An excerpt from Wind in the Willows

Nice? It's the ONLY thing, said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING - absolute nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing, he went on dreamily: messing - about - in - boats; messing----'
From 'Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Excellent response to Basingstoke cruise

Leo No2 and Hazell Nut rising in Lock
12 - Basingstoke Canal at Christmas
A322 behind the lock
(Photo Suzanne Wilson)
We have been very pleased with the responses so far to the Basingstoke cruise at Easter, so much so that we have had to spilt the group into two, some leaving Woodham Junction on Maundy Thursday (28-March) and the remainder on Good Friday (29-March).

There are 4 boats booked to go to the Bridge Barn in Woking, 5 to Brookwood Country Park and 36 to King John's Castle in Odiham (where King John spent the night before riding to Runnymead to sign the Magna Carta).

Please see Basingstoke at Easter for more information

Sunday, 17 February 2013

A bit of trouble with the loo

We had a lovely weekend at Byfleet Boat Club with a talk on Friday evening by Dr Roger Squires on navigating the tidal Thames by narrowboat.  An excellent evening and a public 'thank you' here to Dr Roger.

On Saturday evening we had our annual Skittles match with Thames Scouts Cruising Club and Wey Mariners. Before the event I decided to have a shower on board and decided not to wash my hair so put on a shower cap to keep the worst of the wet off my hair.  We had a lovely evening and when I arrived back at the boat I used the loo - it wouldn't flush.  I agonised a bit about that and couldn't think what could be the trouble.  I made a couple of trips to the boat club during the night as one does at my age!

In the morning the loo was still malfunctioning - it seemed to go through the process but didn't get rid of any water (or 'other' stuff).  My friend Mick, who built the boat, was moored just behind me and very kindly said he would have a look - very good of him as he had just had a fried breakfast!  Mick quickly removed the loo (pumpout type) and said he thought there was something in the pipe before the macerator.  I had a wee look and was astonished (and embarrassed) to find the shower cap I had used the previous evening stuck in the pipe.  We took it out, disposed of it, cleaned the non-return valve and put everything back together.  Que one very relieved boat owner hugely thankful for the skills of Mick!

I won't mind getting my hair wet in the future!

Another 'plug' for the Basingstoke trip again (sorry).

There are three different options for you to choose from:
  1. Cruise to Bridge Barn in Woking and return.  Woodham Junction to Bridge Barn on Good Friday 29-March with return to Woodham on Easter Monday 01-April.
  2. Cruise to Brookwood and Bridge Barn.  As per item 1 to Bridge Barn with a cruise to Brookwood (Country Park - not using the Brookwood flight) on Easter Saturday (30-April) and return to Bridge Barn on Easter Sunday (31-March)
  3. Cruise the full length of the canal leaving Woodham Junction on Good Friday (if we are over subscribed local boats may be asked to leave on Maundy Thursday (28-March) and maintain a day's separation).  Bridge Barn to Brookwood Village on Saturday 30-March, Deepcut Sunday 31-March, Monday (01-April) to Thursday (04-April) on the top two pounds, Deepcut and Brookwood on Friday (05-April), return to Woodham Junction Saturday ( 06-April).
There is a licence application form available here. There is a limit to the number of boats we can accommodate so please get your applications in early to avoid disappointment.

We will be asking for people who would like to help operate the locks and caulk up at the end of each day.  If you are able to help please do respond to this post.

Tide times (for those who will use the tidal Thames) are available here. Please note that there is a £10 transit fee available between Teddington and the Wey.  You may not use Shepperton Lock with this type of licence but it is valid as far as the River Wey.  You may purchase a similar licence for your return trip from Sunbury Lock. A River Wey boater's guide is available here.

The National Trust have kindly offered a 10% discount for those enjoying the Basingstoke trip either for seven days before the Basingstoke or for seven days after the trip. That's a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and explore another great waterway. Details of how the 10% discount will be applied are still to be agreed.

