#57 Saltisford Arm & Beyond…… April/May 2018

P1230435  P1230436

Friday 27th April 2018      Finally, aft’ considerably delayings


nb:Black Bart cruises very gently likely through the olde’ famous bridge hole & into the relaxingly calm waters of the Saltisford Arm. The Saltisford Canal Trust Ltd is a small canal charity set up over 30 years ago to restore the Saltisford canal arm, which dates back to 1799, and is originally the terminus of the Warwick and Birmingham Canal.


Craft & cru slide carefully ‘down’ the arm, passing bye many a static floating vessel. At the winding hole Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!   is carrying oat a tittle test. Can our floating vehicular be berthed on the West flank of the ‘hole’. We have been offered the possibility of winter mooring here if Bart will fit in. Careful manoeuvrings ensue. spinning Bart through a sharply near 90°, we creep int’ intended position. Unfortunately, aft’ repeated attempts… This Ain’t ‘appening. Our Long boat is knot short enough to fit in. She also be too deep. Oar the udder whey to view is, the winding hole is knot be deep ‘nough. That is sumwot disappointing. Other future winter mooring options will need to be investigated at relevant opportunities in the coming months. Lister & friends now keep tings calm as Bart slowly swings back roand the corner to raft up to an’udder narrowboat just before the winding hole. Nice & careful does it.


Sum minutes later and we is in a safely like position.


Fore & aft lines secured to our new neighbour. Aye’s Lovely !!

Time to exercise those occasional relaxation techniques.


Seam a pleasant bunch, the locals. The ducks appear reasonably friendly two !!

Saturday 28th April      We is trying to stay inside the warmly home that be our Bart. Quitely soggy oat there. And that is knot just the canal, that be Wet ! Wet !! Wet !!!  Aaaarrrggh !!!   Sumwot chilly too. Even olde’ squirrel (who were only cleaned tuther day, for a well deserved summer restings) has been re-fired & stoked up since last night. Ridiculous !!   Skip, Skippet & 1st Mate is knot shivering no’moor. Thankfully !!  And Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!  Ain’t bovered one tittle bit about such tings. Silly Foo’ell. Don’t tell ‘im we said that though. Please !!

Sunday 29th April      So this is the day when visitors Aaaarrrggh !!!  a’coming….. Cap’ns M&J Ēastseaxe & their crew of even moor short hairy legs. Sum of ’em pins anyhows. Cannee go int’ many details, but amongst, swaggerings, pleasant wanderings, chittie chatties, comparing booty, munching Most Scrumptious salmagunchi & liquid refreshments, the daylight ‘ers just seam to whizzle on bye. Tis lait in the day & aft Huggles & fairwells Cap’n Bart & cru is firing them “Be Gone Wi’dew” Broadsides. Aaaarrrggh !!!    Yo !  Ho !!  Ho !!!   Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!  !!!

Monday 30th April      Me-o Me’oe My !!   Dunnee k-no-w wot ‘appened yesterday. Need to go n’sea the witch doctor this morn. Summit up with t’grog ??   Knot shore. Like there be sum infestation ov tittle critters on board. 1st mate salts ’em oat. Takes quite a wee while. Old Doc zappyfies cruise infected areas. Bit painful like, butt knot two bad !!  Need to back to our Furner & ly’doan in t’dark for a few daizies. Sea ya’ll sum’thyme in May…..

Tuesday 1st May      Aft’ zappings of sum daizies ago, cru is be feeling just a slightly bit better likely. The last few nightly darklies is be just a blurrrr. The lightlies ain’t muchly oat’doing ’em much eaver !!  Skip reckons they actually bean wures !!!    Anyhaps. We ‘av maid it int’ the Merry month of May. So all is be looking good !!   Get to know the neighbours a bit today. Lovely boat. Quite unusual. Constructed in Belgium by ship builder in the 1982 & swam across the ocean, powered by her ‘tiny’ six cylinder Lister. Lovely couple two. Hopefully shall meet them agin int’ future.

Wednesday 2nd May      Were off today, but tis still grotty oat there, so holding on an’udder day. Hunker down thyme.

Thursday 3rd May      Tis moor pleasant today. Our Furner’s heart be powered up. With Lister beating a’whey lines Aaaarrrggh !!!  slipped and with prop engaged we slip gracefully fore’wood, swinging int’ winding hole. Bart swishes, coming aboat. When the nose is be pointing Westerly’ish our floating vehicular glides gracefully through the tight channel, tacking East aft’ chuggen oat the harbour, at Budbrooke Junction & making fore Cape Locks.


Bit Wet down ‘ear maties !!!    Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!

Our Trusty Steed takes us safely roand the Northern edge’lands of Warwick withoat too muchly troubles. High aqueducts ripple our vessel o’er the River Avon’s rapids & the steam trains whizzing bye be-lows. Luck is be in our favour this eve. Skip manages to swing Bart in fore a night’s rest. Before cru can relax a few doubloons have to be signed oat & old whingey (quartermaster) is to be made slightly less whiney. e’en later, Skippet reappears aft’ vanishing, ‘aving managed to Bart’er fore muchly lovely flora & the mud’ley stuff is munches on for strength & toned mussels. Quite a few ‘ers float on bye during gardening exercises. Bart’s Barrels creep oat slowly, from their wetly winter hibernations two. The end result is Most Marvellous. All we need is a nice clear picture to show you’ll. Guess Wot !!   Yep !  You Got It !!!  He forgot agin. Will take some for ‘im. Hopefully be sum lovely pics farther down t’canal. Eventually. Keep you’re eyes pealed…..

Friday 4th May      Forgotten items is Bart’erd fore as old whingey is still trying to get on ‘is high horse this morn. Aft’ the moanie noises is quelled (moistly), with lines slipped Lister & friends chuggens we’all through d’River Leam


to weir tis thyme to cli’mate. Maties, really. A steady leaping commences a risen of whitely waters & our narrow craft with ’em wetly wrinkles. A watery well o’er two hundred toes & nb:Black Bart is preparing four Bascote aqualifts. Two singles soonly followed bye t’staircase of an’udder too. Aft cuttings, embankments & aqueducts avast, we is looking at ascending yet father.


