Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thorne to Keadby and then Saxilby

Having replenished the gas and been unable to top up with diesel its time to head off to Keadby. Going astern is 100% better than previous.

The pedestrian bridge over the canal seems to be behaving better that usual although the key does need a bit of jiggling about to get the gates to unlock.

A little further on and a glimpse of the Thorne giant concrete mushroom or if your name is Abz then its the giant funnel.  

I stop to pick up diesel at Bluewater Marina and annoy the staff for five minutes. :-)  Nice people and I usually call in when around here just to say hello. This is where nb Abigail Jenna came from originally.

As I left nb Madame Butterfly passed and opened the lift bridge and let me through.  I did the next one at Moores Swing Bridge but had to stop and go back and pick up my key which I left in the control.  It wasn't long but there is something that holds the key in if its not taken out and I had to call BW to come and reset it.

By the time I got to Crowle bridge I was really pleased to have a bridge to go under.  The cross winds where an absolute pain and several goes were needed to leave the bridge moorings.  At one bridge the wind caught the boat and I just went sideways into the bridge.  A fender got snagged up, the boat pulled in to the bridge and one of the drip bars on a window was ripped off.  Still could have been worse. For a moment I thought the whole window had gone.

Eventually the power station at Keadby hove into sight. Fed up with going sideways along the canal.

Through the last swing bridge and past Vazom Railway bridge.  I still can't figure out how it manages to work . 

At least it hasn't been raining very much on the trip but soon starts once we have arrived at Keadby.  nb Madame Butterfly is going out on the Trent with me tomorrow.

Thursday morning and the weather has changed.  The wind has died down and the mist augers well for the day ahead. Very autumnal.

The tide for us is at 0900 so a civilised hour to start.

Sharing the lock and we are let out at just after 0830.  I go out first and remember not to turn right.  You only do it once.  As the tide has not yet turned it doesn't matter and the Trent is quite calm.

nb Madame Butterfly is picking someone up at Gainsborough to is putting his foot down so that we arrive at Torksey together. The new prop seems to be working well and, if anything, the engine sounds better. You feel quite small on the Trent but on some corners you do wish it was a bit wider.

The Heather Rose H is met coming downstream loaded with ballast.  Give her a wide berth and happily not on a bend.

I soon get overtaken by Battlestone running empty to pick up her own load of ballast. I slowed down to let her past as not far from here is a nasty bend that could make things awkward if I kept my speed up.

At Gainsborough I pass nb Madame Butterfly moored up on the pontoon. Having a second cup of tea no doubt :-)

The power station cooling towers make their own climate.  As the steam turns to clouds and obscures the sun the temperature drops a fair bit.

Nearing Torksey and the Torksey Viaduct.  I look back and I have been caught up by a couple more boats. They carry on up river.

At Torksey Lock and my travelling companion is just in front of me having caught up again.  I don't like giving the engine too much stick if not required.

Into the lock and tie up to the sides and its here I notice that the engine exhaust is actually under water.  Look in the bilge and it is well full.  After a bit of messing about I find that the new prop is throwing water up through the weedhatch and the extra speed I have been doing hasn't helped.

The bilge pump was running all the way from the lock till I got to Saxilby.  That's a lot of water.  Fix it tomorrow.  After eight hours standing up I can't be bothered to do it tonight. ;-)

Saxilby and the cats favourite place to vanish.  Must make sure he is well secured tomorrow.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dry dock and beyond.

Its time to get off to the drydock at Stanilands Marina.  The original idea was to be taken out of the water on a trolley but because Abigail Jenna is on the limit of the size it was decided that a week in drydock would be better.

The width of the canal at Thorne Boat Services is just enough to spin the boat round but it was a little tight with wind and the bridge so close.

It isn't far to Thorne Lock but it is still nice to be moving even if it is only for a short time.

Through the lock and the drydock is in front of me.  Full of water and in we go.

The boat is soon centred up over the - whatever they are called - and secured fore and aft.

As soon as the water goes down a bit wedges are slotted in to ensure the boat stays upright.

Down the water goes



The first thing I do is to give the boat a good pressure washing.  Then I scraped the hull and gave the same a wire brushing and afterwards another pressure washing.  There were several comments on the state of the hull and the age of the hull all of which were very positive.

