Tuesday, 23 February 2016

5 things I like !




                                                                     1. Looking at my boat

                                                                      2. Websites with boats

                                                                      3. Talking about boats

                                                                      4. Television programmes about boats

                                                                      5. Red wine


                                                                                Happy Days


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Ice breaker


IMG_2322With a space behind us on our mooring at Rugby Gary on Muleless decided to move across the canal and join us on the park side . So it was all hands to the ropes to pull Muleless over.  But hang on a minute.. Where’s Della ??

IMG_2330After that it was more towpath exercising for Carolyn and Curly. I thought that I would sit this one out….

IMG_2344Its not a very good idea to travel when there is a good layer of ice on the canal. After the temperature dropping over night to minus 6 we didn’t expect to see a boat Ice breaking so early in the morning.

IMG_2365After passing all the moored boats at a good old speed (well over tick over) he couldn’t get around the corner due to the thickness of the ice and got well and truly stuck on the offside.

IMG_2372 After trying to go forward and backwards without success he eventually had to stand on top of the boat and break up the ice with his boat pole.  If he had left it for a couple of hours when the Sun had melted the ice he wouldn’t have had any trouble. At least it was a bit of good entertainment for us boaters sensibly moored up.

                                                                                                    Happy Days

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

One for sorrow


IMG_2262 Back into the water after having our new prop fitted and we cruised a mile or so outside of Braunston and picked up this mooring. We were soon joined by our friends Ann and Keith on Nb Oakfield. We had a couple of peaceful days here with loads of Sun for the solar panels . As always it was afternoon tea on each others boats and a good old catch up and putting the world to rights. After a couple of days it was time to pull pins and move on.

IMG_2289One for sorrow ,two for joy. You know the rest. We passed these on the way to Rugby, there were 4 birds that flew off before I got this picture, so that makes 13 , I know the rhyme for up to 10 because of the old TV programme Magpie ,but 13 anyone ?

IMG_2298You know when you are getting close to Rugby . The smoke from the cement factory can be seen from miles away.

IMG_2299Wow ! What a result. All that money spent on netting 10 acres of land to catch some three fingy newts for a new housing estate at Hillmorton and it catches more Rabbits than Newts.

IMG_2302Anyone lost a bike. If I had a pound for every bike that we have seen pulled out of the canal it would have paid for our new propeller.

IMG_2312With Brownsover moorings being almost deserted we picked up this one on the park side. We should only be here for a day or so to allow for Granddaughter Curly to meet up with us.

We have now cruised for a few hours with the new propeller and I must say that I am well pleased with it. Our old prop was an 18X12 ,but we were told that it might be better to go with an 18X13 which we did. We now have no vibration or noise and it is just so smooth. Money well spent me thinks !!

                                                                                                                   Happy Days

Friday, 12 February 2016

Ouch that hurt !


IMG_2161After a night with no stove due to the sealant needing time to go off on our new flue we had a night of electric heat courtesy of shore power.I was surprised that the Eco fan worked on top of our 400 Watt heater.

IMG_2198Eventually the new Cutlass bearing arrived and was installed successfully this time by Justin Then our lovely new prop was fitted. Looking good and I wonder how long it will shine like this.

IMG_2078When the drive shaft was pushed back in it was discovered that the engine was a long way out of alignment and had dropped down on the engine mounts. Luckily it is very easy to adjust and Justin soon had it all back and lined up correctly.

IMG_2152I read somewhere that the old boatmen used to put an old penny in the rudder cup to make the steering of their working boats a lot lighter. So not having any old pennies I thought I would try a 2 pence coin instead .I will report back later if it worked on Inca.

IMG_2235At last Inca is dropped back into the water with a very old but reliable Ford digger.

IMG_2244Then Inca’s under carriage for the last couple of days is pulled back ashore .

After settling up the bill (Ouch that hurt ! ) and reversing back out into the canal with a bit of help from the Girlie button we are on our way again. The plan is to head North towards Rugby for a few days and wait for the arrival of Number one Granddaughter Curly (Abbie) who is up with us for the half term break . We then have to head up The Grand Union Canal Leicester section and to Debdale Wharf near Market Harborough for Inca to come out of the water yet again, but more about that when it happens.

                                                                                                                  Happy Days

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

High and dry


IMG_2125The day finally arrived for Inca to come out of the water and get her new propeller fitted by Justin of JG Marine. At 09.30 we arrived at the wharf next to the bottom lock in Braunston and were then loaded onto a couple of trollies and pulled out of the water. The plan is to get it done in a few hours and then get back into the water.

IMG_2131This is the reason for coming out. The prop has been well and truly bent on more than one occasion and for a long time now we have been getting a lot of vibration .

IMG_2143We also decided to replace the Cutlass bearing. I thought that it would have been made out of Brass , but it was made out of some sort of Fibre material . All was going well until the new one broke while it was being fitted . This meant that another one had to be ordered and we would have to spend a night out of the water.

IMG_2150This is the view up our bow thruster tube , When we had the boat metalized nearly 2 years ago this is the one place they couldn’t do. So we cleaned the tube out, got rid of the rust and gave it a good coat of blacking.

