Sunday, 21 December 2014

A few non-Boaty Jobs

Mrs D has been complaining about her brakes for a wee while.  So, I decided to take a look and found that both pads and discs were worn out.  The car had done 65,000 miles on the same set of pads so it was time.  Wheel off, spring off, pads screws removed, pads removed, disc assembly removed, disc off.  No problem.  Off to the auto motive factors for new discs and pads, I had disc cleaners and grease already but I did need a box of gloves.  New Ferodo bits and back to the car.  First set on, no bother.  Second set was a bit more trying, the bolt nuts were shot so the 13 mil did not work.  instead I got the half inch hex and hammered it on.  Worked a treat off an on.  Then it was time to put the pad retaining spring back on.  What a pain, these things either slip right on or are buggers.  I got a bugger.  30 minutes later, it was on.  The other wheel took 10 seconds.  Job done, quick test drive with gentle braking and the pads and discs were bedding lovely, no squeaks or brake squealing.  I had done the discs and pads on the bigger car a month earlier so I am ok with the job.  Much more in terms of mechanical engineering and I rely on others to assist but I do like a bit of maintenance.  shame on me re the boat, I always have someone do it for me.

Next boaty outing will be a short trip on Tuesday to give the engine an hour of activity.  no boating planned until Easter I think when we might take her out for the holidays.  I may have to move the boat towards Bristol in the new year to assist with my job which is split across a number of differing sites, Bristol being HQ for us.  If I do it might be Hilperton marina subject to vacancies.

No piccies today

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Boat jobs

The list of jobs is on the rise.  So far:-

Finish the lighting - 2 spots to fit
Re fit the skin tank to engine connection - it leaks
Add a GSM unit to the webasto and remove the 7 day timer.  Latter not needed.
Price up a new Morso and double sleeve flue
Engine and gearbox service
Colour design for the boat repaint in May next year
Blacking in June next year - 3 coats

Most jobs will be done in January when Geoff gets back except the skin tank which I hope will be done next week.

Apart from that, life is cool at the moment.  Work has settled so I now have time to live again - for now. It's a cyclical thing so I will enjoy this while I can.
No boating for the next couple of weeks as jobs on the house required and parties to attend.

We are foodies and have visited a number of gastro places, the most recent being the Blue Bicycle in York, excellent reputation but we were a bit disappointed, main course was not good.  Still, onto Table 8 in Beeston Notts next week.  We have been to the location a few times before as the place has changed ownership on a number of occasions.  We do go to the Farmers Boy in Shepley quite often, very nice food.

Just bought a Nisbet knife for the kitchen, wow sharp or

Rambling on but these are my musings, not just boats.

Went for a walk from Cranfleet lock to some ways along the Erewash, very calm day and the flood lock was on just up from Cranfleet meaning you cannot get from the soar/ trent to the beeston cut.  First time I have ever seen this but I guess it's because we are usually trapped further on up. Not much moving whilst we dog walked.  Lola dog did insist on rolling in some crap, I think fox crap, what a smell!
And a picture to finish

Thursday, 30 October 2014

A wee trip from King's Bromley to Calf Heath and back

We decided to go west on the Trent and Mersey to Calf Heath.  We were not in a huge hurry so day one took us to Great Haywood where we moored just above the lock.  this facilitated a well earned visit to the local pub, the Clifford Arms.  This is a nice pub selling excellent beer.  Food is reasonable pub fayre.  from here we set on on Sunday morning onto the Shropshire and Worcester Canal, passed Tixhall Wide

and then towards Tixhall Lock.

Nice to see a trad and butty, i think it is Aquarius pulling what I can see is Ilford

Tixhall Lock

Johanna and Lola Dog

Now then we stayed at Penkridge overnight, Sunday and then moved to Four Ashes, bridge 77 to turn.  Not sure how we turn here other than go passed and reverse in and then angle back out the other way.  I did not fancy this so we went past and turned just after Bridge 76.  Again, the turning point was just a bend in the canal and not very easy to spot.  But, spot we did and we winded. Then back to Penkridge and another overnight, this time next to the Cross Keys pub.

On our way back past Gailey Wharf

The Yellow perils!

