Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Its better than a good day at work

Today was a bit warmer and we let the fire go out because we wanted to clean the chimney. The wood we were burning was a bit damp and had clogged up some sections at the flue and at the fire end.. When the brush was inserted there was a clutter at the other end and Del just thought the plate had moved above the grate. It turned out that the blanking cover on the back had fallen out. This should have been held on by two bolts with a steel block holding it in but looked like it had just been bonded in, and only the soot was holding it in..
It was a bit of a struggle but Del made up a contraption to hold it in place to hopefully get us through the winter. We already have a crack round the collar and the cement bricks need replacing. This will all have to be done through the summer months..
On top of that we have at last got a reply from Beta, and it came with our invoice. One point made was that "We do say to check all external nut bolts"

The fact is that the Crankshaft nut is NOT an external nut and things have to be removed to get to it..
Our questions still wasn't answered!

1. Why have we had to pay for a modified kit which is clearly a design fault
2. Why haven't you warned all customers of the problem of the Crankshaft nut coming loose and at least added it to the Maintenance Schedule, or even highlighted it under a recall for them to get the clamp fitted..

Dream Girls and Engine check

So we have been in chill mode again. It has been so muddy on the towpath here that I don't think it has encouraged boats to stop. We have been here all on our own, and its lovely and peaceful.
Yesterday Al jumped on the train and met up with Hannah for her Christmas and Birthday present from us..
First it was bit of shopping along Oxford Street and a few drinks followed by some eats at TGI Friday's.
This was followed by the theatre to see "Dream Girls" at the Savoy.
They had a great time and ended up getting the late train back to Kent where Al stayed the night.
It was Hannah's Birthday the following day and the girls were up early for a good breakfast at Maccy D's before Al headed back to Derwent6.

Del on the other hand was playing with the engine again. The engine had reached fifty hours and as Al was away it was a good time to check it.. Del also decided to service the engine as well as he had it in bits again.. First the belts came off again and the two front pulleys removed to see the new clamp which has four allen bolts. There is a paint mark on the front of the engine crankshaft to see if anything has moved at a glance and also a measurement has been taken too. First the bolts which bolt the clamp to the pulley have to be checked and then the four allen bolts checked for tightness. All appeared to be ok and couldn't be moved..

It was then an oil and filter change and also the air filter. Then it was to take a bit out of the bottom of the diesel tank to check to see if there was any water and then the water trap filter would be drained.. Afterwards the fuel filter is changed and then its bleed the injectors to start the engine..
When warm a quick tighten of the engine mounts and other external bolts like belt adjustment, brackets and drive gear bolts.. Then it was lubricating all the cables and bearings on the driveshaft..

So lets hope that's it, we will be checking the clamp every hundred hours now for movement as we can't afford that keyway to get damaged again, that would be curtains..

Monday, January 29, 2018

Making the most of the day

We were up early this morning and Del got rid of the rubbish and also needed a bolt at the chandler's. Al walked up the post office to post a letter and then we set off.
After all the bad weather we had had, it was quite warm in the sunshine and very pleasant cruising.
We made our way back towards Hillmorton and as the clouds seem to gather in it got a lot colder in the picking up winds..
The locks weren't in our favour and Al had to fill them, but we soon caught up with a boat in front of us which turned out to be a familiar boat "No Problem" who had just fitted a new cover to the stern.
At the bottom of the locks we filled with water.
This tap is so slow but we felt we just needed to top up a little as we had done a lot of washing.. We went inside for a cup of tea and after an hour it still wasn't full, so we decided to not fill it right up as we wanted the time to do our things..
We moored up just along from there and Tooty was off on his favourite patch. Del got out the chainsaw and chopped up some wood from the roof as the locker was nearly empty and we were ready for the next cold snap..
In the evening we chilled with some music and a nice relaxing chat about what we are doing later in the year.. It could be a busy one!

Staying Snug!

So we sat tight for a few days as the weather hasn't been too clever.. We have been out and about and been in The Admiral Nelson twice, once on our own and then we met up with Andy and Hilary off n.b. Masibert.
We had a good old catch up and it was lovely to see them. The food was great in the Nelson as well, and sitting by the warm log burner made us get a bit too comfortable.
Al went to Church on the Sunday morning and it was snowing heavens hard when she came out.
We still haven't heard from Beta ref our questions, but we're sure they will sort it out..

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Hindering Things!

We have been just dossing around for the last week as we both had this cough and throat that seems to be going around..
Just to add to the problems Del has had a small back ache which has hindered things..
To top it all we had an email from CaRT saying we hadn't moved since November and from this blog you can clearly see we have.. We haven't even seen anyone take our number between Leighton Buzzard and Rugby, and we have been in a marina for 3 weeks over the Christmas period, so a phone conversation was in order..
Debbie was very nice on the other end of the phone, but was adamant that our number had been taken three times in the same place.. We patiently explained that we had moved several times and to read this blog or check with the marina to put things straight......
While ranting, we did send another email to Beta with some questions we want answered.
1. Why are they not informing all customers of this problem so they can check regularly for themselves.
2. Why are we having to pay for a modified kit on a problem which is clearly a design fault.

We still await a reply..

