Friday, 20 December 2013

Avoncliff once again

Map reference  ST 81020  60143

Distance 2.5 miles

Total 242 Locks 7 Tunnels

Running total mileage 307.8miles

After moving off from Trowbridge we had one night in Bradforsd on Avon to take a meal out with family at The Poplars at Wingfield before moving on to our current location back at Avoncliff. The intention is to remain here over the Christmas period and move on either just before or just after New Year.  Nothing or any great import to report at the moment since we have been at most of these locations before and have said pretty much all that there is to be said about them.

Monday, 16 December 2013


Map reference  ST 85464  59421
Distance 8.5 miles

Total 241 Locks 7 Tunnels

Running total mileage 305.3miles

Well we’re moored up on the outskirts of Trowbridge on the Biss aqueduct with the intention of staying a few days to complete some repairs (it’s a 14 day limit here). The oil pressure sensor problem seems to have been repaired by Spencer at The Boatyard at Hilperton although we still have a problem with the engine temperature sensor but at least with that one it will become obvious if the problem lies in the engine as it will start to overheat.

The repairs that I’m hoping to complete is the replacement of the ventilation mushroom that was ripped off by the rope on the River Avon. The delaying facto at the moment is the weather which has been either strong winds, rain or both since we got here. The forecast for tomorrow looks promising so hoping to get the repairs done then.

Will remain here until Thursday as I have  Blood donor appointment on Wednesday in Trowbridge after which we’ll be heading back to Bradford on Avon.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

And so to Bradford on Avon (again)

Map reference  ST 82586  59978
Distance 5.9 miles

Total 241 Locks 7 Tunnels

Running total mileage 296.8miles

Well things haven’t really been resolved on the engine front although it seems to be pretty clear that it is an electrical problem rather than an engine problem since the engine seems quite happy to continue running. After a considerable delay (a week!) the River and Canal Rescue service shipped out the replacement sensor for the Oil Pressure gauge and unfortunately it hasn’t made any difference at all, the light still comes on and the alarm sounds. None of the local boatyards have any available time at the moment to look at the problem for us so at the moment we have disconnected all of the warning lights and hoping for the best!! Not the best of ideas but the electrics behind the control panel looks pretty complicated (bit like a bird’s nest) so I am reluctant to try to interfere. I have looked at a wiring diagram of the panel and I think that I would put my money on a bunch of faulty diodes. Most of the warning lights have some sort of problem, the engine pre-heat light is permanently glimmering and both the Oil Pressure Light and Engine Temperature Warning light and alarm come on (when connected) as soon as the engine is started, the only common factor I can see with all these lights is the bank of diodes which I suspect have become ‘leaky’ allowing current to leak back through the contacts. We will continue our travels and sometime in the New Year when I can get a boat electrician to look at it will see if my hunch is right.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Harding's Bridge (Bridge 181)

Map Reference   ST 78319 65039
Distance   3.4 Miles
Total 240 Locks 7 Tunnels
Running total mileage   290.7miles

So moving on from Bath and its Christmas Markets we only get a short way along the canal before we encounter our first real engine issue. From before Bathampton there was an irregular whistling noise coming from the engine that I could not identify. We stopped just beyond Bathampton for a greater investigation but to no avail as the whistling stopped. Approaching our current location, close to Hardings Bridge (Bridge 181) the whistling sound became constant and insistent at it was at that moment that I found it to be coming from the instrument panel and the Engine Oil Pressure warning light was half illuminated. We immediately stopped and called out the Canal and River Rescue to identify the problem.

 The mechanic has viewed the engine and his opinion is that it is just the sensor for the warning light that has failed, I hope that he is right! We will be here for a couple of days whilst Canal and River Rescue source a replacement sensor and hopefully we can get back on our way.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Return to Bath.

Map Reference   ST75966 65732
Distance   8.1Miles
Total 240 Locks 7 Tunnels
Running total mileage   287.3miles

Completed our brief trip along the Avon to Bristol, one slight drama was at Saltford Lock where a wayward rope ripped one of the mushroom ventilators from the roof of the boat. Spent an hour trawling the lock trying to recover it to no avail so will now need to find a chandlery to buy a replacement. Other than that the trip was fairly straightforward. Bath deep lock was again quite an experience but due to the lack of time (or daylight more like!) we did not have time to go up to the Pultney Weir as I had hoped so today’s photos are just of the locks and the entry into the Kennet and Avon Canal from the River Avon.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Back along the Avon

Map Reference ST68142 68738
Distance 10.4Miles
Total 230 Locks 7 Tunnels
Running total mileage 279.2mile

Well travelling back up the River Avon wasn’t too bad, the river flow didn’t slow us down as much as I’d expected, in fact we got from Netham Lock to Hanham Lock in pretty much the same time as we did coming the other way. Travelling against the current does give a lot more control to the process however. Our stay in Bristol was OK but, for what it was, it was quite expensive considering we had a week on the Thames earlier in the year for just over £60 and yet we only get 2 days in Bristol for £44.

When we get back to Bath I’d like to take the opportunity to get a photo of Pulteney Weir from river level before we go back into the Kennet and Avon Canal proper. If I manage it the photo will appear in the next blog.