Almost treacherously white waters can be a smitely skairy fore t’boatly novices.

Wheeze be OK. Woant we Gulp !     Hear We Go !!    Aaaarrrggh !!!

Itchy bum takes us to the soothing cream shop chamber & then the final ascent’ion l’Grande fore this particular voyage. Hopefully !!  The last a’plenty Stockton upwardly raises of footly digits add to a knot unsubstantially o’er six hundred & fifty toe’lets. The cream is starting to work niao. Thankfully !  The Painly soreness slowly abates. nb:Black Bart glides serenely bye floating staticnesses & then the 1870’s Charles Nelson Cement and Lime Works basin of which restoration were completed in September 2017. Sorry. forgot to take a photograph. Skip, you Dopey old sod !!  Bart creeps slowly int’ fine berthing pool for a well earned rest of recuperation, nestling her nose up to the reeds.

Saturday 5th May     So. Wot niao ?  Bart World must continue in a salt’o floaty whey. Passed marinas to port &, amazingly, starboard two. Calcutt trio d’aqua’loch duth knot slow our passage very longly. Warily & Caerphilly Cockswain guides craft & cru across the busy Napton Junction ala Wigrams Turn, into it’s marinial namesake. We is ‘ear just fore a singular darkness to sea narrowboaty pals, the Cap’ns Hennessy who is on their whey to becoming proper pirates oat there in the really ‘high seas’, on a craft with even moor fore’sails !!  Grog a’plenty sloshed & treatly mouthfuls of grubs is be crunched on.

Sunday 6th May      So we bid a sad farewell to maties as our vessel departs Wigrams Turn, tacking starboard. Knot swimming far if we can help it. Mite be difficult though. Tis Glorious weather & apparently Bank Holiday weekend two. Don’t k-no aboat such tings. Dunnee even shore wot tis all aboat. Anyhaps. nb:Bartholomew Roberts 1682-1722 & crew shall indeed (Hopefully) enjoy a brief ‘oliday on the Bank. Bank of the Grand Union & Oxford Canal (combined in these ‘ere parts) it is to be true. Very busy in these narrowly shallow waters. Moored a’plenty. As we slide through the short hole of New Bridge skip tries to spy a possible landing location for a shortly seventy foot long beast. Roand the tittle bend & to our amazement there be a lovely long space of freely available armco. Ideal for a nappy pin or too. Extra large size obviously !!  Silly Billies !!!  Our Barticus duth shorely weigh in the region of twenty four tonne. Maibee e’en moor. Stifficult to find the kit needed to confirm the exactness of this thought processes. All we know, & udder to have tried, she ain’t the easiest, lightest of lumps to pull aboat. That’s why old’ Lister (1936 y’no) & chums all work together to help our Bart glide soo Beautifully. We knoes wheeze on the slightly bias side, must many met do indeed agree. We static’fy central’ish to our new find. Although their is be many crafts to sea along this ear waterway, gaps do exist. As the day advances t’aft the spaces soonly reduce & disappear completely. Ahoy !!   Aaaarrrggh !!!  nb:MJOR creeps into view, sailing o’er t’orizon. Invitation extended & accepted, Cap’ns Durnovaria pirate (oar should that be pilate) their vessel into the space aft of Bart. Perfect. Thyme to fruity brown sauce. Better that funny red ketchup stuff !!

Monday 7th May      Monday is apparently a Canal (or riverside ?) Bank ‘oliday this week. Fabulous !!  The one & only ‘gap’ for miles. The one in front of Bart was filled late yesterday evening by a narrowboat that had to be pulled sideways into position bye bow & stern lines. Very tight. Made it though. Snug’gle as a bug’gle !  Every boat is very cosy cuddles likely. For leagues of this watery path. Many udders two, weave know doubt. Glorious day agin, so thyme to chill in the heat & enjoy. Fab-U-Lous !!  Aaaarrrggh !!!     Sorry !  Couldnee ‘elp oneself. As the aft’noon drifts on gorgeously bye boats slowly depart their moorings. By the thyme night falls nb:Black Bart is almost on one’s own. Loverly-Jubberly !!!

Tuesday 8th May      This is be a good plaice to hang aroand sum moor, but will be moving on today. Whilst enjoying our morning tea bee’fore commencement d’manoeuvres, Cap’n Clint arrives on his naughty narrowboat Temptress. Thyme fore moor tea with loads o’fruity brown sauce chucked in & stirred with a Big curvely (rightly named) tea spoon. Aft chittie chatties nb:Black Bart is on t’move. Hopefully sea you agin sum thyme later in the season. Happy Cruisings Chummlie Boater …….


We two duth enjoy a happy gentile swim along these joined at the hip waters.



All the wey t’ tittle olde’

Canal world that be Braunston.

A fruitful wander int’ village provides

goodies from the Butcher including one ov his

(previously tried & tested) Most Largely Pasties.

And YES. They Aaaarrrggh !!!   LARGE !! !!


Only downside being Skip is apparently knot permitted to devour said scrumptiousness in one ‘sitting’. Stern a visit int’ Bottom Lock/Wharf House for Bartly job supplies we is




back on board & relocated

to l’aqua refuelling faucet

bye t’very olde’ ‘istorical

Braunston Stop House.


Niao is the occasion to confront the Big Wide Six Braunston Chamber pots.


Good to share the arising experience with a very tittle boaty friend & crew.


Quickly followed bye (first long darkness of Bart World 2018) Braunston Tunnel.



An amazing feet

of engineering under the

control of talented engineer

William Jessop

& his ‘crew’ of many

o’er two hundred years ago.



A disorientating darkly dank experience


of o’er 1865 flowingly wet

metres if ever their would be.

The big wobble aboat 500m in         from the easterly exist just adds            to helmsperson’s mindly wibbles !!

Lucky we got this Lovely              Stern Light Maties.                       Pretty !!    Aye !!  Aaaarrrggh !!!



