Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Going Uphill

Sat 26 March 2016 Blown uphill to Kiveton Park

Hmm .... do we REALLY want to go up 23 locks on an overcast, cool windy day? At 9.30, after a pause for thought, we set off up the Turnerwood locks to that pretty hamlet below the first double staircase lock. Again, good decision!
it wasn't just us going up the Turnerwood flight of locks

scenic gardens at Turnerwood

The ice creams and drinks are near the bridge at Turnerwood


You can get a tasty ice cream and coffee at the little kiosk at Turnerwood, and shelter from the breeze in its little chalet! As it was still dry, we decided to go up the remaining fifteen locks, including two double and two triple staircases. Many of the locks are not too deep, so  John could hop off the boat and share the work, to speed things up, although we weren't rushing. We were lucky - the rain held off until we had moored at the top for  lunch at 1 PM, earlier than expected :) .

The narrows at Kiveton Park, where stone was loaded for Parliament

Looking back at Kiveton Park road bridge and the narrows by the station

The mooring near the winding hole, 400m before the tunnel

Fri 25 March From Ranby to see the Easter Bunny and Shireoaks Marina

Wow! The sun was burning our eyes out - what a BEAUTIFUL day! The weather forecasters said this would be the best day over the Easter holiday, and they were right.

Passing through Worksop, we spotted Tallulah 2 on her well kept new mooring. Her owner told us that she and her friend had bought it prior to us seeing her lowered into the canal at Forest Locks recently.
One of the mechanisms

on the outskirts of Worksop

disused Worksop pumping station

Tallulah 2 on her mooring

We moored Annie near the warehouse which bridges the canal, and walked into town.
Worksop Straddle Warehouse being renovated
Market day, again! Setting off later, we passed up eight locks to moor outside Shireoaks Marina. On the way, we passed the CCT trip boat and saw the Easter Bunny! We even passed two boats moving! A kind CCT volunteer showed Liana and I the new cuckoo boat at the marina and explained its features. We also popped in to Laura's coffee shop next to the canal bridge, which he recommended - good decision! Good coffee and delicious lemon cake in a friendly atmosphere: We will return!

Thur 24 March  From the Hop Pole through Retford to Ranby
After taking on water at the Hop Pole pub moorings, we left the CCT's Seth Ellis trip boat behind and visited Retford, which we both like as a small market town. In fact, the market was on, so we stocked up with a few bits and pieces. The large public spaces and parks around Retford are impressive.
Country mooring near A1 west of Ranby

Wed 23 March Aiming uphill ...

John had to have his blood test and see the dentist today - all was well, so we set off to Annie and our Easter trip up the Chesterfield Canal as far as we can go - to Kiveton Park, the current head of navigation, at least until the  tunnel is opened  (one day, hopefully). Cool, breezy with some sun meant wrapping up was a good idea!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Knees, holes and Grand Slams

19 March 2016 Work day at Retford & Worksop Boat Club

Yesterday was busy: Knee consultant wants me to have three injections a week in my knee, as two arthroscopies and a steroid injection still leave them throbbing - lucky boy! I have now lost 5kg on my Lenten diet, so this should help, hopefully.

Then it was Work Day at Retford and Worksop Boat Club, clearing tree branches and trench digging for water pipes, followed by watching the Six Nations Rugby. I had a look through the front weed hatch to see if there was any blockage, plus checked to see if there was a way to lubricate the hydraulic bow thruster - apparently not.

A pleasant evening meal with friends meant I was up at 6.30 to watch England beat a strong French team fairly narrowly to win the Grand Slam deservedly. We took our chances better than they took theirs, thank goodness! :)

Today I am Pontius Pilate in our Palm Sunday service mini-play (instead of the epistles): Promotion! I am usually type-cast as Barrabas (or is that next week ..).
Have a good Holy Week!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Boat Club matters, mending Annie and family visits and Lions- a busy long weekend

14 March .... a busy but fun weekend

Saturday 12 March dawned with us arriving at the boat on a beautiful, sunny morning. John got cracking fitting the new oil filter from Braunston, then added the fresh narrowboat oil without additives. The new air filter was badly needed. 50% glycol antifreeze/water mix finished the engine maintenance for the moment. Liana cleaned out the stove, cleaned the bathroom and read the newspaper, she tells me!

