At 58 feet length, TQ (as we call her) is a steel hull narrow boat built by Colecraft and fitted out by Elton Moss Boatbuilders. Currently based at Aqueduct Marina in Cheshire we're able to cruise some of the most popular waterways in Britain. The Shropshire Union, The Trent and Mersey, The Llangollen Canal, The Four Counties Ring and Cheshire Ring and more.

Our friendly Syndicate decided to go down the Self Management route on 1st March 2012 and so far it has been very successful. Please visit the other pages in this blog to see the new Web Site and if shares are available for sale. (There'll not be many).

I am having to place a watermark on the blog content as someone on Facebook is stealing photos and claiming them as their own. I wouldn't mind if they asked first and attributed it to my blog. If it continues I will name and shame them. I hope it doesn't spoil your enjoyment.

All content is Copyright N. B. Tranquility © 2008 - 2019

Follow TQ by Email. Simply write your email address in the window below and click the submit button

Sunday, 30 December 2012

The end...

But there'll be a sequel, we're back on TQ again for Christmas next year. In fact we're on again in January and September as well. In the mean time I had to get her over to the quay side for fuel and pump-out. The wind was quite strong from the South-West which meant I had to face the wind whilst reversing back, and to gain some shelter, I had to move over to be close to the hire fleet moored nearby. I took quite a while to get back the fifty meters or so because I couldn't afford to get out of shape with the wind direction. When we got there, there was no one available to service TQ and we had to wait half an hour for a staff member to turn up. Anyhow, once dieseled and pumped, we took TQ back to the pontoon which was easy considering the wind and managed to turn her around to face North-East ready for the next owner.

...And I didn't find the cooley hat.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Windy or what?

What a night, so windy it took the cooley hat off our chimney at 02:30hrs. and crashed it on the roof with a clatter and a splosh as it entered the water. That's another job I need to do; fish it out of the water using my Sea Searcher magnet. The wind blows moderately strong for most of the time then very suddenly gusts to twice the speed, side swiping and rocking TQ on the mooring. The forecast is much the same for tomorrow and at some point I have to get TQ over to the quay side to fill the fuel tank and get pumped out. Not looking forward to that!

We're preparing to disembark today and we might even go home later if all goes well.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Back to base, and was it ever windy.

Now all you boaters out there know how the wind is our enemy with rain a close second, but when you get wind and rain together...

I have to admit it was a late start and the best of the weather was earlier in the day. Again, as usual, not long after we slipped our moorings it started raining. So, non stop from just outside Braunston to Wigrams Turn Marina, and the wind was so strong it was whipping the water up into white horses in some places. I was dreading what I was going to find at Wigrams knowing how exposed the site is, but my fears were allayed when the wind direction actually made it easy to get moored on the pontoon, and parking me barge was a doddle.

Turkey for tea again - it's a good job I like turkey.

Tomorrow we unload and prepare TQ for the next owner. I have to wash the outside as an albatross has splat all down the front and starboard side. Two weeks, all bar three days has passed with jet propelled skates on and it's back to work on Monday, and Tuesday, and Wednesday etc., We've had a great Christmas on TQ, and we look forward to the next time - might be next month. TQ goes in for two weeks maintenance soon and I have a week immediately after to check her out to see what's been done. I hope we're not iced in.

Sorry there's not been many photos, the weather conditions haven't come anywhere near good enough, in fact it's been decidedly rough for most of the time.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Longest days' cruise

We checked the weather forecast this morning and it said rain at first, some sun later. Well it was raining first thing and as the morning wore on it stopped and the sun even shone. Great, lets get going. The plan was to get to Clifton Cruisers, wind, and come back all in the day. As soon as we slipped our mooring it started to rain again and it rained for some considerable time. The idea of todays journey was to test out my modification to one of our windlasses, so we needed some locks to try it out on, but not too many and this trip fitted the bill as it was a "there and back in a day" trip. The lock windlass was designed to combine a long handle for more leverage on heavy paddlegear and a short handle for more speed on lighter work or were room is restricted by a balance beam for example. Of course there is a down side to this but it's only minor and it's that it  is now slightly heavier to carry. Hey ho!

It looks a bit odd with a bit on the side, but it works.
Brilliant - pleased with that.

Having tested it out on all six locks (they're duplex) at Hillmorton, the windlass was declared a success and we wended our way back to last nights mooring with best haste, arriving just before dark.

While cruising back, Lin was cooking tea and I can't tell you how welcome it is to come in after a hard days cruising to a warm cabin and the smell of turkey and veg warming on the hob and it tasted even more delicious than it did on Christmas Day.

Back to Wigrams tomorrow.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Napton Braunston, Braunston Napton - Just like that.

