Thursday 11 May 2017

New Owners - Autumn Myst

We are delighted to say that our pride and joy, Autumn Myst, has been sold to lovely new owners Kevin and Petra, not forgetting the most important member of their crew Molly.

We wish them well on their future exploits and hope that they enjoy the boat as much as we have done over the last six years. Please give them a welcoming wave if you see them on your travels.

We will miss all the friends we have made on the canal and wish you all well for the future.

Bob and June

Monday 17 April 2017


Due to advancing years and health issues we are reluctantly having to put our pride and joy, Autumn Myst, up for sale. We will greatly miss the camaraderie of the canals..
Autumn Myst For Sale See Apollo Duck at
Boat Specification:
Autumn Myst is a 58 foot 6 inch modern Trad. built on a G & J Reeves shell and fitted out by the well renowned Sandhills Narrowboats. It is in excellent condition and is suitably equipped for long term cruising or living aboard. It is a conventional layout and fitted out in American Oak in a combination of shadow gap tongue and groove planking, and panelling with all doors and drawers having matching inlays. The floor is in Rustic Oak throughout the boat.
Double Glazing to all Windows, Portholes and 2 Houdini's provides a light and bright living space.
It has four berths comprising a fixed double berth in the stern bedroom and a raised Pullman Dinette converting to a double bed.
The Galley is fully equipped with a CDA domestic Hob and Belling Oven/Grill with extractor fan overhead. A 12 volt fridge with freezer compartment completes the appliances. The Bathroom has a ceramic basin, fully tiled quadrant glass shower and pumpout toilet. There is also a heated towel rail and airing cupboard above the vertical hot water calorifier and opposite is a Bosch Washing Machine.
The pump out toilet empties into a large holding tank sited under the bed with level gauge and warning light.
GSM Boat Security Alarm system
Beta Marine 43 hp with Twin Alternators, 3.5Kw Travel Power Unit and Hydraulic pump. Hospital Silencer.
1600 hours
PRM 150 hydraulic
Bow Thruster:
6HP Beta Hydraulic Bow Thruster.
Multifuel Morso Squirrel 1430 stove in saloon.
Full central heating from a Hurricane SCH25 Hydronic Heating system heating a combination of radiators, fin rads, and towel rail. The heating system is also connected to the engine cooling water circuit to provide free heating whilst cruising. Controlled from a multi stage programmer.
Hot Water:
Is provided from a vertical calorifier in the bathroom and heated via the engine, Hurricane heater, or immersion heater.
1 Starter battery and 4 Leisure batteries.
Mastervolt Masscombi 12/2500 Inverter
Masterbolt Masterlink BTM Battery Monitor System
2 Landline connectors, 1 to stern and 1 to bow.
LED Lighting throughout with two way switches at each end of the main units.
Heavy loads such as the washing machine and immersion heater are wired such as they can only be operated when the Travel Power unit or Landline are connected.
Water System:
Fresh water is supplied from a 800 litre stainless Steel tank under the bow well deck, with level gauge, via a pump and accumulator located in the galley.
A Brita 3 way mixer tap in the galley provides hot, cold and filtered water.

Entertainment Equipment:
Samsung 22in TV swivel arm mounted in Saloon.
Panasonic Compact Stereo system with DAB Radio, CD Player and Ipod Doc mounted under TV
Sage Video Recorder mounted in forward cabinet.
Pioneer Stereo Radio/ CD player in bedroom.
TV Aerial is telescopic and mounted on front of cratch board within headlight and horn column.
Bow Locker:
Housing 2 13Kg Gas cylinders.

