Thursday, February 11, 2010

Back through Barbridge, on to Nantwich.

Had a pottering about day yesterday. The main task was repacking the stern gland, where the prop shaft exits through the hull. A pretty low-tech solution, this involves removing the old packing, and refitting new. The packing is basically graphite impregnated rope which is cut to make up 3 or 4 rings around the shaft, and which are squeezed into the housing to keep the canal on the outside. I checked the shaft alignment while I was at it, no problems there.

Meg and I had a couple of good walks around the surrounding farmland and along the towpath. She’s usually quite adept at wombling balls while we’re out, but she excelled herself this time.

Meg's treasures
A well chewed rubber pig, and a rubber chicken!

We left them behind when we moved out this morning. That's why she's looking so miserable. But she’s got quite enough toys as it is!

After a very cold night we had ½ an inch of ice on the water this morning. But it was such a beautiful day that it would have been a shame not to be on the move, so away we went.

Stopped briefly at the services at Calverley, just to top up, then toddled gently back to Barbridge.

Barbridge Junction in the sun
This boat has an unusual paint scheme….
There is another major junction just a couple of miles further south, Hurleston which takes the Llangollen Canal over towards Wales.

Hurleston Junction.
4 locks lead off from the junction, lifting the canal 34 feet.

We arrived at Nantwich shortly after 2 o’clock, and moored on the embankment above the town.

Nantwich Basin, marina and chandlery.

Nantwich visitor moorings.
We moored just in front of Ivor and Mel Batchelor’s working pair, Mountbatten and Jellicoe. They sell coal and other “boaty bits” up and down the Shropie.

For the last 5 or so years I’ve used a Vodaphone office card to connect to the internet. This plugs into the PC card slot in my laptop and was originally the mobile internet solution for travelling businessmen. This has since been superseded by the USB dongle, of course.
When I renewed my contract (after a negotiation about the offer) they sent me one of these, which I’ve never used. My laptop is quite old and only has 2 USB ports, one of which has become somewhat unreliable The other has a hub connected for my mouse, camera, PDA, external hard drive etc. Coupled with this was the fact that my card has an aerial socket, plugged into a magnetic base antenna on the roof. I’ve always been able to get a connection, but mostly it has been 2G and quite slow, but reliable.

I’d noticed recently that I’ve been getting a very good 3G signal, so thought I should try the dongle which is supposed to be capable of high speed 3G. (I also wanted to watch Paul Merton in Europe on Demand Five, and the connection isn’t fast enough on the card to stream video).
Wow, what a difference! A reported 3.6 Mbps! That’s nearly 10 times faster than the 3G on the card. The dongle has to be hung in a window to pick up the signal, which makes it untidy. But I can live with that.

It all fell apart at Calverley, though. Very poor 2G on the dongle, and it kept dropping the connection, so I resorted to the old faithful. Still only 2G, but at least it kept working.

I reckon that Vodaphone have been doing some transmitter upgrades in Cheshire, just not as far out as Calverley. But in future I’ll try the dongle first.

Yorkshire’s cricketing hero, Fred Trueman, is being honoured by having an 8 foot bronze statue erected in Skipton, next to the canal basin. I have to disagree with Councillor Green, who reckons that the statue should be sited near a sporting venue. If you want visitors to see it, I reckon that it should be in the most visited area in the town, by the canal.

Locks 0, miles 6

1 comment:

Alf said...

Stern gland. I never remove the old packing, just add another ring of packing when the insert runs out of adjustment, ! Am I doing it wrong ??