Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Cosgrove to the Soulbury Three

We stayed at Cosgrove a few day as Al went down to Kent. Del was having to rest that arm so no brass cleaning and polishing.. He did clean out the bilge and fitted a couple of new valves to the galley taps.

We were going to go on Sunday, but decided Sunday lunch was on the cards and also we wanted to see Lewis win the world championship for the fifth time..
So we set off on Monday at 8.00am with a heavy frost on the roof, autumn is really here.
We went over the aqueduct.
Del had spotted a spare pallet and we stopped off to pick it up at Wolverton before we carried on our way past the famous wall mural.
If you decide to leave early on the Grand union don't be annoyed that you might meet a widebeam as they are only trying to avoid you..
We do like this canal as it is so pretty and the towpaths are brilliant.

The canal round here has changed so quickly with all the development going on.
The new Campbell Wharf marina is really taking shape with its 111 berths, but its such a shame they are using the old Milton Keynes to Bedford canal entrance where it could have been used to start it all off.
On a positive note it was good to see the amount of dredging going on..
We then got Fenny Stratford lock and a boat came out as we turned up.
 We waited for another boat to arrive and after 10 minutes a hire boat joined us. This lock is only a foot deep but every little helps.
Why do you think this place is called Stoke House? It must use some coal..
   We waited again at Stoke Hammond lock and decided to push on towards the Soulbury three.
At the lock we decided to top up with water and the hire boat returned the complement by waiting for us in the lock to save water..
 We got to the top and then moored up on one of our nice moorings just as the sun was setting.. It soon got dark as the clocks had gone back and Tooty was soon on the hunt..

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Moment of Truth!

We chilled over the weekend watching the telly with Strictly and the Grand Prix on and decided to set off on Monday. The leak from the tank was very slowly drying out, and what Del fixed, might have done the trick.
His elbow has come up in a bit of a lump after being down that small hole at the water tank.
We undid the chains at 7.30am and cruised into the rising sun, which was beautiful as well as a problem for us all the way.
  The next problem was the time of year where the canal is covered in leaves, but we are used to that.
The Grand Union is a pretty canal and is well used by boats.
 We soon got to the Northampton arm and then through Blisworth.
It was quiet through the wooded section up to the tunnel but just as we were entering a boat came out.
In the tunnel we met another boat and he was going very slowly with only the navigation lights on and a flickering light on the stern deck. He thanked us for passing him slowly and we then noticed he was magnet fishing. We arrived at Stoke Bruerne in bright sunshine and pulled up on the water point, The moment of truth!
Del wiped down Derwent6 from the tunnel drips and got rid of our rubbish, as we filled with water. We then waited for a boat to go down the locks with but nothing arrived after 45 minutes so we went on our own.
These locks are really interesting as you can see the rope makes still on the walls from the late 1800's.
We know this a busy little tourist spot, but we still don't see the need for the nice new signs all over the place, when the coping stones in the locks need some cement to hold them in place.
We will lose these wonderful locks if they are not regularly maintained.
We would rather the money spent on a sign saying "Please Donate to ******"
Moan over, we carried on in the lovely weather and it was good to see loads of dredging work had been done here. Again its very pretty and the sun was still in our faces, very nice!
After a hour and a half we came into Cosgrove with its lovely bridge, and dropped down the lock to find a mooring.
We were lucky enough to get the last space and it wasn't under the trees.
Tooty was off in a flash again to suss things out..
Del then checked the water pump and it looked like the water leak from the tank had stopped. Lets hope it now dries out so it can be painted..

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

You just realise why we're doing this!!

We had a bit of a lay in this morning as the morning mist was around us. You just realise why we're doing this on mornings like this.
We lit the fire and waited for Derwent6 to warm up before surfacing.
After wiping Derwent6 down and getting the washing on, Del made the decision to
have another go at his bodge he did just to stop the leak from the tank, as now he has a new pipe..
On first inspection it looked like it had dried alright, but when we water tested it we had a slight drip from that perished hose, but the tank seal was working ok.
So we had to do the pipe, and that disturbed the seal, so in the end it all had to come out again..
Del had some mastic which he used to refit the seal and that worked fine.
Then he fitted the new pipe to the hose joint and pushed this into the seal.. A small block was made to hold the seal and hose joint in place.
A hairdryer was used to soften the pipe so he could fit it to the connecting joint in the locker. We then poured some water down the pipe to check for leaks, and hey presto, things seemed ok..
Then all there was to do was a bit of drilling and tapping to refit the inspection plate in the right place, so not to put any stress on the pipe..
Al had helped out as plumbers mate, holding the vacuum cleaner, the hairdryer, and helping out on the testing, a Job well done!
The real test will be when we fill the tank to its full capacity, where the seal is under water for a quarter of a tank..
The mist disappeared and the sun came out and we both had a well earned beer. Its a great feeling when you make a wrong go right on a boat, especially when you could sink!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