Bow Well Deck:
Removable glazed Cratch Board with Kinver Canopies Cover with side windows.
Fresh water tank underneath.
Side Bow Seat Lockers with storage under.
Front Seat Locker with access to Bow Thruster and built in storage for Anchor and chain.
Morso Squirrel stove to port side.
Large curved cupboard to starboard side
Tin/book Cupboards and shelves surround entertainment systems.
Covered Radiator and finrads provide heating.
2 leather Captains Chairs and stool with inlaid coffee table/seat stored in side pocket provide the seating.
Raised dinette with views out of side windows.
Storage drawers and cupboards below seats.
Below raised floor is storage for further folding chairs.
Finrad Heating
Black Granite worktops with sunken stainless steel sink and grooved drainer.
Plenty of drawers and cupboards for storage with wine rack.
12 volt Shoreline Fridge with Freezer compartment
CDA 3 Burner Hob
Belling Oven and Grill under.
Overhead extractor fan with lighting.
Brita 3 way tap supplying filtered water.
Finrad heating.
Walk Through bathroom with glass quadrant shower and mixer tap.
Top mounted ceramic oval basin with chrome tower tap on a curved storage cupboard.
AquaT electric Silent ceramic pump out toilet
Heated Chrome Towel Rail
Airing cupboard over vertical Hot Water Tank (calorifier)
Bosch Classixx Washing Machine with storage cupboards over.
Inline bed with 3 drawers under
Large double door wardrobe with storage shelves.
Dressing Table with drawer and cupboard under and Mirror over.
Overhead locker storage with two reading lights under and radio/cd player.
Covered Radiator
Bi-fold door to engine room.
Engine room:
Extra wide Hatch together with stern taff seat provides excellent social area whilst cruising.
Plenty of hanging space for wet gear etc.
Control Panel with all electrical switches, RCD's, battery monitor system, heating controls and water gauges.
Travel Power unit and Inverter behind inlaid cupboard doors.
Side Locker for mooring equipment etc.
Tool storage in removable exit step plus more storage below side steps.
Easily removed engine covers giving easy access to engine for maintenance.
Easy access hatch to batteries.
Engine bay is sound insulated.

Friday 7 April 2017

Friday 7th April - First King Fisher

A lovely morning so we made an early start motoring through Polesworth and passed Pooley Hall where we spotted our first King Fisher flashing past with the sun glinting of his lovely colours.

At Alvecote there were lots of old working boats moored looking very smart with their new paint work and blacking.
We stopped at Glascote Top lock to fill with water having passed through Amington with its weeping willow trees dangling across the canal.

As we had made good time and it was still only late morning we continued on through Fazeley Junction passing over the River Tame aqueduct and then the Wine Boat and stopped at Bone Hill Bridge for a catch up chat with Tracy and Kim off the Little Chimney Boat. Kim kindly welded a loose arm on the top hat whilst Tracy and June chatted away putting the world to rights. Their son has taken over the business now but Kim still helps out with the more specialised products they make.

We continued on through Hopwas which was unusually quiet with only a couple of boats moored where there are normally so many it is difficult to find a mooring. The army must have been using the firing range as the Red Flags were flying but we did not hear any shots as we motored through the wooded hillside.
We finally moored up for lunch at Whittington and decided to stay the night. In the village on the pub car park there was a Fish and Chip Van which operates on a Friday night from 5 pm, unfortunately we already had a dinner organised so could not take advantage of its services.

These Poly Tunnels on the approach to Whittington appeared to be growing Asparagus as we could just see the small stalks rising from the tilled soil.

Thursday 6 April 2017

Thursday 6th April - The Atherstone Flight

Still feeling pretty rough after a sleepless night we made a later start in cool misty conditions and moored up in an almost deserted Atherstone to go and do some shopping. As we returned a boat was just coming up the last two locks so we quickly packed the produce away and moved off to the top lock. There were several Volunteers on duty and they kindly helped us through the first 5 locks giving us a good start to the flight. At the top lock the Volunteers were operating a Book Swap so a took advantage of it to get myself a couple of new books to read.
We made good progress through the rest of the locks with only one of them against us where we helped a single hander on a Braidbar boat through. June did the locks so that I was able to take it easy for the trip and we moored up little further on for the evening.

