Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Multiple Charging Circuits

I returned to the boat with a new fuse for the bow thruster circuit. Once connected I measured the voltage at the bow thruster with the Travelpower providing 240ac to the Victron Multiplus inverter/charger. All is well there. Further tests at the domestic battery bank revealed the domestic alternator was not supplying any current.Time for a bit more wire tracing. With the help of the Beta Marine engine manual I found the cable that normally connects the domestic alternator D+ terminal had been cut at the engine end. This meant that the alternator will not start supplying current until it reaches quite high revs.
Alternator fact: The alternator only needs a current to energise it at low revs. At high revs the weak magnetic field already present in the rotor will generate enough current to energise the alternator.
I think it was disconnected to avoid having the alternator and Victron compete to charge the batteries. I'm going to reconnect it because the domestic alternator is essential for recharging while cruising when the Travelpower is not running. The two charging systems will only compete in as much as the one with the lowest voltage output will shut down and leave the field clear for the other. I'd rather have the two systems running than none at all as we had when the Travelpower drive belt broke.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Things that Go Pop

After two weeks of battery-pampering I returned the batteries to Syncopation. There were five to refit: four domestic and one bow-thruster. I put the bow-thruster back in first and then got to work trimming the side of the battery box to make replacing the domestic batteries easier. Twenty minutes later I had all the batteries in and began connecting them. I connected the cable from the bow thruster battery to the first in the domestic bank and was surprised by a fat spark. When I touched the terminal with the cable again there was a bigger spark and the nearby fuse blew. Oops! A quick check revealed I had put the bow thruster back in back to front, so the 175 Amp fuse protecting the bt battery charging cable blew when I completed the circuit.

When everything was connected I started the engine and checked the battery voltage and found as I suspected that the domestic alternator was supplying no charge. I switched on the Travelpower and fired up the Victron Multiplus and found a healthy charge going into the batteries.

A check of the instrument panel revealed no red light on starting the engine for the domestic alternator so I traced the cable from the back of the panel. The loose cable looked suspicious and proved to be the connection from the alternator to the charge light - so no charge. It was easy to fix - just plug it in - and the domestic alternator was still not charging. Further investigation required I think.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I brought the four domestic batteries home from Syncopation at the weekend. On our last voyage the batteries were flattened when we lost the Travelpower and then tried to bake a cake in the electric oven. I've run the engine for only a few hours since then and have been concerned about the batteries' state of charge.
I discovered that it's rather difficult to remove the batteries from thebox
they are housed in because it was installed before the frame that supports the engine room floor. To make life easier I think I'll have to make a door in the side of the box that I can remove the batteries through. It will need to be strong enough to stop the batteries falling out as well. I suspect I also need a new charger at home because the one I have takes more than 24 hours to charge a 110 Ah battery. At this rate it will take most of the week to charge all these batteries.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Travelpower Fixed

I spent most of today at the boat. I went to Syncopation with two drive belts (one spare). I had to remove the domestic alternator belt to get the new belt on the Travelpower alternator. While I was in there I retensioned the engine alternator belt also. Once it was all back together again I took her for a spin up to Gayton marina and back to put some charge into the batteries.

While I was beavering away in the engine 'ole I was passed by to coal boats in the space of 30 minutes. First was Jubilee going north, then it was Bletchley, going south.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fish 4 Parts

The quest for a new Travelpower drive belt has come to a close at last with the internet supplier Fish4Parts coming up with the right part. After trying numerous on-line suppliers and three different chandlers unsuccessfully I hit upon Fish 4 Parts. When I couldn't find a 6PK1280 poly-vee belt on their web site I rang their contact number and their sales staff have found what I need. I just have to wait for it to arrive now.

Unfortunately we completely flattened Syncopation's domestic battery bank on the way home on Saturday and I'm not convinced the domestic alternator is supplying a charge so they batteries will stay flat until I can fit the new Travelpower belt and charge the batteries that way.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Return to Blisworth

The night on the shore power at Wilton marina left our batteries fully charged while allowing us to cook. We had to be careful not to exceed the maximum 16 amps available at the supply so only one ring on the hob was available at a time.
We travelled back to Blisworth this afternoon having shuffled the cars again. We arrived at about 3:30 PM and made it home to our cold house at 5:30 PM after unloading and tidying up the boat.