The long ‘run’ to Norton Junction is dealt with (al)most efficiently & then cockswain twirls the tiller (al)most expertly, swinging nb:Bartholomew Roberts 1682-1722 through the tightly turn & niao we Aaaarrrggh !!!  Finally on a Dew North heading. The Leicester Line. Leicester Section of the Grand Union. Udder titles can be used.


Knot long before we is secured using those wonderful heavy nappy pins


And Bart be safe & sound for the night. Ciao for Niao.  Good’neat to one & all.

Wednesday 9th May      Windlass operations agin today.


Skippet, our on’board travelling loch’keeper e’speciale is assisted by won ov Watford’s chamber men. Their is be women two. Severn aqua’lifts including a quad’stairwell of magically uplifting droplets a’plenty. Always fun, the tight turn above chamber pot two, into bum’le’quad. Won, too, tree, fore. Niao the lonely slobbering beast at t’peak. ‘orizontally flowings niao may be resumed. Knot long aft’ Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!   calls an end to this daizies Fun o’crewsings.


Olde’ Francis hath knot been feeling well. Still got ’em cold, wetly winter blues.



TLC thyme.

Partly dismantled.

Rewired. New cablings.

Connection block

& buggered brass

connectors salted two.


And to Finish….

Polished to a Beautiful Shine.

That became moor involved than originally thought. Knot unusual. All seams Good niao.

Frankie’s knot ‘olde any’moor !!  Looking Healthily Young & Fresh agin. Fantastic !!!

Thursday 10 May      Thyme to test Frankie proper like today.


Aft t’usual salt (oar was that be mint sauce !!) of fleecingly fluffy distractions


bridge hole numero dieci is be only a momento di buio bee-fore Crick Tunnel creates a moor real kind of pitch black. Yes that’s the term. Always handy having a bridge & an ‘S’ bend prior to the entrance of a tunnel, oar summit else. Them ‘istorical canal designer engineer chappies certainly ‘ad a we bit ov a sense o’ humour. Ov that we can shirtenly be shore.


1395 metres of soggy, mildy moist drippiness a’bundances. Lister chuggens quite slowly to enjoy this one. Although knot a big fan of these long darknesses, helmsperson duth ‘like’ Crick’s darkly tube. Moor than Braunston anyway.


nb:Black Bart escapes the extensive dribblings


to find her tittle ducklings ‘av all popped oat ov their shells. Bart soonestly statifies opposite Crick marina. ‘ere we shall stay.

Friday 11th May      Fine day, butt sumwot windy. An appointment is to be kept. nb:Bartholomw Roberts 1682-1722 makes steady progress through choppy waters, leaving Crick & then Yelvertoft Marina behind. To aft sum would say. We forget how wonderful this rolling countryside adorned ‘Leicester line’ truly is. And quite curvaceous two. Yelvertoft Fieldside Covert is slow coming, butt we eventually arrive. nb:Blue Moon with her Cap’n Silver  Aaaarrrggh !!!  & 1st mate Amber. Great to meet up wid ‘udder olde’ pirate friends. Lashings o’ coffee with the usual spoonfuls of fruity brown sauce. You know the drill bit. Later int’aft’noon Cap’ns D&M Pickton on nb:Rosalie is be crewsing int’port. Great tittle pirate meaty greatings we ‘av niao !!!    And Proper Grog later, aft’ Salmagundi.

Saturday 12th May      Sow we is going fore a piratey swaggerings threw dense woodlands. Followed by muchly needed refreshments upon our return t’ berthing pool.


Sum dayslater this party has to finally end to a conclusion. Unfortunately, Cap’ns Pickton av to go. They is off a’hunting. Ships to plunder, booty to ‘acquire’ & retches to catch who need to be dancing the hempen jig !!

Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!   & Cap’n Silver  Aaaarrrggh !!!   command their ships to swish yet father North toward those chilled frozen wastelands of “T’North


Strange almost pre’istoric critters help pilot our ittle convoy threw these


wonderfully weir’d landscapes of vastly verdant panoramic lush’ousness. Bart seams too ‘av grown a strangely lump on her sore portside. Will have to get that soothing cream oat agin !!


The tick’ety tock of ongoing existence creeps on bye, as does the viridescence. As that emollient finally does it’s ‘trick’ 1st mate spies a quietly secret harbour. Avast !!  Aaaarrrggh !!!  


An ear’ily mysteriously ghostly, almostly hauntingly waterscape we ‘av plopped into. No bodies. Moving oar deadly like. Knot a hint of a boat, ship, floating oar udder’wise !!  Scary !!  Knot to us. We is Pirates  Aaaarrrggh !!!   Cap’n Silver  Aaaarrrggh !!!  &  Cap’n Black Bart  Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!  courageously helm their crafts & cruise thru the thick misty murkiness to find a hidden world of wonderment beyonder !!   A’May’Zing !!

Late int’ night udder pirate vessels slowly slide int’ view, appearing from the swirling nebulous that hides us. Only proper carousing pirates can safely negotiate threw such a dangerously mild moist phenomena. Aft a’hunting wild boar in the forests to the West the fires roar & plentiful bounty fills many a pirates stomachs & yet they desire moor crackling scrumptiousness’. Grog, mostly non-achoholic is sipped gentile like fore just a tittle while during the early part of t’ evenings festivities. And there ya’ ‘av it !!!  A Most Enjoyable gathering is written down in Bart World ‘istory. And sum udders two !!  Old maties re’unioned. New alliances formed in the hot embers of the cookling pyres. Aaaarrrggh !!!

Sunday 13th May      So nun of ya would be surprised to find oat there be knot one saw head (oar anyting else to that matter) amongst all them their buccaneering sea’wolfs.


Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!  cap’ns ‘is ship oat o’ t’ strange butt wonderful hidden waters, setting sail fore an’udder voyage. Tuther marauding picaroons is remaining in this safe haven fore niao. Ciao old (and new) maties. Arrivederci !!  Aaaarrrggh !!!


T’ only whey oat be a narrow portal of dingily darkness. A black length yet unknown. The roundel d’brickworkings may ne’er end. Dunnee hold your breaths crew. Many days of chuggens & in the niao (knot so dim) light cast bye Frankie, the tubular path narrows to an almost my’nute point, squeezing our Lister powered floating vehicular out with a “Pop” defying any logic oar just good olde’ common sense’icles. Dats wot Bart World be All aboat !!!


