|Stoke Bruerne, near the tunnel to avoid a long trip in reverse!|
So, to get the much heavier and more awkwardly placed boiler out, we called on reinforcements - our sons were asked to drive up for the day to lift it out and take it home with them. As they are both in their mid 20s, and one of them lifts weights as a hobby it was somewhat easier for them than for us. We now have to decide how to get rid of it.
Alan has done other work on the engine, and the electrics, as well as simplifying the plumbing in the main cabin - for example, decommissioning the 'heated floor' in the bathroom. At the moment if we want hot water we need to run the multi-fuel stove, but to just heat water we need to turn off all the radiators (the hot water system doesn't operate separately from the heating at the moment), and heating the bathroom floor is just a waste of heat at a time when we don't want the boat hot anyway. Alan also plumbed out the diesel boiler from the main heating system now that it has been removed from the boat.
So, we finally got fed up with painting, plumbing, electricity and engineering, and decided to go to Stoke Bruerne. Not too far away - about 3 hours, and we wanted to find out if the engine would be OK to go there for the Stoke Bruerne Family Festival in a couple of weeks time. There are also a couple of places that we could wind a 72 foot boat before we got to Stoke, if it became necessary.
We tied up, and decided to think about the problem in the morning, when the engine had cooled. We went to the Navigation Pub, but there were no seats available in the only part of the pub that allows dogs in, and a number of disgruntled diners told us of long waits. So we went to The Boat pub, where the place was virtually deserted, but they were still serving food, which arrived promptly.
We spent a fairly relaxed morning, there were lots of people on the towpath to talk to, while Alan disappeared every now and again to ring Richard. We checked the oil to see if there was any evidence of diesel in it, but it seemed clear, so we decided that it was time to go back to our mooring.
After the tunnel we stopped in Blisworth for me to buy milk and bread, and to let the engine cool. Then after lunch we polished brass a bit. Finally we set off again for 'home'.
It was an enjoyable trip out, and it should be possible to take Flamingo to the Family Festival in two weeks time.
High House Wharf to Stoke Bruerne winding hole and return
Miles: 20.0, Locks: 0