Very retrospective post for Friday 28th November.
The day started with the story of the tunnel lamp, but how to tell it? Yesterday we had briefly passed through the short Newbold tunnel - so short I would not normally have bothered with the tunnel lamp. However, as it was a gloomy day, I had reached down for the switch, and it had seemed to turn the light on, so I didn't think much more about it. Last night I knew we would pass through Braunston tunnel today, where it was definitely required, and I wanted to check it, and its alignment, but I threw the switch several times and nothing happened - the first problem to look at today then.
|"Nelson" Lock, Braunston|
Cath was feeling quite unwell that morning, and had stayed in the warm and not got involved, other that having me come in cursing from time to time to try and warm up. I really didn't understand how the lamp could have worked, but not now, so said to Cath "it is almost like there is a second switch or fuse that I don't know about". "What about this switch in the corner at the back of the main cabin?", she suggested, "I think he said that works the tunnel light, so I switched it yesterday as we were approaching Newbold". Yes, that's right, you couldn't make it up, could you? Yesterday when I had thrown a switch that I believed was the one for the tunnel light, Cath must have been throwing the one that was actually for the tunnel light! We tried it, and the lamp, (still hanging on its cables, and not yet"bodged" back on), lit up perfectly - the switch I had been switching made no difference, and it stayed on - that switch had nothing to do with the tunnel light!
|This shot gives some impression of an unconverted boat!|
Still not quite ready to finally start ascending the locks, we stopped for the chandlery at the foot of them. There I was able to purchase 2 small 12 volt LED lights - not large enough to be main cabin lighting, but sufficient to replace two of the horrible "bus" bulbs we had that were using a fair bit of power, and casting very little light.
I can't remember too much about our passage through our first flight of broad locks with Flamingo, so assume it went well. we were taking some pictures, and that is usually a sign we are progressing OK. I remain surprised quite how much it takes to stop the boat, and suspect that things are not quite right in that department - I erred on the side of caution though, and there were no bumps.
The tunnel was passed smoothly - being a full length boat, Flamingo holds its course far easier than Sickle, a boat that has had over 30 feet cut out of it, and is actually far more intolerant of and lapse in concentration.
|I know how long it is, but still surprised by pictures like this.|
We were become increasingly suspicious that we were using electrical power faster than our single alternator was generating it, and general dully or flickering of lights when water pumps were run was increasingly confirming a problem. We had some contigency in terms of battery lighting - my bigger concern was that if we lost the inverter that produced mains voltages from the batteries, then we would lose the pump that circulates the water from the boiler into the radiator circuit. I wasn't confident if this happened that the solid fuel stove would not then boil the water, so was really more concerned about potential loss of heating than lighting, as it was again most cold!
At least I could now install the LED lights I had just purchased at a couple of temporary locations, and minimise battery consumption a little bit.
Braunston to Buckby Locks
Miles: 5.1, Locks: 7
Total Miles: 18.4, Locks: 10