Virtual Narrowboat NB Waterspaniel

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

View the on going 'tales' of the Water Spaniels at their new home, Roan Cottage.

Read about our continued adventures at

Happy blogging

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Hi well its been a long time since I posted on here. My dream of a narrowboat has long been put on hold, replaced by a grade 2 listed cottage in the north yorkshire moors. Have to say all the dogs love the cottage, but I do still (only on now and then) have a look through all the boat brokers saved as my favourites on the net!!! Never give up on your dreams.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Well another Birthday has come and gone, and well no Narrowboat, but still loads of wonderful gifts, after all I am getting to an age when I should be forgetting birthdays!! Maybe its just time to give up on a boat, dont think I will ever find the right one! px

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Just so you all know its my BIRTHDAY on Saturday, any narrowboat will be gracefully excepted. Oh and a note here, it should be a full size one, since I asked for one for Christmas and ended up with a model!

Seaham to Berlin

This whole narrowboat to Calais has given me idea's!!! Love France our freinds Paul and Sonia and Bump - I do hope when it arrive the baby will have a nice English name!!! live there, with Sonia's wonderful mum Patricia living in a riverside house, so me thinks this would make an idea mooring! Spaniels get your life jackets! We would never make it I would spend to much time watching the ferries and taking pics! Sharon your very welcome to crew for me if you wish!

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Narrowboat Phyllis May

Ramsgate to Calais.

Belhaven to Oriental. That 45-mile run down the ICW from the Pungo River doesn't usually invite comparisons to crossing the English Channel. Unless, like Terry and Monica Darlington you've made both passages on board a British canal boat usually found on the calm canals of Britain's Midlands and most definitely not built for the the open waters -- even on a calm day -- of either the English Channel or the Pamlico Sound. Which is why they approach both bodies of water with some trepidation. To understand how improbable their journeys have been, stand at one end of their boat, the Phyllis May, and look forward. It's long and skinny. 62 feet from end to end, one of which was jutting out far past the Darlington's slip at the Oriental Marina this week. Now take in the beam. Designed to fit the skinny locks of the British canal system, the Phyllis May is known as a narrowboat. And she is a narrow boat: 6-feet-10-inches at the widest. And because it was meant to ply the relatively easy waters of the canals, there's not much boat below the waterline. The Darlingtons arrived in Oriental Monday October 16, a tad weary from the 9 hour passage from Belhaven. Terry and Monica DarlingtonIt had been a "long hop", Terry Darlington says, something they were were not accustomed to. He says that in the past few weeks on the ICW they had done 3 "long hops"... and only six ever.Getting Here From ThereTerry and Monica live in Stone, Staffordshire in "the heart of the canal system" in England. They're retired -- Terry's 70 and Monica's 69 and they'd run an international marketing research firm, he says. They did not have much experience with boats. About five years ago they took off on their narrowboat -- with their equally narrow dog, a whippet named Jim -- and traveled the canals. Terry started writing about the trip in emails to friends. British TV became interested. The Darlington's decided to take the boat to France. That meant crossing the English Channel. "We weren't supposed to do it," Terry says. "Everyone said we'd die." Terry's understated delivery sometimes brings to mind Alfred Hitchcock. When asked what crossing the Channel was like, he offers up one word: "terrifying." Even though they'd waited for calm conditions and the Channel was "flat", he says, they still ran in to "a lot of heavy stuff" on the seven hour run to Calais. In France they made their way through the canal system there to Carcassone and wrote a book -- Narrow Dog To Carcassone about the adventures of the crew and dog on the 1600 mile trip on the narrow boat. It's been a best-seller in the UK, Terry says. The New Book It was while in France, Terry says that he got the idea of making a similar journey in the US. Terry says they'd "met some Yanks in France who said there was a water way down the side of the US."He says that he thought it was "worth a throw". And another book. This one is to be called, "Narrow Dog To Indian River" about their trip down the ICW from the Chesapeake to Florida. He estimates he's a third of the way through it. The lack of boating experience helps, Terry says, because as he puts it, "it'd be boring to read about someone who knew what they were doing."Crossing the Atlantic -- By FreighterTo state the obvious: Terry and Monica did not cross the Atlantic in the Phyllis May. The narrowboat was shipped from England to the Chesapeake this summer. And they Darlingtons are planning to motor down the ICW to Fort Myers in Florida before having her shipped back to the UK before next summer. Initially used to haul cargo -- often coal --- down the canals, the narrowboats in more recent times have been built for recreational use, as was the Phyllis May a few decades ago. Down below it's one long room. And cozy, with freestanding upholstered chairs in the salon near the wood burning stove, then a galley, followed by the head (with the brass "WC" on the door) and the bedroom. Terry says he does miss having books and the TV, but for a boat 6'10" wide, it has not felt tight. It feels, he says, like they have "more space than at home." That's because, Monica points out, "we've got lovely, big windows. We can look out either side, and see the countryside." On the canals back in the Midlands, that meant swans and other wildlife. "One of the nicest things, boating in England," she says, is that they are "in touch with nature. And the narrowboat feels like an extension of the countryside."The canals there also offered the opportunity to moor virtually anywhere along the banks. For free.Here in the States, the Darlingtons have not found the same mooring opportunities. They've stayed in marinas which charge alas, not by the square foot, but by the linear foot. Monica says that earlier in their trip they did consider tyingn up to a bank of the ICW. But when they went to the shore on a scouting mission, they were quickly introduced to one aspect of the countryside in the South. "We were," Monica says, "bitten up by chiggers." Stopping there, they decided, was 'not a particularly good idea."The boat itself may not be equipped to handle chiggers nor other flying insects. A look at the 'lovely, big windows' on the Phyllis May revealed that there were no screens. They did survive the heat of summer on the boat while in Virginia. So did Jim, the Narrow Dog. Terry says they chose him years ago for travels on the house boat because they figured that as a member of racing breed, he could cope with the occasional heat. Terry says they figured Jim would be "good at keeping cool." Terry takes Jim the "narrow dog" for a walkWhile the whippet is a fast dog, the Phyllis May's pace is not. Terry and Monica are taking their time -- 6 knots -- going down the ICW.And putting some time between those open water passages. A week after they arrived, the Phyllis May was still tied up in the slip at Oriental, attracting spectators.

