Hello and welcome! Thank you for visiting and therefore supporting our blog!
Please have a look at our website
Facebook page ~ Chamberlain Carrying Co
You can also view examples of my hand painted canal art (Roses and Castles) on my Facebook page Canal Art by Ruth.
If you would like to contact us, please use the icons below each post or you can email us using chamberlaincarrying at and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as we are moored and have a signal on our dongle! Mobile: 07754 003834
We hope you enjoy reading about our lifestyle and thank you again Ruth and Richard

Bits and bobs

By the end of July we were getting ready for a big trip, Martin was back from Uni and Ryan reluctantly made some room for him.

Simon in his boat Engineer next to us let him have a go and then joined him for a voyage to the lock and back. Bless they had a great time!

Ryan had his 17th birthday and the whole family went to Big Wok, Lincoln for a meal. The fringe gets longer but he maintains it is all to the greater good, but at some stage it will need the shears!

My Mum.

Richard doing dracula, and Martin.

Ryan was presented with a cake and sung to. Extremely against all his cred but I think he loved the attention really!

Back at the boat, we got everything stowed away for the trip.
Richard likes to take unposed photos, not always very flattering!

We had bought an Invertor/Charger for the boat and sold the old one on EBay. Ryan messing about with the tape whilst parcelling it up. We had peace for a while......

Blacking and a short Chesterfield Canal trip

Just to update any followers, the gentleman in the last posting is now fine.
Recently we made the trip to West Stockwith near Gainsborough to get our boat painted below the waterline and blank out the name panel. This involved going along the tidal Trent when the tide is right and safely entering the lock at West Stockwith. Sounds easy, but when you are doing it with a 1946 Lister (2 cylinder), it is more of a challenge. We have the torque but not the speed! Blimey I sound like my husband!
We had moored overnight at Saxilby, in order to catch the train into Lincoln the next day. This turned out to be a marathon walk with our trolley to collect the paint for the boat from Witham Oil and Paint, but we were ready.
We returned to the lock at Torksey to leave the next day at the turn of the tide. Another boater with a modern engine, waited for us to get a way along the river before he set off in order to meet at Stockwith together. How optimistic this was, because the tide had not quite turned for another 20 minutes, he overtook us about a mile from Torksey like we were standing still! Then
gradually the water changed direction and we were flying.
This is a picture of Torksey Castle, apparently abandoned since the 16th century.
In order to enter the mouth of the lock, we had to go past and turn, allowing the current to push us round and then give it everything to get in the lock in one piece, against the flow. Richard was really worried and made several trips to the loo (sometimes the river got it!) but it all went fine as Sue the lockkeeper waited on the wall entrance to guide us in. She signalled to Richard when to turn and then we hit the wall! It was only a glancing blow so no-one got hurt and there was the boat which had passed us earlier, in the lock with his eyes shut! This was a guy called Cliff and we would meet later that day.
We were a little early for our 'dragging out', but all to the good as we would have time to explore the very rural and beautiful Chesterfield Canal. This is a view from where we moored with Richard fishing out of the cratch. We stayed here the night and I think only one person walked passed us with a dog and no boats at all in the entire evening and night that we were there! Very quiet, made us wonder if we had missed something....
We couldn't believe how weedy it was and seemed to spend more time down the weedhatch where access to the propellor is, unravelling the blanket weed. Agonisingly slow progress further on the next day, but we managed to reach and pass through Drakeholes Tunnel in order to use the winding hole for the return journey. The total distance achieved to the tunnel was about 6km, leaving us frustrated that we could not get much further and also that we needed a good clear day to get back to Stockwith. The tunnel was only about 154yards long but it would still have been a squeeze if we had met someone coming the other way! Following us through the last couple of locks was our friend Cliff from earlier on the river in his boat Axe. (I asked if I could talk about our meeting on my blog, just in case anyone wondered) He was on his own, just killing time exploring like us before he met his girlfriend later that week.
We turned the boat and moored in line, his is the boat behind our's on the picture. Cliff went out with us for a meal that evening (The White Swan pictured)and told us the story of his partner's accident and the reason she wasn't that enamored about living on the boat with him. When she had been opening the bottom sluice paddles on a lock last year, she fell outside the lock into the water and went feet first into the sluice drain which took her through the pipes and into the lock all underwater! How terrifying to have to hold your breath unexpectedly and not knowing if you would pass through the opening under the lock! She broke her ankle and leg bone (I think he said) and emerged at the front of the boat in the lock hoping that Cliff could hear her call.
Cliff swore he heard her call before she actually did like he had a sixth sense something was wrong. (He had been sucking water out of his back hatch with a hoover and had no idea she had fallen in.)
I can tell you both of us behaved with much more caution on the way back through the locks!
Drakeholes tunnel pictured left.

