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3rd 10th September 2011

Jean & John

Saturday 3rd

Engine running hours: 2429.5

Arrived at 5:30 having checked out all the charity shops in Leek (and getting gas and food!). John took Jemima to Park lane, saw a kingfisher on a tree stump a few hundred meters before getting there. Jean took the car, we unloaded and stayed there for the night.

Sunday 4th

Noticed that bilge water was a bit high and realised that we had not heard the pump running. Checked the power supply to the pump, which was OK. Reported this to Mike, apparently it had only just been replaced under warranty.

Set off 10:15

We spotted an elderly man lying awkwardly beside the track up to the Norton Green Lift bridge. Checked and he seemed unwell so we called an ambulance and Jean did her nurse stuff. Apparently he had had a stroke a few years ago and he had difficulty with walking and balance. It turned out he was outside his house so we alerted his wife and left him with the ambulance men checking him over.

Had trouble with the engine cutting out on low revs in the last hour or so.

Got to Etruria just before 5, stayed the night just north of Etruria.

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Friendly flowerpot men at Etruria

Friendly flowerpot men at Etruria

Monday 5th

Harecastle tunnel and 12 locks! Moored for the night just beyond bridge 140 at Rode Heath.

Tuesday 6th

Had problems at lock 60 grounded on something underneath and could not get out of the lock, or go back in. BWB guys working on the adjoining lock reckoned that the water in the pound was up to normal levels and suggested it was because the boat might be too wide as the lock was narrow, but there seemed to be adequate clearance both sides and she would rock a bit from side to side. Hit upon the idea of raising the water in the pound by opening the paddles at the top of the lock. Guys from a boat waiting to come up obliged and with the flow of water Jemima popped out of the lock like a cork.

We suspected that the boat being a bit lower in the water due to the extra water in the bilges might have contributed to the problem.

Moored for the night just before bridge 151A.

Wednesday 7th

Went on to Wheelock where there was a queue for water so we decided to carry on. Shortly after somewhere near Paddys Wood we saw a good place to moor for a break. Then John started to work on the bilge pump and the engine. Got the pump running long enough (on the manual connection) to pump out most of the bilge water before it packed up completely. As the weather was good John spent the rest of the day working on the engine cooling and we stayed where we were for the night.

Blocked cooling fins!

Blocked cooling fins!

Thursday 8th

Travelled at full speed for much of the day, partly to make up for yesterday, partly to test the engine and partly to get to somewhere where we could empty the toilet! Also the weather was nice with a fair amount of sun. The advertised disposal point at Middlewich Narrowboats is no longer. Moored for the night at Hurleston Junction. Decided not to use the sanitary station there as it is past the top of the flight of locks and there should be a more convenient one at Nantwich. Then we managed to overfill the toilet!

Coming through willows on the Middlewich

Coming through willows on the Middlewich

Friday 9th September

Went on to Nantwich where we filled with water and emptied the toilet. Then had a potter round town. John shifted some of the ballast under the seats from the starboard to the port side and she sits much more upright now. Went on to the bottom of the Hack Green locks and moored up for the night.

Saturday 10th September Engine running hours 2457.1

Walked up the tow path to the Hack Green nuclear bunker museum, highly recommended, a chilling reminder. Went back to Nantwich where we met up with Mike. He and John fitted a new bilge pump.

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