Sunday, 17 February 2013

One Thing After Another

Sometimes it's like that on the boat. Some days are uneventful but others are just "one thing after another".

Making an early start from Middlewich yesterday I again came across the noddy boat moored on the landing at the Big Lock, apparently it's been there a while! Once through the lock I was surprised to find a thin covering of ice across the cut on the way to Croxton, but narrowboat Dilligence coming the other way had cleared a channel. Once clear of that I noticed that my instrument panel had stopped working - apparently I was making progress using zero revs with a stone cold engine that had lost all its oil pressure and wasn't charging the battery!  I know how to deal with this one however and just let Starcross drift along the bank whilst I applied the WD40 to the appropriate wiring! WD40 really is amazing stuff - just one random squirt in the right general direction and the panel sprang back to life.

There was more ice at Billings Green Flash and here I made a fool of myself by giving far too wide a berth to a moored boat and managed to run aground on the offside of the (invisible) channel!
Billings Green Flash - no need to go so wide!
Billings Green Flash marks the end of the rural section from Middlewich. From here on the scenery becomes semi-industrial (to say the least) so I was surprised to see, in quick succession, a buzzard swooping down low over the towpath and then a kingfisher flitting away in front of the boat.

At the Old Broken Cross I become aware of a bleeping noise, which I assumed was from a vehicle reversing, perhaps in a nearby yard. I was puzzled that it didn't seem to be going away as I progressed but when it got louder as I passed under the next road bridge I realised it was coming from inside the boat! I had let the fire go out before setting off and had taken down the chimney and replaced the flue cap in case of low bridges. But the stove door had fallen open, releasing the unburned gasses into the cabin and setting off the CO alarm, which was reading 73ppm.  I closed the stove door and opened the front cabin door, but the alarm didn't seem to have an "off button" so I took it back to the tiller with me where it continued to bleep for several minutes until the reading dropped to 28ppm after which it took several more minutes to return to zero.  At least I know now that it works.

Nearly back at Anderton  I emerged from a bridge to find a long line of moored boats and an oncoming boater who was clearly insisting on passing "wrong side". I presumed that the "steering committee" of three adults and four children on the stern had taken a vote as to which way to go so I gave in and smiled nicely as we passed.

It took me three-and-half hours to get back to Uplands Basin, but I can truthfully say there was never a dull moment.

1 comment:

Ian and Karen said...

Hi Jim, sounds like a typical few days boating to me!
Making our plans for this years travel and think we shall tackle the Trent again. Do you still have the navigation charts? Could we be cheeky and ask for them back? No problem if already passed onto someone else.