Sunday, 12 September 2010

A Trip to Wychnor

Hello again,

Went to the boat Friday 10/9/10 after a call from our engineers that the work was complete.

Apparently the batteries, supposedly purchased by the previous owner in September 09 were all nadged (a technical word for knackered, itself a technical word for buggered, and so on!!). One battery even had its protective cover on one of the terminals! The alternator was also US as was the battery indicator on the starter panel and the electrical connections were a death trap, so not much wrong eh!. Anyhow, thanks to Aqua Narrowboats, the work is complete and we could have a weekend away. We decided, due to inclement weather, to stay in the marina Friday night and make an early start Saturday morning. It hissed it down sat first thing so we eventually got out at 9.30 am. Remember, I bought 87 gallons of fuel in July for the trip from Oxford? Well, I have about 62 gallons left! So I reckon about 18 months supply (or longer). Travelled from Mercia Marina past Willington, busy as usual and then on to Burton on Trent. Reasonably quiet so the locks past easily. We did not want to hoof it so we ambled on Saturday and got to Bridge 34 for lunch, very nice mooring spot so we decided to come back to spend the night after turning. We turned at Wychnor just before bridge 42. Text book wind so that was nice for a change. Back to Bridge 34 for the night. We had to pass the bridge because it was rather popular, arrived about 6pm so its was to be expected. After the bridge I was fearful we would not find a mooring. My wife jumped off the boat at the bridge to recce ahead and suggested a spot which looked a tad tight but the boat nearest offered to move if needed. Another text book mooring. I went with the bow just forward of the spot, threw the line, a little reverse and hey presto, might be gettin the hang of this at last. The neighbour was mightly impressed as I was relieved!

We decided to have our Fray Bentos rather than eat pub food and then sat with the girls watching Merlin on the telly. Batteries were working well, fridge lights and telly, no bother. What is strange is that the light in the fridge was much brighter, I suppose a good indicator in the absence of a battery monitoring unit (shopping list for 2011) that the batteries are healthy.

An excellent nights sleep and we made our way back to the Marina at about 9 am. Our hirer friends (yes the midgies) had already kicked off at 7 am.

The turn into the Marina I have now sorted. I had been turning to early and because the entrance is offset (try googling Mercia Marina on google maps thingy). The trick is to go further than you want to and then turn hard to port. I will test the theory next time, yes I tapped the side of the entrance this time.

The boat thermostat was playing up again, suddenly hitting 120 when it normally operates at 95. I turned the engine off and the indicator never moved, just stayed at 120 with the electrics still on. So another job for Aqua to look at. I wonder if these little engine jobs are worth it if I am going to put in a new engine next yar or the year after, but it is better for us to make repairs while we can, a new engine (beta 43) is circa 6k fitted so I hear, but then I guess you will need to add the "extras".

I have decided to have the cabin grit blasted next year, the number of pre-exisitng colours is about 4 so its time for a fresh set. Below the gunnels can wait a tad longer or I might do them at the same time, I dunno.

Thats all for now, more later, including a set of times from Bridge 44 on the oxford canal to mercia, woopey doopey!