With that Loud “Pop” still Ringely Dingerlingingly reverberating thru cruise many ear’oles Bart steadily & calmly traverses a most satisfyingly agreeable road of darkly greenly-brown’like liquid, shrouded by trees & leafy bush like creatures.


An’udder hilly scene ciao’knot escape the wonders of a pirate’s eye.

Only got one maties. Tuther (poorly) won cover’ted by a tittle patchy patchy !!

Aaaarrrggh !!!    


Frankie relaxations aft’ passing the stern examination required ov’a tapering tunnel o’ weirdnesses.


A fairlead of thyme passes. Tis seam like an ages hitherto we swoosh int’ position ready fore a BIG Descention !!   Foxton’s incredible longly & deeply stepped staircases of watery flows Aaaarrrggh !!! rippling oat below nb:Bartholomew Roberts 1682-1722. Injun Chief “Hyannis” with tribe & bandit “Iron Maiden” with weaponries ‘av greeted Cap’n Black Bart’s crew Aaaarrrggh !!!   to their world. Lucky we is all maties. Ain’t it. Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!         Udderwise, could have got quite messy !!


our buddies take control of the situation and bye expert windlassing & gate openings our Bart hath swished down both sets of multiple slippery stairs Most Marvellously !!!   Great to see the Big wooden gates right there behind Skip Aaaarrrggh !!!  new & leak free. Would ‘av gotten moor than just mildy moist back ‘ere on t’ stern udder’wise !!

Foxton Locks

Constructed between 1810 & 1814, Foxton Locks Aaaarrrggh !!! the largest flight of staircase locks in Bart’s watery world. Stepping up/down a total of 75 footsies using a total of ten aqua’lifts. Two sets of five staircase locks separated bye a tittle boat passy pound halfway down/up. Each lock of a ‘staircase’ opens directly into the next, so requires Caerphilly operations.  


Safely down & through,


Bart (with new ‘extra’ locking crew niao also onboard)


swims to Debdale & finds a delightful pool of berthingly recuperations.

Aft’ refreshments for the ty’red locking cruise ‘av bean served, the fires Aaaarrrggh !!!   stoked up (knot shore who dat crazy fool with the weapons of butchery is) & hunger is be dealt won hugely successful blow. A truly Wonderful Day is seen right through to the very end. A well earn’t rest of nightly ours has to be succumbed two. Eventually.

Monday 14th May      My !  My !!  MY !!!    Wot a Few days Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!  & ‘is motley crew of eight legs oar moor ‘av plundered. Aft’ coffee & moor chittie chatties with tuther maties we must be off. North we must sail. Goodbye All. Hopefully sea you’ll agin sum thyme in the knot two distance future like. Lines slipped Lister & friends propel our Bart forward through vast swathes of luscious green pastures…….  Tightly twists & turns fore & aft of Smeeton Aqueduct is soon swishing


our Bart through (Yes. An’udder long darkness of cleverly constructions)


Saddington Tunnel. Frankie ‘as t’ prove one’s worth agin. Bravo !!


Kibworth wide lock & broad chamber’ly friends combine to lower our lean floating home gently down many feet’lees of green farmland & country pastures,


bushily lined sweepingly water crescents chatter & cheep to us as we glide on bye


over Sence aqueduct to the night’s ‘ours of restfulness.

Tuesday 15th May      Today we enjoy a gorgeous sunny hot day, crewsing gently bye Newton Harcourt & down moor than a hexagon’s worth of ample wet slippery inversing lifts. Kilby provides Bart with aqua’freshness bee’fore a stretched oat step of two lochs sluices us an’udder descent of many toes.


All the whey to ‘ear as the sun starts to prepare fore it’s own lowerings.

Wednesday 16th May      We is unshore aboat this wind but Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!    be commanding propulsions to pastures new. Vessel & crew is be lowered to South Wigston



wear new weirdly wonderful maties is met.


Tongues Aaaarrrggh !!!   waggled. Yet father we climb down to Glenhills. & there we shall leave the day’s swimmings.

Thursday 17th May      The Sun is oat agin today. Fabulous !!  A duo of lowerings take our Bart to the Aylestone’s stores levels before St. Mary’s Mill leads we all to the


Fun sail bye Freeman’s Meadow’s slightly scarily Big, long gushingly white infusing weir which readies us into Leicester. The unforgettably capacious mile straight glides nb:Bartholomw Roberts all the wey to finely positioned


Friars Mill floating pontoons. Great position. Never stopped in this ‘ere town. Landly or watery like. We ‘av niao!!  Ciao. Buona notte.

Friday 18th May      Fine weather continues. Walkies through town proves to us ‘ear this plaice is be Definitely A Good’n. Will definitely stop ‘ere agin.



Weir gunna stay ‘ere for an’udder darkly period, but decide to swim on. Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!   commands ‘is craft & crew to leave t’arbour. We sail a’wey from Friars Mill, soonly swishingly down North Loch,


swimmingly through all d’lovely brightly colours in t’water.


admiring all t’ Lush-ush greenery


And t’ Wonderful critters as we is pasting Abbey Park bye b’fore leaping inversely up Lime Kiln’s wide chamber. Slaters, we is negotiating the (almost) dangerous black slimy Wolsey shallows. Quite a muchly o’ debris on & below the waters ‘ear. Unpleasant noises down there in t’ murkinesses. Lister stays on slowest tick over possible & helmsperson just asks old g’box to give us tittle occasions d’blips o’ propulsion. Need to minimise old prop’s spinnings in the dank darkness below. The dinghy shadow of the space craft leans o’er nb:Bartholomew Roberts as Belgrave’s aqua step descendingly pumps we’ear


int’ purer cleanly river flows where vibrant palaeolithic plesiosaur’s glide through the smoothly lucidly perspicuousness. Aft many day’s o’voyagings “Land Ahoy !!  Aaaarrrggh !!!”  Cap’n Black Bart Hails  Aaaarrrggh !!!    Birstall Island provides much needed shelter & refuge

Saturday 19th May      So we & our floating vehicular is be statifying today.