After a cup of tea sat in the sun on the towpath, enjoying the lovely Clayworth scenery, Sam's newly welded engine mounting bracket needed fitting. Stood one side of the engine, leaning right over the other side was ..... challenging! Removing the air filter and bunging up the hole helped, but the best rhings were my ratchet socket set with universal joint, plus ratchet spanners with hinged shafts (from Lidl or Aldi last year), which were brilliant in confined spaces. Mounting on, bow thruster pump fitted and belt adjusted, bow thruster working - hoorah! I must get at the front weed hatch and grease the bow thruster, next chance I get.

We watched the Six Nations rugby on the boat, then in the clubhouse with the crowd. England managed to frighten everyone towards the end, before we won. :)

Later, we attended the Awards Ceremony and Race Night there, which caused much hilarity from all in the full function room at Retford and Worksop Boat Club, where Annie is moored. Liana and I were awarded the trophy for Longest Cruise in 2015, for our 800 mile journey to Bath and back on Annie .... SLOWLY! Canoeing daughter Jo isn't the only one who can win a cup on the water! The target for this year? Yorkshire!
Liana and John receiving engraved tankard and award certificate from RWBC Chair John Redfern

We would have stayed on the boat, but went home, as John had to run the bell ringing at church in Market Rasen next morning, followed by serving, reading a lesson and giving out wine! We then dashed back for the Boat Club AGM at Clayworth - a very well organised event conducted professionally and with good humour.

A dash down the A1 to Newark and Nottingham followed, before watching the Scotland-France match and seeing Liana's mum, Flo, and our daughter, Rachel. That night, we played Settlers of Catan, at which I often get slaughtered by wife or daughters, but I won!

Dropped Rachel off at train station, visited sister Dianne and Ivan on the way back, so what about tonight? Well, I'm President of Market Rasen Lions Club this year, and it's their Business meeting tonight, shortly .... retirement keeps us busy!

Friday, 4 March 2016

....There's always a job .....

5 March 2016 Preparing for the next trips

I've bought narrowboat oil (without additives) and antifreeze, plus oil and fuel filters. We visited the boat on Wednesday, to service the engine and maybe go out ..... until I realised the extent of the damage to the bowthruster pump mounting. This is powered by a belt, in the same way as the alternators. This 1cm thick iron had fractured! Also, the mounting was welded to the engine mounting bracket, and it was this that had broken, so the front left engine mounting was not doing its job. John got down and managed to use our socket set and spanners to dismantle the two halves of the mounting bracket: My good schoolfriend, agricultural engineer Sam Howard, examined the break and diagnosed old fatigue fractures / cracks - the last bit had given way - so welding and added reinforcement should solve the problem, hopefully. I must open the weed hatch at the front and check and grease the hydraulic bowthruster itself, too.

The replacement oil filter turned out to have the wrong thread, 3/4" instead of 20mm: So much for Ebay. The air filter was filthy, so a quick phone call to Sam at Wharf Narrowboats of Braunston, Annie's builders, resulted in (hopefully the correct) oil and air filters in the post as I write!

Parcelforce have just delivered a new heavy duty Bosch drill to replace the worn out Bosch drill which has served me very well for years. It and the angle grinder should help me de-rust the gutters under the deck near the stern, ready for new coats of paint.
The engine compartment floor could do with a clean-up and paint, too. Cheap nappies are very good at soaking up water and oily gunge!

Finally, I must have a look at the stern gland and see if it needs new packing ...... there's always a job to do, but that's part of the entertainment!

Ebay can be useful - I've just bought an old copy of the Boating Association navigation booklet for the Yorkshire Ouse. I have the new photographic version, but prefer the old hand-written ones (we also have both old and new versions of the Trent Non-Tidal and Tidal booklets), which are more boater-friendly, in my opinion. Our intention is to travel down the Trent to Keadby Lock, then spend a sizeable part of the summer travelling to Sheffield, Selby, up the Ouse to York and Ripon, then possibly back and up the Aire to Leeds: Ambitious, but should be fun!