Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hotter than Spain!

Or so they reckon, anyway. We’ve had a warm and sunny couple of days, and apparently tomorrow is going to be much the same. We had a sharp frost overnight, but it’s worth it, isn’t it?

Thursday and Friday’s cruises were both short, not more than 90 minutes each, just enough to charge the batteries. Two swing bridges each day to deal with weren’t a problem now that the wind has eased.

Morris’ Lift Bridge, just past the Prees Branch Junction, was the first to be tackled.IMG_3783 
It’s hard work to lift this one, over 80 turns of the windlass to get it fully up. Makes you puff a bit…
You can see a couple of boats ahead of us. There were several more going past earlier, in both directions. The canal is starting to get busier.

The long, straight sections across the mosses end at Platt Lane Bridge, then, a few minutes later there’s Tilstock Park Lift Bridge to get through.IMG_3787
Unusually this one is painted green instead of the common waterways scheme of black and white.

The sun had made an appearance now, after an overcast start.IMG_3790

Another mile saw us pulling in on a pleasant bit of mooring between Bridges 37 and 38.IMG_3791
There are two short lengths with rings here, separated by a bit of rough bank with picnic tables and barbecue stands installed by the Shropshire Union Canal Society.

Yesterday we were off at around 10, the weather bright and sunny from the start.

Those picnic tables I spoke about. Bridge 37 in the distance.IMG_3799

Lovely morning…

We’d passed a boat, Pied Wagtail, moored but with the crew preparing to leave, so I wasn’t surprised to see them arrive behind us as we were going through Hassell’s No2 Lift Bridge.

Under the bridge.

They followed Mags through which put them in pole position for Hassell’s No1, just a few minutes away.
They actually drew the short straw; as we went through another boat arrived from the opposite direction so they kept the bridge up for them as well.

We moored just before the Whitchurch Arm Junction, another sunny spot. Got to make use of it while we’ve got it!

With the clear skies we had a good frost, and it was still laying in shaded patches when Meg and I went out around seven-thirty this morning.IMG_3806 

Good views from up there this morning, but I bet it was a bit chilly!IMG_3808

Light and shade up in the woods with Meg.IMG_3809

Most of the moorings on the arm and on the main line were busy last evening, but they’d thinned out a bit by 10 this morning so we moved down onto the arm. We’ve visitors tomorrow and it’s a bit nearer to where they can park.

I’ve got a couple of outstanding jobs done. The ventilation fan on the composting loo had got a bit noisy, so I removed the housing, dismantled it and cleaned out a load of dust that had collected on the fan blades. It’s quieter now but not 100%. It’s a standard 90mm computer fan, so I‘m going to source a super-quiet replacement for when it gets too irritating.
The loo is well designed for maintenance, the fan housing is held in by two thumbscrews, and held together by one bolt and two clips.

A five minute job to dismantle, clean and replace.

The other job, replacing rear brake and chain set cables on the bike didn’t go so smoothly. The brake was fine, but the nipple on the end of the chain-set inner cable was too big, so I had to visit the bike shop first thing this morning. Then it took ages to set it up so that I could engage all three chain wheels in turn. Bottom and middle worked, then middle and top. Finally I got it right. So now, for the first time in ages, John Sage is fully functioning! All 21 gears to play with, and brakes both back and front!

Locks 0, miles 6

No comments: