Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Still Chugging!

Awoke early this morning to get ready for an 0830 start. When I looked out of the window I couldn’t see the other bank of the Trent. The cold morning air and the warm of the Trent combined to make a thick mist that covered all.

Ten minutes before time the light went from red to green and I cast off. Another boat came down from Newark and so I shared the lock with the Pride of Holderness. Even with two boats in the lock we were not taking up a lot of room.

The lock gates open and out in to the tidal Trent. This morning it seems that an awful lot of people had dumped shampoo into the drain.

For the next thirty minutes I was travelling through soap suds.

The Pride soon disappeared as they travelled at higher speed than I was comfortable with. I think they must be on their way to Keadby.

The river level is very low seeing as it was a high tide. On several occasions as I rounded a bend in the middle of the waterway I could see the bottom and took evasive action to take me off into deeper water.

Three hours later with the engine still behaving impeccably while running and sounding just fine I reached the entrance to Torksey. Its left to Keadby and right to Torksey. This time it is right turn for me.

The tide being at its lowest it was not possible to get into the lock. By 1300 there were another two more boats on the mooring. One waiting for the tide tomorrow and move on and the other to enter the canal.

By 1800 I am comfortably moored next to the water point ready for tomorrow to fill up and move on to Saxilby.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chug Chug Cough Chug

I awoke to blue skies and sunny weather which is just as well as I was not in the mood for rain having to repair the lift pump again. Usual routine – strip it down – clean with degreaser – dry then mix up the liquid metal. I put on two layers this time in the hope that it would withstand the vibrations of the engine.

After an hour to cure then gently run the engine to warm it up and hopefully cure even more then its off to Nether Lock.

The entrance to the lock is hidden around a very sharp right hander so after passing through under the Newark bypass bridge I make ready to get the lock set. Surprise that lock is manned and open ready for me. It doesn't take much to make me happy.

This far the engine is just on tick over and the lock keeper must have wondered why I was going so slowly. Mind you with the flow of the Trent the speed I was doing was about average for me.

Out of the lock and speed up slightly. The engine is sounding just right for a change and running nicely – touch wood. As time goes by I bring the speed up to that which I will use tomorrow on the tidal part of the trip.

At North Muskham I meet the first large boat of the journey so far. BW barge with a large crane on board. The Trent is quite wide here so no effort is needed to keep out of his way.

Soon at Cromwell and turn the boat into the flow to go along side the mooring. Not quite long enough but it will do for me. A visit to the Lock keeper and I received the info that the tide for me was at 0830 tomorrow.

At 1800 the view over of the bows shows how calm the Trent can be.

Out at Cromwell there is little light shown and what looks like Venus or Mars is very bright in the south-ish part of the sky.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Still plodding along

First thing yesterday morning I dismantled the prop shaft clamps and have given them a good clean. I am hoping that when I hurriedly put it back into working order last time a layer of grease was left so that there was not metal to metal contact and that the grease made it easy to come apart again.

Spun the boat around to return to Farndon to pick up fuel and I mean spun in the flow of water. I was going to go further but with the level in the fuel tank being lower than I would like it safety took precedence.

I arrived back at Farndon in half the time it took to get up river and went straight into the marina to turn around first. After some shuffling about this was due to the fuel tank being at the stern and the length of the hose being long enough just to reach smaller boats I filled the tank up to the top for the first time.

The engine is still hunting so will have to do a few checks to see if there is anything I can do to improve the situation.

The Town Lock was ready for me when I arrived so yet again went straight through but with only one gate fully open. There were two very stroppy male swans in the lock and they were terrorising one of this years cygnets in the corner behind the other gate. With the gate open I chased the hooligans out into the river.

As the mooring outside the BW Regional HQ was full I turned the boat and moored astern of the Barge. The name on the stern says Ril Elsie it is used as a bar restaurant and is very popular locally.

As soon as I was alongside and tied up Dash woke up and was soon at home taking in the sights ashore. The path take one to Aldi but the choice there was limited so stuck to Morrisons which is just a short walk away.

Before I leave I will check the marks on the prop shaft to see if there has been any movement. Then it is down to Nether Lock for water and dumping rubbish and on to Cromwell Lock to await a tide.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Still fixing disasters

A steady old evening at Newark. Luckily for me Joe and Christine take pity on those of a nomadic life style and invited me over to the farm for a meal. One decent meal, regularly, every six months is becoming the norm. Well stuffed by the end of it.

Yet again the world is put to rights and again it is proved that it is not us but the others that are making a mess of everything.

