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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 the Norwegian Fjords, the Alaskan Coast, Russia, Egypt and Antarctica.
To help you find your way around this site as it continues to grow, as well as the comprehensive canal index (which I added last year) you will now see a new navigation bar at the top of this page as well as on our canals 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.
In 2012 our travels were slightly curtailed by, amongst other things, having to wait at home for Telford the dog to recover from a leg operation. Nevertheless after giving the boat a couple of 21st birthday parties we still managed a grand tour from Milton Keynes to Coventry, Stoke on Trent, Macclesfield, the Peak Forest, Llangollen, and Birmingham (including going to the BCN wedding of the year) before leaving the boat at Hillmorton for repainting. As usual I've written a report of the trip with plenty of pictures for you to look at - but I have to admit that it's not as adventurous as our 2011 trip which had taken us to Boston, the Manchester Ship Canal, Gloucester and the newly restored Droitwich canals.
We also went back to Russia for three weeks in 2011, taking a fantastic 3000-mile trip from St Petersburg to Astrakhan (on the Caspian Sea near Kazakhstan) and then to Rostov-on-Don via the Volga-Don Canal. We were able to make some intriguing comparisons with the Russia that we saw in 2007 and are determined to go back again in a few years time.
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 improved way of displaying them, which I introduced last year, seems to have been successful so it will remain as a permanent feature of every page. Don't forget also that the top and bottom of every page includes a link to a slideshow of that page's pictures on my Flickr site. All the pictures are compressed to save file space but they are also available at higher resolution; 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, September 2012
Milton Keynes, where even concrete cows do their Shopping
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
VODKA AND CAVIAR
The latest travel report from Russia with Love. In 2007 we spent 2 weeks cruising from Moscow to St Petersburg. There are pages of pictures and descriptions of the two cities and the cruise between them. I'm sure you'll enjoy these.
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.