Monday, September 29, 2014

Gently down the river, but charging and leak problems are a nuisance.

We were at Birstall till Saturday morning, Friday was taken up with shopping and a bit of maintenance. First job was to fit one of those repaired alternators I got back. I had two working units installed, one was brand new, but the other was a bit long in the tooth, being one of the originals. So I thought I’d fit one of the rebuilt ones in it’s place.

It took a while – the engine alternator is awkward to get at, unlike the domestic one. But just over an hour later I was ready to fire up the engine. Everything was fine for about 10 seconds, then the charge warning light for the repaired alternator came on. No output. I confirmed it by dropping the belt off the other, working unit. The wiring was double-checked, no problem there.

I rang Cox’s, they are going to deal with it, replacing the defective alternator. I part charged the batteries that evening off the one alternator, the other just free-wheeling but I couldn’t remove it completely as it’s belt also drives the water pump.

Saturday morning I set to, removing both alternators, fitting the proven one on the engine side and the other repaired unit on the domestic. This would confirm that there wasn’t a wiring problem. I’m pleased to say that everything behaved as it should, so now I’m just waiting to hear from Cox’s.

While I was fannying about with these I also noticed a drop of water below one of the hoses that would be for a heater if this was a car, but in this case feed the calorifier for hot water. Closer inspection showed the hose to be dry and cracked, but there was enough spare to remove the damaged section and refit it. These hoses will need to be replaced as soon as possible.

The good news is that Meg passed her check-up at the vets on Friday morning, and a work-boat cutting the vegetation back on the offside provided us with a couple of logs. Only willow, but it all burns.
IMG_1761

After a bit more shopping we were away from Birstall, not too far as it was close to noon by this time.

Dropping down Birstall LockIMG_1762

The river levels are very low at the moment, very little water going over the weirs, unlike July 2007, when we were trapped by flood water in the area for several days.

Flood water going straight through Birstall Lock
July 2007 115 Birstall Flooding

Thurmaston Lock and weirsIMG_1766

After Thurmaston Lock the navigation goes straight on while the river heads off to the north and west. The canal section is fairly straight from Johnson’s Bridge to Wreake Junction.

On the canal past the old gravel pits
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Gravel extraction was big business around here, but the machinery is now all gone and the pits are now part of Watermead Country Park. When I was a kid, paddling my canoe along here, there were still working pairs of boats, loaded with gravel, to be encountered on this stretch.

We met a hen party on one of Barrow Boating’s day boats near the Hope and Anchor…IMG_1770
…some sore heads later, I expect!

Dropping down Junction Lock we decided to pull in on the good length of piling there. It’s a bit high, but it quieter than above the lock, especially since the towpath has been upgraded to a velodrome cycle way.

Moored below Junction LockIMG_1777

Hey Angela, for the first time we deployed the mooring pin covers!IMG_1776
Excellent!

Yesterday I spent the morning slicing and dicing the wood we’d collected over the last couple of months, before having a quiet afternoon.

Took Meg for a good walk, and she decided to get a drink… out of the muddiest bit of river she could find!

Butter wouldn’t melt…
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This morning, about to get a shower after my morning run, Mags asked me if I’d spilled something down the radiator opposite the loo…
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Oh eck, we’ve sprung a leak! It’s valved off at the moment, and I’ve found a replacement at Plumb Centre in Loughborough, just got to collect it and fit it. It’s all go, isn’t it!

We got away at around 11:00, meandering round the bends to Cossington Lock. When we came upstream earlier in the year this section was badly overgrown, but quite a bit of cutting back has been done. We even got a couple more logs.

Below Cossington is a very pleasant river section, heading to SilebyIMG_1791

But the floating pennywort has returned with a vengeance.IMG_1792
A campaign of spraying a couple of years ago had reduced it considerably, but it’s very virulent.

We pulled in above Sileby Lock. There’s a boat here already but there’s just room for two above the lock landing.

Sileby Lock and weirsIMG_1794 

We’ll be pottering for the next week or so, catching up with family and friends while we’re in the area. Then we’ll be heading north onto the Trent and Mersey before stoppages below Burton kick in.

Locks 4, miles 5

3 comments:

nbtumbleweed.com said...

Hi,
We are based up at Sawley and hope to get out for a couple of days this week down the Soar, so might see you around.
Steve

nbsonialouise.co.uk said...

Thank you very much for your help last evening, and local knowledge, we arrived safely at Mountsorrel in double quick time before the light disappeared,and moored above the lock, finishing a long day with an excellent meal in the Waterside Inn. Very impressed with the paintwork on your boat by the way, well executed! Caroline and Martin

Sue said...

You are so unlucky with alternators Geoff!

Carry a spare maybe?