IMG_2155The next job was to replace our flue pipe. After struggling to get the old one out a new one was made and fitted. Luckily it was replaced by Justin under warranty and Hopefully this one should last a bit longer than the other one.

IMG_2146So this is our land mooring for the night. We can’t light the fire for 24 hours as the sealant needs time to go off. But we do have shore power and are using our central heating. With a bit of luck we should be back in the water tomorrow.

                                                                                                       Happy Days

Monday, 8 February 2016

A good deed


IMG_2103With the high winds we had a disaster at Braunston. This tree fell down and blocked the towpath and stopped people from using it.

IMG_2107But no worries, myself and Gary (nb Muleless) soon got going with the chainsaw ,we cleared up and opened up the towpath for everyone to use. That was our good deed for the day and we were only too happy to help out Canal and River Trust in keeping the towpath open.

The fact that the tree down blocked our way to the pub has nothing to do with the reason we cleared a path through.

                                                                                                       Happy Days

Sunday, 7 February 2016



IMG_2054We decided to have a bus ride into Daventry and do a bit of shopping in the town. Its only 20 minutes on the bus from Braunston and costs £3.60p return and conveniently the bus stops outside Tesco ,so its not far to carry the shopping. After a walk around Daventry and a rather large Tesco shop we waited for the bus to take us back to Braunston. It arrived on time but the gearbox decided to pack up when the driver engaged reverse making us late back to Braunston after they eventually fixed the problem. Its not that often that I go on a bus but this is the second time in recent months that this has happened .

IMG_2072                                                         Back at Braunston and I couldn't agree more with this boat name.

IMG_2075                            After all the floods in the North of the country Canal and River Trust have launched this appeal for help in rebuilding .

IMG_2078Here we go again and its service time on our Beta 43 engine. This one is a big service where we replace the engine oil and filter, Gearbox oil, fuel filter and air cleaner filter plus put some grease in the Volvo stern seal. As you can see the volvo stern seal is now nearly 6 years old and has done over 3000 hours and still doesen’t drip any water. . After the service and me getting oil everywhere my number one assistant who is a lot smaller and agile than me clambered down and cleaned up the mess that I had made… Thanks Carolyn.

IMG_2079After hitting so many underwater objects on our journey around the canal system and putting our propeller well out of shape we have decided to get a new one fitted. At one time one of the blades was bent so bad that I had to go down the weed hatch with a large pair of grips and bend it back .The prop we have at the moment is a Vetus one and it is an 18x12. The only problem is that the shaft is 30mm and not a standard inch and a quarter or inch and a half size,so we had to order one instead of being able to buy it of the shelf at a chandlery. there is also a bit of play on the rear shaft bearing so we will replace that at the same time. We will also have a new flue installed on our stove at the same time to replace our existing one that is full of holes.

Looks like we will soon have to raid the poor old piggy bank to pay for this little lot, but as the boat name said…… wy worry !!


                                                                                                          Happy Days

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Fame at last



This is a picture from the March issue of the magazine Canal Boat and there on page 52 is me steering Inca past The old wharf in Market Drayton. We had stopped to get diesel and were just pulling out when this picture was taken. We were on our way back down South after our visit to the Llangollen canal . Well that’s about as famous as we will ever get…..

                                                                                             Happy Days

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Still at rest

IMG_2034This is the well known Gongoozlers rest cafe now back on its mooring in Braunston, but still not open for business. There have been so many people asking about when it is going to re-open after they have travelled here and been disapointed that its closed.Their face book page says the end of January to open . I am also getting a bit desperate for one of their rather large breakfast fry ups.

IMG_2040Spotted this boat in Braunston marina. The boat belongs to actors Timothy West and Prunella Scales (Basil). Believe it or not it doesen’t look that bashed up especially as his motto is  “Its a contact sport” .

IMG_2036With us spending so much time in and around Braunston we have started looking at a bit of the history around here .The tall chimney at the bottom of the locks at Braunston with the date 1897 in the brickwork was part of the pump house used to pump water back to the top of the locks. I would love to know if the original engine is still in there. No doubt it would have been some type of beam engine. With Braunston being the so called centre of the canal network its surprising that it's not been turned into a visitor attraction.

IMG_2038On August 13th 1923 the boatmen working for FMC went on strike over a proposed 6.5% cut in their poor wages. They stopped all boats passing through the locks at Braunston. They worked very long hours of 12 hours a day 7 days a week earning an average of only £1and 5 shillings (£1.25p) a week. After 14 weeks of striking and blockading the canal at 7 am on Monday 19 November and with FMC agreeing to talk to the boatmen some boats started to move, but the boatmen were on the same terms as before the strike.

IMG_2057Burning the midnight oil again and this time on Rich and Sharon’s boat nb Oakapple. With Gary and Della nb Muleless also onboard we had another great evening together. It got even better when Rich brought out the Irish Whiskey…Just the ticket !. With some of us now going our seperate ways lets just hope it’s not too long before we meet up again…                                                                                                

                                                                            Happy Days