Sunday, 19 March 2017

Perils of browsing the net when you can't sleep

Bad weather, cold, grey days.  This time of year just seems to drag on.

Woken in the middle of the night by heavy rain hammering on the roof of the boat, I can't get back to sleep.  I get up and have a brew.  Nothing on TV at 3AM, so turn on the computer.

I find a discussion about a boat, sunk in the River Medway during the storms of 2013.  This boat had a wooden cabin as it was a trip boat with lots of windows. Another boat had sunk on top and destroyed the cabin, so it was in a bad state and was eventually towed away by the Environment Agency.

A bit of searching later, I find that this was Achilles, originally one of a pair of boats, Apollo and Achilles, They were built as trip boats on the Leeds Liverpool in the early Seventies.

You know what happens when you are captivated by something on the computer.  Before you know it, it is morning, and I have been searching around for more hours than is healthy.

All of my searching had found that the Achilles was built by Colecraft in Burton on Trent for Dave Lowe when he started Appollo cruises.  The remains of the hull were abandoned in a yard near Liverpool, so I went off to have a look.
First impressions were that this boat was a wreck, which technically it is.  The engine appeared to be a lister twin, complete with undergrowth.


Back in Chorley, Ash Mandrake was playing at the Malt & Hops.  This guiy is a crazy story-telling bard combined with a mad musician, with a different hat for each song...
Drinking Marshmallow Unicorn, being enterttained by a Crazy man.  It doesn't get much better.

A long conversation with Kier, and he phoned Dave Lowe and chatted for a while. It seems the engine is the third engine for the boat, the first two being under powered.  I made a stupid offer of money, and we were off to Liverpool with a crane and a wagon.

Soon back at the boatyard - there goes my free time!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

5 down, 150 to go...

The weather wasn't too bad, so I set off to the Lakes at random, and ended up in Coniston.  The weather was perfect for walking, and the snow didn't look too bad from down here

I followed Walna crag road up to the side of Brown Crag, and the ridge over to Dow crag didn't look too bad

By the timw I was at Buck Pike, what was once snow was quite thick, and frozen solid.  Scrambling ober foot thick frozen snow - note to self "remember to put the crampons in my pack Before I set off"

The top of Dow Crag was a sheet of ice, with superb icicles flowing from the edge...

..and a great view if the icy path ahead to the Old Man

Once at the top of Coniston Old Man, the views were superb

but it was still aub-zero.  The water bottles in my backpack were now frozen so all I could drink was slushy ice.

Once over Brim Fell, it was downhill back to the car. Just above Low Water, the Sun decided to show itself.   I went too far left on the way down and lost the path in the snow, then had to make a 100yd scramble accross the face of some crags to regain the path.  Then it was what felt like a long trudge down the old mine road back to the car.

I started the car to get the heater on, then sat op the tailgate changin into fresh (warmer) boots.  These new Trezeta winter boots are great, my feet are perfecty dry and still warm, but it is always nice to change into a clean pair of socks and boots.

Having finished a seven and a half mile climb over extremely icy paeks, I walked around to get in the car and went Arse over Tit on the Ice and dislocated my finger!  Luckily my fingers were still cold so I reset the joint, cursed myself for being such a clumsy ****, and got in the nice warm car and heded for a well overdue soak in the bath.

Back at the Boatyard, Kier has had a juggling mishap with a 9" angle grinder, cutting through his forearm.  Luckily (!) he has missed all the bones, tendons veins and arteries, but has completely severed ane of the muscles. Mercifully he won't be playing guitar again for a while.

Sunday I went down to the Malt and Hops, and it was an evening well spent, drinking Marshmallow Unicorn (ubtil it ran out) then Bank Top Dark Mild, all the while listening to, and watching the mad antics of Ash Mandrake, a great storyteller and musician.


Sunday, 5 February 2017

After the floods

 We had a day out in Hebden Bridge.  This was the first time I had been there for a beer since the floods last Christmas.

The town has made an amazing recovery, and the pubs, food and beer are all superb

A slight hiccup with the resolutions, there are 127 "Wainrights" in the lakes over 2000 ft.  If you count all mountains there are 155 of them!

This is what they look like

I have a bit of work to do!

On Sunday I went up to Longsledale to start, in lovely sunshine


As soon as I started to climb I was into the snow.  At this  I realised that I should have worn my winter boots.  I then discovered a leak in one of my boots, so I definitely should have worn my winter boots!

Once up to the top of Great Howe, I was hoping to head over to GReay Crag and Harrop Pike, but they had already descended into Snow and storms.
 I contented myself with building a snowman on Great Howe for the first outing of 2017, the weather was looking dubious and my foot was cold and wet. 

 Snowman Titanic Moment!

 Just off the south slope of Great Howe is a surveying tower.

 I don't know how they lifted
these huge blocks of stone up here.

Heading around the fell back towards Longsledale there is another tower.

When you sight through the slot in the tower, the next tower can be seen.  You can even see the slot in the next twoer lined up.  How did they do this without lasers?

Monday, 16 January 2017


I've finaly got round to buying myself a new camera, since my Canon film camera died a couple of years ago. So I can now take better photo's than just using my phone.  Kier rang,  "as the sun was shining shall we go for a cruise on Eendricht" ?


We went for a short while down towards Wigan, passing Ellerbeck

Once we got toWhite Bear, we turned around and headed back to Chorley.

New camera, lots of photo's!
After boxing day, the sun was shining, so I wandered around the boatyard taking pictures, getting used to the camera.
Then, New Years Eve, it was a great sunny morning, I set off up to the Old.  I got to the campsite and had the tent set up in daylight, but I thought, this is too early to go to the pub, so I wandered around the campsite for a bit taking more photos.

Pretty soon it was getting dark.  Now I could justify going to the pub!
A great night in the Old, but I was full of cold, so I left fairly early, about half one.  Time for the resolutions, I thought I would make quite a few, as I never seem to manage them then I thought the more I make, then I might be able to keep at least one of them!
  • Get rid of this cold!
  • Get my leg working again - it all seems fixed, I just need to get the strength back in it
  • Walk 500 miles.  I tried this 2 years ago up to the point where I fell off Tarn Crag!
  • Learn to ride a pushbike.
  • Cycle 500 km (bikes seem to work in km for some reason)  Some or all of this may be on a static bike, as I don't own, or know how to ride a pushbike.

and the big one

  • Climb all 127 mountains of the Lake District.  I am classifying a mountain as over 2000 feet.  I did this in the eighties and did all but Great Gable, but I thought I would just start again.

The following morning I had a breakfast, then had a wander down the valley until I felt it was OK to drive home.  The sun was shining, blue skies and little wind - perfect climbing weather, but I was stuffed with this cold, so the mountains would have to wait.


I took the footpath past Rosset, as there is a wonderful array of farming "bits" to photograph