Leaving Whixall in the wind is normally bad enough but yesterday morning we had trouble going backwards.....no drive at all and lots if black smoke before the engine cut out.With the help of a few boaters and Phil the marina manager we were pulled backwards so we could leave.We thought it might be an intermittent problem and decided to get as far as Grindley Brook anď ring Chris Jones our helpful Beta engineer for help. We were ok as long as we didn't need reverse and met nothing at bridge holes. Mooring up in the terrific wind was hard going but we managed it.
On with the tale of the gear box......Neil another Beta engineer from Whitchurch came out to diagnose the problem checking the propellor for junk or damage. The shaft was turning slowly in neutral too. We'd had some smoke from the gearbox so he separated it and found the problem......it wanted to be in forward gear regardless of the gear selected so that's what caused the engine to cut out......forward and reverse at the same time doesn't work.
A very quiet night above Grindley Brook locks, it seemed strange after five months in the marina. My arms had a good workout with six lift bridges to raise and lower. Ben the dog walked miles so he was soon fast asleep.
Chris Jones came today with a gearbox and he's currently down the engine hole fitting it....so we'll soon be on our way. Those arms will be getting another workout on the locks at Grindley Brook.