Total distance is 11 miles, 7½ flg and 0 locks.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Day Trip to Wales

I've been driving the car for the best part of seven hours today. I drove to Aberdovey to collect Dominic from the first UK Tourettes Camp, arranged by Tourettes Action. This event was inspired by the US version, made known in this country by the ITV documentary in 2006. In the meantime Cathy brought Syncopation down the Buckby flight to Wilton Marina single handed. We are spending the night on a mooring in the marina - with shore power. Our batteries are nicely charged now.

Wilton Marina chandlery are the third in two days to match the power transmission belt that broke yesterday. Looks like it will have to wait until we get home and I can visit a motor factors.

All week I've posted no photos in this blog because although I'm taking pictures I forgot to bring a cable to connect camera to computer and I've got no card reader. When we get back home I'll download the pictures and add them to the blog.

Total distance is 3 miles, 1¼ flg and 7 locks.

Moored at Wilton Marina.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Generator Woes

We returned to Braunston today with the intention of pushing on until we reached the bottom of the Buckby flight on the Grand Union. Just past the Admiral Nelson pub on the Braunston flight of locks and there were ominous noises from the engine 'ole. Flappy noises like a broken drive belt. 30 minutes dismantling revealed the drive belt for the Travelpower generator had started to shred and was down to about 60% of its normal width.
I cut the belt and took it to Braunston chandlers at the bottom lock but they didn't have the right one in stock. We are going to complete our week away without the Travelpower. We'll have to be very careful cooking - the inverter can run the oven by itself and with the engine running the domestic alternator can supply the power required so we won't flatten the batteries but we can't use the hob at the same time.

Near Napton junction we passed Moore 2 Life again.

Total distance is 9 miles, 4 flg and 6 locks.

Moored at Welton Wharf.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Windmill and the Pill Boxes

I set off up the hill with Arrow to the excellent Napton post office and stores to post some letters and packages for Cathy and buy some milk and bread.

We made our way up to the Old Engine Arm to turn at lunch time then made our way back to yesterday's mooring at Napton.

All the way around Napton you can see the windmill:

Also prominent are the WWII pill boxes by the canal side, part of the strategic defences against invasion in 1941:

On the way back I spotted nb Skyy, moored near the butty Betelgeuse, another picture here. The men from Canal and River Services were busy between locks 9 and 10 dredging the pound and remaking the towpath.

Total distance is 3 miles, 3 flg and 14 locks.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Napton in the Snow

We set off late from Braunston after finding they had no coal at Midland chandlers. It started snowing around an hour after we set off and continued until we stopped as the light failed at Napton. Siobhan started making a small snowman on the towpath.

The coal was running low and we found Midland chandlers at Braunston Turn don't stock it. Fortunately we encountered the coal boat Gosty Hill just after Napton Junction and bought a bag of smokeless fuel from them. We passed nb Moore 2 Life just after the junction.

Total distance is 6 miles, 7¾ flg and 0 locks.

Moored at bridge 112, Napton.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Single Handed to Braunston

Cathy took Dominic to his Tourettes Camp at Aberdovy Outward Bound centre. This left me with the other two children and Syncopation all to myself. We made our way up the remainder of the locks in the Buckby flight in the company of another narrowboat whose name I can't recall. Just in time to empty both cassettes from the toilet and fill up the fresh water tank. We passed the moored BW piling flats and workboats

at Norton junction

and turned west, passing through the Braunston tunnel, down the Braunston locks in the company of nb Pilipala. I dropped in to the chandlery at the bottom lock for paint to touch up the scratches on Syncopation's side and a pole to replace the pole that was stolen sometime in the last few weeks.

Total distance is 4 miles, 6¼ flg and 8 locks.

Moored at Braunston.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Long Buckby Wharf

After spending the night at Blisworth we've stopped short of Braunston as we ran out of daylight. We were aiming to be in Braunston this evening but had to tie up because we wasted too much time buying diesel at Whilton Marina (79 p per litre) and shuffling cars early on. We left one car at Braunston and the other at Bugbrooke wharf where we met Cathy.

At Long Buckby locks we met a lady walking along the towpath with a barn owl. The lady cares for injured owls. This one was too badly injured to be returned to the wild and is now kept as a pet.

