ALLAN AND DEBBIE'S HOME PAGE 

The Travels of the Jones Family, and Narrow Boat "Keeping Up"


 

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March 2016

You have found Allan & Debbie's Home Page. Here you can read all about us and our exploits on the canals as well as our journeys further afield to such places as Iceland, the Norwegian Fjords, Sweden's Gota Canal, the American Northeast, the Alaskan Coast, RussiaEgypt and Antarctica.

To help you find your way around this site as it continues to grow, as well as the comprehensive index you will now see a navigation bar at the top of this page as well as on our home page. You can click directly on to any of the 6 headings as well as on any of the sub-menus that drop down automatically from them. This navigation bar should help you to find any one of our journeys, as well as taking you directly to many of the more spectacular places that we have visited.

If you travel by canal and like watching TV, you may need help finding the Sky satellite. I have devised the Satellite Sundial which you may find useful.

We had planned to travel many miles of the canals in 2015 to give our new engine, Bertie, a real test. In the event our travels got off to a slow start as we had severe problems with our fuel system, as well as our electrics, and were then hit by another boat which caused so much damage to our offside bow that it had to be cut out and re-modelled. Eventually we were able to make better progress in the latter half of the summer and covered nearly 1800 miles; finally you can see the report of this epic trip..

Sadly, after the death of our labrador Molly in 2014, our much-loved bouncy little dog Telford also died in 2015. He had enjoyed a year with the status of "Top Dog" but he never recovered from the shock of the boat collision in May and died after a series of strokes. It seemed really strange to spend the summer boating without a dog but we now have a new dog in the family, a handsome black labrador whom we've named Jessop, and we're looking forward to taking him with us on our 2016 travels.

Our big 2014 trip took us to the American Northeast, to see the amazing autumn colours on the inland journey from New York to Quebec and Montreal via the Hudson River, Erie Canal and St Lawrence Seaway; I think this will have to be our last big trip for a year or two, as repairs to our boat have been rather expensive recently, but at the start of 2015 we did manage to take a short break in Iceland for Debbie's birthday

Previous canal trips include Pennine crossings on both the Rochdale and Huddersfield Narrow canals, visits to Boston including the Witham Navigable Drains and Chesterfield Canal, passage through Froghall Tunnel on the Leek & Caldon canals, a ride on the Anderton Lift, and a rough-weather trip from Sharpness to Bristol, so there are a host of new canal pictures for you to look at - as well as some old ones I have added with reminiscences from the 1940s, 1960s, and 1970s. These include the sights and sounds of the working boats at the 2001 festival in Milton Keynes.

All the pages are packed with pictures; I hope you enjoy them. The pictures are shown as thumbnails to help the pages load quickly, but clicking on any picture will bring up a larger version. Don't forget that the top and bottom of every page also includes a link to a slideshow of that page's pictures on my Flickr site (although the slideshow may not work if you are using a tablet). The photos are all available at higher resolution so e-mail me if you'd like any of them sent to you or if you'd just like to get in touch.

 

Allan and Debbie

 

cows

Milton Keynes, where even concrete cows do their Shopping

 

STILL WATERS

The canal pages have now got the pictures from our recent canal trips, as well as our earlier trips including the Bristol Channel, the Fens, the Great Ouse, the Thames and the Trent. Recently added are the stories of our two boats: "Thistle" the boat that survived two sinkings as well as being cut in half, and "Keeping Up" that we commissioned to replace her. You can also see and hear the working boats at the 2001 National Waterways Festival. There will be more trip reports and pictures added later, and hopefully I'll be able to scan in some old photos from our earlier trips - a task which I've just started with a few pictures and reminiscences of the River Shannon and the Norfolk Broads in the 1960s and 1970s, the canals in the 1970's, and our trips on Thistle from 1987-1991.

 

FIRE AND ICE

For Debbie's birthday in 2015 we took a short break to Iceland, with plans to see the Northern Lights (we didn't, although the camera did) to go whale watching (we didn't see any) and swim in the Blue Lagoon while it was snowing (we did, but it didn't snow). But it was a fantastic trip anyway!

 

AUTUMN COLOURS OF THE AMERICAN NORTHEAST

We flew to New York to see the amazing autumn colours of the American Northeast, travelling inland on a small ship to Quebec and Montreal via the Hudson River, Erie Canal and St Lawrence Seaway.

 

TELFORD'S SWEDISH CONNECTION

In 1832, Thomas Telford built a canal across the south of Sweden from Stockholm to Gothenburg. In 2013 we travelled in his footsteps on one of the canal's vintage passenger boats, and with my new camera at  the ready I was able to record much of this canal's unique atmosphere.

 

VODKA AND CAVIAR

Two travel reports from Russia with Love. In 2007 we spent 2 weeks cruising from Moscow to St Petersburg, and in 2011 we returned to take the longer voyage from St Petersburg to Astrakhan and Rostov-on-Don. There are pages of pictures and descriptions of the major towns and cities, and of the cruises between including the Volga-Don canal. I'm sure you'll enjoy them.

 

PYRAMIDS AND SAND

Another of our travel reports, our pictures from Egypt. In 2004 we spent 2 weeks in Cairo, on Lake Nasser, and on the Nile and I have selected the best from all the pictures I took there.

 

NOW WITH ADDED PENGUINS

Next there are our pictures from the Antarctic and the Chilean Fjords. We went there in 2003 for a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the last unspoiled place on the Planet. I've just finished uploading our logbook and I've selected the best examples of the 1000 pictures I took there. If you really like looking at penguins let me know and I'll email you hundreds more pictures!

 

RAIN AND ICE

The second fjord trip, in 2001, was to Alaska on board the last remaining great American Steamship SS "Universe Explorer"

 

SUN AND ICE

The first of our BIG holidays, in 1999, was our Norwegian cruise to the land of the Midnight Sun.

 

 

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All pictures on this site are Allan Jones unless otherwise stated

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