Up the creek in a narrowboat

by Andrew Rosthorn _____________________________________ Published on Jun 01 2006

A CANAL boat has been hauled from the dreamy waterways and locks of the English countryside on a journey to the alligator-infested swamps of Florida.
Terry Darlington, a self-styled “extreme canal boater”, is set on navigating 1,000 miles of the US Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and the dangerous estuaries which punctuate it.
Darlington believes it will make him the first to cruise a classic British narrow boat through American waters.
So, in the firm belief that canal boating and alligators do mix, his vessel the Phyllis May will be loaded on to the 58,000-ton Atlantic Conveyor at Liverpool this weekend to piggy-back the first leg of the journey to Norfolk, Virginia.
The boat was delivered to the Royal Seaforth Container terminal in Bootle after being carried by trailer from Darlington’s home in Stone, Staffordshire.
The Atlantic Conveyor now faces a ­­­12-day voyage via Nova Scotia, New York and Baltimore, before rolling the Phyllis May out at Portsmouth, Virginia.
However, the craft’s ultimate destination is Indian River, near Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral – and she must make that trip under her own steam.
Darlington, 70, said: “What we want is a lunatic scheme, a mission from which few return – one that people are scornful about – something ‘outside the envelope’. We want some action. We are not too old for some action.”
He’s done it before. He and his 17-ton, 62ft, steel narrowboat have already crossed the English Channel – something the 6ft 10in wide, flat-bottomed vessel was never designed to do and a voyage which experts advised against. Once in France, he set off for the French Pyrenees.
Darlington recounted his adventures in his book, Narrow Dog to Carcassone, which is still in the best-seller lists.
But Darlington admitted his new venture will pose many more dangers than that comparatively short-hop: “One I’m concerned about is the Albemarle Sound,” he said.
On a recent trip to America, Darlington discussed its potential hazards with a local skipper known only as “Captain Rob”, who would surely have given Robert Shaw’s Quint a run for his money in the film Jaws. Darlington said: “He told me: ‘You hit Albemarle Sound in North Carolina as soon as you have crossed the Great Dismal Swamp. You have got to cross it to get into the Alligator River on the other side.
“It is very wide. You are out of sight of land and there is not much protection from the Atlantic.
“And even if you sink, or get ill and die – with you being so old, I mean – you will have been the first English narrowboat on the US waterways, and people will respect you when you are gone’.”
Darlington appears bullish despite this disturbing advice and, although Britannia may no longer rule the waves, he’s sure he can still teach the world a thing or two about extreme canal boating.
In fact Darlington, who will be sailing with his wife, Monica, hopes that on completion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, they can cross Lake Okeechobee, in the Florida’s swampland, and navigate to Fort Myers on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.
At journey’s end, Darlington will leave the Phyllis May at the remote Owl Creek Boatworks, near Alva, Florida.
From there, boat transport experts from Sealand Boat Deliveries, based in Bury, will be asked to road-haul her back to Portsmouth, Virginia, and ship her back to England by container ship.