Total distance is 12 miles, 7 flg and 5 locks

I had to cycle to Braunston to pick up the car, collect the other car from Bugbrooke wharf and take it back to Long Buckby Wharf. We then took the whole family back to Long Buckby for dinner at the Wharf pub. Finally we returned to the boat at Long Buckby in both cars.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

At Gayton Junction

I took Syncopation up to Gayton Junction to top up her water tank. While filling up, the Maisibert passed by:

Then back top the moorings at Blisworth until next week.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Syncopation at Village at War

We took Syncopation south down the canal to Stoke Bruerne where the occupants have travelled back in time the the forties. The centre of the village around the canal museum was filled with people in forties dress, with a contingent of the home guard and various civilian and military vehicles from the period.

We made our turn outside at the museum where I nearly got soaked by the fire fighters testing their pump:

I nearly got Syncopation wedged across the canal just outside the museum. Knowing that the Stoke Bruerne trip boat Indian Chief turns there I assumed we'd make it and I started making our turn. We made it with about a foot to spare. I think Indian Chief may be shorter than Syncopation.

Another Repair

I've just repaired a leak in Syncopation's coolant system. The hose union fractured at the point where it joins the calorifier, allowing the engine coolant to leak out into the bilge.

Here's the bit that broke:

You can just see the crack going from one end almost to the other.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Boat Fixed

I decided to have a go at fixing the prop shaft coupling myself. With a little help from folks at the Canalworld Discussion Forum I found out what needed doing. I dug out my trusty torque wrench and set about undoing all the bolts that held the propshaft in the coupling. With a little persuasion the collet came out of the coupling and I could then slide the shaft back in with it and tighten everything up again. Job done. About an hour's work.

The coupling is the big round thing at the bottom of the picture. The eight bolts at the top end hold the shaft in. It's not very accessible because of the engine's soundproof cocoon but for once the cocoon made life easier because it was comfortable to lie on top of while I worked.

While I was at the boat I thought I'd check under the bed as there has been an unexplained coolant leak from the engine for the last couple of weeks. The puddle under the calorifier said it all. Looks like the boat's still not going anywhere until I've found some PTFE tape and clamps and remade one of the joints where the engine cooling system joins the calorifier.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Boat Broken

Syncopation's propellor shaft has come adrift from the flexible coupling that connects it to the gear box. It was wrenched out in an accident. I was moving Syncopation back to the boat yard from our mooring, a journey of about 50 yards, to fill up the water tank. What I didn't know was that there was an old mooring rope lying under the water and it got wrapped around the propellor as I moved the boat forward. Normally this is not a problem as the rope can at worst stop the propeller. In this case the rope was still tied to the bank. As we moved forward , the boat was brought to an abrupt halt by the rope tangled around the propellor. 20 tons of boat caused the shaft to be pulled out of its mounting on the Centaflex coupling until it hit the rudder. Fortunately the boat was moving slowly so no more damage was done and the shaft was not pulled right out of the boat, which would have sunk Syncopation quite quickly.

On a brighter note, the shoe cupboard is fixed in the engine room now, so I won't have to move it every time I want to lift the deck boards.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Party in the Paddock

They're holding the third Party in the Paddock in the village and we can hear it all over the village. As you can see, nobody is very far away.

View Larger Map

I listened to Roger Daltry singing Pinball Wizard as I walked the dog.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Diesel in the Bilge

I went to Syncopation to change the engine oil today and a relatively easy job turned into another more difficult one. As usual it took me over half an hour to actually get to the engine as the engine room floor and the cocoon has to be dismantled before the engine itself is visible. While doing this I noticed what appeared to be water in the stern bilge below the stern gland. I started pumping it out but had to stop when I realised the brown foam-like stuff pouring into the canal was red diesel. Oh dear. There was four or five gallons of diesel in the bilge. It was just beginning to spill over into the inaccessible part of the bilge under the engine cocoon.

I put off dealing with this while I changed the oil and filter (50 hour service but nearer 110 hours) and failed to tighten the engine alternator drive belt due to its being inaccessible.

After some thought I made a temporary container for the diesel by cutting the top off a 6 pint milk container. I was able to place this under the bilge pump outlet and reach the switch for the pump. After the first container full I decided the diesel was clean enough to go back in the tank, so in it went. The leak was a loose fuel pipe union that I disturbed when I removed the filter when we ran out of diesel. Over the last week it has been dripping at a rate of about one drop every five seconds.

After I had cleaned up I left the cocoon and decking dismantled: I'll have to ask Mill Wharf boatyard to tighten my alternator belt and I'd hate to have to pay them to take all that apart again: they'd probably put it together for me as well, an expense I don't need.