Aaaarrrggh !!!  1st mate can hardly contain her excitement !!  Which one first ??


Splendid Ardeidae be eye’ding in the watery undergrowths on t’ look oat fore sum sliveringly tasty lunch.

Sunday 20th May      Sunday is be hot sunny day of restfulnesses. Knot e’en shore wot ‘appened these daylight ‘ours. Must be the sunny’stroaking lark oar sum’it.

Monday 21st May      My meo my. Fabulous Day. Agin. Aaaarrrggh !!!


Beautiful water meadows every wear roand ‘ear. Most Splendid walkings !!  We enjoy delish’ush evening scrumptiousnesses at the white Horse Thanks Muchly to Cap’ns T&R Osie Aaaarrrggh !!!   who pay Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!  a Marvellously Lovely visit.

Tuesday 22nd May      Tis a mite windy but with lines slipped early, nb:Bartholomew Roberts slides down the first widely water step of many today. An extended ‘sail’ through Watermead Park, Gravel pits, forays, dancing from t’ River Soar t’ River Wreake & back agin, swishing bye Appleyard Island & thru Mountsorrel to Barrow upon Soar. A much needed aqua’freshment with bacon roll on the side re’invigorates t’ cru to crews. Loughborough’s famous Mills, Bell Foundry & Brush Factory glance an eye oar too as Bart & cru glide on bye. At Chain Bridge Junction Bart makes an awkward multi point tack to starboard, struggling with just enough wind (sorry cru. That one were a bit honky like) to cause ‘difficulties’. As we attempt to progress a’whey from the tightly turn, we ‘av a problem. Skip struggles on until a viable mooring be available & land we do. Sum thyme later, with the weed hatch accessed, the offending clothing articles wrapped round the propeller shaft Aaaarrrggh !!!  removed & we can propulse proper sum moor. Pleasant trouble free crewing ensues for a wee while longer. Zouch Pool provides an eventual berthing bay fore our extremely tie-red ‘sailers’.

Wednesday 23rd May      We is knot surprised to wake up to a tittle windy pops on this fresh morn. Knot a bean or curry sauce passed our lips last night eaver. Moor aqua steps descend our vessel a tittle further aft’ yesterday’s vastly descentions as we continue our swim North. Tongue Island be soonest followed bye Devil’s Elbow


as Ratcliffe”s huge generatingly (slightly ??) green plant welcomes us’ll to the final reaches of this ‘ere river of the northern Grand Union Canal. A rather vaguely confused waterway this might be felt bye sum. A Fine watery path to traverse, but unfortunately knot so much with the strong windy pops experienced in recents passed.


Weebles wobberly boats waive this wey & that heretofore Redhill Floodlock allows an open, level passage to the final strokes of this particularly wet trail, leading our Bart safely passed t’ Hugely Large flows of the knot inconsiderable Thrumpton Weir. An’udder open floodlock provide free entry into


Cranfleet Cut’s narrower calmly natured pave’d’aqua. Aft t’ usual boatingly delays Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!   guides craft & cru int’ Deep spaciously


broad flowing water droplets convulsing int’ River Trent. Weaving tis whey & dat, we swish along the curvaceous passageway d’aqua fore aboat an ‘our where we come across a bypass. To starboard we have the large white waters of Beeston Weir. To port (our choice) is Beeston’s gentile chamber of ascension swirling our floating vehicular vertically into the Nottingham & Beeston Canal. Quite a slower propulsions while later, passing many a moored floatation Skip, Skippet & 1st Mate choose a pleasant spot to ponder the nightly dark ‘ers that will no doubt come this whey slater.

Thursday 24th May      There were a few acquisitions made this morning. Just small herbie additions t’ greenery brightening up Bart World 2018. And tittle “t’boat” (oar is it t’boot oar e’en t’Bart ?) pots to help contain & nurture.


Now our narrowboat slowly departs these current narrow waters creeping down Castle Lock, gliding through Nottingham, sharp to starboard followed bye a long almost straight pathway towards the eastern end of this short canal. Attempts to re’charge Bart’s aqua’store prove fruitless as first tap is busy. Second tap is most inconvenient as any boat utilising facilities has to be positioned along the barriers a’fronting Meadow Lane Lock’s weir. Knot particularly pleasant. Having a low gunwale Bart’s ‘resting’ (being waterly ‘sucked’) against the barriers is irksomely uncomfortable. To then find the screw fitting at t’ water point is the wrong thread size & our hose fittings won’t fit just makes Skip MAD !!!   Never experienced this problem before. Hopefully never agin. With aqua’lift ready for our craft, crew struggle to break Bart free from the pull of the weir, without sustaining too much abrasive contact & scrapingly surface damage with the barrier & the lovely concrete wall aft’er it. Takes a few attempts. Will knot willingly put Bart in this position on any future occasion. Finally we escape this situation & nb:Bartholomew Roberts (aka Black Bart  Aaaarrrggh !!! ) be swimming the expansive world of the River Trent agin. An exasperated crew finally secure lines in front of County Hall. Now fore sum Bart chores to help us wind down. Deep Breathes everybody !!!   Aaaarrrggh !!!


During brass polishings Nottinghamshire’s Finest arrive & start playing in the river, just to brighten our day. Thanks Guys & Gals. Twas Most Wonderful !!!

Friday 25th May      Fore we awake to a very wet day. Tis quite windy two. Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!  & ‘is crew slip lines mid-morn & Lister & friends propulse our narrow metal vessel on a Northerly heading. We chuggen passed Trent Bridge cricket ground & Nottingham Forest football club swimming a’whey from County Hall. The unfortunately niao defunct thirty three mile long Grantham Canal (opened in 1797) hides somewhere tuther end of the secretly camouflaged restored Grantham’s Trent Lock.