This is a lovely looking church at Acton Trussell. 

Now then, this is Victoria.  We met Victoria at Meadow Bridge, Baswich.  She was stuck under Meadow Bridge and no amount of forward and reverse could get her past the bridge.  In discussion with the skipper of Victoria we agreed to put Lola in front tie the front rope from Victoria to my Dolly's on a long rope and see if two engines could do the job.  Nice one, she got through, I untied and lobbed the rope back onto Victoria.  That was that then and we motored on leaving Victoria behind.  Now Victoria has near 42HP and a 28 inch propeller, she came past us as we were tying up at Great Haywood, she can half shift!  We next saw her just past Great Haywood, pulling pins as we past.  It took some motoring to keep ahead of her.  She must have moored near Rugeley as we lost her from that point.

So, out on Saturday, back on Wednesday.  A nice trip which revealed that the skin tank fitting was still leaking just a little and the Webasto was letting air in somewhere as the rear rad was not filling properly and had to be bled each day.  This will need looking at me thinks.  Aside to that we had no bother apart from accidentally leaving a walkie talkie on in the back cabin and it letting us know it was losing battery power by bleeping loudly at 2 am Tuesday morning!

Next trip will likely not be until the weather turns next April.  We will still go to the boat, just that we will not venture out unless the weather is in our favour.  When we hang up our work clothes for good, that will be a different matter as i expect us to cruise for months at a time - here's hoping!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Half term plan

London and Newcastle this week for work, next week we are off work, although Mrs D only has till Wednesday- as per previous post.

Next week it's left out of King's Bromley Marina and then west along the Trent and Mersey to great Haywood then down the Shroppie as far as we want till we have to come back.  We might manage Tipton then turn.  The return will see us at Tixhall Wide Tuesday night which leaves a four hour trip back to KB.

Big camera coming with me so plenty of shots.  Also downloaded some books for plenty of reading.  Been eating more healthily of recent, not a diet, and have lost a near stone already.  I am targeting a couple more stones and will see how i feel.  I am actually quite happy with my current nutrition arrangements and intend to just keep up with this new way of life.  Not felt better in a good while, by better I mean switched on, fit etc.  I am high risk diabetes type 2 - family history, so this is doing me no harm at all.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Trip down to Streethay Wharf and back

Went out Saturday, in the wind, for a meander down to our favourite mooring.  Alas it was occupied by a hotel/trip boat.  So, we swung the swing bridge and headed down the Coventry intending to wind at Kings Orchard Marina, having a nose whilst we did.  However, when we got to Streethay I decided to wind there.  Not a big mistake but it was tight.  Anyways, we managed it and headed back to Fradley visitor moorings, bagging a nice spot just before the watering point.  a lovely windy day where the temperature was up to 20c!

Lovely Autumnal colour

Persia passing

Here comes Kenneth

Here is Kenneth

Goodbye Kenneth

Lovely colours

A lovely house been up for sale, with mooring for ages.

semi arty

The Mucky Duck

A trip to the Mucky Duck for some Abbot ale, Derby Brewery 10 and Roaring Meg.  I do so like the pub, Landlord/Landlady and all.  Was quite windy so I was "on watch" as the was a bit of drift going on.  not too hard work so I did get time to take a few pictures as you can see.  Next trip will be  half term starting next Friday.  I need to get the skin tank fitting fixed as there is a small leak which whilst manageable is rather annoying.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

A night out

Popped to the boat on Saturday for a short break down to Fradley.  The National Memorial Arboretum was hosting Ride to the Wall.  The roads were chocca with bikes - nice thing to do, well done all.

When I got to the boat I did the usual engine checks to find no water in the engine expansion tank.  Found a v slow leak at the skin tank fitting, a wee turn may do it but if not I will have the whole connection refreshed as it is a bit of a bodge job.

We waited while a bit of a rain shower passed over and set off.  Pretty quiet on the water.  Woodend Lock though - three boats in the queue, one was a total new boater and this was their first lock.  A bit of help and they seemed fine.

Shadehouse Lock was the usual easy do.  The lock house at Shadehouse is up for sale, having been compulsorily purchased by HS2.  The route has been altered to go under the canal so if you fancy a Lock house for £625,000 Google John German, a CRT mooring is avail also.  If I had the money I would not hesitate to buy it.

