Saturday, 29 October 2016

October half term trip and New mooring (Fri 28 / Sat 29 Oct 2016)

Trouble free cruise to winding hole and headed back towards Nantwich.

Stopped near Barbridge Inn for lunch. Usual issues with smoke alarm when cooking bacon despite having opened both side windows and front and back doors!

On arriving at Nantwich Canal Centre (NCC), had been planning to turn in end basin and return to mooring. However there was a lot of activity at the end so tried to spin directly into mooring which I accomplished without issue which was pleasing. While tying up, the general manager turned up to check that I had found the correct place. Quite a different approach to larger marinas where the management wouldn't know if you were there or not!

After tying up, walked to Swanley Bridge to collect the car. Last time for the foreseeable future that we will need to make the trek!

Quite a queue on the road from Acton to NCC. Interesting to now that if planning to arrive mid-to-late Friday afternoons... Found a spot in the end compound to park.

Later walked the short (!) distance into town for a mini pub crawl which involved a pint in the White Horse (?), a couple in the Castle and a final one in the Black Lion. Then got a kebab before heading back to the boat which was still warm by the time I got back. So nice to be able to walk the short distance along the towpath from the end of Welsh Row to Bridge 92 which leads across to the NCC.

Saturday was largely spent installing a new LED reading light by the front bed. Took quite a while to work out how to power it. Eventually disconnected the car type socket which was hidden in the port side front locker and used the feed to power the new light. Quite nice but light seems to flicker intermittently. Need to try and work out why or just live with it. Did wonder if the fridge might be causing it but Alison also reported flickering the following weekend and she did not have the fridge turned on. Maybe the battery charger? Need to try disconnecting the shore line and test it.

Had a bonus on the Saturday evening as the Nantwich Spooktacula was on at the showground across the road. Rather annoying music from about 5pm but later got to see the fireworks for free. Very spectacular. Even had some sparks falling in the basin towards the end.

Back home in good time on Sunday morning arriving not long after 9am.

Excellent trip all round and very pleased with the new mooring.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

October half term trip and New mooring (Thurs 27 Oct 2016)

Spent most of the day at the boat. Very productive morning spent on various maintenance jobs.

While looking for grease to fill the stern gland tube, found drill powered pump and hoses! Very useful in emptying the drinking water from the cabin bilges. Would have taken months using the oil extractor but got it done in a short time just using the oil extractor for the last dregs. Big relief!

Then used the manual bailing pump to move water from under the engine to the main engine bilge where the bilge pump could pump it overboard. Then changed the oil-absorbent bilge pillows which were looking rather mucky and cleaned the top of the bilge pump switch.

Filled stern tube with grease. Need to get some more.

Swept out the back deck guttering and washed the deck boards with canal water.

Checked the water tank inlet. The water tank doesn't line up with the hole in the front deck. Maybe it has shifted or simply never lined up? Will need to empty it to try shifting it. Would need much movement but won't budge at present with 300 litres of water in it!

Next checked out the non-working horn. Turns out the negative terminal had become detached. Now works fine.

Spent some time tracing and photographing electrical wiring. Partly in preparation for boat wiring course booked for late November. Partly to decide how to wire new LED reading light by front bed head.

Interesting to see that the charging points near the fridge are actually connected to the water pump circuit. Obviously the engineer who fitted them just after we bought the boat simply picked a pait of wires at random from the 4 pairs that run past that point...

After a busy morning, went to check out the Badger Inn at Church Minshull. Interesting footpath just past Bridge 13 leads through woods to within a couple of hundred metres of the pub. Had a nice pint and packet of crisps. Didn't stay for lunch as there was a 20 minute wait for a table. 

Returned to boat for lunch of ciabatta and brie followed by fruit. Read for a bit then siesta. 

Considered a yomp to Middlewich for Thursday live music at the Narrowboat but didn't fancy 2 hour walk back in the dark. Continued reading till dinner time. Steak and ratatouille (lovely) and more reading.

Last night there were only two boats on the whole mooring but full now with one behind me even having to put in pins.

Tomorrow plan to cruise to winding hole and return to Nantwich. May even go to the Nantwich Canal Centre on Friday rather than Saturday.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

October half term trip and New mooring (Weds 26 Oct 2016)

Engine start 13:30
Engine off 18:00 241.2 end

Left Colwyn Bay just after 09:00. Checked to see if Stermat open. It was, despite Google saying they opened at 10:00. Picked up a bag of Globrite and some logs.

First task today was to check out a potential new mooring at the Nantwich Canal Centre. I (Andrew) spotted a board advertising availability on previous visit to boat during the long trek into Nantwich from Swanley Bridge Marina. The novelty of the 45 minute walk along a fairly busy country road has definitely worn off, especially as winter approaches again.

Both of us had spoken to the Nantwich Canal Centre by phone during the week. The price seems OK, there are more facilities and, key point, only 10 minutes walk to Nantwich Town Centre.

Arrived at the Nantwich Canal Centre around 10:40 and had a look at the mooring. Looks fine. We will probably need a longer hose to reach the tap but the electric is much closer. Will probably need a shorter lead as current one would be massive overkill!

After reading through all the pages of T&Cs, handed over the fee which covers us till end August 2017.

Next stop Aldi to pick up some groceries then off to Swanley Bridge to unload the car and have lunch. Perused the Nicholson guide over lunch and decide to take a trip up the Middlewich branch to find the nice mooring near Church Minshull spotted back in June on the way to the FAB Festival.

Had a bit of a disaster when preparing for the trip. Water filling cap was very difficult to remove and the inlet pipe actually rotated. Eventually got the top off but the tank seemed to take ages to fill... Eventually turned off the tap and investigated.

Basically the other end of the inlet pipe had come unscrewed from the tank itself so a significant amount of water had gone into the bilges under the floor. I suspect that something similar had happened previously and that is why the bilges had lots of clear water in them when we bought the boat!

So now got to remove all that water again... At least I now know that the bilge front to back and left to right is all joined. Water was first visible through the bottom of the bathroom cupboard but soon became visible under the step. May try enlarging the hole under the step to see if it is possible to use the manual bilge pump to pump the water from the cabin bilge into the engine compartment where the electric pump can then remove it...

Left Swanley Bridge around 13:30 and got to the foot of the Hurleston flight around 15:00. There was a volunteer lockkeeper on duty which made the locks a little easier.

Unfortunately there was quite a long queue (5 boats) for the Cholmondeston Lock which put the mockers on the planned 17:00 stop time.

Eventually reached the target mooring between bridges 12 and 13 about 18:00. Moored to rings (though one actual ring missing). Guiness and pig snacks! Emailed pictures of the new berth in Nantwich to Alison. Plan to check out the Badger in Church Minshull tomorrow.