Might still be quite windy, but is no rain at t’mo, and almost a league of ripple riding and Holme lock, with Nottingham’s automatic anti-flood controlling five Colwick sluices to port, National Watersports Centre to starboard & the Monster ‘New’ Holme Lock on the nose. Oar is it ‘of the bow’. Dunno maties. Cannee remember the proper terminology. The smaller Old Holm Lock hides just behind. Fifteen tonne lock gates is knot a’moving. The Red lights tell us the chamber ain’t ready maties !  With Bart safely secured, conversations with the lock keeper leave us informed. We is knot travelling through this chamber as there be a BIG Problem !!


BIG Ain’t it !!

Efforts to resolve the problem Aaaarrrggh !!!  ongoing. We could be ‘ere for quite sum thyme !!   Aft’ chatting with Mr. L. Keeper we make friends with the engineers. Seam like a pleasant bunch. Skippet explains our bank holiday weekend meet’up with many an’udder pirate ship, Pirate Cap’ns  Aaaarrrggh !!!  and their many crews of moor pirates. Would be Good if our craft & cru can mayhaps still arrive in port tonight as planned. The ‘Land’ crew of engineers is quite sympathetic to our predicament.


Engineers is been

working & a’slaving

‘ear for ages trying to

repair/replace failed

hydraulic ram mountings

& gate pivot collars.

Mr. ‘Gaffer’ & ‘is cru is be Really ‘elpful.

Within an ‘er & a half oar so, we is on the move. Yippeeeeee !!!


A-Mai-Zing !!!  They fill the lock & open just one upper gate to let nb:Bartholomew Roberts enter the filled chamber. Mr. ‘Gaffer’ say’s they can lower Bart down & horizontally we can be on our whey agin. They will then continue with the repairy works on upper gates & associated mechanisms, once we is through. Extremely Good of ’em. They shirtenly didnee ‘av to do dat. Special Treatment is most appreciated.

Cheers Guys. Chink !   CHINK !!   CHINK !!!

Black Bart & all the pirates who sail in her ‘Make Hay’. Lister & friends rejoice !!

Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!

Knot an’udder crewsing craft insight as we swish downstreamwards o’er t’ next timeliness, via Radcliffe Viaduct Railway Bridge to where Stoke Lock’s chamber welcomes our craft within less than a league of wetly wrinkles a’flowing. Still a very big footprintly downwards, but knot soo deep. almost half t’ drop, being a mere thirty five toes. Wunz thru, t’ Wide path weaves dis whey & dat as t’ almost incomprehendible fathoms of choppynesses surround our chuggen vessel. As we round the gentile second starboard tack of Burton Joyce crew become sumwot unnerved as we seam to ‘av a problem. Skip stands down the propulsion team. Bart has landed. Mid channel of the knot inconsiderably un’narrow River Trent. Water below us is clear. A shoal of stones be viewed by the concerned eyes of helmsperson. Unpleasant noises a’plenty to the underside of our boat (that be slightly narrow) unsettle cru. Bart shifts to port, dipping down to said side, as we apparently slide into deeper water. We settle, floating, & level again. Deep breaths all round. Knot had that happen before. The canals can prove shallow at thymes fore our Bart We Aaaarrrggh !!! used to that, but when traversing enthusiastically along wide fluid path’s such as this, we was definitely knot expecting that !!   Hearts & minds calmed. A tittle, anyway. Onwards & downwards we can niao continue our swimmings. To Gunthorpe we do eventually arrive. An efficient descention hath us back on our horizontal wey along a moor smoothed out, less curvaceously wet path d’ solution. Shirtenly knot smoothed oat on top though. Them choppy ripples is be even moor enthused along ‘ere maties. Hold on tight. Gunwales is oat of bounds four niao. Even buccaneering pirates don’t be two silly oar daft. Well, mayhaps occasionals likely !!  Knot ‘ear. Knot niao. Hazelford water lifty creeps interview & inversely ascends we’all four the last of today. Tis only a few moor ‘ours of chugs gone bye when 1st Mate spies t’harbour.


Fiskerton just aboat squeezes our long boat in. Could be a while beef’oar we manage to “pop” back oat of this tight jamly jar. Lucky we set off at the rasp of dorn this morn. Cap’ns Witthams Aaaarrrggh !!!  already ‘ear. Aft’ t’ usual sea wolf pleasantries we crack open t’ barrels. Grog. We need good aft’ that voyage. Delectably succulent Salmagundi scrumptiousnesses follow, washed down with just a tittle moor grog. Knot two much, mind. Tis late when udder pirates maties finally make safe in port. Including two Very Special Tittle Picaroons !!

Saturday 26th May      Shore do be a grey, windy but increasingly warm daylight of ‘ours duth we all enjoy.



A marauding adventure into Southwell

only brings delights.

Fabulous (proper) hardware store

(writefully) named the Handicentre provides

crue with much needed M10 fixings & paint.

& then…….             the A-May-Zing…….


Southwell Minster showing the West side and North side
The Most Splendidly Fantastic – Southwell Minster

Aft hour safe escape back to anchor d’arbourage, luncheon be served on Cap’ns Witthams vessel, aft udder buccaneers arrive from Olde’ London Town. Aaaarrrggh !!!  Aft’ grub we ‘av  funly games up on deck b’four enjoying a pleasant walk along the sandy beach & thick woodlands o’er t’ East side of ‘arbour. Back to our maties craft for scrumptiousness d’salmacurry to finish the day off most delish’ushly.

Sunday 27th May      Shore to be shore…… Tittle picaroons come o’er to Bart for fun int’ morn & aft woodland walks we converge on the main venue for barbeque scrummlies & salmagundi all mixed in with chittie chatties & a few deck games thrown in. Quite literally. Wot Fun !!  Aaaarrrggh !!!  Me Hearties !!!

