Thursday, May 21, 2015

Boat Awaiting Repairs

Yesterday Eric went up to Whixall to get the car from Whixall Marina as we decided it would be useful while the boat is awaiting repairs at Streethhay Wharf. He'll take it back to the marina before we collect the boat. We don't know how long it's going to take but at present the boat is just moored up and we're waiting and wondering.

Meanwhile Ben the dog and I went for a walk in the woods with Lisa and her pup, a springer/cocker cross called Delilah......and Ben was ok with her today. There was a bit of  growling yesterday when she really pushed her luck but I think she got the message. She's so busy all the time while Ben's like an old man quite happy to lie there and watch the world go by.

Monday, May 18, 2015

No Problems Going By Train

Today up bright and early....again, but at least we had hot water for a shower. I took Ben for a walk on the canal towpath near Streethay Wharf once I found the little gate at the end of the moorings giving access to bridge over the canal. On my way back I had a phone call they wanted to move the boat so they could move some boats around. All sorted and they plugged us back onto shoreline so the boat could finally get vacuumed.

I rang a taxi, the same firm I'd used to get to Europarts but they had no taxis available which take dogs. So thanks to Google and found Bennetts who were quite happy to take us to Tamworth Railway Station with a dog. I could have gone by train from Lichfield Trent Valley but  it would have meant changes, and a much longer journey timewise. Anyway we caught the Cross Country train and Ben led on the floor under table and went to fact I had to wake him up to off at Newport!

My son-in-law Ben the man, not to be confused with Ben the dog, picked us up from the station we're boat less and staying with Clare and Ben who are kind enough to have us. Ben the dog is waiting for Poppy to come home.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Bridges, Bridges And Bridges

Up bright and very early (7am) I took Ben for a walk before our mammoth journey began.Today our tow boat arrived at Alvecote and we were towed for six and  a half hours including the time spent to go through the very slow filling Glascote Locks. It's an experience I hope we never had to have again as windy canal, moored boats and lots of bridges didn't make for an easy journey. We sustained some damage to the cratch and cover and lots of scraping along the canal side so the boat definately needs some TLC.

We were met at Streethay Wharf by John although it was Sunday provided us with  electric and  showed us where the laundry and other facilities are. I purchased some tokens and started on the washing mountain. Ben watered the first grass he came too after such a long time on the boat. He is such a very good boy although I expect he wondered what on earth was going on.

Tomorrow we're off to Wales catching the train from Tamworth as it's straight through approximately two hour journey. We did have offers to be collected but it's quicker by train. When we come back let's hope the engine sounds just like it used to with no added extra noises. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Oh No More Engine Trouble

Yesterday we had our Travel Power refitted....had one cup of coffee from my coffee machine to test the Travel Power while the engineer was with us....all ok. Ben and I walked for nearly an hour boat sounded fine and I used the dyson to clean the boat then just after I'd finished the engine sounded worse than ever. The domestic  battery warning light came on  and we pulled over to  the side, the crank pulley was loose and the alternator belt was on the floor. but we're about half a mile from the nearest road. I rang Streethay Wharf because they had the tools necesary to tighten the crank pulley  again and were going to cut through a bulkhead to access the nut.

This morning I met Tom the engineer at the bridge 59  and managed to get a passing boater to give him and his gear a lift to our boat while Ben and I walked back. He eventually got the nut off and found  disaster,  the threads had gone on the crankshaft and nut and the fly wheel waa damaged. So it's a tow job back to Streethay Wharf on Sunday and the engine's coming out for a new crankshaft and we are going to Wales! Some lovely people on a tug called Saul towed us back to civilisation, thank you so much. The engineer from Streethay came back with a petrol generator for us, so we have some power to charge the batteries. So Sunday's trip to Streethay will be a quiet one as we are towed along. Watch this space!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sunshine ! Going Nowhere Today

Our view near Bradley Green

Yesterday we moved a couple of bridges from Polesworth, still bothered by an unexplained noise in the engine hole. Eric had a look at the  belts and loosened them as they seemed to much tighter than he usually fits them.......looks like the problem is solved....fingers crossed!

This morning we moved another couple of bridges to moor at Bradley Green for Cox's Auto Electrical to deliver our repaired Travel Power box and a reconditioned generator. Nothing's going right for us lately the generator bolts we had were too big, but they took it away and redrilled the holes so Eric could refit it......excellent service but now the belt which runs it is too big as the pulley on the new generator is smaller. We keep spare belts but we've never needed  a smaller one. I rang to tell them the problem and they're coming at 9.30am tomorrow.

Looking forward to cleaning my hairy boat......a dust pan and brush is useless with a dog onboard. Also there's a washing mountain!  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Wet Engine Bilge And A Long Walk

This morning we wanted to find out what was causing the wet engine bilge as Eric couldn't find any leaky pipes. Perhaps it's the overflow from the water filler cap which was replaced several years ago. He put the overflow hose in a plastic bottle and ran the engine......the bottle filled with pale blue water so we knew if was the water filler cap... but where we could get a new one?

In Polesworth the garage sent us to the DIY Tool shop which sold all sorts but not what we wanted. She told us about Europarts at Dordon off the A5 about two and a half miles away, so the long walk began with Ben the dog coming too. At Europarts Eric bought an Austin Mini radiator cap, which has done the job. They even gave us some water for our hot dog. No we didn't walk back, I rang a taxi who took dogs and the taxi fare was worth every penny.

So now we're relaxing on the very full Polesworth Visitor Moorings after Eric mopped up all the wet from the engine bilge with Puppy pads.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Little Bit Of Locking

Fazeley Junction.....the bridge to the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal

Today we left our mooring after a quiet night, although as usual I found getting to sleep a problem. We stopped first at Peel's Wharf to use the facilities wondering whether the skips would be full as the boater ahead of us had a roof full of black bags. Only one boat moored in the offline leisure moorings  as it's just too silted up for boats to get in. 

Approaching Glascote Lock

Just one boat ahead of us at Glascote Locks, usually there's a long  queue. These locks empty quickly but fill very slowly, but we're not in a rush so it didn't really matter.  Ben the dog was patiently waiting joined to the fence by his lead although you can't see it on tye photograph. He was very good considering bikes were going past him, there was a time when he wanted to eat their legs if they came too close.

Going up!

Ben waiting.....can you see my lead?

Dinner was cooking and nearly ready, so we stopped just short of Polesworth where the world and his wife seems to come to walk their dogs and ride their bikes on a Sunday afternoon. It soon quietened down and Eric found the dot in the sky to watch the highlights of the Grand Prix.  Ben the dog just went to sleep.