Bruising Day

We felt a bit better today and decided to move. We had kindly been given a spanner from the Chandlers at the bottom of Braunston Locks for the immersion heater element. It turned out it didn't fit and needed a box spanner which we had to purchase, but the thought was there and we had to return it..
We reversed up as we had spotted some more wood where we were and loaded Derwent6 for the next cold snap and then set off.
It was very pleasent cruising as the wind had dropped and it was still warmish, when we got to the locks at Hillmorton they were in our favour.
At the second lock Al slipped with the windlass and hurt her leg and shoulder but mustered on..
When we got to the last lock a boat was coming down which made things easy. When we got to the top we were surprised to see how empty the moorings were here, it is normally so busy.
It started to get a bit colder as we got towards Barby but it was lovely to be out in the countryside again..
We headed into Braunston and got ourselves onto the waterpoint. Al went up the shop and Del returned the spanner while the tank filled up.
We then had a pumpout at Braunston Marina and then headed out of the village to find a mooring..
 We just squeezed Derwent6 into a mooring by the church and set up the telly..

We thought we would treat ourselves to dinner out and got showered and changed to make us feel good. We walked to The Boat House as it was only a five minute walk, and ordered our food and got our drinks.. When the food came out it was awful, it was obviously frozen food over cooked, and we are not moany people but we had to complain. We were offered our money back and we left still hungry, sadly we won't be returning.
Back on Derwent6 it was cheese on toast for us watching some telly, hoping we wouldn't get ill from the food we had just tried to eat..
It had been a long busy day and we were ready for bed, Del with his back and Al with here sore legs and shoulder.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sharpening up

We woke up to ice again on the side of Derwent6 and we needed that wood cut up on the roof..
The chain on the chainsaw had gone blunt and it was time to sharpen things up a little..
We have three chains and Del managed to do all three and fit one on the chainsaw..

So we are ready to go, a job for tomorrow we think..
Al walked up to the general store and posted a letter and also got a few provisions..
This was going to be a lazy day for us..

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Just Enjoying!

We made our way back to our favourite mooring and gathered some wood on the way..

Our plan was to just be on our own for a few days, and we made our way to where we knew we could get a good supply of wood, there seems plenty around this year..

Derwent6 had done it's 10 hours since the bottom pulley had fallen off due to a loose crankshaft nut..
Del removed the belts and checked the pulley, all good. He did manage to get another quarter turn on the outside clamp bolts so it was worth checking.. Its next check is at 40 hours! We still haven't had an invoice from Beta yet and have asked a few questions we want answered, so watch this space!

Del also had to repair the shower pump as the bolt holding the diaphragm had fallen off just as we were leaving before Christmas..

It also got serviced with new valves, as good as new now..

Its so quiet on the canal's at the moment and Tooty is happy to have it all to himself.. Del got to work on the brasses and Al got Derwent6 shipshape, and the Christmas decks came down for another year..

So we are JUST ENJOYING! we are so lucky! (Doing our press up's as we write this)..

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Wow what a Christmas and New Year

Well Happy New Year folks!  New year new start..
We have had just a fantastic Christmas, ate too much, drunk too much, and saw so many people and we still didn't see them all..
We spent the bulk of our time down in Whitstable with friends Zoe and Greg, who put up with us both, and what a great time we had. 
We pubbed, partied, and ate for England.........
We had just a fantastic Christmas dinner (after the Neptune pub on the beach of course)
Thanks guys we luv ya!
We managed to see Bernie and Sarah and Steve and Erica, who we went to the States with last year, and Del even managed to get some gliding in at Long Man in Brighton.

We also saw Terry and Ron (Del's stepmum) who kindly put us up for a week and also arranged a couple of gatherings before Christmas and on Boxing Day, where we got together with Cliff and Lou (Del's brother) and all the kids. Thanks so much both! xx
In between all this we saw friends Steve and Deb, who invited us to theirs for a delicious curry. It was then down to Bentley in Hampshire to see Jo and Brian (Al's sister) and it was lovely to see all the family together. They supplied more nibbles and drink and we had a good catch up..
From there it was on to Reading where we met up with Joy and Steve (Al's work friend). They had cooked a lovely roast dinner in the evening and it was quality, and very relaxing.. We stayed at their six star abode and felt like movie stars.. We were even taken out for a lovely breakfast at the Rustic cafe just round the corner before we headed back to Kent.
One of the highlights of the week was a family gathering on Del's side. At Del's Uncle John's funeral earlier in the year, we had all arranged to meet at Christmas as we were sick of seeing everyone only at funerals..  Terry had sorted out a venue and about 25 of us all turned out with more food and drink, it was so lovely to see everyone and long may this new tradition continue..
News Years Eve was bonkers. We met back at Zoe and Greg's before the pub... From there it was on to the Duke where two bands were playing. The first band were playing Reggie which got everyone going and then a brilliant band called Big Orange Head played, go see them if they're in your area..
If you think the party was going to stop there, think again. From the beach we ended up at Zoe's for a Disco.

They have a huge jukebox up on the wall and every hit from the 70's was played, and we all joined in on all different sorts of instruments from guitar to Uke, and every percussion instrument you can think off.. yep we fell into bed at dawn..  Hic!
After a very late start on New Years Day, we stopped in at Bernie and Sarah's again and they had done a fabulous cold meat spread to help that new years resolution of losing weight, the perfect end to wrap things up..
We stayed with them that night and set off after the morning rush hour and hit the M1 to pick up Tooty, the travel sick cat, and get back to normal (not that our life is normal!)
After we had cleared up the cat sick we opened up Derwent6 and warmed things up.. It had been cold as some of the Christmas cards had fallen down, but it was so nice to be home..
While things were warming up and Tooty was on guard, we went food shopping and there was no beer or chocolate in sight..
The next day was clear out day; as we always end up bringing back loads it means loads have to go if it hasn't been used.. charity shops do ok with us at the beginning of the year.. A big thank you to everyone who got us Christmas Presents, we are now listing hard to starboard and dredging the system as we go along..
The hire car went back and we untied the ropes and drifted off back to the cut where Derwent6 belongs..
It was lovely to be cruising free and thinking about what next!!
We have loads of plans!!