Sunday, October 31, 2010

Misty and Spooky, it must be Halloween

It was a good job the clocks went back last night as we were up early to make an appointment. We had a two hour cruise to get to the marina where we were getting our generator alignment sorted. It was lovely cruising through the mist with the sun trying to peep through. It set the scene for Halloween. Al managed to get our pumpkin carved and it fitted nicely on the bow of Derwent6. We got to Aqueduct Marina and made the turn into the service area and got a pumpout while we waited for Chris Jones our engineer. We then reversed into a bay and were given shoreline. Al took advantage of this and got the washing machine and tumble dryer going. Chris then got to work on the pulleys and soon found the problem. Beta had drilled out the bracket on the bottom of the generator to fit a bigger bolt but this was not drilled square. Chris was able to take it to his workshop and realign it as best as he could.After some fiddling around with brackets we got it lined up and the belts fitted. We will have to see how this goes and if not successful then a new generator housing will be required.

We have to say that this is the best marina we have been in, and the facilities are great. The workshops are fantastic and the piece of kit they have to move the boats around is able to wheel the boats into like small hangers. We got some lunch in the cafe on site here which we can recommend, and we also met up with Andy Russell, our signwriter on Derwent6. Spooky!

It seemed to get so dark so quickly and we lit the pumpkin ready for a spooky Halloween evening. Loads on telly to watch and our meter has just run out on shoreline. Oh well we've got the batteries charged and all our washing done, touch!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Retracing our steps

We were up early as Steve and Erica were going back home today. After showers and breakfast we called a cab so they could get back to their car. Thanks both for a wonderful few days, it was nice to see you both so relaxed, and thanks for the goodies you brought with you! We knew the wind was going to pick up so we turned and went down King's Lock to fill with water. We then retraced our steps and found a nice spot in the country. Del chopped up some wood off the roof and Al did some boaty jobs. The blue skies turned to grey in the afternoon and we had to light the fire. With so much on telly to watch in the evening we just snuggled down with a homemade pizza.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Onto the Middlewich Branch

We woke up to a very overcast day and it was very windy, but we had a trip in mind to Middlewich. We left at around 10.00am after some breakfast and soon got to Barbridge Junction and the start of the Middlewich Branch. The first surprise of the day was the first lock where we had to queue for half a hour to get through, it was very busy. Everyone was finding the wind very tricky and on one occasion we had to wait for three boats to come through one of the bridges. With the wide open fields and being high up Derwent6 was going sideways along the long straights. We had to queue at the next three locks but we had all day so it wasn't a problem.
We eventually got to the junction and turned onto the Trent and Mersey where the wind had now got so strong we had to stop. As rain threatened we didn't even try going into town so Al decided to cook on board Derwent6. Steve went to the local shop and brought Al back a Pumpkin. We played games with Steve and Erica in the evening including Mr & Mrs and Guess the Intro.....there were no winners but we had a good laugh!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back through Swanley and on the Shroppie

We all woke up this morning to lovely sunshine, so we had some breakfast and set off. With the extra crew we soon got through the first electric lift bridge and back out into the countryside. We went down the three locks at Baddiley and then got to Swanley Locks. As Del and Steve came from Swanley in Kent it seemed quite fitting to have a photo at these locks. We then went down the lock flight of Hurleston to the end of the Llangollen canal. We then turned North on the Shropshire Union canal and made our way to Barbridge. Steve took over the steering as we headed for Barbridge. We managed to get a mooring not too far from the Olde Barbridge Inn pub as in the Nicholson guide it said there was Jazz on a Thursday night. We went over there at 7.00pm and had something to eat and then found out that there was no music on in the evening as they had stopped doing it. Uhhh!
Luckily we then got a tip off that they had music at the pub up the road, The Jolly Tar Inn.
So after eating, we made our way up there, and we did pass this prize Pumpkin on the way. When we got there a group could Stipe (a REM tribute band) were getting on stage. Well we could only stomach the first half of their performance, but if you were a die hard REM fan you would have loved it. We walked back to Derwent6 for coffee and chasers before bed.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Meet up with friends at Wrenbury

Blimey what a wet and windy night!!!! We were being bashed around but it did in the end rock us to sleep. In the morning it was wood hunting and low and behold a tree was down just up from the canal.
We quickly moved Derwent6 up to the spot and cut up the tree with the chainsaw. It must have been a dead branch as it looked like seasoned wood. We then slowly made our way up to Wrenbury. We found a nice mooring and then waited for friends Steve and Erica to arrive, who were cruising with us for a few days. We then went for a walk across the fields to the village store and picked up a few bits and pieces. In the afternoon Steve and Del then did a bit of fishing as Steve had brought his rods with him. We never caught anything though, so no change there.
Steve and Del went to The Dusty Miller pub, and the girls met them later on. We were going to eat there but we felt it was a bit expensive, so we walked over to the Copper Mill, over the road, which was better prices. We had a terrific meal and we came out of there so full we were falling asleep. When we got back to Derwent6 it wasn't long before we all crashed out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Clean Pants at last

The rain was hitting the roof as we woke up this morning so we weren't going anywhere. We were also waiting for a call from Beta to see if they could get a new generator belt out to us. Del was down to his last pair of underpants and he had already turned them inside out lol.

We got a call from Chris Jones a Beta engineer who has a workshop on the Middlewich canal, not far from us. He could get out to us with some new belts and would also check the alignment of the pulleys. Chris arrived at midday and soon got to work on the engine. It soon become clear that the pulleys were out of line, so he just fitted the belts with some temporary adjustments just to get us up & running again. Beta are going to check the photos taken and make up some brackets to realign the generator. We may then have to take Derwent6 to his workshop to have them fitted, the saga continues.

After Chris left, Del chopped up some wood and then went on the hunt for more. He found some, but we may have to pick it up tomorrow as we need a closer mooring. Al got all the washing up to date while we still had a generator.

We had some dinner in the evening and listened to some music.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mr Blue Skies

With minus four last night, we got up late this morning and set off just as the frost was beginning to thaw on the roof of Derwent6. It was so pretty with the frost in the fields in the bright blue skies and the sunshine on our backs, being watched by the wildlife. We were having so much fun till the belt snapped on the generator (we didn't think it would last). After a call to Sam (our boat technician) we received a call from Beta themselves. They will be trying to get a belt out to us tomorrow, watch this space!

As it didn't hinder the charging of our batteries, we carried on up to Grindley Brook and through the lock flight of six. It has been very busy here as it is half term week and we must have passed fifteen boats today.

Al then took Derwent6 through the next three locks so Del could flex his muscles. We moored up as time was getting on and we wanted to enjoy this lovely sunshine. We sat out in the cratch and had lunch while watching the balloons floating overhead.