We've been two-ing and fro-ing between Napton Junction and Braunston. Today, we were facing the wrong way after coming out of Braunston on Christmas Eve, so we cruised to Bridge 107 where we winded and headed back to Braunston. It's not an official winding hole at Br.107, but the canal is easily wide enough to turn TQ around. Once in Braunston we watered up and dumped the rubbish in the appropriate place, then it started to rain, so we pushed on to Br.87 and moored up along side some pilings. It's quiet here and there's excellent TV and 3G reception.

Lin's been trying out her new camera I bought her for Christmas and it's so complex she hasn't taken a decent photo with it yet. Here's a typical result:-

Unloved and unlicensed

Not Bad, though a better subject would be preferred.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

It Happened Today.

For a long time now, TQ has been playing up. Every now and then the engine won't start, and today it did it first thing this morning. I turned the key to start the engine and all the lights came on but there was no noise apart from a beep. I tried again and again, and eventually it fired up. RCR arrived at 11:30 this morning to carry out our service and electrical safety check, and yes, it did it again. The engineer narrowed it down to either some corrosion on a spade fuse or corrosion on a crimped terminal on the solenoid. He cleaned both and it worked, the engine now starts lively. The other thing about the RCR visit was that he was unable to carry out the service because he didn't have enough oil with him to do the job and I didn't have enough on board TQ to make up the shortfall. He drove to Calcutt but they were closed for Christmas and he tried three garages but they all stock synthetic, something we must never use, so the whole service had to be cancelled and I've re booked it for next month. Oh well, 'it happens.
Tonight we're out in the sticks somewhere between Napton Junction and Braunston, hopefully for a quiet night, so here is the ubiquitous photo.

TQ moored with spring line.

I forgot to mention, and this photo reminded me, I fitted the final two brass protector plates under the rear door hooks today.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

All Three Emergency Services...

...Were called to the scene in Braunston this morning. We were walking up the hill to the village when there was a loud bang followed by another and another. We looked back to the main road just in time to see a lorry come to a grinding halt in front of the industrial estate building after taking out a lamp post, a telegraph pole and three brick walls. We rushed down to see if there was anything we could do but the emergency services had already been called. The driver was very poorly, and I heard from an eye witness that he was slumped over the wheel some fifty metres back up the road. Lin ran to our boat to get a blanket for the driver and it was clear that he was in some pain and not as a result of the accident. A single policeman was first on the scene and then it seemed like it was ages before a paramedic arrived. It was clear to them both they needed back-up for this one and it wasn't long before another police car arrived then a fire engine, an ambulance, another fire engine and another police car.

Approaching the scene, the blue pole is a camera

The third brick wall is under the cab. The sump was ripped off and the oil
dumped on the doorstep of the building. That white upright to the right of
the front bumper is the top of the street lamp dragged down from the
main road.

Looking back to the main road from the rear of the truck. Two brick walls
knocked for six

Just managed to stop short of the building.
It's a stay hospital for the driver, but he's going to be OK.
No other vehicle was involved and no-one else injured - lucky.

Changing the subject, TQ is back in the marina tonight and a man from RCR is (hopefully) going to service our engine and carry out an electrical safety check. Results tomorrow.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Braunston - and the World hasn't ended.

Phew! we're all still here, but if the World did end I can't think of a better way to go than chugging up the cut to Braunston on a day like today. Light winds and a little sunshine made the journey a real pleasure, but tomorrow is going to be back to normal, heavy rain and high winds and we have to make our way back to Wigrams. Braunston is surprisingly empty, so getting a mooring spot was no problem. We winded in the marina entrance and a fisherman commented on how well I turned TQ. It's not often you get that sort of comment from a fisherman. Our choice of mooring is alongside The Boathouse and we popped in for a pint after a little shopping in the village, and this evening we went back for a meal. We had salmon from the specials board and it was very good, though could have done with being a bit hotter.

Back on TQ now and watching Text Santa (yawn) but HIGNFY is on at 9.

I've heard they're going to equalise insurance for men and women as a result of new equality legislation from Europe. It's about time they made insurance for male drivers cheaper!!! Oh! Have I got it wrong?

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Rain wind, wind rain - just like that.

It's one of those days today, too wet and windy to move anywhere, but we're nice and warm and dry in TQ. The rain hammered down for most of the night and is continuing horizontally throughout the rest of the day.
The view from our window today
Never mind, tomorrow will be bright and sunny - tomorrow never comes.


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Braunston? No way, not today.

It was a lovely day yesterday and today, in complete contrast, is really bad. Our Tesco order arrived shortly before 11 O'clock, so by the time we'd hauled it all over to TQ and packed most of it away it was fast approaching lunch time. But before all the shopping was put away, I got to grips with the water pump under the galley sink. This was a lot easier than I thought; switch off the 12volt supply, close the main isolating valve to the pump, disconnect the 12volt and water connections to the pump and remove it. Re connect with new pump, turn on main isolating water valve and switch on the 12volt supply. Hey! Presto - it works and it's a lot quieter than the old one. On examination of the old pump, evidence shows the filter is doing its job, there was a fair bit of crud in there, together with a live spider, would you believe.

