Saturday, 11 August 2018

Delays At The Start Of Our Latest Trip

(With both boats - posted by Alan)
(Retrospective Post for Tuesday 7th August

Once again the blog is in heavy arrears!  There are two excuses this time.

Firstly Cath and I are unusually working both boats on our own.  This is hard work, with  both of us tied up in it for the whole cruising day.  As a result other things  tend to pile up on us, and the by the evenings we are left both busy and exhausted.  It's not just about cooking and domestic chores - dogs also need to be walked, for example.

Secondly I have managed to leave the power supply for my laptop at home, and that PC contains my usual blogging environment, including a holding area for photos, and software to resize them.  A 12 volt power supply I thought I had no longer works, (Dells are very insistent about only running on proper Dell power supplies), and I have only been able to make the most limited use of it, the batteries now being completely dead.

So this is best belated endeavours, using a rather slow and ill equiped tablet - at least it has a proper keyboard.

We are travelling slowly from our home mooring in Northamptonshire to Grendon Dock, near Atherstone on the Coventry Canal - weare certainly not rushing with just the two of us.  Even so the plan on the first day was to get up the Buckby flight, but two things scuppered that.

Firstly we discovered overnight that Odin apparently had an ear infection.  Not wishing to be dealing with that without access to a vet we booked him in to one near to our home mooring, and paused there for the appointment as we passed through by boat.  It doesn't seem to serious, but there are drops to apply twice daily.

We might still just have got up Buckby locks before nightfall, but passing through a bridge in Brockhall Spinney, I was brought to a more or less dead halt by something on the prop.  Cath was a long way ahead on Sickle, so initially I tried to deal with it alone, but was getting nowhere.  Whatever it was was not coming off with a shaft, and the bank height didn't allow me to lie on the towpath and reach under.

I have never got in the cut to clear a prop before, but decided this was our only hope.  Fortunately we have had all this sweltering weather, so it really was not that cold.  My heart sank as I quickly realised it was a tyre over the blades - I have heard too many cases of historic boats needing to be towed somewhere and docked to get tyres off.  Fortunately though, with a bit of heavy manhandling this one did eventually come off without tools.  It was a motorcycle tyre, and frankly I was surprised it was large enough to have managed to go over the bats of the propeller.

Fortunately we also now have a bath on board, so I was able to clean up fairly easily, but by now we were far too late to start the flight, so ended up moored at the bottom, with the dulcet tones of the M1 on one side, and those of the West Coast Mian Line on the other.  Fortunately, again, I think I was too tired to notice!
The are no pictures due to the problems - it appears I got lucky and Cath didn't actually manage to take the one she though she had of me stripped off and in the cut!

High House Wharf, Weedon to Whilton
Miles per boat: 4.8, Miles both boats: 9.5, Locks:0 
Total Miles both boats: 9.5,  Total Locks both boats: 0

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