Wednesday 5th April – Pump Out Talk Again

This morning we left the marina in lovely calm weather with the daffodils at the exit still in fine bloom and the swan sitting on her eggs.
We motored on through All Oaks Wood and passed under the recently renovated Easenhall Bridge with its luxury Bat Boxes on both sides.

We continued on to Hawksbury Junction where we stopped for lunch. Perhaps, because the winter moorers had recently left, there was only one boat moored on our side and very few on the other side of the junction. In the lovely afternoon sunshine motored on towards Nuneaton passing the iconic Engine House

The garden figures at Charity Dock seem to be expanding with even a lady in some Stocks overlooking this hulk.

All seemed fine until I went down with violent stomach pains and had to spend the rest of the trip on or close to the loo. June had to take the helm as we passed the recently tilled allotments ready for spring planting and we decided to moor up just through Nuneaton in order for me to continue to fill the tank. I suspect we will need to have a pump out in the very near future as it continued on through the night

Tuesday 4 April 2017

Tuesday 4th April - Spring Cruise

We arrived at the boat at lunchtime, planning to leave the marina and make our way towards Hawksbury Junction. However we had a call from our friends to say that they were stuck at Aston Lock on the Trent and Mersey as the ground paddle is blocked, requiring the lock to be emptied to effect a repair. Navigation will not be open again until the 7th April. We decided to stay in the marina and wash the boat as we would not be able to wash the port side again until we were well passed Fradley Junction.

The Daffodils which line the entrance road to the marina have been a beautiful show over the last month but are almost at the end of the life.

Friday 9 September 2016

Quieter Day on the Canal - Friday 9th Sept

This morning we motored on towards Hillmorton and between Falls Bridge and Newbold we came across C & RT excavating an old brick drainage ditch which runs at the bottom of the cutting adjacent to the towpath. It will make a big difference to the dryness of the towpath through the cutting which rarely dries out as it is in the shade nost of the day.IMG_8030

Its a great shame that all the lights have now gone out in Newbold as it was a lovely feature of the North Oxford Canal.A1

Approaching Brownsover you can now look down onto the multi coloured back of the Elliot's Field Shopping complex which always seems very busy with shoppers and is in an ideal location for the passing boaters.IMG_8038

Much to our surprise there was plenty of mooring at Brownsover (Rugby) on both sides even though for some strange reason the Water Tap has been moved from the other side of Masters Bridge and placed in the centre of the mooring on the park side which is always a favourite of boaters. Temporary signs have now been placed in position on the grass to denote the water point mooring.a2

Clifton Wharf was very busy with moored hire boats as it is their main changeover day and on the other side of Bridge 66 it is such a shame to see what used to be beautifully kept and much admired allotments have fallen into disuse and are all overgrown.IMG_8037

Presumably this is because of the ground works which are being undertaken along the stretch of canal up to Hillmorton for the new housing on the old Radio Station site.


The mooring at Hillmorton was almost empty and so we could pick our spot. After lunch the wind picked up and became very strong and gusty with the occasional brief shower.

Thursday 8 September 2016

Beautiful Evening Sky - Thursday 8th Sept

Strange weather today, first light rain, then lovely sunshine, followed by a strong breeze and finally in the evening the wind died to a dead calm and the sunset created a lovely sky.




Wednesday 7 September 2016

Another Busy Day - Wednesday 7th Sept

We had another late start for us and headed down to Sutton Stop Lock having passed several boats going in the opposite direction and when we arrived there were a few mooring places which had been vacated.


A boat had just come through the lock and another was just entering so we had to wait a few minutes before we could go through and wind in front of the Greyhound Pub. By this time there were another two boats in front of us. We were going up the Ashby canal but as we were told the Shackerstone Festival and just finished and the canal was very busy and having experienced it a few years ago we decided to turn around and head back the other way.




Just passed Tusses Bridge we were met two chuggers, one towing butty Gosport, all looking very smart in deed.


We met lots more boats on route and at Ansty encountered four boats as we negotiated the bend and moored boats just beyond the bridge where the canal is very narrow.