Our secret mooring at Fradley was available, yippee.  So we were moored in our favourite Fradley spot and no, I am not sharing the exact location.

The Morso has a minor water leak which causes the odd drip to travel down the chimney.  Over the years, before we had the boat, as I had subsequently healed the leak, the ring at the bottom of the chimney and at the top of the stove had rusted to the point that it gave way.  I pondered re what to do and decided to use some fire cement.  Excellent job, properly cured and I have even located a wee CO detector near to the stove, but not too close, for added security.  All is fine

We popped over to The Swan for a beer and early dinner.   The food was ok but just that.  A little imagination and this could be a really nice eatery.

So Sunday morning we started to head back.  Just after Shadehouse, who did we see? Jan hanging up her washing on board NB Waiouru/  Hello was said, Tom not seen, I guess he was walking.

The rest of the trip was quiet.  No repeat leak detected yet so my tinkering may have done it.  I am not taking a chance though.  I intend to have it properly fixed when Geoff Taylor is available.

We filled the water tank and gave the front deck a good hose down, removing all the current leaf drop.  It is also getting its paint job when we have the big paint in May next year.

Next trip will be October Bank Holiday, hopefully for a week if Mrs D can take the whole week off. Being a business owner (Aurelia Bioscience) has its limitations but new staff are being recruited so this should improve.

I am planning on early (very early)  retirement so we are saving like loons, very difficult to do with 11 and 17 year old girls!  Nevertheless, my target is to do 3 or 4 years only then finish for good.  Hopefully, we will have matured the business to enable this, we shall see.

Well, that's it for now.  I fully intend to take my good camera on the next trip so words will be inter-spaced with some nice pictures.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Change of Plan

We were going to do the four Counties ring with a trip to Chester added on.

But, the forecast and taking the girls made me think twice. So, instead, we bought some tickets to Malaga and are now in the Imperial Cafe, Estepona having a cervesa and watching the toon!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Quick trip to Handsacre

Decided to have a night out.  Not to far on the boat, just to Handsacre turning point and a short reverse to close, but not to close, to the crown in Handsacre.

Now then, the Crown is not the Old Peculiar Pub in terms of type of pub.  its just different but still enjoyable.  The Old Peculiar is about 100 yards away past the chippy.

We bought a new Camera for daughter no 1, a Nikon Coolpix 9600, very useful and we need to learn it better as it tends to over-expose just a touch, practice makes perfect.

Anyways, a host of piccies from the camera taken on Saturday pm

Same photo digitally enhanced using Adobe Lightroom.  the main problem is the white out which you could remove but I am still learning!

This was on the towpath right beneath my feet
and enhanced

Not bad pictures but I wished I had taken the "big" camera, a Canon DSLR which gives me much more control over exposure.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Tixhall Wide

Well, we made it to Tixhall Wide and the weather is lovely.  The trip from Handsacre was uneventful, which is good.  A boat passed us going in our direction just as we were about to leave.  We caught up with them at the bog shop (Armitage Shanks) and the steerer stopped to allow us to pass, letting us know he was a daudler.  That was nice of him.  Got past Colwich lock with only one boat in front and then tootled to tixhall to find the last remaining mooring spot.

This is our mooring at Handsacre, just after the winding hole (where you can turn the boat around)

And here we are at Tixhall Wide, a truly lovely spot

The Anglo Welsh Day boat passing us

Kath and Sarah enjoying the sun

We will now stay here until about 9 am tomorrow.  The engine is running to keep batteries topped un we have three 12 volt batteries which we use to run the fridge and tv and the odd charge of laptops etc.  Now we have a state of charge indicator we can see the draw on the batteries which helps us in terms of battery management.

Lots of boats passing us, mainly private with the odd hire boat.  The occasional fast boat but most are on tickover.  We are hard moored as I call it, using fenders to minimise the bumps from passing boats caused by water displacement, not them hitting us!

Lola dog has been in the water three times and is now drying off in the bow, no wow!

The new bathroom is working well now I understand how to adjust the draw on water.

That's it for today, hope you are all enjoying this lovely weather.