Richard took this arty photo from
the pub (right).
The following morning we headed back and actually found it a lot easier. The weed seemed to be facing the other direction and we passed over with only a couple of weed hatch visits.
The canal; the little bit that we saw, was truly lovely and unspoit and really just needed using to chop up the weed and allow boats to pass each other.

Apparently, the weed cutter machine had been mended,but it hadn't got as far down the canal to help us out!
Scooby stands with his tiny feet on the edge of the roof when he sees a fish or other creature. Frightens me to death, he has no fear, we must get him a life jacket!
Back at the Marina, we prepared to be hauled out the following morning.
Slightly concerned that the trailer was around 40 feet long and our boat is 61!! I have never been so worried in all my life watching our house being pulled out of the water and pivoting on the trailer like a see saw! We promptly filled up the water tank at the front of the boat to give us more ballast but I insisted they put a ratchet strap around the front locker to old the boat on the trailer as well! It took several attempts and eventually 2 tractors pulled the boat clear of the water teetering dangerously off the back.
Luckily we only had to be moved about 50 metres away. The chap in charge agreed it was a 'bit of an overhang' and piled pallets under the end of the boat to reassure us.
All the time the weather looked dodgy so we were keen to get on with the painting.
As part of the haul out fee, it is usual to have the boat jet washed to get the green algae from the steel. As soon as this was dry, the bitumen came out and within 2 hours we had the first coating on!
We spent the next 4 days repainting the ends of the boat, the underside and the gunnels up to the green sides, (a job for a later date!)
There was a lot of dust around when we first went over to the boat after it was taken out and I think some got into my eye. Richard took this picture of me with a real shiner! Thanks for thinking it was entertaining watching it get more swollen by the minute..
I washed it out and took antihistamines taking until the next day to fully go down, god was it sore!
Back inside the boat, the terror continued when we wanted to go to the end of the boat - it dangled precariously over the trailer, so visiting the bathroom was desperation only and definately no showers ( we used the Marina shower block) because that was the ballast weight! If we needed to get into the engine room, wow that really was a balancing act (Richard in the saloon at the front and me shifting towards the end of the boat like something out of the Italian job, except it wasn't gold in there just an extension lead or something!)
We wore paper overalls to paint but they were hot and tore when I went up and down the ladder to the boat! The bitumen and the colours got all over especially in the wind. We were quite pleased with the end results but couldn't wait to get back on the level in the water again. Rain poured into the front of the boat under the cratch as the boat was tipped slightly downhill, so we had to catch it in buckets or bale out the lockers!

As we overlooked the Trent, these huge gravel barges would go by a few times a day. I think the largest carries 600tonnes! They are an awesome sight and go fast with the tide, you do not want to be in a slow narrowboat in it's way!

Scooby sat next to this stone lion like he had no fear.

Ready to go back in, Richard walked alongside the boat (weighed down with 2 huge drums of water and the rear fuel tank relieved of 140litres of diesel to ease the seesawing), after I and the locky had told him it was too dodgy to add the weight! I don't think he took it personally!
Textbook relaunch after I had hidden over the other side of the marina in case it all went wrong, I couldn't bare it!
We returned the fuel and arranged to go back onto the river when the tide had turned at 12.30pm that day.
All lovely and black for a while, until we meet another lock entrance...

Fred in his boat Ingersley. A great bloke doing what everyone should do when ill health takes it's toll. He apparently only had 30% of his lungs working but coped admirably with his boat and loved the fact that his could go faster than us on the river! We had an interesting couple of days talking with Fred, returning to stay the night at Torksey to wait for the tide again. We went to the pub with him and I suggested that he write a book -he said there were more exciting people and stories out there than his. He told us that when his health deteriorates to the point of him having had enough, his wish was to sail across to New York, how fantastic a send off; tragic but as he kept saying a captain should to go down with his ship! Good luck to him and we are keeping in touch to see where he is. The latest is a voyage around the coast of Norfolk to Great Yarmouth, absolutely crazy!
We returned to the marina later the next day.