Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Oh Silly Me

Monday 27th February to Sunday 4th March 2012

18 Miles, 25 Locks  – for this week

Totals:  1029 Miles,  849 Locks, 28 Tunnels, 18 Lift Bridges, 20 Swing Bridges

We thought that we had been needing to refill the water tank seemingly more regular than previous; you sometimes lose track of things when its on tap (so to speak).

But it did seem that way; it also seemed strange that the taps had continued spurting after our return and that it was the cold water as well as the hot – I could believe that there was still a bit of air in the calorifier (but that seemed a bit long as well).

Something not quite right – of course the first thing you think of is that there is a leak in the tank – no that was OK – no loss of water overnight when the isolating tap was closed.

Is the connection to the pump still OK – the one that we disconnected and then reconnected – turned the tap on and there was no leak there, so all OK. 

We suspected another problem when noticed it was a bit damp around the radiator in the bedroom – so turned off the radiator taps and turned the diesel heater system off – see how it is in the morning. 

It was a bit wetter in the morning and started to dry it all up until we opened the wardrobe and there was a lot more water on the floor in there. 

When it kept on coming back I was more than concerned – we finally managed to open the inspection hatch to the bilge and lo and behold it was indeed full of water. 

So there was a water leak, we (read as I) didn’t manage to find it. 

We had left the marina planning to spend a few days cruising with Mitch who had made his way back from Ireland, but signs were not looking good. 

First things first – we needed to get the water out and then to see exactly where it was coming from.

The bilge pump in the engine bay wouldn’t reach; so up to Canal Cruising Co (at Stone – the next lock up) – “bring it up and we’ll get the water out; the guy who normally looks after these things is off today, but he is back tomorrow.”

A start at least, we got the boat there and they pumped the water out. We discussed where the problem might be and one of the lads had a look at it along with the boss – BINGO – they found it after a few minutes. 

Apparently there a little “O”ring missing from the elbow connection on the water line – the very same connection that I had disassembled for our trip away to prevent the pipes breaking during the freezing conditions.

It must have dropped out and whilst they were sympathetic indicating that it would have been hard to see it go, I still felt like a complete idiot to reconnect without checking properly. 

New seal in; pipework reconnected properly; we were now fine – well except for the little matter of an unknown but considerable amount of water in the bilge to remove and a wardrobe full of clothes needing to be washed. 

Fortunately I have an understanding wife who was wonderful through the whole thing. 

In the end I was extremely pleased to be looking pretty silly than to be faced with a far more extensive and expensive outcome. 

Anyway we were able to continue cruising and continue to dry things out. 

The cruising was not in anyway hampered by the our wet beginning and we had a thoroughly enjoyable and at times funny few days out. 
Just cruising along

Up to Barlaston and then onto Stoke – we do so enjoy mooring up at Stoke – and no problems at all. We then repeated this in reverse.

Our only hiccup during that time was that we failed to properly read the days that the Plume of Feathers was open for meals in the evening – we realised that Wednsday + Friday does not mean the same as Wednesday – Friday. None of us read it the way that it had been written – no problems – back to the boat for a wonderful stand by meal.
The favourite son - Mitchell
We have to say that Mitch enjoyed doing the locks – far better than he would have enjoyed being on the boat going through the locks. He understands why we enjoy the lifestyle that we have, but it really isn’t for him.
Father and Son

He is not the Toad of Toad Hall type; the only messing around with boats that he is likely to do is with those in the bath-tub. 

Moored up in Stone at week’s end and an extremely enjoyable and over-filling Indian meal at Al-Shiekhs. 

Saturday was off to Birmingham to catch up with Debbie, James, Katharine and Rachel – they hadn’t seen Mitch since he had been over here – in fact hadn’t seen him since their visit to Australia in 2006. We saw the changes and updates that they had made to the house since we were last there – not long ago – all looks wonderful – and not much more to go, but as with all older houses it is not the length of the list that matters but the money to do it all. 

You will get there guys. 

Sunday was farewell day – also a rainy day – first that Mitch had seen since he had left Melbourne – which by the way had experienced near record rainfalls since his departure – we have christened him the “Rain-Go-Away Fairy”.
Mother and Son

But he was away just after 11, leaving me with his teary-eyed mother. 

We went back to the boat for a reasonably comfortable afternoon watching the France v Ireland match (a 17-17 draw), and we only then had to think about when we would move back into the marina.

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