The horizontal rain didn't start until lunchtime, so we're not going anywhere today. Braunston tomorrow maybe.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

At last, we have arrived.

This morning we packed the Polo with all our worldly goods and trundled up the M5 to Gloucester and then followed the Sat Naff to Wigrams Marina. Poor old Polo suffered a bit on some of the hills, with pedal to the metal all the traffic queuing behind overtook us. There were a lot more lorries on the road today, but of course it’s a Tuesday, and we usually travel on a Sunday.

We acquired a Magic Circle TV aerial to try out on recommendation from a fellow syndicate member and first impressions are very good. It’s outside on the roof , but it’s not weather proof so I can’t use it out doors in the rain. I tried it at home knowing we can’t get terrestrial TV, and we just managed to get a signal in our bedroom so I thought I’d connect it into the main TV aerial circuit in the attic - nothing, not a glimmer. I think if you can’t receive a signal with this, there’s no signal to be received.

Our Christmas Tree and (despite what you see) an excellent TV picture

TQ has had a little work done this week, a new mains power inlet has been installed, so now we can charge the batteries again without running the engine, and light up the Christmas tree. I changed the glass and seal in the Bubble stove this afternoon, and tomorrow I'll change the water pump.

We’re stopping in the marina tonight, and weather permitting, cruise to Braunston tomorrow.

Monday, 17 December 2012

"Smile", he said, "Things could be worse". So I smiled, and sure enough things got worse.

Well, that's it, the garage people tell me the parts won't arrive until at least Thursday, so it'll be at least Friday before we can get get away. That's nearly a week out of our holiday, but not only that, it means parts are becoming scarce for my ageing Vauxhall Omega. That worries me because the car is is in excellent condition for its age, and I don't want to change it. I've owned it for nearly thirteen years and there isn't much on the market to equal it or even come near. But if spare parts are going to be hard to come by then I might have to bite the bullet.
So, plan B, (to be made up as we go along), we'll take the Polo instead. Tomorrow, we'll pack it to the gills and forfeit a load of other less essential equipment and stores. Food won't be a problem as Mr. Tesco is going to deliver to the marina, so that'll relieve a whole load of space for the essential essentials. We don't plan to go too far with TQ so the marina should be within a day or twos cruise if needs must. We have an appointment with RCR for a service and electrical safety check (sounds a bit like what I've just had done to my car) on the 23rd, so we'll be back in the marina for that. I hope it's not going to cost mega-bucks like my car has.

Not much hope

I hadn't heard from the garage by 14:15hrs so I rang them. I don't hold out much hope of the job being finished today. Not all the required parts have been delivered yet, so by my reckoning it won't be ready until lunchtime tomorrow.

Waiting for the phone to ring.

This is really frustrating, we should be waking up to a bright sunny marina view but we're stuck at home. Not that there's anything wrong with being home, but hopefully our car will be ready by lunch time and then we can pack and be on our way soon after. Lin will take Lucy to the zoo this morning where she'll enjoy (endure) Christmas in the salubrious surroundings of her heated isolation pen with outstanding views of the garden and regular visits from the residential ducks. She knows something's up as she's just hidden herself away behind some boxes in the lounge.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Look what Lin made...

...I downloaded and printed this from Herbie's Blog and Lin cut it out, embellished, laminated and assembled it - Brilliant!

S Oxford Canalometer.
Thanks to Neil Corbett.

Saturday, 15 December 2012


Way back in August we were going to drag the caravan down to Cornwall for a week-end break. As I was placing the gas bottles in the caravan the car alarm sounded - quietly. I thought it was so far in the distance, I didn't take any notice. Then it stopped; and started again. I looked around to see the car with smoke emitting from under the bonnet. I ran to the tailgate to get the fire extinguisher out, but the car was locked, so I ran indoors to get the key, got the fire extinguisher and I opened the drivers door to gain access to the bonnet release. Got it open just a little bit, enough to locate the fire and let rip with the extinguisher. What a mess, powder everywhere. Turns out the ni-cd battery pack on the supplementary alarm had shorted out and caught fire. I just managed to catch it in time before any real damage was done. It could have been a lot worse, the car could have been in the garage overnight parked next to our Polo. The caravan is parked right next to the garage, and then there's my workshop! Doesn't bear thinking about. Needless to say, we didn't go that weekend.

Integral alarm and battery pack. Burnt to a crisp!

And now it's happened again - well almost. This time the car was booked in for a Winter Safety Check two weeks ago, but we couldn't get the car there because of the floods, so it was re booked for Friday. Now I knew it was going to cost me because the last MoT test commented that the brake discs were pitted. So, new discs and pads all round, PLUS a change of cam belt and idler pulleys, apparently there's a nasty knock, and a vacuum hose has split; advised not to drive it. I'm worried what they're going to find next. Any way, I can't have the car back until Monday, so we've lost a couple of days aboard TQ. Oh well, 'it happens.