What a project! Advertised on e-bay for £3800.00 According to the current owner it needs some welding, I asked how much and he said a new bottom! Well I would love to, but you looking and two people who took nearly a whole afternoon to put their garden gate up, well we did do it twice because we put it upside down to start with!

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Maritime & Coastguard Agency
Press Notice No: 013/07Thursday, January 11, 2007Posted 18:12 GMT


Humber Coastguard are currently co-ordinating assistance to the 2004 built, 4,516 ton general motor vessel `Vindo flagged to Antigua and Barbuda, which broke down earlier this afternoon in very poor weather, 9 miles from the Murdoch gas platform in the North Sea and is currently drifting in the rigs direction. The vessel is carrying 4,200 tons of fertiliser and has 9 crew on board. The vessel has lowered its anchor and the rate of drift has slowed to about 1 knot. No crew have been airlifted from the `Vindo.The stand by vessel `Putford Viking is keeping a close watch on the situation locally whilst the crew of the vessel attempt to fix their engineering problems. In consultation with the oil installation manager, 10 non essential personnel are currently being gathered together before being flown from the platform by use of a RAF rescue helicopter from Leconfield. They are being taken to a nearby rig (ENSCO 101) and out of any potential danger. The helicopter is now returning to the Murdoch platform for a further 10 personnel who will be airlifted to the ENSCO 70 platform, leaving 10 essential personnel on board the Murdoch rig.Humber Coastguard have also initiated a mayday signal locally to alert other vessels to the situation and who may be able to assist the `Vindo. Winds locally are passing 55 knots (storm force 10) which are making conditions very difficult. The Agencys counter pollution team has also been put on alert.
Posted By: Mark Clark
For further details contact:The Maritime & Coastguard Agency Press Office023 8032 9401

Well I am just sat at University trying to complete an assignement, where do I end up, back on the waterspaniel!!!! I must be due for a break now anyway! The only reason I came to Uni today was because there are far to many distractions at home, i.e I spend all day looking at Apolloduck or any other narrowboat web site I can! Well better get back to the delights of the Glasgow coma scale, I guess its the boring stuff that helps pay for the things like the Waterspaniel!

Friday, January 05, 2007

This is a wonderful boat for sale on Apolloduck, a little out of my price range unless I win the euromillions!

Built 2006 Cruiser Stern Liverpool Boats Shell. CE, BSS, and RCD. Fitted with Isuzu 35 Engine-Calorifier-Remote Control 2500 Victron Invertor/Charger-Gas Alde Boiler/C.heat. Solid Beech/Painted T & G throughout. Fitted with a Bow Thruster Tube - can be complete for additional charge if required.
Price: £59,950

Rear sideways entry into Main Bedroom accomodation - double bed with storage beneath. Wardrobes either side of bed with overhead storage, shelves and individual reading lights. Dressing table/TV cupboard. Radiator and shelf. TV and powerpoints. Access to both sides of the bed and wardrobes also gives 2 "passing points" for easy movement through the bedroom during the day (bed has extenders at foot which cross the bedroom walkway at night).Bathroom - has sliding door into corridor. Designed to be comfortable for one person not a "squeeze". Thetford cassette toilet with spare cassette. Full sized shower cubicle with bi-fold door. Thermostatic stainless steel shower mixer. Full sized vanity cupboard with inset ceramic bowl in solid beech top. Beech shelving, vanity mirrors/lighting. Radiator and shelf. Alde gas central heating boiler. Corridor - boxed radiator and access to kitchen.Crossover "galley" gives balance and attractive layout with again 2 "passing points" midway through the boat. 2 way intercom to aft deck.Eyelevel stainless steel Country Leisure Gas Oven and Grill. Ready access to side "duck" doors for ventilation. Stainless steel continues with the microwave, sink/drainer and Spinflo Gas Hob. Ikea cupboard units with drawers and corner carousel provide extensive storage. Solid Beech worktop and display shelves. Tiled and finished to an excellent standard.4/6 seat dinette complete with solid beech & stainless steel table converting easily to double bed for guests and providing storage beneath.Open lounge - display wallshelves with concealed 12 volt lighting. Boxed radiator. Corner storage cupboard with solid beech top for 20in LCD/DVD TV. Multi fuel cast iron stove with tiled surround. Steps to the bow and seating/viewing deck. Walls, ceiling and doors - Solid Beech Panelling with Painted Tongue and Groove throughout. Floors - Beech Aqualoc laminate suitable for Kitchens, Bathrooms and Heavy Domestic Use. Designed to a high standard and completed with TLC by the seller and his wife. Paint Completion, Signwriting and Bottom Blacking completed out of the water in mid October.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Just to remind you all why this blog is here! Its really because I keep boring people with boats and ships, so this is my own world where I can be as sad as I like. It also a place to list all the boats we have looked at so that when I say do you remember this boat? Chris doesn't just give me a blank look!