I left Newark fairly early the next morning. A really nice day with the sun out for the trip up to Hazelford.

It is not far to the Town Lock and as this is manned I am soon through and on my way.

My memory of the last trip did not include the amount of water that comes down the Trent and as soon as I was out in the flow the speed of the boat dropped considerably.

I was thinking of calling in at Farndon Marina to pick up some diesel and with the extra power needed to get anywhere it became a must.

It took an age to get there and I pulled into the self-service pump. There is a chandlery shop here so I wandered in to get a connection to attach to the sink outlet. Having found exactly the item I wanted and paid for it I asked about fuel. Sorry not till the delivery tomorrow. Ah well I have enough to get me back. I hope.

I got prepared to leave, cup of tea at the ready, and went astern to pull back out into the Trent. Almost straight away there was a bang and the prop stopped turning. Bugger. It was the shaft coming loose again.

Soon fixed and this time I went into the marina to turn around so that the astern wasn’t so important in the escape onto the Trent.

With the engine going somewhat faster than usual I plodded on up past Fiskerton and after what seemed like a positive age arrived at Hazelford Lock. It had taken me five hours to get here and the majority of those were in travel.

Hazelford Lock is an island with a weir on both sides. Although the book says that there are some facilities here it is a mistake and no sluice as the loo has a soak-away that won’t cope with extra use.

Abigail Jenna looks very small against the massive moorings that are here. These were of a standard that was needed by the commercial traffic.

If you are into blackberry jam then this is the place to stop for a while. All over the island are walks cut through the briars and every one is dripping with berries.

On the right of the lock gate is an old row boat that had been used for many years as the means by which the lock-keepers had got to work before the erection of the footbridge.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My lack of luck holds out

Looking to go out through Torksey lock on Monday morning I spent some time running the checks on the boat. Eventually I came to the engine. Dip the oil, water and gearbox etc. Funny smell. I thought I had fixed the fuel leaks. Mmmm

When the engine was being moved about a pipe from the fuel tank to the lift pump was bent and replaced. Problem was that it was a push fit and had vibrated loose.

Cancel the departure till I had managed to fix it.

Took the item off the engine and cleaned with degreaser. To attempt a fix the only thing I had was some Liquid Metal glue which I wiped around the pipe and replaced into the hole. Gave it half an hour to cure and ran up the engine. No leak. Hoo-bloody-ray. Just call me Jonah.

Look out Trent here I come.

The weather got progressively worse as the trip went on. As time went by there were various alterations in the engine tone from the waves that built up and changed the depth of water on the prop. Even though I was fairly sure that this was what was happening it was heart stopping with the Trent to contend with.

After three and half hours (I didn’t rush) reached Cromwell lock and went happily in and out and on to Newark.

Soon reached Newark Nether Lock and moored. It is a short walk to the controls and set the paddles to empty. As I turned around the water was gushing in at the other end. Some moron hadn’t bothered to close the single paddle that was working up –stream.

A very tight turn from the lock to the canal but was soon on my way after a longer than usual locking up. It is slow work as a singleton.

Just one mooring left on the BW side of the canal which I nabbed. This will do while I have a wander about Newark and maybe do some visiting.

Haven't checked my repair yet. Bob is on the look out for a replacement for me.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

On the Move

Getting ready to leave Lincoln I went to the facilities to do some topping up and emptying and found a narrowboat moored up on the mooring set out for the exclusive use of the point. In front of it was a cruiser with the crew trying to use the pump-out. With the wind blowing and little room to manoeuvre I decided to turn with the bows to the facility side. The stern is deeper in the water than the bows but didn’t think this would be a problem. Wrong! As I got the stern to the other bank I found some rock or concrete which clobbered the prop and disengaged the propshaft. Bugger as they say in the trade. I managed to get the boat alongside by getting off the bows with the centre rope and pulling the boat in to the jetty. Luckily for me the prop was intact and only needed reclamping and after an hour or so was usable again. Something else to wonder about as I move.

I left the leaving of Lincoln to another day after checking things out to make sure and moved back to the Waterside mooring.

I am not saying that Lincoln is full of scumbags but from recent experience it does seem to have more than its fair share.

Near the mooring is a carpark with a railing around it. Three drunks came along. This was at about 1700 so either they can’t hold their drink or they started early. Seeing a part of the railing that was not fully secure they took it into their heads to remove it.

I have now moved with some relief to Torksey ready for the tide on Monday and a trip on the Trent.