Monday, 18 March 2019

Hawne Basin

Here I am Rune
Distance  12.4 miles
Total 3530 Locks  215 Tunnels
Running total mileage 5127.5 miles

A bit late updating here, but we made the return trip to Hawne on Saturday as planned. As it turned out the weather wasn’t as bad as it had been forecasted, it was windy but the rain held off until we were back safely moored in the basin. I gave the engine another good run down the Birmingham Main Line just to make doubly sure that there aren’t going to be any overheating problems when we go across the Ribble Link, and all seemed to be fine.

We now have a period of  about a month when the boat will be back in the basin with the planned departure date being somewhere around about 23rd April before we head north. We will be on the boat most of the time although we have a couple of excursions planned.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Birmingham City Centre

Here I am Rune
Distance  11.8 miles
Total 3530 Locks  212 Tunnels
Running total mileage 5115.1 miles

After the longest break from cruising since we got the boat, about 12 weeks, we are finally back on the move. Not the greatest move but pretty much the only one available for us whilst the closures are still on, and that is back to Birmingham City Centre. We actually got back on the boat from the Christmas break last Monday (4th) and have been in Hawne Basin finishing off the servicing that I began before Christmas, involving changing the gearbox oil and changing the engine coolant. Both exercises went off OK (as far as I can tell at the moment) and the reason for the run to Birmingham was to check that the servicing jobs were all OK and because we have one or two things we need to do in the city.

I gave the engine a good run down the New Main Line running at about 2000 rpm, which is about 400 rpm above my normal cruising speed, but still within the 4mph limit. The reason for this test is because it is our intention this year to go up the Lancaster Canal which involves crossing the River Ribble. It seems that CRT send boats out into the incoming tide from Tarleton and it is necessary to ‘push the tide’ for a while as you head down the River Douglas to its junction with the River Ribble, I wanted to check that the engine wasn’t going to overheat if pushed at a higher speed for an extended period, happily it didn’t. It was probably helped by flushing clean water through the system before re-filling with anti-freeze so hopefully any gunk likely to reduce the flow has been washed out.

One slightly concerning incident on the way here today however was the CO alarm in the bedroom went off as we were reaching Bumble Hole before heading into Netherton Tunnel. We moored up, opened all doors and windows to clear the air and then left the boat with the engine running for a further 15 minutes to make sure it didn’t recur, fortunately it didn’t although the alarm showed that the maximum reading was 77ppm. I think the cause of it was the fact that we had to take the chimney off to go through Gosty Tunnel (it is low) and the fire was still glowing this morning. Today was quite windy and, with no chimney in place, I think a downdraught probably blew the CO in the embers into the living area. There was no recurrence for the rest of the trip (another 3 hours) once I’d refitted the chimney.

The current plan is to remain here until Saturday and then make the run back to Hawne.