Oh I have chosen the kitchen for the Nb Waterspaniel!!! Something very simular to this, and with a belfast sink! Yes I know this is a widebeam but I can do it on narrowboat!

So this is the other contender for the Nb Waterspaniel although the cabin boys not so keen! Mudskipper is a 50ft cruiser stern narrowboat built by Hallmark in 1997. She is fitted with a Mitsubishi diesel engine. the open plan salon has a solid fuel stove and fitted corner unit. The split galley has a stainless steel sink with low level storage, full cooker and gas water heater. the bathroom has a hip bath with shower, chemical toilet and sink. At the rear is a permanent doubl eberth with storage underneath and full size wardrobe.
Equipment Description: Solid fuel stove. Full cooker. Gas water heater.


During our new year visit to Stoke we took a visit to the boat museum at Ellesmere Port, which is well worth a visit! They have a Designated Collection of National Importance which includes over 5,000 objects ranging from large boats to canal company buttons. They all help to tell the story of canals and the people who worked on them. If your paying a visit the all day breakfast is great value at £3.95!

Opening Hours are:- Winter Season November to March. Open every day from 11am to 4pm. Summer Season April to OctoberOpen every day from 10am to 5pm

Adult £7.10Child £5.25Concession (OAP, Student) £5.80Family ticket £20.65 (2 adults and 3 children)OAP Family Ticket £19.55 (2 OAP's and up to 3 children)Under 5's free if accompanied by a parent or guardian


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

News Flash! Could this be the Waterspaniel? Ok we know she doesn't look so good from the outside, but both the Cabin boy and I have fallen in love with this 45ft Cruiser stern narrow boat built by Robinsons of Dewsbury in 1995 for the present owner. On entering the boat from the stern is the master bedroom. The fixed double berth has storage both above and below. The shower room is to port and also has a wash basin and thetford casette toilet. The galley has a stainless steel sink and drainer, 4 burner hob, grill, oven and 12v fridge. The lounge area is split with a curtain and has an ‘L’ shaped dinette to the rear. A solid fuel stove is in the centre, port side. There are bench seats either side of the front doors, which can be used either with the desmo legged tables or converted to a double berth. The front deck has lockers either side, which can be used as seating.
Curently SM 8066 SHEEPY MAGNA she is Length: 45ft Beam: 6.10ft Berths: 6 Engine type: Single Inboard Diesel Engine make: BMC 1500Year Built: 1995. She will of course need a full external re-paint in Waterspaniel colours (Blue I think!) Interior needs a little work, mainly new curtains and flooring, everything is green!

Cabin Boy Chris


Captain Paul



Young Maryann Nelson is devastated at the loss of her beloved father. But worse is to come when her mother, Flo, sees an opportunity to better herself and her family in a marriage to the local undertaker, Norman Griffen. Though on the surface a caring family man, Norman is not at all what he seems, as Maryann and her sister Sal soon discover.Unable to turn to their unsympathetic mother for support, the girls are left alone with their harrowing secret. But for Sal it is too much to bear.......The chance of a new life opens up for Maryann when she befriends Joel Bartholomew. Aboard his narrowboat, the Esther Jane, she finds herself falling in love with life on the canal as she is swept away from Birmingham and all her worries.Until Joel's feelings for Maryann begin to change, awakening all the old nightmares that she had thought long buried, and in panic and confusion she takes flight.....The Narrowboat Girl is a testament to the overwhelming power of true love and its ability to overcome suffering.

Hi, welcome aboard, this is the virtual narrowboat Nb Waterspaniel. Its a log of our quest to find the real Nb Waterspaniel our Narrowboat dream. This blog was in another area and now has moved to its new home, and this is where it will stay and hopefully enable us to post information on the journeys of the Nb Waterspaniel and its passengers, Capt Paul, Cabin Boy Chris, Spaniel's Jessie, Josh and Poppy and the First Mate Tilley.