Monday, 9 December 2013

A round up of 2013

Hi There

Well here we are for my round up of 2013 from back home in Jersey. I’ll being referring to ‘this period’ throughout this post as the stats I’m giving are from the beginning of February to the middle of November which is the nine and a half months that we’ve been continously cruising so for an indicative twelve month period you’ll need to do some maths!

January 2012 saw us in Overwater marina for the last of Badger Setts twelve months where it had been moored since we brought it in January 2011. The main work had already been done such as the carpentry for the cratch board and seating in the cratch, drawers under the bed and a dinette that seats four comfortably or six with pull out seats and table extension as well as doubling as a double cross bed. Electrically wise had seen our solar panels fitted, LED lights fitted and 12v sockets installed through the boat to minimise the use of the Inverter and subsequent cost in battery usage when it is on. The last bit of boating ancillary was our anchor, chain and rope for when we ventured off the canal network and has been at the ready when we were on the River Weaver

and The Ribble Link
but luckily not needing to be used.

I was recently asked by one of our Canadian followers (who also doubles up as Nicky’s cousin) if we had much more of the network to do. Well when we started out we’d guestimated that it would take us something between 3 – 5 years to do the whole network and with the benefit of a year behind us we’ve revised this to being more likely 5 – 8 years. The picture below is of a map we brought at a chandlery and are highlighting the waterways as we travel them with pink being 2012, bearing in mind that this was largely only holidays and green being what we’ve done in 2013. You’ll see that we’ve pottered about in the north-western waterways as planned this year and that in the context of the connected network awaiting us we’ve barely scratched the service hence the revised estimate of 5 – 8 years.

We, as most boaters no doubt do, keep a log of our travels and during this period we’ve cruised for 318 hours during which time we’ve travelled 598 miles, done 254 locks and 54 lift or swing bridges. Our heat is predominantly supplied by our stove so our diesel water/central heating has only been used for 75 hours. Where necessary we’ve run the engine to charge up the batteries, but this has only amounted to a total of 5 hours during this period as we live mainly off the solar panels. It should be noted though that different people will have different usage requirements and we are probably at the lighter end of the scale.

The total diesel usage for the above during this period has been 413 litres at a cost of £473.

We’ve topped up with water 63 times and I say topped up as we tend to reguarly top as you never know what’s going to happen i.e. breakdowns, ice etc with the latter probably being able to be judged by the weather forecast, but with the former probably catching you out. If we chose to run the water tank dry and be lucky enough to be next to a water point when that happened, then we would have got away with filling up about nineteen times.

We’ve got a cassette toilet and have changed the cassette 79 times. We’ve got one cassette in with two spares so our travels are not overly dictated by needing to get to a sanitary station although when we’ve got anyone staying with us for a holiday it does need a bit more consideration and planning.

In terms of gas we’ve used 7 bottles that are used for cooking only during this period.

I can’t really put our coal usage into the context of this period as it wouldn’t incorporate a big chunk of the winter, so I’ll just say that for the period January to March we used 14 x 25 kilo bags at a cost of about £10.50 per bag so £150. So for an indication of a years usage you could double this figure although our heating is supplemented by my wood chopping efforts that does help keep the overall cost down.

The information detailed above is of course specific to us, our chosen lifestyle, how and when we travel and the level of compromise that we’re happy with that is likely to be different in some shape or form to others.

In terms of waterways covered this year we’ve done all of the: 

Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal

River Weaver

Macclesfield Canal

Peak Forest and Ashton Canal

Bridgewater Canal

Lancaster Canal

and part of the:

Shropshire Union Canal

Trent and Mersey Canal

Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Leeds and Liverpool Canal
Badger Sett is currently moored just outside of Wigan and we'll be setting off across The Pennine's when we get back in the New Year that'll see the rest of the Leeds and Liverpool canal ticked off as done.
Below are a selection of photo's from this years travels, some have already appeared in posts, but there are a few extras as well.

Of all places to get a nice wildlife shot, there was a sanitary block right behind me.

Some of the locks at Audlem in the January snowfall.

Our first experience of 'Twin Locks'.

A frosty night for Mr Spider's home

The Anderton Lift linking the Trent and Mersey canal to the River Weaver.

Can't remember where this was taken, but it must have been chilly as the photo looks like we'd taken it from inside.

The colourization of the canal water is from the local iron ore mines that water flows through.

Benji, our youngest Hungarian Viszla.

The Albert Dock in Liverpool.

What else would you do on a sunny day in March.

Back to the Audlem Locks, clearly the photo's aren't in chronological order!

Moon's out early today.

The 'Boys on Tour' on the hills around the Peak Forest Canal.

One of the lift bridges we travelled through this year.

Sunset on the Lancaster Canal.

Binks, our oldest Hungarian Viszla.

Back to the Albert Docks in Liverpool.

Time to do a bit of fishing on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

Sorry, forget where this was taken.

A scenic lock on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

Dusk on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal looking back from where we were moored.

and the same place looking forward.

Near the Rufford Branch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

Going up the brook that links the River Ribble with the Lancaster Canal (Part of what is known as The Ribble Link)

Up on The Cloud near the Macclesfield Canal.

Tied up for the night.

One of the pounds on The Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

When in Rome, well Morcambe actually . . . . . .

Getting to the end of the day on The Lancaster Canal

Iced in on the Trent and Mersey.

Sorry, another one I can't remember where it was taken.

Well this is our last boating blog for 2013 and I'll be sure to do another post from and about Jersey before we head back to Badger Sett on the 6th January 2014.

And so in signing off,

Day 393 in the Badger Sett Narrowboat - 767 miles and 323 locks further on from when we started.