Spent this evening finishing covering my port hole bungs.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Unlucky Dog

Arrow's visit to the vet last week has led to another this week. The seed lodged in his paw did not work loose and he had to go back yesterday to have it removed. He arrived home with a cast covering the stitches:

None of us is sure the pink with purple hearts is entirely appropriate for a boy dog.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Diesel Purchased

We walked Syncopation back through Calcutt top lock, passing nb Tackley, owned by Ron and Brenda Wilson of the boating Wilsons. Ron advised on handling an unpowered boat. Finally reached Calcutt boats diesel pump and put 116 litres of diesel in the tank. Five minutes to bleed the system and Sybcopation was back to her old self, engine providing power for cooking and propulsion again. It was particularly gratifying that the Calcutt dockard worker could not hear the engine being turned over when I tried it first time after filling up. All the inconvenience of the cocoon and decking has paid off in lowered sound emissions.

We passed through Braunston and the Admiral Nelson:
A fine pub that I have failed to eat at yet for various reasons.

We passed by Whilton Marina again and I exchanged the chimney I bought at the chandlery there last week for one that fitted our flue terminal properly. They are all six inches in diameter but our cast iron flue terminal is at the large end of the tolerance range and the funnel I bought was at the small end of the range.

We pushed on a little later than we have these past two weeks to arrive back at base at 8 PM.

Moored at Blisworth.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Out of Diesel

The days started well. We passed through Bascote locks which includes a staircase pair:

We planned to continue past Calcut locks for another hour but the engine began to lose power, the revs would drop and then pick up again. We got to the top of the locks and moored for the night and I dismantled the engine room floor to get at Syncopation's filters. Found very little debris or water in them. Spent a good 45 minutes trying to bleed the fuel system without success.

Moored above Calcut locks.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hatton Flight

We started on the Hatton flight this morning - 23 locks in the space of a couple of miles. At the BW yard there is a vintage van and a working pair of boats (Atlas and Leo) in BW colours:

Distinctive paddle gear at Hatton:

We were accompanied down the wide locks by nb Pride. We stopped at Warwick for supplies and dinner and then carried on through Leamington Spa.

Arrow managed to fall into the tail of one of the Hatton locks after he slipped off the top of the lock gate while crossing from one side to the other.

Moored at Radford Semele.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Minor Crisis

Not a drama. The gear shift cable came loose at the top of the Lapworth flight of locks. We lost forward drive and the gear box was stuck in reverse. We pulled Syncopation to the side and after half an hour I managed to find the problem. We'd lost a split pin and the cable outer had come away from the gear change lever. After some rooting around in the bilge I found the pin and put it back in and bent it to stop it falling out again. The whole thing took an hour and a half because I had to dismantle some of the woodwork under the deck boards to get the cocoon off the top of the engine. We carried on down the Lapworth flight, turning on to the Grand Union canal at Kingswood junction,

leaving the Stratford canal with its distinctive lock keepers cottages:

I can tell we have left the Birmingham Canals as the water has returned to what I think of as a more normal green colour.

Moored near Rowington. Hatton flight tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It Must be Good for You. It's Got Milk in it

We visited Cadbury World today. After spending the night on the Bourneville visitor moorings we left Syncopation for a few hours with Arrow on guard. The factory tour and exhibits were a part of the attraction but I think the chocolate had a lot to do with the allure of Cadbury World. As S said of the chocolate: "It must be good for you, it's got milk in it". The problem is all that other stuff. By the melted chocolate tasting counter there was a sign about nutritional content and GDAs. It made me laugh in the midst of the overindulgence. I looked at the wrapper of one of the small bars I was given on the tour - 1/4 of my GDA for sugar.

I found the chimney we bought last week at the chandlery at Whilton marina is too small in diameter for our stove pipe terminal. We'll have to try to exchange it on our way back.

We pulled the pins at 4PM and set off again. I noticed we had ripped out one of the screws securing the forward port fairlead during the night. Another little job to do..

Moored tonight on the North Stratford canal near Hockley Heath.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sick Bike

Outside London, the Brompton bike is relatively rare. In Tamworth, I've had an admiring audience for the ten seconds it takes to fold or unfold the bike. Little boys have said "Cool bike mister!". Today outside Sainsbury's in Selly Oak, after the unfolding I received a teenager's accolade: "That bike is sick!" (5th definition here).

