expected such marginal use as is allowed whenb the boat is parked brought the indicated line voltage down to 11.9vdc over just three days. This indicates that the leisure battery is probably on the way out. Before I change it though, I am going to talk with Steve in Unistart about possibly beefing up the alternator. It is possible to put a different diode in which raises the reading where the charge goes to 'float'. The Banner 968 is such a huge battery that it can take almost any input voltage pushed into it without any adverse effect ... 

There is a funny peculiar electrical situation that needs to be addressed ... sometime ... The boat has a starter battery with an isolator switch ... and a leisure battery with an isolator switch ... There are two LED sensors to measure the leisure voltage inside the cabins. You would expect then that pulling the leisure isolator would kill the lekky, remove the current supply from the voltage indicators and, in a word, turn them off. It doesn't!  Pulling either one makes no difference at all to the voltage meters. Pulling both causes both meters to indicate about 6v  and they flash. Putting a load on (e.g. switching on a light) causes the meters to go off and leave black screens. Removing the load (swiching off said lamp!) restores the flashing indication as above. Crossed wires somewhere and well worth looking at. erm ... sooner rather than later ...