Thursday, 23 August 2018

I'm fixing a hole where the rain came in........

(Now with just Flamingo- posted by Alan)

Taking an eternity to fill with water - "Pinner" is opposite.
Our day started earlier than intended - far far earlier than intended!  At something like, I think, 3:30 a.m. Cath woke me and placed a corner of the duvet in my hand - "Why is it getting wet here, when it doesn't usually?" she asked!   It turned out that it was raining, and there was a very regular drip of water from the air vent above nor very far from where her pillow is, and now part of the mattress as well as the duvet was quite wet.   She had layed there for quite a while, still part asleep, processing the idea that getting wet in bed isn't a normal situation!

Typical Birmingham & Fazeley bridge.
The relevant area of the sloping cabin side was away from the towpath,it was raining steadily, and there is nothing to hang on to if you do climb on to the gunwales to inspect it.  Despite Cath's considerable concerns, I got dressed and went outside with a lantern.  I could see nothing obviously wrong, so the best I could come up with was to split a rubble sack down its side to produce a fairly large and strong plastic sheet, them to cover the affected area, holding it down with weights and the single magnet I had available.  Shortly after it stopped raining, but we both struggled to sleep after that, and I awoke feeling well tired.

Typical view from behind if you are the tow-path dog walker.
Still bleary eyed, we put the boat onto Fradley services, to do the loo, dispose of rubbish, and fill the water tank.  The single available tap must be one of the slowest on the system - there is almost no water pressure at all, and it would clearly take a while.

Whilst filling I looked again at the problem of rain getting in, and concluded that where a vent hole is covered by a metal shroud, water must be getting between the shroud and the boat - I suspect the sealant used has broken down, and there is probably a lot of rust underneath, but it will be a significant task to get it off for a full fix.  So I raked away any flaking material around the join, and put a bead of silicone sealant over it - hopefully enough to keep the bed dry until we are back to our home mooring.

Even after addressing the problems with the cabin vent, the water tank was nothing like full, as other boats waited impatiently - we don't even have a very big tank - this certainly is a tap to avoid in future!

Several of the loves of my life - wife, two dogs and one of the boats.
Eventually we got going, but not until the morning had virtually ended.  We had one lock to do, then made the turn onto the section from Fradley Junction to Fazeley Junction - the guide shows this as 11 miles, and there are no locks.  I get a bit distracted om long sections with no locks, so we made fairly regular changes of steerer.  At one point I did quite a long stint on the towpath to give the dogs a good walk.

Once through Fazeley Junction there are just the two slow filling locks at Glascote to do, and by here we were in a queue of several boats, so these locks took quite a while.  On arrival at the marina I needed to do quite a long reverse back, and, as always seems to be the case when I have to do this, the winds were starting to build up.  I was quite relieved to make it fairly comfortably onto the mooring - you are under the gaze of many people far more experienced than you are, and there is real pressure not to cock things up completely!

We are here, and earlier than any rough plan we might have had.

Fradley (Trent & Mersey Canal) to Alvecote (Coventry Canal)
Miles 14.9, Locks: 3
Total Miles both boats: 183.5,  Total Locks both boats: 77

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