Monday 28th May      Might be going four a River Trent crews with additional crue in our ‘team’ this bank ‘oliday Monday. Aft late arrivals Lister warms up & readies ones friends for action. Knot quite so windy pops today, so helps make our swimmings slightly moor pleasant. The river weaves all o’er t’plaice, curving a’wey from Fiskerton mooring pools the flow whizzes down Gawburn Nip & swishes roand Gawburn Holt, leading our heavily leaden wanderer along a muchly ‘S’ benderly track o’wetness. Farndon Harbour seas we’all through the sweep of Baggarley Rack int’ widely long dark shadow o’ Staythorpe Power Station, pulling us towards the knot inconsiderable Averham Weir, as our slowly boat ov narrowness runs the gauntlet of the sidewards pull. Safely through the Upper Water Mouth, t’ calmer moor slender flow of t’ Newark Branch guides Bart & our significantly substantially swollen crue steadily towards our ‘half thyme’ destination. Our first (Mill Bridge) only slightly dark hole of the day sends us int’ Newark Town Lock’s water chamber. Knot any’weir as daunting as tuther chambers on this Fantastic Beast of a River. Just like those ‘baby’ aqualifts on the River Thames. Much easier. Down we go. Bottom gates open. Oat we go. Under the splendid Trent Bridge (no, knot that won) & onto Kings Marina, via Jubilee Bridge. Aft a slightly poor showing of an aboat 180 turn which Skip nearly fudged, but managed to just aboat get a’whey with, nb:Black Bart is ‘successfully’ (that is laughable) facing tuther way. Back (forward really) under bridges & we is pulling int’ high-walled mooring


opposite the Most Marvellous stone facade of olde’ Newark Castle. Get oat the booty. Aaaarrrggh !!!  Grog & Salmguncheon soon served & enjoyed most feverishly. We soonestly saying sadly fondfairwells to sum of our swollen crue. Maraudering voyages ov adventures await these freebooting raiders & our tittle picaroons two. Be Gone Wid ya’ Aaaarrrggh !!!  Me Hearties  Aaaarrrggh !!! !!!    Sum lite & darklies later Black Bart, crue of eight legs & guests Cap’ns Witthams take the slow boat home. To port anyhows. On a heading to Fiskerton Pools de l’berth. Retracing our swimmingly strokes with the prow trying to cut through t’ downwardly flowings fighting our upstream tack. Lister & maties is finding tis ‘ard work. Do doubt !!  The ‘run’ past & a’wey from that Big long powerful weir is painfully slow. Feels like we is wading through mud. As the white water eventually disappears behind, Baggarley Rack protectfully allows we t’ begin t’ slightly moor swift floatations all t’way to our currently temporary ‘home’ port. Many ripples, eddies, fathoms & leagues later. Lines secured, Bart and pals safe & ready four a very well earn’t rest. Skip & Skippet two. All remaining marooning seawolfs Aaaarrrggh !!!  escorted off the premises. Crue collapse. Zzzzzzzzzzz….

Tuesday 29th May      The winds have changed agin. Knot going anywhere today. staying in the relative safety o’ t’ ‘arbour. Skip assists local Harbour Master in floating debris clearance to make wharf moor hazardless. E’en, less hazardous. All depends on how one looks at tings. Dat wot cockswain reckons anyhaps. Skippet continues t’ fight four many a moor marvellous creation ala croch’et & udder suchily weir’d ancient crafts. Skills a’plenty.

Wednesday 30th May      Rained heavy last night. Very heavy. Still raining this morn. The rain doctor is dancing ‘is worst. Do we hold tight oar try & escape before tings get even worse ??   The skies clear a tittle promisingly likely so Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!   Calls ‘is slightly strange & motley crue of many toes & a quad o’ paws to alms. Oar were is arms ??  Knot shore. Anyhows…..  We is going for it. a slog upstream against a rain field downwardly flow. Lets Hope it weir a knot too bad an idea…….  Hazelford lock seamed like leagues a’wey. Knot really, but treacle like wadings against strong flow make it feel so. At least the water weir knot too choppy, as wind has dropped. ‘aving leapt up Hazelford’s Large aqualift we are pleasantly surprised bye t’ reduced flow in the river heading downstream. Makes fore a moor comfortable ride.


Daft old cow. Hoe ya gunna get oat the river niao ??   Daft sound bullock actually !!


Quite sum thyme later nb:Bartholmew Roberts 1682-1722 has made is safely to & up Gunthorpe loch. Knot going to make the next chamber before Mr. L. Keeper will be off fore t’night, so we decide to hold up ‘ear maties.  Aaaarrrggh !!!    Just tuther side of this high walled lock islet there be


the white monster scrabbling all o’er Gunthorpe Weir. Glad we ain’t dat side !!  Took our large heavy deep long 18hp lister’d vessel three hours to wade here from Fiskerton. Only took four & a half to swim all the whey from Nottingham to Fiskerton on Friday. MAD !!!   We is knot e’en half way back yet. Crazy !!   our Bart be knot ideally suited to such water. We is all OK. Pleased to be enjoying a relaxing walk along the river bank now. Looks really peacefully tranquil oat there niao.  Lovely !!

Thursday 31st May      We creep across to the faucet quite early & get on with t’ next ‘few’ strokes upstream. We make reasonably steady progress against the capaciously wide stream of non-tidal current attempting to delay our passage.


Wonz in Stoke lock we await the arrival of following craft to join us in a very uplifting experience, & then we are beating a


colourfully damp path through industrial lands


& waterborne ‘istorical symbols of floating trade unfortunately long gone.  Bart is overtaken shortly before Holme Lock, following our new locking companion int’ vast magical container of d’aqua. We now await t’ arrival of Speedy Gonzales  (aka nb:on the go to) who arrive at speed. Proper speed. Real velocity. We haven’t sea’n this dastardly bunch of pirates for many moons & nights. Must be nigh on a tousand oar so. Mayhaps e’en moor. Aaaarrrggh !!!  Avast  !!   Aaaarrrggh !!!  !!!   Niao, cannee get on with an arising of liquid.


a Beautifully rare sight. A pair of swans gliding gracefully along the River Trent. Wonderful !!!    Our pirate maties is dropping anchor. Pulling a fast one. We is already ‘steaming’ onwards & upwards….


playing dodgems with a lone sailing boat. First one our Bart has viewed fore a very long thyme.  We dance the drippy tango swishing close, butt knot two close. No wot eye mean ??  Nudge ! Nudge !!  Wink !!  Wink !!!    No Wot Eye Mean !!!   And now for summit completely different…..   Trent Bridge, knot e’en an ‘er away, was found & anchor we do. That were quite a slow glide through deep water. Knot much anti-flow during that last stretch to Nottingham. We is safely static by early aft’noon.