Having spent a night at the excellent moorings at Brindleyplace we spent the morning and early afternoon in the nearby National Sea Life Centre. We set off at 3:30 and after taking on coal turned and headed south along the Worcester and Birmingham canal. After some momentary confusion at Gas Street Basin where I turned into the basin instead of following the main line we passed the Mailbox. I saw the Ross Barlow, Birmingham University's Hydrogen powered narrowboat. We arrived at Bourneville just as it started raining and are currently moored directly opposite Bourneville station, ready for our visit to Cadbury World tomorrow.

Moored tonight on the Bourneville visitor moorings.

Coal from Hadar

I just had to buy a bag of coal when I saw Hadar today:

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I don't like the brand. It should be Brindley Place. But I do like the place. It's all about everything that's attractive about the urban canalscape. Birmingham's vibrant canal centre.

We left our makeshift mooring spot on the Aston flight and made our way up Farmer's Bridge locks, passing under several large office blocks and the site of the Youtube Farmer's Bridge Wakeboarding video,



arriving at Brindley Place just after lunch.


Moored at Brindleyplace for the night.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Fear and Trepidation in the City

One of the navigation guides says unequivocally that you should not moor away from a recognised secure location in the city of Birmingham. We stopped for supplies near Tyburn bridge and while we were tying up were advised by a passing local boater that it would be a bad place to stop for the night. We pulled the pins and carried on - the Birmingham and Fazeley canal was deserted for literally miles after that. We passed under Spaghetti Junction and didn't stop at Cuckoo wharf. We were lucky enough to find safe haven at an office development half way up the Aston flight at Aston Cross where we were watched over by security guards and CCTV.

The Minworth and Aston flights are supposed to be secured with anti vandal keys but I found that most of the anti vandal locks are broken or can be opened with a light tap from a windlass.

Moored at Aston Cross.

Friday, August 08, 2008

We spent the day at Drayton Manor Park. Or as it was in my day: Drayton Manor Park and Zoo. The emphasis today is on the theme park although the zoo is still there, almost hidden behind the theme park. We all enjoyed the day. Everybody is tired and we expect to sleep well. It's a great venue to visit by canal. There's plenty of space to moor by the gothic footbridge and although we had to cross the busy A4091 most of the traffic was stationary, waiting to get into the theme park.

Cathy had to take Arrow to the vet in Tamworth in the afternoon because his left fore-paw is giving him some discomfort. He's got a seed lodged under the skin between his toes. The vet couldn't remove it but it will probably work loose. We have some antibiotics to give Arrow to keep the infection under control.

Moored tonight near Drayton Bassett. We moved half an hour away from lat night's mooring to get away from the traffic noise.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Too Much Excitement

I put the washing machine on for a quick wash this morning and there was a sound of rushing water. All as normal I thought until Cathy drew my attention to the fact that there was water running down the middle of the saloon floor. Quite a lot of water. Luckily we had read the label that marked the position of the stop cock and quickly found it and stopped the flow of water. The pump was still running so we disconnected it at the distribution panel. The water was mopped up from the bunk room through to the front steps and the steps pulled out to reveal the to cover

over the pump filter had cracked right across:


We called Michael at Mill Wharf as this was definitely a guarantee issue. He came straight out and met us at bridge 54 at Polesworth with a spare cover. The old one was very difficult to remove: it was attached much too tightly - probably the reason it broke. The pump was fine and we were on our way again.

While we were waiting we were passed by Uisce of the Floating Abode blog.

Moored tonight at Drayton Footbridge on the Birmingham and Fazeley canal.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

We set off today with a destination in mind. We're making for Drayton Manor Park. A much better day weather -wise than yesterday. After an overcast start we finished the day in bright sunshine. We travelled up the Oxford canal and turned onto the Coventry canal at Hawkesbury Junction:


We passed Charity Street dock, with its amusing display of manequins:


This afternoon we came down the Atherstone flight, passing Barry Hawkins' boatyard and have stopped for the night below lock 1.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I spotted Granny Buttons today!


We were passing Newbold on the way to the tunnel when I spotted her. I excitedly called the crew up to see the celebrity, then fumbled for the camera and ended up having to get off the boat, walk back, take my photo then rejoin Syncopation. We went through Newbold Tunnel soon after.


