Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Heat, heater, bloody hot

Sunday 14th July to Wednesday 17th July 2013

I cannot understand how anyone enjoys this hot weather – even the locals that we have spoken to will be glad to see the end of it.

We dared to spend one last night in Alrewas – it was a lovely mooring and we have left mines in the area so that no-one is mooring there when we come back.

The correct way to keep an eye on the barbie

and the correct way to cook - get someone else to do it

We have readily opted for the Manly Ferry cruising options – start very early and moor up early – we certainly do – before it gets too hot – problem was that on the first day of this new regime the skipper had re-prioritised the day to becoming as dehydrated as quickly as possible whilst walking a ridiculously long way.
do you think they want us to go left?

not that way on this river section

this looked a rather narrow bridge hole - it took a little while to
realise that the towpath wasn't there
the mother-in-law was with us in effigy

a bloody armada of geese - about to attack en masse

On our approach to Burton she decided that we would find a nice mooring point and she would just nip off to the supermarket for just a couple of things.
Well firstly the shopping precinct was almost 2 miles away; secondly the temperature was over 25C and getting hotter; thirdly she didn’t confine it to just the supermarket but expanded to anywhere that was likely to sell a smallish folding rotary clothes line; fourthly she went without suitable headwear.

When she returned after 3 hours it was a fatigued beetroot that struggled aboard and then flopped into the lounge – but as she would say – she had achieved – I just think that the 2 gallons of milk on special was a step too far.

After the ice bath and sitting in front of the air conditioning – read that as a bit of a breeze blowing through the boat which was in the shade, she recovered somewhat – very silly girl is that wife of mine.
I was ok throughout all of this – sensibly I volunteered to look after the boat and the dog and get some work completed.

We re-entered the movement on the canal system and carried on northwards seeking more shade in which to moor up – sadly we didn’t find any that was well clear of both busy road and rail – ending finally at Willington on a mooring outside the pub and in full sunshine.

Someone managed to sleep very well that night.

The following day, in order to beat the heat again, we set off early; quick rubbish drop-off; a pumpout and diesel top-up at Mercia Marina – and a chandlery cruise and buy.
This time we found a suitable mooring in the shade at Hill Farm – the focus of attention after that being to setup the washing line and begin utilising it immediately.

proud owner of a new washing line - she could have waited
until Xmas - now what will i get her

even the cows knew how to cool off - shade and cool water
Banjo was feeling the heat more than us

This section of the canal was showing signs of being much like the Macclesfield and Lancaster canals – the side being shallow and mooring opportunities limited as a result.

The locks changed from singles to doubles and the depth from “we can see the bottom” to “canyons with echoes”.

We moved along and at Weston Lock we found the friendly CaRT guys working the locks  there had been a minor breech around bridge 13 which was now repaired, but a gate left opened further down overnight had caused some serious water loss with some boats moored up now being on the bottom.
So a little bit of water was needed to be let through – we must say that there was no delay for anyone moving down – they had been on the job early and saved the situation – why aren’t these guys better looked after by the people running CaRT.

We carried on – carefully staying in the centre and occasionally scraping the bottom and on trying to exit from Aston Lock we found ourselves not progressing at all – stuck in the lock – the level of the pound was down too far to give us clearance over the bottom cill. The lockie opened the gate paddles and we literally were surfing out of the lock on the waves.

Our companions in this lock and the final one were returning after their eight days away from wives and seemingly not looking forward to being under management control again, but they were able to help us immensely with directions to where we needed to be – Lockgate Stoves.

A discussion followed by an inspection of the boat; measurements made; more discussion; more options; pricing; more discussion; checking at the heater options; on and off the boat on a rickety pontoon and a final decision arrived at.
The end result which needs just a finalisation of the total cost means that the installation will be about 40% of what we had previously been quoted and it will all be done within a day – just could not believe it – how nice to get good pricing and being told that what we thought was possible could actually be done.
Only thing will be is that we need to bring the boat back again towards the end of August (we have a booked time on this) and we will need to look after the calcium silicate boards and tiling ourselves – the rest will be looked after by Lockgate Stoves.
The only price we are waiting for is for a stainless steel diesel tank.
We could not be happier at the moment.

Still very hot here so we were happy to find a mooring spot in the shade and allowed the boat to cool down – afterall it had been out in the full sun whilst all of the heater stuff was being sorted out.

the final marker...

... and the basin

A side note – the shuddering noise that had been a worry to us appears to be the effect of the engine revs being too low – we have upped the stationery revs and this has sorted it out – we still feel it marginally sometimes but it is only when the revs drop down too low – this may be the effect of a worn governor – we will keep an eye on that for the future.

23 Miles, 11 Locks

Totals: 1915 Miles, 1406 Locks, 61 Tunnels, 29 Lift Bridges, 141 Swing Bridges


  1. We understand completely about the new clothes line. The washer woman in this family is fanatical about keeping our washing up-to-date, whether at home or away in the caravan. In fact, we have one of those dinky little travelling clotheslines too, just like your new one

  2. The washing is always timed in with a longish cruising day and water points - get the washing underway about 15-20 minutes after we set off and before a water point so that we can top up the tank after the main part of the wash cycle is complete. After it is completed we have the battle through the washing hanging up under the pram hood to get in or out of the boat.
    At least the new washing line takes the latter part away.
    The kids know of the battle that she has with that white (laundry) powder addiction back home - here it is just the liquid capsules that i have to keep out of her reach.

  3. How co-incidental - we're just in the process of replacing our engine mountings because our revs had been set too low! Glad to hear that the 'milk lady' is keeping up the tradition of keeping vast backup quantities of cow juice!

  4. Malcolm Richardson18 July 2013 at 08:32

    Dot beat me to it. I was going to suggest that you may have soft engine mounts. We had this problem years ago.

  5. Thanks Malcolm - we had changed two of the engine mounts, whic in reality were still quite OK andwe will keep them as spares anyway.
    There is a little shuddering at very low revs and when we increase them slightly it disappears.
    I increased the idle revs this morning and it sounds 100% better again and runs extremely smooth now - so fully confident that this has got it in our case.