Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Max and Reg are not ready to start on the boat yet, so we left it in their hands, picked up a hire car and went across to see Dad and Ann and pick up the mail, which included my race number and entry details for the Great North Run.

Had a restful day on Saturday, and set off north in the evening. In the past we’ve usually had a pitch booked on a caravan site near the finish, but obviously this isn’t an option this year. So we spent a poor night trying to sleep in the car (must get something a little bigger next time).
Even so, I had a really enjoyable run, another PB this year, now doing ½ marathons in less than 1:53. OK, I’m not breaking any records, but it’s not so bad for an old ‘un. Contrary to the poor forecast, the weather was excellent, and only broke with a heavy shower as we were heading back to the car.
Mag’s granddaughter, Zoe, had come up from Middlesborough with her family to see the race, it was good to see them.
Instead of going straight back down to Redhill, we had arranged to stay Sunday night with Howard in Ingleton and catch up with everyone back home. After a shower and something to eat, we spent the evening going from house to house to see as many of the friends and family as possible.
We left Yorkshire on Monday afternoon, arriving back at Redhill after dark.

Max had the frame built and fitted on Wednesday, so Reg was able to start on the cover on Thursday, a little later than planned. I’ve never known a more laid back operation – canal time IS considerably slower than normal, but Redhill is in a world of it’s own. Still, nice people, a pleasant place to be, and what’s the rush anyway.

While the guys were working on the front of the boat, we had decided to replace the carpets in the saloon and the bedroom with laminate flooring, a rather more practical proposition to keep clean. After 2 days (and 2 attempts!) got the saloon done to my satisfaction, so pulled up the carpet in the passage past the loo and the bedroom. Revealed a horrible damp patch on the floor, and rising 2 inches up the bulkheads. The water (luckily fresh, from the flush system) was leaking from 2 loose joints. One was quick to fix, requiring the tightening of a jubilee clip, the other needs a replacement fitting. The pipe work is HEP2O poly pipe, nothing wrong with that, but the joint assembly needs care. I’ve decided to replace the push fit fittings with standard compression ones, so will pick them up when I can. Meanwhile, a saucer to catch the drips and a sponge to empty the saucer will have to do.
As we were on shore power, I dug the fan heater out of the bottom of the bed locker, and dried out the floor before fitting the new laminate.

I’d picked up a car radio in Argos while we had the car, so I fitted that in the top face of the front corner cupboard.

By Monday, Reg was nearly finished with the cover, so I did the engine checks ready for moving out on Tuesday. When checking the batteries, I noticed that the “odd” one, the extra one I asked to be fitted at the yard, was once again short of water, and is showing signs of swelling on the ends of the case, an indication of failure. With the charger off, the battery bank showed 13.4 volts, but with the bad one disconnected, the remaining 3 go up to 13.7 volts, and the disconnected one down to 12.8, and dropping.
I rang Mike at Orchard and explained the problems, we will have them dealt with when we get back to Northwich later in the month.

Finally got away from Redhill at 14:00 on Tuesday, and set off down the Soar and onto the Trent. Up through Sawley (no lock keeper on duty, so pushed the buttons myself. If only all locks were this easy!), through Derwent Mouth lock and back onto the Trent and Mersey. Stopped for the night just East of Shardlow.

4½ miles, 2 locks.

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