Tonight we are near Ansty.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Trip to the Chandlery

We made a visit to the chandlery at Braunston to buy a few small essentials including an anchor and some chain to go with it (Thanks to John from Australia on Wyvern Shipping company's Clover for helping to carry the chain back to Syncopation). Not to self: moor close to the chandlery when buying heavy items in future.
We topped up with diesel at Whilton Marina and bought a chimney and chimney cover for Syncopation. I admired the proprietor's small collection of Matra sports cars: a pair of Murenas. One with rather gorgeous dark orange buttoned velour upholstery.
Stopped tonight near Hillmorton.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Boy Overboard

Arrow dragged Dominic into the canal this morning. After we left Blisworth Arrow ran along the towpath for a while. Dominic went onto the bank to retrieve him. After putting the dog on the lead he brought him to the edge to transfer him to Syncopation. He stepped aboard. Arrow changed his mind about crossing the gap to the boat and pulled back, causing Dominic to lose his balance. He caught himself on the bank but his feet were still on the boat. When the boat moved away from the bank he fell into the canal. Fortunately the water was not deep enough to reach the automatic lifejacket he was wearing and after some help from the following boat he climbed out of the canal. We have stopped for the night at the top of Braunston locks.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Syncopation on Tour

We've set off from Blisworth on a voyage of discovery. Day one saw us travel a grand total of half a mile, to the other end of the village. We then moved another five minutes further on to get away from a loud party.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hectic Weekend

We had no less than three sets of house guests at the weekend

Snagging Complete

Michael informed us the fixes from the snagging list are complete. The fridge has been connected up and works. We just have to move the sofa bed over to Blisworth and get it in through the front doors. The living room is like Aladdin's cave at the moment - filled with equipment to be taken over to the boat this weekend when we complete the final hand-over. Should we have a naming ceremony on Saturday?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Busy Weekend

We had no less than three sets of house guests last weekend: Our old friend Costa came down from Coventry where he's just gained a Masters in Computer Science and stayed with us on Friday night, Cathy's school friend Theresa and her husband Jack stayed with us on Saturday night and my sister Judi and her fiance Brian and my nephew Adam stayed with us on Sunday night.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Home again

Nothing broke or fell off during the cruise and we all made it home in one piece. After a total of 6 miles, 2¾ flg, 7 locks according to Canalplan, we stopped for the night, where I completely failed to find the Sky satellite with the dish. Note to self: Buy satellite finder. The tunnel light looks really good and the hooter has found its voice after shaky start.

Both these adornments came from eBay.

Today we retraced our steps back to Blisworth, passing back up through a busy Stoke Bruerne where we took on vital supplies (ice creams from the Boat Inn) and passed back through the tunnel, arriving at the boat yard at about four o'clock

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Snagging Cruise

We're Boating! We've taken Syncopation out on a cruise to find any snags so we can get them resolved before final delivery. We left Blisworth at 12:00 today heading south. We've stopped for the night at Yardley Gobion. It's all gone well so far. Arrow

fell in one of the side ponds at Stoke Bruerne locks and needed rescuing. I'm posting this entry using my new mobile broadband modem from 3.

I cheated and added the picture at home later.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cratch Cover

The cratch cover has been fitted:


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Kathryn Tickell

We saw Kathryn Tickell in concert tonight at the Buckingham music festival. We've been fans of hers since we saw her first at Towersey Festival in about 1989. She really is a quite remarkable musician and I strongly recommend you go and see her if you get the chance.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


The worktops have arrived at last:

On the left is the breakfast bar with the sink and on the left is the hob.

The dinette table has been made although it has still to be fixed:

All the skirting boards are in place now. There's a small issue with one of the mushroom vent trims and we have got a pile of foam bed pads at home waiting to be covered with fabric.

The fenders have been fitted at front and rear and the tiller arm has bee made up.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Roald Dahl Parade

We went to watch S at the Roald Dahl parade in Aylesbury this morning. Lots of primary schools from Buckinghamshire were in the parade and they had all made models of characters from "The Twits" by Roald Dahl. There were also street performers dressed up as the Twits:

I grew up in Haddenham, just a few miles from Aylesbury and went to school there. During that time the statue of John Hampden was vandalised - his sword was twisted into a curl:

And the nearby statue of Disraeli nearly always had a can of Coke in his hand.

After the parade we went and ate donuts in the Market Square

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Syncopation is nearly complete. We are waiting for the arrival of the granite worktops.

The floor has been laid throughout:

Oak in the saloon and bedrooms:


Slate tiles and marble pebbles in the bathroom:


The internal doors have also been fitted:

P6280815 P6280816

Syncopation has left the paint dock and is tied up alongside at the wharf.