Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sunbeams and sign language

Another of our regular trips over to Norton Junction and back.  Our usual spot outside the Mill House was inexplicably full, and nowhere else was free to stop, so we went on up the locks.  Again traffic was patchy, but somehow four other boats were waiting ahead of us for Braunston Bottom Lock.  Still, we were soon on our way in glorious weather.  Even the diesel smoke coming out of the tunnel can look good on a day like this.
We  moored up back through the tunnel on the 48hour moorings above the locks, for a change in glorious isolation.  Well, it was isolation until a boat arrived from the locks to moor apparently playing a CD of bagpipe music, but it wasn't for long.
Sunday was a quiet cruise back to the marina, complicated only by meeting some boaters at Calcutt who seemed to be trying to convey a complex message through sign language as we each left locks.  It really isn't that complicated, though, to cross with some other boats in one of the pounds there.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Napton in the holidays

Another sunny weekend - too good not to go boating.  It was fairly quiet as we went through Calcutt Locks and turned right at the junction, but it all changed as we reached Napton.  Still, one boater's queue is another's retail opportunity, so although we were about 90 minutes getting through the first lock, we had a new mirror by the time we got there.  However, we were still third or fourth in the queue for the next lock, and there was a spare space on the visitor mooring, so we decided on lunch at the Folly.  Excellent fresh fish for me, recommended.

Things were quieter as we got back to the boat to head on up the flight, and it was still fairly early when we moored so I thought I'd take a look at the engine hours counter, which was showing a reading less and less frequently.

Here's the tachometer out of the panel.  If I'd had the right screwdriver tip it would probably have been easier taking it to pieces, but I managed it anyway.  From all of the spray foam insulation that I had to cut off the back it looks as though it was installed before the insulation, which was a bit of a surprise.
After fiddling with all the connector blocks I put it back together again, and the numbers are back.  Not long to the next service I see.  I was happy, but the sheep watching from the opposite bank didn't seem impressed.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Hot weekend in Braunston

Just recently, with the weather forecasts being so unreliable, and it being a six hour round trip, we've not had so many weekends away as we used to.  However, things looked good on Friday, despite a forecast of heavy showers.  The website that I looked at, despite saying heavy showers for the area, offered a forecast of only a hundredth of an inch of rain.  So that's 99% chance of missing the showers or 1% chance of a soaking.  Good enough.

The frustration of a long, long queue on the M1 was soon despatched on reaching the location of the cause.  As we crawled towards the flickering clusters of blue lights, (four fire engines, three ambulances, several police cars and a helicoper), it was all too easy to be glad just to be delayed.  It's hard to think how traffic moving at 50mph in a single isolated lane in a contraflow could have achieved this level of carnage.

Saturday saw us Braunston bound, and arriving in time for lunch we decided to go up the locks and through the tunnel and back.  Some of us were finding it on the hot side.  Usually at this time of year we meet a few boats full of young folk who behave as if they have been the first to think of the idea of dressing as pirates and hiring a boat for the weekend. 

This time it was sailors...

On to Norton Junction and back into Braunston, where we settled on a mooring near the Marina entrance by about seven in the evening.  Judging by the foot traffic on the towpath that we heard through the evening, the event at the Admiral Nelson, (recently reopened), was a great success.      

On Sunday we passed an old wooden motor, just opposite the boat that sank a couple of years ago on the puddle banks, that looked somewhat lower in the water than the day before.   Yesterday the wind turbine on this boat was turning, and a bilge pump was running and spitting out an intermittent stream of water.  Today the air was still and the boat was tilted further over, and perhaps sitting on the mud.  I hope they can recover the situation.

After that, a slow trip back to the marina with lots of traffic but no real delays, bumping into some new neighbours, preceded a rather less eventful journey home.