We stopped for lunch near to Bridge 26 and on the other side is this nice mooring, the cutting made a few years ago.


As we had to pass our marina we decided to call in and stop the night there.

After meeting Guide Dog Oakley at the Crick show some years back it is nice to see that he is still enjoying life working with Tracy on their narrow boat and we follow his exploits on their bog.

Busy Busy Canal–Tuesday 6th Sept

We had a late start this morning leaving the marina at 9.00 am and turned out onto the canal into a line of 4 boats. We thought we were on the M6 as we headed towards All Oaks Wood as so many boats were passing us going in the opposite direction.

At Stretton Stop we negotiated the swing bridge which connects the two parts of Rose Narrow Boats yard and motored down the lines of moored hire and private boats.


The canal from Nettle Hill to Squires Bridge was really murky and smelly, as a result of the boat traffic stirring up the sludge from the bottom. When we had come through on our spring trip the water had been crystal clear. We stopped in Ansty near to the bridge for Zola to spend and were passed in a couple of minutes by two boats.

We continued on under the M69 meeting boats at all the narrow stretches and unsighted bridge holes and moored up for lunch around mid-day. A couple of boats told us that they had had to wait in a long queue at the lock at Hawkesbury Junction so as the weather was nice we decided to stay where we were and pick Blackberry’s for tomorrows crumble.

The afternoon was even busier than the morning and I wondered where everybody who was travelling late would find a place to moor.

Monday 5 September 2016

September Short Cruise - Monday 5th September

We arrived at the marina just around noon and after unloading the car we went off to Rugby for some lunch and provisions. The evening sunshine is lovely and the weather is very warm forecast at 18 degrees over night.


Our new pup Zola has taken to boating life like an old sea dog and made herself at home on the boat finding a nice secure place under the dinette to sleep.


Wednesday 15 June 2016

Brinklow at Last - Wednesday 15th June

This morning we crept quietly off the mooring in Brownsover to avoid waking the other sleeping boaters as it was only 6.00 am and we wanted to get back to the marina before the forecasted rain later in the day.

The Brownsover mooring was full on both sides of the bridge as were the moorings at Newbold. The poor weather yesterday afternoon had obviously decided both privateers and hirers to put down their pins for the day. It was reported on the TV news that Rugby had had floods and a funnel cloud but we had not seen anything like that sort of rain, a couple of heavy showers but that was all. My sister who lives near Warwick reported that they had had 2 inches of rain yesterday so we were very lucky.

It was only an hours trip back to the marina and we did not meet any other boats on the move and all was quiet as we reversed onto our pontoon. We quickly packed up the car and did the necessary maintenance jobs on the boat before Autumn Years arrived for a pump out and to say our last farewells. It has been a great 8 weeks and we will miss Graham and Carolann dearly.


We waved off Autumn Years as they exited the marina and after an early lunch and chat to nearby boaters closed down the boat and wended our way home.

No sooner had we left the marina than the heavens opened and we had heavy rain all the way home where it stopped as we turned into our drive. Carolann told us later that they had stopped travelling because of the rain and it had not stopped all afternoon, so a wise choice on our part.

In the 8 weeks we have been away we have hardly encountered any rain and it has certainly not stopped us doing anything. We seemed to have just been in the right place at the right time.

Cruise Stats:

Total Distance                   455 miles, 7½ furlongs

Total Locks                        255 locks

Total Moveable Bridges      62 of which 6 are usually left open;

Total Small Aqueducts      117

Total Major Aqueducts       4

Total Tunnels                    11  which meant travelling 13219 yds underground                     

We travelled:-

144 miles, 7½ furlongs of narrow canals

172 miles, 3¼ furlongs of broad canals

32 miles, 2½ furlongs of commercial waterways

32 miles, 5 furlongs of small rivers

28 miles, 7½ furlongs of large rivers

44 miles, 5¾ furlongs of tidal rivers

93 narrow locks

143 broad locks

19 large locks