Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A steady day today, away from Hawkesbury just before 11, arriving at All Oaks Wood not long after 2.
A dry and fairly mild trip, but cloudy. The wind is getting up again now, though.

Mags took over for a few minutes while Meg and I stretched our 6 legs on the towpath.
Saw this chap, maybe taking a break from filming Lloyds TSB adverts?

Quite a bit of work had been done on the towpath
approaching Ansty

This section of the Oxford Canal was straightened out in the 1820s, chopping 14 miles off it’s previously winding route. The civil work left several “oxbows” of the old line, some used for mooring, and some, like this one, closed off. All on the towpath side are crossed by these elegant cast iron bridges.

Bridge over Old Line
To straighten the canal it was necessary to employ the same techniques as used on the Shroppie. So embankments and cuttings are regular features. Some of the cuttings are showing their age though, nearly 200 years on!

Warning Sign

Slippage in Cutting

We stopped off at Rose Narrowboats at Stretton Under Fosse. I’d noticed a couple of weeks ago that the wire from the alternator to the domestic batteries gets hot when the engine is running, and Martyn, when he was servicing the engine, agreed that it was undersized. So I bought a length of 10mm² wire, and a new battery to replace one that is looking suspect. Also, for the last few months we’ve put up with propshaft noise between 800 and 900 RPM. I think it’s caused by sympathetic vibration resonating in the hull. So I bought a Centraflex flexible couple which should act as a damper.

After we stopped today, I dropped in the replacement battery and rewired the charging circuit with the higher capacity wire. That will sort that out. Maybe tomorrow I’ll fit the new coupling and see if it has the desired effect.

Locks 0, miles 8

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