Monday, 15 March 2010

Another problem nailed as we head for home

5th March
Cold nights have been a feature of this trip and last night was no exception with ice on the cut - and inside the cabin windows - again this morning. The smokeless fuel I bought at Tattenhall however is much better for keeping the fire in overnight and there was enough life in it to throw a bit more fuel on, open the damper and get back to bed for an early morning cuppa while the boat warmed up.
There's always something just waiting to go wrong on a boat though. Today's little problem manifested itself when I went to start the engine and found the throttle lever loose on its mounting! The unit is held onto its base plate by two large bolts which also hold the complete assembly onto the cabin side. The bolts seemed to be working loose, but tightening them would have involved either dissembling the engine room cupboard - to which the unit is attached - or, even worse, dismantling the lever from its base plate. I know enough about my technical skills to realise that taking things apart is easy - its putting them back together again afterwards that's the problem so we compromised by hammering in some nails around the base plate and bending them back to act as clips to keep the throttle in place, which seemed to work very well.
Becasue of all this is was 10.15 before we got away, passing the first landmark of Bunbury staircase locks, with their distinctive stable block, now used by Anglo-Welsh as a workshop an hour later.
Bunbury Staircase Locks
We'd intended to stop at Henhull to check on our car, which we'd left in the BW moorers' car park and to grab a bite of lunch, but no sooner had we pulled up on the mooring outside the car park than we were shouted at by a local boater, who made it clear that we weren't welcome on a "Henhull Moorers' Only" mooring - even though nobody else wanted it. I've since found out that the locals regard the car park as exclusively for their own use and have been known to block in outsiders' vehicles, so I suppose we got away with that at least. We fancied a night out and Nantwich was the obvious stopping place, where we found a spot on the embankment just before the aqueduct. Our intention had been to eat in the Black Lion on Welsh Row, but they were fully booked (I still can't get used to the concept of booking tables in pubs - restaurants yes, but not pubs) but we made do with the Red Cow, which had excellent food, good Robinson's beers and - best of all - a superb view of the bus station from the lounge windows!
Red Cow, Nantwich

6th March
After the warmest night of the trip so far we were away by 9.15. After Hack Green locks. Hil cycled back to Henhull to rescue the car from the dreaded Henhull moorers and met me later at Audlem. I know its an old joke now, but I can't help chuckling every time I see this sign at Hack Green. We keep intended to visit the "bunker" but its not open until April so that's something else that will have to wait until next time.

We made the mistake of stopping briefly after the first three locks of the Audlem flight and were promptly overtaken by two slow boats which meant the passage of the remaining twelve took quite a long time, made longer by the fact that we were also opening bottom paddles for the single-handed boater coming up behind us and also because we were delayed 15 minutes by a sticking top gate at the top lock. We got as far as Adderley, intending to stop on the visitor moorings above the locks, but the infamous "Shroppie Shelf" - an underwater ledge along the banks - is particularly pronounced here and would have made for an uncomfortable mooring so we carried on about half-a-mile and stopped in the middle of nowhere instead, before returning uneventfully to Norbury Junction in the morning.

1 comment:

Nev Wells said...


Why don't you invest in some screwfix wheels - the same as Sue uses on No Problem. Next time we visit the shroppie we will have some so we can take advantage of the many miles of rural moorings and beat the shroppie shelf