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Grist Mill and the Basingstoke

The Byfleet Boat Club were sent a lovely card this week as a 'thank you' for some help we provided.  I think it is a lovely painting and it is of the Grist Mill at Parvis Bridge on the Wey.

Also this is another opportunity for me to plug the Easter Basingstoke trip - we now have 28 boats registered to go to the limit of the navigation (King John's Castle) with three going to Woking and three to Brookwood Country Park - I had 7 enquiries last night alone!  There is still space available to if you wish to come please see below:

There are three different options for you to choose from:
  1. Cruise to Bridge Barn in Woking and return.  Woodham Junction to Bridge Barn on Good Friday 29-March with return to Woodham on Easter Monday 01-April.
  2. Cruise to Brookwood and Bridge Barn.  As per item 1 to Bridge Barn with a cruise to Brookwood (Country Park - not using the Brookwood flight) on Easter Saturday (30-April) and return to Bridge Barn on Easter Sunday (31-March)
  3. Cruise the full length of the canal leaving Woodham Junction on Good Friday (if we are over subscribed local boats may be asked to leave on Maundy Thursday (28-March) and maintain a day's separation).  Bridge Barn to Brookwood Village on Saturday 30-March, Deepcut Sunday 31-March, Monday (01-April) to Thursday (04-April) on the top two pounds, Deepcut and Brookwood on Friday (05-April), return to Woodham Junction Saturday ( 06-April).
There is a licence application form available here. There is a limit to the number of boats we can accommodate so please get your applications in early to avoid disappointment.

We will be asking for people who would like to help operate the locks and caulk up at the end of each day.  If you are able to help please do respond to this post.

Tide times (for those who will use the tidal Thames) are available here. Please note that there is a £10 transit fee available between Teddington and the Wey.  You may not use Shepperton Lock with this type of licence but it is valid as far as the River Wey.  You may purchase a similar licence for your return trip from Sunbury Lock. A River Wey boater's guide is available here.

The National Trust have kindly offered a 10% discount for those enjoying the Basingstoke trip either for seven days before the Basingstoke or for seven days after the trip. That's a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and explore another great waterway. Details of how the 10% discount will be applied are still to be agreed.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Basingstoke Canal Easter Cruise details


We have enjoyed a very productive meeting with the Basingstoke Canal Authority today and confirmed details with them.

There is some ongoing maintenance to be undertake in the Brookwood and Deepcut flights but the canal is planned be open for our Easter cruise.

There are three different options for you to choose from:
  1. Cruise to Bridge Barn in Woking and return.  Woodham Junction to Bridge Barn on Good Friday 29-March with return to Woodham on Easter Monday 01-April.
  2. Cruise to Brookwood and Bridge Barn.  As per item 1 to Bridge Barn with a cruise to Brookwood (Country Park - not using the Brookwood flight) on Easter Saturday (30-April) and return to Bridge Barn on Easter Sunday (31-March)
  3. Cruise the full length of the canal leaving Woodham Junction on Good Friday (if we are over subscribed local boats may be asked to leave on Maundy Thursday (28-March) and maintain a day's separation).  Bridge Barn to Brookwood Village on Saturday 30-March, Deepcut Sunday 31-March, Monday (01-April) to Thursday (04-April) on the top two pounds, Deepcut and Brookwood on Friday (05-April), return to Woodham Junction Saturday ( 06-April).
There is a licence application form available here. There is a limit to the number of boats we can accommodate so please get your applications in early to avoid disappointment.

We will be asking for people who would like to help operate the locks and caulk up at the end of each day.  If you are able to help please do respond to this post.

Tide times (for those who will use the tidal Thames) are available here. Please note that there is a £10 transit fee available between Teddington and the Wey.  You may not use Shepperton Lock with this type of licence but it is valid as far as the River Wey.  You may purchase a similar licence for your return trip from Sunbury Lock. A River Wey boater's guide is available here.

The National Trust have kindly offered a 10% discount for those enjoying the Basingstoke trip either for seven days before the Basingstoke or for seven days after the trip. That's a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and explore another great waterway. Details of how the 10% discount will be applied are still to be agreed.