On Line Shopping required, seeing an old flame, and heading South

We were up early as we had a Tesco's delivery coming at 9.00am.
Del got to work on the water tank and it looked like the sealer had dried round the seal he fitted yesterday. On warming up the water hose and fitting it to the connection, it split, which made things a bit difficult. He sealed the hose and then tried to fit the connection into the hole of the seal. It just came away from the tank as the hole size in the tank was too big, and in the process he pulled a muscle in his left arm as it is so difficult to get to . It wasn't going well. So it looks like we might need a new seal and a new hose. So Del did a bit of a bodge job by wedging a bit of kindling against the pipe and seal to keep it tight against the tank, but he wasn't happy so he wanted to move to the bottom of the Buckby flight to see if the chandlers there had the seal..
We set off at 11.30am with a boat load of food and extra nappies to soak up the water if it leaked.
We didn't fill with water just in case it hadn't stuck properly. We went through the stretched out and pretty locks of the Buckby flight and at the bottom lock, as it was so quiet, kept Derwent6 in the lock while we walked to the chandlers, which is only about 30 feet away.
Guess what! they had never heard or ever seen this seal and advised we go to a plumber, but we knew we could get it on line. They could help us on the pipe and we got a couple of metres.
We decided to press on as the weather had brightened up and it was so quiet it was very pleasant..
We noticed the berries on the holly bushes which means we might get a harsh winter.

We got to the new A45 bridge at Weedon and were surprised at how they were getting on with it. It is now one of those spots with boats, trains, and automobiles.
We then got to Stowehill Wharf and its always pretty round here.

We then spotted n.b. Thema (which was owned by Del's mum Pat and Keith) and was the boat which got us into narrowboats. (Check out the colours)
Without n.b. Thema we probably would be on the canals today. It was sad to see the brasses not done!
It was getting late in the day so we reached another of our favourite moorings at Nether Heyford and Tooty was off in a flash. We only just managed to get him in the picture as he rushed off into the hedges on the hunt..
Del was still not happy with that bodge to the water tank, so while we are half full he might have another go tomorrow.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Tunnel, lunch and a rethink!

We left very early in the morning and entered Braunston tunnel in darkness and exited in daylight and then crept up to Norton Junction which was very busy.. We ended up mooring close to the turning point and played the waiting game to see who moved to go through the locks when they opened at 9.00am..
While we waited we checked the water leak we had by the water pump and low and behold it was full of water again.. As we filled the fresh water tank up yesterday we felt it must be coming from there. We drained out the water again around the pump, but it seemed to be filling quickly.. With the rocking of the boat it seemed to be coming from the port side and then the starboard side, so we were scratching our heads again. It was definitely worse when the tank was full, but as we said before the bow is lower in the canal water so where was it coming from?
We had a light breakfast and then noticed a boat moving and going into the lock, our chance to get a space. Del then did a couple of jobs like fitting a new grate on the fire.

We had to get Al some more locking gloves as her old ones had too much wear, and just down the Buckby flight of locks there is a garden centre. We took a walk to find some and she got some nice ones which should protect her hands..
On the way back we stopped at the New Inn pub for lunch and scampi and a meat pie went down well with chips, washed down with a cool beer.. The weather was again very warm for the time of year so we ended up have a few beers and chatted about our plans and of course the leak. Del had an inkling that we just need to check the overflow pipes and filler pipes and remove the inspection hatches. For this the front lockers had to be emptied and the bolts removed to get to the pipes.. The overflow pipe seemed fine but on removal of the filler pipe it was clear it had been dripping..
We had some problems getting the pipe off but you could see the seal was not fitting correctly.
On removal the tank looked alright. Del then cleaned everything back as new and resealed the rubber seal back in and left it to dry overnight.. Watch this space to see if it has fixed it..