Monday 14 November 2016

That’s nearly it for this year …..

Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th November

On Wednesday morning, after a wet night, it wasn’t quite as cold as Tuesday.   Yesterday Dave spoke by phone to a Mikuni engineer, so as the rain had stopped he went down the engine hole to try what the engineer suggested; still no good.  So he carefully extracted the heater, not an easy job, to take home for some careful consideration and also to use the web for info – we have no signal now we have a boat moored each side of us.  We got on with various jobs for the rest of the morning.

After lunch, I took Meg over the top lock behind the Calcutt reception office and we walked along the towpath to Napton Junction before turning left towards Lower Shuckborough.  Meg leapt lightly over this poor section of towpath though I was less athletic!  The “path” to the right of the picture slopes alarmingly towards the water.

poor towpath near napton junction

The sun came out and I began to feel overheated – that is, until I turned round at Nimrod Bridge and started to walk back into a keen wind.  At least there was some late sun.  Impossible to get a picture without my shadow in it though.

low sun near napton jct 2

Meanwhile Dave had called in to see if the chandlery had any adhesive.  The plywood panel under the sliding hatch has rotted, and he had prepared a new one at home, but the glue he had turned out to be not up to the job.  They didn’t have any, so he came to meet us instead.  The sun was so lovely we felt really sad we hadn’t taken the boat out.  These crab apples were just catching the last of the sun as it went down.

golden crab apples

By the time we got back to the boat the sun had gone and it was very cold again, so in we went to light the fire and eat cake.

On Thursday we went home.  In the morning Dave put a coat of bilge paint on the engine compartment and polished the brasses, adding a coat of wax to help protect them over winter.  The water tank is nearly empty but we haven’t completely drained the system yet.  I emptied the galley cupboards and we brought all the bedding home, so when Dave goes up during the winter he will be roughing it a bit!

Saturday 12th November; Dave called our friend Chris, who had a narrowboat for many years, and used to do all his own maintenance.  Together they poked around with investigated the Mikuni.  The bit that needed to be unscrewed was facing the side of the boat and just a couple of inches away, so it couldn’t possibly have been investigated with the thing in situ.

soot from mikuniThe little pile of soot you can see was not apparently enough to have prevented the heater working – that would be the broken mantle, which goes in that hole – or maybe is still in that hole.  I am not very techie when it comes motors and engines.  Can you tell?

the failed bit - mantle

Anyway, the part will be ordered!  As will the broken gasket below.

the broken gasket too

In default of a cruise, and working locks rather than just walking across them, I made do with the latest canal poem from Luke Kennard which at least reminded me of being in a lock; this is how it starts.

In the roar of 80,000 gallons to a lock
The engine thrums through my bones
from ankle to temple.

I thought that was rather good.  He wrote it on a trip between Skipton and Greenberfield on the Leeds and Liverpool.  If you want to read the rest of it, you will find it here if you scroll down about five screens’ worth.

My last boat job for this year is to calculate our totals of miles, locks etc for 2016.  Maybe next year I will keep a running total as some other bloggers do – it must be a lot less work as long as you remember to do it.

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