The next day the old drive and prop were removed.

The old prop looks a bit rough now.

The old stern tube is cut out and removed.

An old prop shaft is fitted and bolted to the gear box.  This then enables the new shaft to be in line with the engine before the new stern tube is welded in.

The new stern tube in place and welded.

During the few days I have been in the dock I have cracked on with the painting of the hull.  Being in the open I decided to get it finished asap.  The whole hull had four coats of bitumen.  Then the part of the hull below water had another coat and the section of the hull at water level had another coat. It is astonishing how many brushes full of paint is to be found in 20 litres.

The new shaft and drive in position.  Oooh smart.

The underside of the boat is not like the usual narrowboat.  This Springer has - as well as the angling on the bulkhead - a keel and slight angle beneath where on other boats its all flat.

The new propeller really looks the business. I am quite looking forward to seeing what it can do.

Its Monday and the moment of truth.  The outlet to the dyke is closed and the sluice in the gate is opened.  It takes 45 minutes to fill up the dock.

The boat floats. Hooray.  The dock gates are opened to let me out.  The boat is pulled astern by rope and I was asked not to use the engine till the boat is over halfway out of the dock so that mud isnt moved into the dock.
Fair enough.  So I am half way out and shove the control in to ahead and I find I am moving back into the dock.  Bugger.  The new prop is different handed so that ahead means astern and astern means ahead.

Down to the lock and boating as a contact sport is immediately obvious.  The mooring for the lock is not flat but rounded so the bows and stern get rubbed a bit.  Mind the paintwork :-)

Pleased with the new prop.  The boat really shifts on tickover.  Well I don't go very fast anyway but there is a massive difference.  I did say to the yard that it was due to the very large go faster black stripe down both sides of the boat :-)

It took a while to get through the lock as the Waterscape boat was coming up.  Sadly I couldnt get my key out of the lock controls so I worked the lock for them.  Bit of bad news.  The funding for the Waterscape boat has run out and it was moving from Blue Water Marina to Goole.  I hope they come up with funds soon.  The boat is well used for training and outings for various groups.

Back to Thorne Boat Services.  A lot of shuffling of boats.  The whole of the mooring is two deep and in places three deep.  I do like to see small yards with a queue of boats waiting to be sorted.

Today the new control was fitted and tomorrow a hole for the aerial is being drilled.  Fill up with diesel and a new gas canister and I am ready to leave for Lincoln.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

At Thorne

While moored at the facilities in Thorne, waiting for a space to be made for the boat in Thorne Boat Services, a couple of lads came down the canal.  The last time I had seem an outfit like this was in Borneo going up river. They carried everything they needed with them and camped out on the bank each night.

At last Abz arrived so I have something to do.  There was a long list of things that Abz had written that we could keep ourselves occupied with and as usual she is thinking of other people so she bound a book for a school-friend.

During the evenings the DVD player came out and Dash found The Wizard of Oz a riveting film :-)

On Tuesdays we took a walk to the park and found that the 7 1/2 inch guage railway club had their trains out.

They have several trains they use and a large circular track to use them on.

It is only 50p a ride and Abz loved the chance to have a go.

Back on the mooring the boat next to me had a very friendly dog that Abz took to immediately.  The cats dry food was just right as a treat for her.  For looking after the dog the owner gave Abz a banana which came in handy later.

One day was spent on a visit to Doncaster.  Bit of a failure really as we didnt find Primark so no new t-shirts today. Stopped for a picnic lunch in the shopping centre and then into the charity shops on a book hunt. We did find three new ones to add to the collection.

Back on board the books we did manage to find are soon in use.  There can't be many more Jacqueline Wilson books for her to read. She is getting through books faster than I am.  

At last there is a space in the yard.  In moving the boat I tried to leave as much space as I could for others.  While doing so I put the bows into the bushes and as I went to pull back slightly I spotted the brambles.  A pot of blackberries was the result and the banana I mentioned earlier along with a large pot of strawberry yoghurt went in to a very tasty smoothy.

A quick trip to Barton on Humber to take Abz home and the chance to play with Izzy and the new car.  Memories of Brmm Brmm and the sauce-bottle came to mind.  Don't ask its a long story :-)