The intended relaxation is soon last though as nb:Batholomew Roberts & udder craft in t’area Aaaarrrggh !!!   attacked by ‘Strimmer Man’ who is whizzing along, up & down the riverside’s big concrete steps, sending weed particulars flying at great velocity, splattering every where with a substantial radius. He ain’t bovered, when approached by boaters requesting ‘im to stop. Could ‘av given us a chance to move our boats to a different plaice you bleeding moron !!!   Skip niao joins the udder ‘annoyed’ boaters in a lengthy (70′ lengthy ‘ere maties) washy, scrub & rinse of splattered paintwork. This stuff has stuck on like glue. Hard work. Many words udder than just ‘moron’ have drifted through all of hour minds. Repeatably.

Friday 1st June      First day of a New Month. The Summer Solstice is soonly going to be upon us. Joy be to June !!  Oh !!  Dear !!!   Strimmer Man is back & ‘is chums is on their jet washing walk towards our floatly positions two. Bar’stewards !!  (Don’t get we hour drinks). Skip is definitely KNOT in the mood for this lot. Knot aft yesterday. Udder maties roand ‘ere ain’t neaver. Lister is woken into a burbling hum of twin cylinder joyousness. Readying for propulsion. Lines slipped. Engage. Young Tiller asks old Rudder to bring Bart aboat, heading downstream for a wee while of the River. Under Trent Bridge, & soonly,


an udder aboat turn, swinging our craft into Meadow Lane Lock. And swishing vertical like into narrow canal water. The Nottingham & Beeston Canal provides refuge from annoying ‘workmen’, Bart squeezing int’ berth above Castle lock. Quartermaster is mostly joyed aft we return leaden with stock fore ‘is (apparently) nigh on empty larder storagings. That were Blooming ridiculous !!  Can ‘ardly walk & our arms ‘av stopped moving properly, or painlessly. Help Us  !!!    Help Us  Please !!!

Saturday 2nd June      Quartermaster has no sign oar e’en hint of sympathy in ones bones. Oar any’weir else in that carcass of a body. Cru of pack’orses. That’s all we is to that one !!   Aft longly, slow recoverings we meet up wid boaty chums encountered on several occasions during our River Soar voyagings of weeks past. nb:Hope & Anchor have arrived in Robin Hood’s land. Later, we cruise of too vessels pay a visit to a very popularly busy olde public house. That being ye olde trip to jerusalem 1189AD. Part built into the sandstone base of the castle. A Marvellous establishment. Fine pale & ruby ales indeed. Enjoyed.

Sunday 3rd June      Set off really early. Specially fore a Sunday. Temperature gradually building. Gunna be a Lovely day we tinks.





Daddy Swan is telling those pesky Canadian geese off while mummy looks aft her charges & the Coots family up & getting ready for breakfast. A Fine swim past many a moored craft gracefully chuggen hour path to Beeston where Bart takes a three foot ‘leap’ int’ deep wide world of t’ River Trent.


‘Sailing’ Glorious treelined river surrounded bye fine weather makes for a


Most Pleasant voyaging. Bart skates along the curvaceous river savouring moor than a league of halcyon sereneness, as we tack gently t’ port, t’ starboard & then t’ port agin. This meandering adds to the crews feeling. Before we fall asleep in this dreamy world Cap’n Black Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!  snaps ‘is crue back to awoken’ness. Cranfleet Lock is suddenly there to lift Craft & crue up, oat of the river. Helped bye a flock of lock keepers Bart is quickly gliding Cranfleet Cut, soonest re-entering the River, above Thrumpton Weir. Tis only a short mile oar so swimmings, followed bye a short delay at Sawley Locks & we leave clear wide liquid four t’ foreseeable. Sawley Cut is where we catchup with nb:on the go to and her crue of pirates. Pirates with ten toes & e’en moor with four paws banded together to sail this vessel. Sneaky lot had crept passed while we was a’recovering from our ‘trip to Jerusalem’ oar weir e’ver it were. Carrier pigeon massages soon informed of their location. We is now breasted’up. Two pirate narrowboats together.

Monday 4th June      Dunnee know wot ‘appened yesterday aft’noon onwards. Just a blur. In a rush, we was wisked a’whey from our Bart Finding ourselves in the land of Smalley, far far away….. A barbeque was the smokescreen d’la ruse. Fine salmagunchi including many fine cuts of seafood & strange critters that wonder these ancient wooded lands. Boules were thrown. Differently strange games one & lost. Relaxation (of salts) in the aft a’fartly pops powered pool was shirtenly experienced by any that ventured into this deep murky wetness o’ fluid. Today, aft a recoverings of sleepy darknesses we have left Howarth Towers two ‘aft, journeying by curiously peculiar fore wheeled vehicular to……..


Elvaston Castle. Impressive architecture dating back to early eighteen hundreds

The extensive grounds being ideal for doggies walkings, and including t’ odd, butt occasional fine hidden gems to fall over. Quite literately. Oar fall into. Oar e’en fall through. We make our fore wheel traversings back to 70′ floatings. Ala Bart. Tomorrow. Ah !!  Tomorrow.  Aaaarrrggh !!!  To wot oar weir will Tuesday take nb:Bartholomew Roberts two. Bart World 2018. Shall ‘av to weight & sea. Ciao !  Arrivederci !!   Aaaarrrggh !!!

Sea ya their, if you wanna chuggenly float along wid us ‘ear………..

2 thoughts on “#57 Saltisford Arm & Beyond…… April/May 2018

  1. Hi boaties !
    We have verbally secured a winter mooring with Cheryl of Kate boats at Stockton top lock marina . Simba Dada is resting there now as we speak , having a rest whilst we is touring Bonnie Scotland in ” Merci ” our Sprinter camper van .
    They don’t have much room , but speak to Cheryl . charges are £37.50 a week for a 57 foot.
    We might miss you as we will not be back from Haggis land until end of June.
    Love ,
    Bernie and Lorraine.
    ( Pibu is on his hols in Sharpness as he is too barky for camper van touring )

    Liked by 1 person

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