Friday, March 14, 2008

A beautiful day today, dry and fairly mild with just a breeze. I took Meg for a long walk around the National Watersports Centre alongside Holme Lock. It’s amazing what you can do with a worked-out gravel pit!

Slalom course, fed from the river.
The main rowing lake, 2 Km long.
We got away at 10:30, into the lock. We weren’t the bonus of having Lock Keepers on duty this week, and this made life a lot easier in these big, deep locks.

Going down Holme Lock
The red cliffs below Radcliffe On Trent force the river around a 90° bend to the NE.

Red Cliff

There’s lots of water birds on this stretch.

Tufted Duck in Flight
Heron Sunbathing. Carol’s Caption – “My hairdryer conked out…”
Swans in Flight. I’m pleased with this one.
And Grebes
Under Gunthorpe Bridge, the only road bridge for 24 miles, and through the lock. We had to operate this one ourselves, no-one available to do this for us. (Although Carol did suggest to the lockie at Stoke that if he had nothing to do for 30 minutes…….)

Gunthorpe Bridge

Gunthorpe Lock

Floating Crane going upstream
Shortly after Gunthorpe we decided to have a brew, so Carol came alongside to collect hers…

Brew Time
From Gunthorpe it’s a very pretty 4½ miles to Hazelford, our intended stop for the weekend. We dropped down through the lock and moored on the steps below.

Heading to the lock you pass the private moorings at Hazelford Ferry. There’s a beautiful Dutch Tjalk here, you wouldn’t think she’s 110 years old!
All through the day the whining of the shaft has been annoying, so as we’d stopped by 14:00 and it was still fine I decided to investigate. I stripped the drive coupling down, and discovered the reason for the noise….

Shouldn’t that be in the middle……?

And here’s why.

One of the engine mounts had vibrated loose, allowing the engine
to drop.

It took me a couple of hours to re-align the engine to the shaft, and then strip and repack the stern gland. I don’t think there’s been any long term damage to the stern tube bush or gearbox. Needless to say, the other 3 mounts were checked for tightness as well!

All in all a very satisfying day.

Locks 4, miles 12

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