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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Fuel Costs 2016

Last year our total fuel costs were £721-92
2015 £824094 and 2014 £1146-66.

This year we had the following;
2 x 13.5 kg gas bottles total £54-40
We bought no coal and
Electricity costs for winter mooring to Christmas and those not included in stops at marinas

Obviously the main fuel costs are diesel and this year we used 738.19 ltrs. The Hurricane heating system ran for only 44 hours and at 0.84 lt/hr it would have used 38.28 ltrs. Therefore that is just 699.9 ltrs used by the engine. Engine hours were 517.6 so that is an average of 1.35 litres per hour which I think is pretty good myself. (2014 it was 1.38 and 2015 1.58 ltr/hour. The least we paid was 54/litre and the most 79/litre.

As can be seen our fuel costs were reduced. This is partly due to the lower number of hours run, 517.6 this year, 560.5 and 1062.6 hours, 2015 and 2014 respectively. The price increased some what from 2015 but still not as high as 2014. I think the costs were lower also as we started cruising a little later in April and finished a month earlier this year so we used less coal and gas too, and the Hurricane was only needed for half the time of last year. We did use a little coal but we had some left from last year and we also salvaged some from my mother's house after she passed away. (I still have a bag of it).

After leaving the River Avon and Tewkesbury we headed north on the River Severn. Not far below Upton upon Severn we saw all the working boats (other than trip boats etc) on the Severn in one place. One was just arriving from a few miles down river with a load of sand and another just let go to go for another, along with the other two standing by.

We stopped for the night at Upton pontoon and had a great walk about, along with a pint or two. Next day was another lovely one and as soon as the trip boat 'Conway Castle' had cleared the bridge and passed our moorings we set off up river. We met her again on her south bound trip at  Cliffey Wood near Rhydd. It is funny how small it looks in the photo, where as on the river it seems to take up much more of the river!

We had been warned by a Gloucester bound boat that there was a broken down narrow boat looking for a tow on the moorings just by the Worcester southern by-pass road bridge. We soon had them hipped up alongside and set off through Diglis River Lock and here we were on the pontoon outside Diglis Basin Lock. We decided to take them up into the basin and spend the night here too. It was good to help out, and we still swap texts etc to see  how they are doing.

Next day we penned out on to the river again and headed to the Droitwich Barge Canal. Once there we were behind a hire boat. The two girls aboard were very wary of the wide locks and of us offering help it has to be said. We soon persuaded them to let us join them and we were going quite quickly up the locks then. The barge canal is a wide canal, and I think they reeds have been cut back from our last visit, but I wouldn't like to have two wide beams meet anywhere on the cut to be honest. The reeds are for nature conservation I understand.

We had a quiz night out with our lock buddies and then we were off once again. Here is where the new cut from the town of Droitwich that has been using the Body Brook rejoins the canal. We then had to duck under the motorway through a culvert that doesn't give much headroom and would have to be careful with when high water levels.

We had a nice day for our trip up the 35 Tardebigge locks on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal

. It didn't start out too well as at the first lock the engine stopped as we had found another log that had got stuck on a propeller blade and jammed under the hull. I soon had it clear though and we set off up hill. We didn't meet too many boats, but would say half the locks were with us. We stopped before the top lock and saved that one for the next day. Here we are seven or eight locks from our berth, passing Tardebigge Reservoir.

We were soon passed Tardebigge Tunnel and still with the sun shining. It didn't take us long to get past Alvechurch and to the Waste Hill Tunnel which was opened in 1796 and is the 6th longest canal tunnel in use today at 2493 metres. I can't remember if that is the light at the end of the tunnel or a boat coming the other way. As it is two way working it didn't hold us up, which ever it was.

We stopped before King's Norton Junction before heading once more down the Stratford on Avon Canal. I like thattoll board gives the mileage to working wharves, rather than just places. This adds more understanding to the use of the canals in the 'old' days. The tariff also reveals the type of cargoes that were carried.

We arrived at Kingswood Junction once again and this time took the canal to the left under the black and white foot bridge and up on to the Grand Union. The weather had turned somewhat and in fact the next day we had a day off as it was wet and drizzly and cold. That was the end of May and we were almost back were we started at the start of the month.

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