Friday, 7 April 2017

First Full Trip In A While

(Boat Flamingo - posted by Alan)

Towards the top of the Buckby flight.
Last year was a difficult year for us personally, with the death of the last of our parents, (Cath's mum Ann), various health scares, (fortunately non serious, but regularly diverting us from other things).  It was also not a great year for boating actually achieved.  "Sickle" was unavailable to us for several months, but did finally get its much needed steel work done, and now has a nice clean survey, and is fully insurable again.  "Flamingo"  also threw us a "wobbly" when the engine we always knew would need work, started to make it clear this couldn't wait any longer.  Again this took the boat away from us for several weeks, but by the time we got it back it had a rebuilt engine, a propeller that now actually worked far far better, much improved controls, and lots of essential steel work repairs to its engine room.  So whilst our boating was heavily impaired, both boats were now in a far better state, which has been further improved by the recent engine transplant in "Sickle".

Descending Braunston flight
Now we have a choice as time is available.  We can either carry on with all the refitting work we have planned for "Flamingo", or, (at least sometimes!), go boating and accept we are living in a boat that remains a long term project, but usable none the less.

Last year the big planned trip to the Historic Narrow Boat Club's 50th Anniversary gathering at Woking has to be cancelled due to engine issues.  This year they are having an Easter event on the Birmingham Canal Navigations - a substantial trip out for us, but not one that will take up many weeks, and also a good test for all the work done on "Flamingo".  So we have decided to go for it, and, as the post title suggests go for our first full trip in a while.

"Avonturier" can be wheel steered from the front as well as tiller steered.
So having positioned ourselves on the boat the previous day, whilst frantically completing some last minute tasks, we then set off this morning.  We stopped almost immediately for fuel, and put in 150 litres, expensive enough, but I have recently calculated that the massive tanks on "Flamingo" hold close on 600 litres, so what we bought was only about one quarter of full capacity.

We then had a pretty standard day, doing the two lock flights we do by far the most often - those at Buckby, followed by those at Braunston, with Braunston Tunnel between the two.  We came down Braunston with one of the brothers who are owners at Wyvern Shipping, and I was only then reminded that for a while he owned "Nutfield", another "Large Northwich" like "Flamingo".  He commented on the heavy whine from our Lister Blackstone gearbox when in reverse - a fairly distinctive feature of many of these boxes.

"Large Woolwich" "Aber"
We had hoped to get to Braunston for Midland Chandlers "Freaky Friday" 20% off day, and managed it by the skin of our teeth.  We made some useful savings on a selection of items, but sadly some of the more expensive things I was considering they didn't have.

We had considered carrying on into the evening, but decided we were tired enough that stopping there was a better plan.  In fact we were tired enough that we went to the pub to avoid cooking and washing up.  The only downside is that I am on a very strong antibiotic for an infected tooth which comes with very dire warnings about not mixing with alcohol.  It's rare that I return from the pub having drunk only an orange juiced, but today was one of those rarities.

Classic Braunston view taken from our mooring.
High House Wharf  to Braunston Junction
Miles: 10.9, Locks: 13
Total Trip Miles: 10.9, Locks: 13

No comments:

Post a Comment

We have (finally!) been alerted to the fact that many people have been unable to post comments on this blog. (It seemed a bit odd, as people used to, but it has stopped occurring). We have changed some settings, so hopefully now possible again. Comments will be moderated, and you will need to enter word verification.