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.